WE WENT FOR IT!
At the Fort Lauderdale inlet, known as Port Everglades, we left behind our towboat buddy that allowed us through all the 21 bridges on demand (regardless of their actual operation times). We passed under one final bridge and made our turn towards open ocean. On our way out, we passed a Coast Guard vessel, two police boats, a multitude of extravagant pleasure yachts and finally (my personal favorite) a GIANT freighter carrying hundreds of shipping containers (a proper amount of tiny homes).
As we approached the open water the waves began to pick up to about 3 to 5-foot swells. We headed into the wind and raised the mainsail and began bearing off towards our destination: Coconut Grove (South Miami). Once we got on course we unfurled the head sail and throttled back. Using the sails alone, we were only making about 4.5 knots (5-6mph). This was due to light winds, so we opted to continue motor-sailing. This gave us an opportunity to make up for our set backs from earlier in the day. With two forms of power, we were making great speed (7-8 knots) and spent the next 4 hours sailing comfortably on the open ocean about 3 miles offshore.
At about 6:30pm we made our turn and passed by the beautiful lighthouse of Key Biscayne. With sails down, we motored the final hour of the trip across the breathtaking bay (with superb still waters) to Coconut Grove. We dropped anchor just outside Dinner Key Marina near the mooring field and got our much needed rest after 14.5 hours of travel!