Alex & Sam arrived on Friday night and the boat was scheduled to be pulled out on Tuesday morning so we had a couple of days to kill. We went in and provisioned the next morning and after returning the rental car, we headed back over to Key Biscayne to anchor and swim for a couple nights. It was a great start to what we hoped would be a fantastic trip.
Bright and early on Tuesday morning (5am), we weighed anchor and headed towards downtown Miami to get to the boatyard. Our destination was Hurricane Cove Marina and Boatyard which is a couple miles up the Miami River. To get there, we had to pass under 12 bridges total, 8 of which were bascule type that required raising for us to pass under. I was a bit nervous about this as I had experienced a lot of delays on the ICW waiting for bridges as well as significant current concerns requiring me to have to maneuver to keep in the channel and off the bridge fenders while waiting for openings. When I approached the first bridge, started to panic a bit when there was no response to my radio request for an opening on channel 9 or 16. Did I have the right information? Was the radio working? My fears eased shortly as within a few minutes, the bridge started opening as if by magic. I assume they heard me and just didn’t take the time to respond on the radio since they could open bridge with no delay. The rest of the bridges were very responsive and the whole passage was pretty painless. Since the bridges are all so close together, I imagine that they are pretty aware of traffic inbound or outbound so are prepared for opening as they hear you coming up or down the river.
I had planned our transit at two hours total to get up the river and it ended up taking less than one hour to get to the boatyard. It was a beautiful trip up the Miami River in predawn darkness. The River winds right through downtown Miami and so we were treated to a very special view of the city from the river with all the buildings lit up in the silence of the early morning.