No Name Harbor
Six thick black dock lines run from our port deck cleats to the cleats on the sea wall in this well-protected harbor in Key Biscayne, Florida. Delfina strains against the lines as 45 knot gusts blow hard against our port.
Ordinarily, boats can tie up to the seawall for a few hours during the day, but given the heavy weather, boaters are permitted to seek shelter. We nabbed the last available spot on the seawall, directly in front of the pump out. The trade-off is that any boat needing to pump-out has to raft up to our starboard side and we have to pass the vacuum hose through our cockpit. It's a small price to pay for the security of the wall.
It could be worse; there are 4 sailboats at anchor in the harbor, vessels that didn't have room to tie up and wait out the wind. They are swinging a full 90 degrees with every blow. Walking over to the Bay, we watch crazy kite surfers fly through the rollers, wind gusts lifting them high over the waves.
The boaters in the harbor have bonded into an instant community. At our pop-up happy hour yesterday we met them all and exchanged stories of our journeys. Everyone here is either headed south to the Keys or across to the Bahamas. We are all hanging on every word of Chris Parker's daily weather reports. He's recommending that boats planning to cross the Gulf Stream wait until Sunday, so it looks like will spend the weekend here. We could try for tomorrow, but the swells are expected to be 10 feet or more; it would be better to give the seas a chance to calm.
This is actually a wonderful place to spend the weekend. We are in Bill Baggs State Park, which has a beautiful ocean beach; miles of nature trails; a harbor-side restaurant serving fresh fish and Cuban specialties, and a light house with an amazing view. Not to mention a secure anchorage with laundry and restrooms for boaters, all for $20 a night.
I joined my Kabbalah class by Skype this morning. We talked about a core concept of Jewish mysticism–– that we are all in exile in this world, redeemed only through prayer, Torah study, and acts of repair. I am immensely grateful that I can be in exile in a place like this, where the wind rushes through my mind as it blows clouds across an azure sky and I cultivate a timeless patience.