Ponce de León was the first European to visit the area in 1513, and Pedro Menéndez de Avilés is believed to be the first European to actually land here in 1566. After that, a combination of explorers, settlers, treasure hunters, slaves, soldiers and native Indians moved in and out of the area over the years.
Miami's growth as a settlement was relatively sluggish over those few hundred years compared to some of the other places we've visited. It was not until 1896 that Miami was incorporated as a city, and at that time it only had three or four hundred people in its population.
One hundred and seventeen years to change from relatively uninhabited wilderness to modern day Miami.
Phoenix and I talked about the changes that might occur in this area over the next one hundred and seventeen years.
"There will be a lot more people. I read somewhere that 20 million babies are born per day," said Phoenix. I quickly looked it up and found that it is actually around 360,000 babies born per day in the world. Not as scary as 20 million, but still a very significant number.
"There may not be space in the world for you to go cruising around on a personal sailboat when you are my age," I told Phoenix pessimistically. "And the water quality will probably be so poor that you can't go swimming in the ocean."
I'm usually an optimist, but not in regards to how we are treating our limited natural resources. "The only good outcome," I foretell jokingly, "is that our house in Hawaii [around 1/3 mile inland] might be waterfront in 100 years."
My other predictions for the future and for the pristine wilderness areas that I have loved visiting over the years are more dismal. "Will it be like Wall-E?" asked Phoenix. I wish I could guarantee that it won't.
For now, we will enjoy beautiful Biscayne Bay and hope for the impossibility that our use and Miami's continued growth will not damage this amazing ecosystem.
|We seem to be the only transient cruisers in this mooring field. It is interesting being surrounded by empty boats.|
|Sage has mastered the inflatable SUP on flat water. Thanks to Gigi and Greg for setting us up with this awesome board!|
|The girls kept disappearing under boats. You can see them in this picture about to paddle under the catamaran. Apparently they got the idea to do this after seeing some kayakers go under.|
We are thinking of crossing the Gulf Stream to Bimini in the Bahamas on Thursday, two days from now. After taking the day to relax and play on the water, we walked 1.5 miles to Mary's Laundromat and Café (awesome empanadas and fresh fruit smoothies while you wait) and to Publix to finish some chores. Laden with groceries, we hopped on the bus (25 cents each for Jamey and I!) for the ride home. We are aware that it is going to be expensive to provision in the Bahamas, so we tried to stock up on high yield groceries that won't spoil: rice, beans, canned mustard greens, peanut butter, raisins, etc.