The Key Biscayne site was really beautiful with a bright green water and commanding view of Miami across the bay. It was also a popular spot for local boats to anchor and play in the shallow water and I shared the anchorage with another 40-50 boats while the sun was out. I also had a visit from a pair of dolphins that swam around the boat for 10-15 minutes. It looked like they were playing with smaller fish, possibly dining on them a bit too.
After making it down to Miami overnight, my plan was to get up from my nap around 6pm and make an overnight passage across the Florida Stream to Bimini, arriving at dawn. I got up about 5pm and prepared the boat to depart. I went to pull up the anchor and ran into a bit of a problem. I could not get the anchor to release from the bottom no matter what I tried. I pulled the boat right up on top of where the anchor sat and let the boat’s action pull it free as I’d learned, but nothing was making a difference. I think if my windlass had been strong enough, it would have just pulled the bow underwater the anchor was stuck so hard.
As it was dark at this point, I decided that I was probably going to need to dive on the anchor to see what was up, but I was not going to do it in the dark and decided that waiting until morning was the best choice.
A beautiful morning then next day allowed me to dive on the anchor and low and behold, I found I had caught a large cable. Everyone’s internet, phone and cable tv, all in my hands. The cable was really large, probably 6-7 inches across. I barely had to wiggle the anchor and I was able to get it to release. Note to self, need to learn to slack cable and pull from different direction in the future if anchor is stuck. Since it was morning and I wanted to arrive in Bimini at dawn, I was now on course to depart in the late afternoon again, just one day later.
I swam a bit during the day and then went to nap in preparation for my evening departure. As I was napping, I found myself being awakened by a constant banging from under the aft berth. The more I listened to it, the more I became convinced that it was play in the rudder assembly. I got up around 4pm and dove to check it out and sure enough, the rudder had a good 1/4 inch of play at the heel pin. Crap! At this point, I am trying to get to Nassau by the 3rd to meet Alex & Sam and have already postponed my departure once, but I am concerned enough that I decide I have no choice but to put off my crossing until I can have it looked at.