Yacht Charter Key Biscayne
Biscayne Bay is the large body of water that lies between the mainland and the barrier islands such as Miami Beach. While there is ocean access, primarily via Government Cut, the main channel used by all the cruise ships, there is so much to see and do within the confines of the bay itself that you can have an outstanding trip and never leave the bay. Because the barrier islands offer considerable protection, the bay is usually quite gentle as to sea conditions no matter what may be happening off shore. So while a bay cruise can be ideal on any day, or maybe the perfect setting for a private yacht party, it is especially desirable on those rare days the ocean is less than hospitable, or for folks who prefer quiet waters period.
We begin our cruise by heading south to the lower bay, the portion between Key Biscayne and the Coconut Grove/Coral Gables sections of Greater Miami. This part of the bay presents us with a wide variety of things to see and do. So our first objective is to pass under the Rickenbacker Causeway, the only highway connection between the mainland and Key Biscayne. If we haven’t yet had the opportunity, once we’re south of the bridge we can open the throttles and get up to cruising speed. Not too far south from the Rickenbacker Causeway, off to the right, there’s a local landmark known as Vizcaya. This magnificent mansion, Miami’s first, was built nearly 100 years ago when the area was still young. Its original owner was James Deering, the founder of International Harvester. Vizcaya is currently a county-owned museum that’s open to the public daily (unfortunately, it is not accessible by water without prior arrangement). It is also often used for movies, photo-shoots and corporate parties. If you wish a closer view, there’s a channel that can take us almost to the mansion’s front door. Seeing this century-old house from the water is impressive, and a view most visitors never get.
Designed by an American architect and built of stone that was imported from Italy, the house is styled as an Old Italian Palazzo. What is interesting here in the 21st Century is that Vizcaya reportedly cost about 5 million early 20th-Century dollars to build and employed 10% of Miami’s population at the time to do so. Further, though our city was only a few years old when Vizcaya was built, Deering furnished the house with over 400 years’ worth of antiques, just to make the place look as if one family had been living there for centuries.
Whether we go in for a close-up view of Vizcaya or simply observe it from a distance as we cruise on by, our next goal is a delightful anchorage. It’s called “Nixon’s Cove” because this is where Richard Nixon had his “Winter White House” over thirty years ago. We’d show you his former house, but it was torn down in the fall of 2004! We can, however, show you the house used in the movie, Scarface, and a few celebrity homes as well. One of the delightful features of this relaxing cove is the sandbar on the south side. The drop-off is such that, even at low tide, we can anchor in enough water to float our boats yet be within an easy swim of the sandbar, where the water may be only ankle deep (or less!) at low tide.
And considering that our South Florida tidal range averages slightly less than three feet, it’s good for wading at any tide. This is also a perfect area for using the WaveRunner. While there’s a speed limit if you wish to approach the shore (dead idle when within 1000 feet of the island) the area from the anchorage out to and including the bay is wide open and you can go as fast as you feel safe and comfortable. On days when the ocean cooperates, the return trip from Nixon’s Cove can be outside Key Biscayne. Yet when the ocean is less than hospitable, it’s still possible to return to your starting point with very little backtracking or repetition. And, of course, throughout the trip there are numerous and varying views of Miami’s exciting skyline. Each is unique in that you can only get that particular view when out on the water.
Reputed to be the highest-valued real estate in all the United States, it is the only inhabited island in the area that’s accessible only by boat or helicopter—there is no bridge. If you’d like to examine it more closely (and there’s time enough), your Captain will be happy to take you into the inside channel to show you more. Incidentally, while you’re on the inside channel looking at Fisher Island, you’ll be across from the site where the original “Flipper” TV show filmed its in-water scenes, on Virginia Key. All too soon your journey is over and it’s back to where you started. But the sights and activities you’ve enjoyed should provide many happy memories that will last a lifetime.
Call us today to enquire about our specialty cruise services, and personalized Miami yacht party charter services, whatever your needs are, we’ve got you covered.