Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Saur Meets The Lazy Iguana

One weekend, I called my friend, The Lazy Iguana, and asked "What are you doing tomorrow?"

"Nothing," replied Lazy.

"Great!" I said, and asked if he wanted to play Tour Guide in Miami. Lazy had an even better idea: He volunteered to bring out his boat and we'd cruise around the waters of Miami. I have no idea what sort of boat it is (he'll be happy to tell you, I'm sure) but it was a very nice boat to jet about in.

I arrived at the docks that morning to find Lazy had already put his boat in the water (not an easy task, so perhaps Lazy isn't as lazy as he advertises). I hopped on board and he made such an excellent tour guide that I told him a couple of times that he should consider doing it professionally. He is a wealth of information and it's all interesting!

One of our stops was at Monument Island. You can only get to Monument Island via boat; there are no bridges and it's not within swimming distance. It was originally a bare, manmade island that was once perfectly round. It's now overgrown with shrubbery and palms and I believe that there has been enough erosion in some areas, and deposits in others, that it's now far from it's original shape. However, it's appropriately named, as you can see from these pictures I took with my cell phone camera:

We anchored here and explored the island briefly, then hung out near a bunch of people playing loud Hispanic rap, had a couple beers, floated in the icy cool water on a hot day, and I felt it was pretty much a perfect moment. Then we loaded up and took off to do some more touring.

Above is a stilt house that is in the water, far away from the shore. There are several of these large houses. They were built during Prohibition, and people would row or sail out to them to gamble, drink, and hire prostitutes. Out here, they were above the law. The local police knew about it, but could do (or did) nothing about it. I apologize for the graininess of these two particular pictures! It's hard to take great pictures with a cell phone on a moving boat.

During one of the recent hurricanes, this boat got beached. There are many examples of such boats, which were destroyed by a hurricane and abandoned by their owner. They're not worth salvaging (or whatever is of value has already been salvaged), so as long as they're not in the way, they sit there to rot for all eternity.

We decided to go find a restaurant on the water, named "Scotty's Landing" in the Coconut Grove district. During our quest, I took some snaps of the shoreline. This is the one that turned out the best:

As we hunted for Scotty's, we ran across this boat named Priapism. Perhaps the owner has stock in Viagra. I had to snap a picture, because I wondered if anyone would believe me otherwise:

Lastly, here are a couple pics of the view from Scotty's, a wonderful outdoor restaurant. If you ever get out that way, try the fish and chips!

A special and overdue "Thank you!" to The Lazy Iguana. Lazy, I still think you need to become a professional tour guide!


Ed Abbey said...

It's always been a dream of mine to build a boat and pilot it around our country seeing the shorelines. Now I have a stopping point, Scotty's, in Miami.

Senor Caiman said...


That Lazy Iguana is a good guy. I would never allow a middle age woman on my boat.

Miami does have some nice waterways. Great pictures.

The Lazy Iguana said...

I have an 18 foot Wellcraft with a Mercury 150 HP outboard. It is actually fairly easy to launch the boat, and not that hard to get it back on the trailer again. I simply tie off the bow line to the truck, back the trailer in the water, then slam the brakes. One of Newton's Laws does the rest of the work. The boat slides right off the trailer. If you forget to tie the boat off bad things happen (eg. you get to go swimming after it).

Biscayne Bay is a good size salt water puddle. We covered less than 1/2 of it. It continues north past the 79th street bridge (where the abandoned boat photo was taken) and to the south WELL BEYOND Coconut Grove where Scotty's is.

Next time South Biscayne Bay will probably be on the agenda. There is Boca Chica Key, with its fake lighthouse and the only "historic" buildings in Biscayne National Park. The NPS does not count Stiltsville as historic because none of those buildings are original. Wooden houses in salt water do not last that long. There is also Elliot Key. The park is a more natural setting, with more of a natural bottom (less dredging).

Then there is FLAMINGO! Way down in Everglades National Park. The wilderness waterway is a 100 mile water trail through the mangrove swamps. I like to go there in the winter when the skeeters are under control. My 18 footer is about the largest boat you would want to launch from Flamingo. The waterways get tight and the water gets shallow. But the boat I have can get in there. I have done it before.

