#33-A April 2010 South Beach - Ft. Lauderdale - Palm Beach - Stuart - Palm Beach, Miami

On our journey north we stopped in Miami Beach for the first time and anchored in front of Julio Inglesais home on Star Island. 
Just 1 of a parade of cruise ships that passed our anchorage in Miami.

Our friends, Kate and Steve, were already in the anchorage and we had the treat of spending some time with them.  We found the South Beach area most stylish with its Art Deco architecture.
Miami Skyline
The 4 of us took the bus and rail to Coconut Grove to visit Vizcaya, built in the 1910's. It is a glimpse from the past, not to be missed with its phenomenal man-made and natural resources.  That was the decade when Gilded Age cultural standards were enlivened by the irreverent spirit of the dawning Jazz Age.

Vizcaya's Bay Entrance
It also introduces visitors to Miami’s place in history when America’s wealthiest industrialists created lavish homes inspired by the palaces of Europe. Vizcaya is a lens through which to learn about art, interior design, architecture, landscape design, horticulture, and the environment, as well as the role of internationalism in the history of the United States and Miami.  James Deering of Harvester International Corporation, conceived the plans for this estate and its construction took only 2 years.

Entrance to Vizcaya Estate
Flagler Island is man-made and a hang-out for weekend boaters. At the base of the obelisk Henry Flagler Monument stand 4 allegorical statues. Each faces a cardinal direction and represents a signature aspect of Miami Beach. Representing industry, a man in a Roman toga stands facing due north, holding a small building and a scroll. A female figure representing education, faces due east, wearing a dress and a cape. She holds a pile of books and reaches out with her left hand in a welcoming gesture. A statue of a sailor faces due south, shielding his eyes from the sun. He holds a shovel and sits on a plant as he stands for Pioneer.A female figure in a long dress with a tiara represents prosperity. She holds a cornucopia and a purse clutched to her chest with her left hand and her right hand reaches to the west.

Flagler Monument representing engineering, prosperity, education, and industry

One of the many poignant sculptures in the Holocaust Garden

The Holocaust Monument is in memory of the 6 million Jewish victims. The giant 42 foot tall bronze sculpture is reflected in the placid lily pad studded pool and depicts close to one hundred figures. Each is crying out in anguish, pain, and despair; of life and of death in a man-made hell. Topping the sculpture is a hand evolving from an arm bearing the ultimate mark of the Jews' dehumanization, a number which became his identification, eradicating his real human identity.

Note the hand in the reflecting pond at Holocaust Monument
 This memorial is very well done and makes for an emotional and thought-provoking afternoon.

The sun sets over Miami
In the 20's, Miami Beach, better known as South Beach, was a popular playground for the rich, hence the Art Deco architecture, and was a Mafia hangout in the 50s. By 1979, however, it was a Mecca for the elderly and the poor, and many of the once-swanky hotels had become retirement homes. Old-time beach residents remember when octogenarians in rocking chairs were a common sight on Ocean Drive. The Beach Preservation League was formed in 1976 in a successful effort to save the Art Deco architecture and revitalize the area. 
Example of South Beach's Art Deco architecture

South Beach was introduced to the world in 1984 when Miami Vice used many of the buildings for backdrops.  We were able to spend only a week in South Beach but absolutely loved it and can't wait to go back there.  Since the 1920s, Miami Beach has been synonymous with glamour, glitz and non-stop sun. The epicenter of the beach is really on the barrier island’s south end, which is why South Beach is really what people mean when they refer to Miami Beach. It's only 17 blocks long and 12 blocks wide, making South Beach is a perfect place for a walk.   South Beach was introduced to the world in 1984 when Miami Vice used many of the buildings for backdrops.

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay, South Beach, watching ships head out to sea

From Miami we headed north, stopping overnight in Ft Lauderdale and Palm Beach on our way to Stuart for the MTOA (Marine Trawler Owners Assn.) rendezvous. Attending this event at the Hutchinson Island Marriott Resort and Marina far exceeded our expectations!  Every minute was packed.  The theme, “Sea Florida - See Florida”, highlighted the unique ecology of the rendezvous site and we left with an appreciation of the waters and shores upon which we cruise.

A Thing of Beauty on Lincoln Road
Downtown South Beach

We learned so much in the workshops and played so hard renewing old friendships and making new ones.  A special treat for us was a visit from our friend, Bobbi, who drove from Merritt Island to see us on the last day of the event.

Looks like a castle under construction, doesn't it!
Our plans for our virgin cruise to the Bahamas continued to gel and we departed Stuart with Peter and Nancy aboard Sea Angel and Iffin, cruising home to Barry and Barb. I always post our blog on the last day of every month but because we're unsure about Internet availability, this month's post will be a bit early. Later we'll catch you up on the rest of this month. Our  fleet of 3 boats is heading south to Miami and we'll cross to Bimini to check into the Bahamas and then on to the Exumas. Where ever else we go will be a serendipity. Our buddy boats have cruised all of the Bahamas before so that provides us newbies with considerable solace.

I love what someone did with a collection of old pointe shoes!
Personally, camping is a fate worse than death!  I can't imagine anything any worse.  As we were entering Lake Worth Inlet, this mass camping extravaganza met my eyes!  I caused me to need another cup of coffee!!!
  Looks like Tent City.  They'd just have to shoot me!!!!!

One last pass through Miami before heading to Bimini.
Approaching Miami from the Atlantic Ocean

Up close and personal with a cruise ship as it leaves Government Cut, Miami

Pilot boat en route to fetch the pilot who took the ship out of the harbor.

Boat load of excited vacationers leaving Miami.

We're in our Miami Beach anchorage eagerly awaiting the free boat wash that's coming.

T'is quite a sight to see these cruise ships so close to our anchorage.

Till later...maybe not till July---

Bill and Laura


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