It was bright and colorful, it was everything that you would think Miami would be-- only without the traffic. If you have ever experienced Miami by water, then you know that this is the only way one should experience the city. Do it aboard a Leopard 46 PC, and you are in for the whirlwind weekend of your life!
Experience the great outdoors that the Key of Biscayne islands have to offer, and then enjoy the blazing nightlife in the city. Even without the stunning beaches, you can't deny the allure of Miami.
Friday morning we departed from Fort Lauderdale with a slow cruise south down the intracostal. The trip down was leisurely, with plenty of options to stop for lunch along the way. Friends aboard were not familiar with South Florida so we wanted to take in the beautiful houses and sites along the way.
After arriving in Miami we dropped anchor on the west side of Star Island which was a nice, quiet protected anchorage. I highly recommend this spot to anyone looking to escape the noise of the city while maintaining those million-dollar skyline views.
Entertaining and the galley
We did the trip in tandem, with a Leopard 53 PC. Once we were rafted up, side by side, we hosted our friends on the 53 PC onboard the 46 PC for cocktails and dinner.
Opening up the forward and aft doors, we had the perfect breeze flowing through the boat and plenty of room for 10 people to spread out and enjoy the ocean air, the tunes and the city views.
And the galley. The galley onboard the new 46 PC makes hosting dinner guests a delight! The full-sized fridge, induction stove and convection oven, in addition to the dishwasher and sink, are all situated port side, leaving a massively long countertop to starboard that provides the ideal area for your sous chef! Preparing, cooking and cleaning were as smooth as glass. Onboard a catamaran, this has to be the most well-thought-out galley I have ever encountered.
The group of 10 enjoyed dinner in the aft cockpit. After an exciting day on the water, you would think it was time to wind down and call it a night, but with the hustle of the city just within reach, we opted to pull up anchor and cruise around downtown Miami. With the city behind us, it made for a memorable backdrop with a night of dancing, laughing, and enjoying the stunning lights of Miami. All of this was enjoyed from the flybridge of the 46 PC, with plenty of room for everyone to take in the scene.
Learning the hard way
When it was time to call it quits for the evening, we settled on tucking into Virginia Key. Unfortunately for us, every party charter boat that was out on a Friday night decided to also anchor until the wee hours of the morning in the same spot. 20 boats with 20 different sound systems and you can imagine the noise. An insider tip for anyone looking for a little more peace is to bury your boat inside the anchorage, the further back you go, the more peaceful it is!
With a perfect winter breeze flowing through the boat, we kept the boat open and opted to sleep without the use of the generator that evening. Tucked away in the Virginia Key anchorage, we were able to enjoy a peaceful night's sleep.
Waking up Saturday morning with no plans on the agenda, we decided that Elliot Key was calling our name. Located 22 miles south of Miami, this little slice of paradise is unexpected considering the proximity to one of the largest cities in the US. Beautiful turquoise waters greeted us upon arrival and we were able to set anchor in 7 feet of crystal clear water.
We spent the day SUPing, snorkeling, running the dinghy to the beach, and soaking up the sunshine. We were greeted by a manatee and her calf upon arrival. While snorkeling we managed to stumble upon stone crab, lobster, and various kinds of sea life. Unsure of fishing laws, we left the crustaceans to their own devices and just enjoyed the snorkel.
We relished in obligatory sundowners from the comfortable front deck loungers and watched the sun melt into the sky. It was hard for everyone to believe we were able to explore what felt like a remote destination, with Miami just barely out of sight.
Upstairs on the flybridge, we threw burgers and hotdogs on the grill and enjoyed a fun night of BBQ while relaxing in the breeze, and welcoming all the open space.
Making my way down to the massive owner's stateroom, I enjoyed every single aspect of the suite. From the lit-up LED double sink vanity with on/off touch screen capability, to the massive walk-in shower, plus the ample amount of closet and drawer space and the perfectly adjusted lighting for winding down, it felt I had escaped to a private villa at the end of the perfect day!
It was a quiet and tranquil night's sleep, with just two other boats in the anchorage. We were up the following morning for a cup of coffee and a jaw-dropping sunrise with the welcomed addition of a yoga session on deck.
Making our way home
While the sun was shining, revealing the stunning waters, the wind was not in our favor for the journey back to Fort Lauderdale. We were thrilled to have access to a complete indoor helm station to avoid the gusty wind and spray. The 1.5 hour trip up Biscayne Bay was an enjoyable one. And once arriving in Miami, we were glad to cruise home up the intercostal, but not before stopping for lunch on the Miami River at American Social-- a group favorite. We had the whole day to enjoy the cruise, soak up the sun and get home. Had it been a time-sensitive matter, we would have gladly run this thrilling yacht on the outside. I put her through her paces on various sea trials just the week prior, so I've seen her capabilities in rough seas!
Experience the Leopard 46 PC for yourself! Contact us to schedule a showing in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The Leopard 46 PC is also available to charter or purchase through The Moorings!