And the water was not exactly "icy". It was in the mid 80s. It does get cooler. Sunday was a great day to go, as the cold fronts are starting to arrive. Swimming season is just about over, unless you are hardcore.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy, well... it surely seemed icy! ;o) Good, I can't wait to see more. I had a blast!

Gator, he put up with my wrinkles and never said a critical word about my fanny! :D

Ed, it is definately something you want to put down on your "to see" list!

QUASAR9 said...

Hi Saur Kraut.
I guess an iguana would know how to move swiftly on land & water too
- Coooooool! love it

About that hurricane beached boat, what are the salvage laws like out there

Saur♥Kraut said...

Quasar, people can take it if they want it, but no one wants these wrecks. :P

Yeah, Lazy can really move when he wants to! It's fantastic to be going about 40 mph in that boat!

QUASAR9 said...

What do ya mean, no one
If you can put me up
I'll fly over on the next plane and start recovering wrecks.
Gosh npthing I'd like to do more than waste my days recovering and repairing wrecks and nothing more ... well other than eating, drinking, and dancing
You dance???

Jenn said...

Is that you there in the shadows?

Debbie said...

Sounds like a cool trip you had! Always helps to have someone who knows all the cool places to go! The boat with the funny name had me until I read you link! Now I wonder how did you know that? :)

The pictures are good even with it being a cell phone!

Kathleen said...

That sounded like great fun! Sounds like Lazy loves to explore.

Speaking of the weather ... I am LOVING IT NOW. I sat out on my front porch last night and did my annual "Welcome to Winter" drinking event. Yup, not terribly exciting to others, but I did enjoy my TWO martinis. ;) A couple of my neighbors decided to enjoy me in the annual toast.

Kathleen said...

Oh, almost forgot. Maybe the chap with the boat "Priapism" was inspired by Monument Island.;)

Kathleen said...

OMG, I meant join me in the annual toast!

Anonymous said...

Looks like you two had a great time.

Enjoyed the pics.

Lee Ann said...

Wow, so much fun! The weather looks great! Takes me to my memories of when I lived in Boca Raton....I do miss that at times.
Thanks for sharing the great tour!

Ellen said...

I couldn't imagine you not having a good time with Iguana. I'm sure he kept you in stitches along with the nice history and geography lesson. The reptile is a funny man, all you have to do is go over to read his blog to see that.
Also, glad to see you had a chance to steal away from Tampa for awhile.

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

What a fun day, and to think that it was with someone you met in blogsville.

You seem to have such enriching experiences, Saur. Hope they continue for you.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Quasar, you might think you want to recover the abandoned boats - but you really do not. There is a reason they are still there. The cost of recovery is more than they are worth.

First off, there is the hull damage. The stringers are probably toast as well. That is MAJOR damage for a boat.

Get past that and there is the water damage. All the wood in the boat is rotted out. They may need new floors. If the stringers are wood forget it. If the boat has a cabin, EVERYTHING in the cabin has to be ripped out and replaced.

Get past that and there is the electrical system. All wires have to be removed and replaced.

Now for the engines! Of course you need new engines. And new guages. And new steering.

Sailboats will need new masts, rigging, and sails.

At this point you have spent enough to buy a new boat.

In otherwords, imagine getting a wrecked Corvette from the junk yard. Think bent frame and fire damage. Now imagine trying to rebuild it from the ground up. ALL new parts, down to the nuts and bolts. Same idea here.

For a project boat, you would be better off getting a naval architect to design you a boat and start building from a hand laid keel. You will spend less and have a far better finished result.

R2K said...

Love the pics, thanks for your spiderman entry. It is a great one.

Nihilistic said...

I need that boat!

Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

Enjoyed reading about Monument Island. Love the old statues! It`s interesting that there was no law there.
And that`s quite the boat LOL


QUASAR9 said...

Hi lazy iguana, I hear ya
Thanks for the reality check.
An insurance write off is an insurance write ... and if it were worth restoring or salvaging there are enough bandits to cannivalise it.

I was merely expressing a sentiment. The same with furniture restoration. Most furniture restoration projects are not economically viable propositions or businesses - I simply meant I'd be happy wasting my time restoring furniture (or boats) with nothing else to do - and no financial pressures (or deadlines) - you know a 'peter pan' like beach bum, who really doesn't have a care in the world, and is in no hurry to get anywhyere ... as in been there done that wore the T-shirt, but more than happy to do it all over again