DAY TEN | December 23, 2021 | PART 2
Updated: Jan 8, 2022
TA DA! WE MADE IT! So after 9 days and I don’t know how many nautical miles, KORKZcrew was finally in Miami. It felt amazing. Every single person on this boat pulls their weight and contributes in their own way, and each of those contributions added up to our success in arriving on our targeted date. Skeet and Greta are especially competent, and I know I’m biased, but they quietly want to do whatever is necessary to help, and do so without complaint. They’re also extraordinarily good company, so I’m soaking that up as much as I am the amazing sights around me.
Ron had tried to book slip reservations for us weeks ago at several marinas that were either too expensive, too far from downtown, or already full, and he managed to find a spot that was less expensive and surprisingly convenient, right in the heart of the city: Miamarina Miami at Bayside Marketplace. I’m guessing it was less expensive because it was a city-owned and operated marina with less amenities, and because it was in a touristy area frequented by cruise ship passengers, but we found it to be pleasant and just right for our crew. Maybe it’s because I’d been boat-bound for so many days, but I was enamored by the view of the city, and by our proximity to everything you could possibly want to access on foot, by metro, or by taxi. It was so cool to basically be at the base of the SkyViews Miami, and just across from the FTX Arena where the Miami Heat play. Pretty amazing place to call home for a few days. I was already thinking to myself that I couldn’t believe I’d never been to Miami before; and that feeling only intensified.
Ron's focus, on the other hand, had zero to do with being enamored, and everything to do with having to back this 16' wide, 37' long Great Harbour into a slip situated between 6 pilings while the world watched 😬. But he honestly handled it all with seeming ease. The only tricky part was making sure the dinghy was out of the way, but that just meant untying it from the back and pulling it to the bow of the boat so he didn’t run it over. Greta took care of that, and helped me hand the dock lines to the nice marina employee who met us at the slip and also served as another pair of eyes for Ron as he backed in.
The MAJOR bonus of a marina as I’ve said before is that included in the fee to dock there are unlimited access to electricity and water. We didn’t suddenly shift into water WASTING mode by any stretch, but it was still awfully nice to not worry quite so much about just how long you were washing your hands or rinsing a dish. Plus, we could use the washer and dryer without having to draw from our own generator or water supply, so my goal before we leave is to catch up on all of our laundry. See all the fun you’re missing?! 😜
KORKZcrew has a gigantic yellow cord that’s about 25 feet long and connects the boat’s power to an outlet on the dock. It’s great because it allows you to run things that drain a lot of energy (like the fridge or the AC) without draining your own batteries or having to use your generator which requires fuel. These are definite perks, so we are trying to make the most of them while we can.
First things first after getting initially settled was a quick trip to the hardware store to get a few odds and ends. Greta opted to stay on the boat with Steve, so Ron and Skeet and I found a cab near our marina and took a quick trip to Ace Hardware. After checking a few things off of our list, we realized we were starving and texted Whitney to see if she had any suggestions for a nearby dinner spot. (She is working all day today so we are going to see her and her fiancé Will tomorrow). She suggested a sushi place that she liked and that’s all I needed to hear. We headed for Brickell City Centre which is one of the coolest open-air malls I’ve ever seen.
Can you tell from my images how enamored I was with JUST that fabulous open-air mall?!?! It was STUNNING, and lucky us had to go up four flights of escalators to get to sushi HEAVEN, also known as Pubbelly Sushi. (Or take the elevator solo if you’re Skeet. If there is an elevator anywhere in the vicinity of wherever we are at a given moment, that boy will be riding it.) I don’t think it was just because I had skipped lunch, but I was so excited about that meal, and every bite was better than the last. We started with Japanese fried chicken and smoked brisket truffle dumplings. Hello. Then the three of us split their two most popular rolls: the butter crab roll and the Big Eye Tuna roll. Makes me hungry all over again just to type those fabulous words.
While we waited for a takeout for Greta, Skeet asked if he could take the MetroMover by himself back to the marina, which is a free monorail that circles inner city Miami. Such a smart idea, and designed to easily accommodate people in wheel chairs or on bikes. And I love that it’s free for all passengers. Seems like a smart addition for any big city. While Skeet is small for his age and may look a lot younger than he really is, his ability to navigate any location for the first time, including a gigantic international city, is unprecedented. So if there’s anyone I do NOT worry about when it comes to finding his way home, it is Skeet. I’ve actually got a little of that homing pigeon trait myself, but nothing close to Skeet’s sense of direction and map-like memory.
Downtown Miami only gets MORE beautiful at dark. My impressions so far are that it’s clean and green, with a variety of architecture so appealing that it makes me want to return if only to do a tour that speaks to its architectural history. Ron’s observation was that it’s COLORFUL, with multiple meanings intended - it’s bright, it’s diverse, and it’s compelling for all of those reasons. It was fun to be surrounded by so many people speaking Spanish, and made me feel like a moron for not being able to participate on that level. There’s just nothing more exhilarating than being in a place with such a fascinating fabric of different nationalities and ethnicities. Miami has got it ALL.
And as if we needed to KEEP eating, that’s exactly what we did, with a stop at a bakery near our marina — La Industria Bakery at Bayside Marketplace — that had the most amazing-looking key lime pie on planet earth. It’s a good thing I don’t tend to exaggerate. But it was KILLER. The girl who helped us was precious, too.
Whitney and Will called us from a bar in Little Havana where you could hear the most amazing music in the background, and tried to convince us to join them. As much as we wanted to see them both, we were not only in a food coma at that point, but had also hit a wall since we’d gotten up this morning at 4:00 a.m. It turns out they’d already been at the bar for a while and were better suited to seeing us tomorrow, so we made a plan to meet them around lunch time, and went to bed fat and happy.
Night night, Miami!