When we first arrived at the dinghy dock here at Dinner Key Marina, another cruiser said, "Welcome to the Hotel California." He went on to explain that Coconut Grove was so easy and pleasant that "You can never leave."
Our story is a little different.
We have found it hard to get comfortable here.
First of all, every mooring field we called said they didn't accept boats over 40'. (We are 44' long.) When we asked about a slip, they quoted rates up around $3.00 per foot, which would be $132.00 per night. We can't afford that!
But when looked at those same mooring fields that said they didn't take boats over 40', we saw all kinds of large boats on the buoys. We finally got a buoy at Dinner Key mooring field after they said "No" twice. There is an issue with "swing room" for boats over 40', but they put us way out, all by ourselves, so its all good now. It's a long dinghy ride in, but that's okay.
Secondly, the weather sucks. There are thunderstorms rolling through at random times in the afternoons and evenings. I'm sure most people just shrug it off but we've been struck by lightning, and it was terribly expensive to repair the damage, so we hate thunderstorms.
Thirdly, boat insurance rates are higher here in Florida. You think it might have something to do with the thunderstorms?
And lastly, everyone is in such a hurry, there are so many rules and regulations, the VHF radio is full of chatter and weather alerts and occasionally vulgar language directed at others boaters! It's all overwhelming at times and the nasty language makes us want to get out of here right away. What is wrong with people?
Now that we're on a buoy, the GOOD part is, we are in the charming little town of Coconut Grove with its cute shops and nice restaurants. There is a free shuttle bus that goes nearly everywhere we want to go. A short walk through a shady park takes us to a nice grocery store. The marina has ice and a large laundry room with fast, cheap commercial machines. (We did all our laundry this morning for only $4.50.) The other live aboards/cruisers are friendly and helpful. Maybe it's not so bad after all.
That cruiser at the dinghy dock might have been right about this being like the Hotel California, but he should have quoted this lyric: "This could be Heaven or this could be Hell."