Cold fronts have fallen into a weekly pattern.  Cruisers looking to cross the Gulf Stream wait for these to descend from the north.  The prevailing winds then shift from the north and east to the south and west to make it easier to sail east.  After our outboard was back up and running, we took the next window for a quick overnighter to gain some ground south, leaving the oh so familiar Ft. Pierce drawbridge behind.  Our aim is to cross over to the Bahamas and head straight for the southern island chains where it will be warmer for the winter… not to mention that it is one of our happy places.  

Despite being a bit squally at sunset, our passage was uneventful.  

The course had to be laid a few miles off of land in shallower waters to avoid the strong, northern flowing Gulf Stream.

Once, I veered off to pass an anchored cargo ship and hit 4 knots of adverse current.  

The inshore route put us in the path of several fishing boats of all sizes throughout the night, requiring a sharp use of radar.  Entering Governor’s Cut towards Miami in the morning, we transited the southern cut avoiding the closed cruise ship docks and on into the inner harbor.  

The next weather window was on its way in a few days, so we settled in for a weekend in Miami Beach.  Yes, that means that we were surrounded by jet skis and go-fast boats all weekend!  

Jeff (Virtual Reality) decided to make the trip over from Sarasota to see Reach in cruising mode rather than in a dirty boatyard.  

He was in his Tesla rather than his Manta though, so we were glad to have him over for the night.  

Mark and I got our first taste of 360˚ virtual reality using Jeff’s gear and had to eat our words that we "don’t get" the internet video craze.  Okay, we are usually bandwidth challenged and avoid videos that suck up our limited data at anchor, but we also seem to get bored quickly with videos that aren’t grabbing our attention or take too long to get to the point.  Well, I can see that changing very quickly with 360˚ VR! 

Jeff has some incredible 360˚ scenery of his boat sailing, including drone footage and it was mesmerizing to say the least.  There was lots to entertain us into the night and the next day with Blue Angels flying, the Oculus Rift Land’s End game, and apparently, cheerleaders…?!  

The Art Basel convention was taking place at the Miami Beach convention center while we were there.  

As an artist, Jeff wanted to check it out, so I tagged along for some inspiration.  

It is a famous, worldwide exhibit and we got to view most of it during the public viewing hours.  There was definitely a bit of everything there, covering all types of displays, mediums and genres.  

There was a lot of uniqueness to capture the eye.  Where else would you see a bread wall, a giant gem, an astronaut with an iPad, or a cube made out of dandelion fuzz?

This glitter wall piece attracted young women with cameras like butterflies to a flower in bloom.  

There were abstract and minimalist displays…   

political statements…  

industrial themes… 

multimedia creations…  

sexual and ascetic overtones…. 

& overall a lot of beauty and awesomeness…

And then there were the classics.  Galleries brought partial displays containing original art from several masters.  The quality of a few certainly stood out in high contrast in the high volume of works we took in all day.  

This one was my overall favorite of the day by Alberto Magnelli, Explosion Lyrique No. C.  Jeff mentioned that it is in the Futurism style originating in the 1920’s that uses brilliant colors and captures movement.   

This striking work Bull Fight seems to be in a similar genre.

Looking at some of Picasso’s pieces, with the 360˚ VR still bouncing around in my head, I had a moment where I really understood Cubism

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Of course, I know it when I see it and had understood the use of varying planes and geometries, yet now can clearly see that 360˚ image mapped onto 2 dimensions.

Over good food and company, it was a fun visit with Jeff.  We are all in anticipation of the days when our two Manta catamarans will meet out cruising somewhere.

Preparing for the next weather window, we moved Reach over to No Name Harbor in Biscayne Bay to stage for departure.  When the winds died and shifted to the west we left at 6 AM in the dark, watching the flashing reds & greens and leaving Miami in our wake.

© M&M 2016