The Smuggler’s Run – Part 5 Back to civilization.

For the last week or so we have been living on the outskirts of America. While we didn’t smuggle anything we certainly could have.  This part of the Country is pretty empty, we probably only passed a handful of boats coming across the Everglades.  That was about to change as we approached Miami.

On the way we passed Stiltsville, another place where the rich and famous bent the rules on the fringe of society.  


They built this community on stilts on the edge of the Ocean where the rules had Grey Area.
They had a Bar in the 60’s called the Bikini Bar where girls could drink free if the wore a Bikini. According to a local Tour boat Captain, all you need to know to understand Stiltsville is they held JFK Jr’s bachelor party there.

There are not many surviving, hurricanes have claimed most of them and the rules have changed so they can’t be rebuilt if they are a right off. So now they rebuild them with walls that blow away in a hurricane so the frame survives and they can rebuild. Still skirting the rules, some things never change.

As we were coming under the William Powell Bridge, these 3 boats were sitting blocking the channel and I was wondering how I was going to negotiate around them when they all lined up and got out of my way.

I was on my feet on the flybridge keeping an eye on the boats when something fell out of the sky and bounced on the forward cabin roof then down on the side deck.

Janet heard the clunk and went down to investigate only to find “Willie the Whale” lying there.


It must have come from the bridge above. All I could picture was some Bullie kid tossing his little Brother’s toy out the window and yelling “Free Willie” 



Well we saved Willie and now he lives onboard hanging out with the petrified frogs.


We made our wat through the Port of Miami and anchored just off of Star Island.

All those boats in Miami, and there were lots, what are the odds one of them would be the “Next door neighbours”?






Almost two years to the day, the Nautoncall and Knot Diggin were anchored together again in Miami.

Time to give up on this Smugglers thing and get back to the Great Loop!

It was quite a contrast being back in the middle of all this again.  The cruise ships that were unloading and heading back to sit out in the ocean empty, were filling up again and heading out to sea with vacationers again.  It was March break in Miami and after the previous weekends shootings in the Entertainment district there was a curfew in Miami Beach.

Downtown Miami was hosting the Ultra Music Festival and you could see the flashing lights, fireworks and hear the beats echoing across the water.

We were just close enough anchored out away from the crowds.


At that night’s planning meeting it was discovered that it would be a nice enough day to travel on the “Outside” or in the Atlantic Ocean for a bit and come back to the Inside through Haulover Inlet. Running through Haulover inlet would be a check mark off the boat bucket list. We have all seen the videos of the idiots in the big waves. Now we could try it.

The next morning we were up early and ready to head out into the Ocean.

This is us leaving Miami Marina after paying $6.40/gallon for diesel fuel. Welcome back to civilization!


Don McCulloch
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