Monday, April 14, 2014

Biscayne Bay – Boats, Yachts and Ships

I really like boats in every format… Even though I know better, there is something about the fabled romance of the seas that grabs me.  The problem is that I enjoy being on boats that are cruising along the coast or a long a river, doing a little sightseeing, but I have no interest in the open sea or, for that matter, a cruise on a giant passenger ship.  Whatever my bias or fixation, I just like looking at boats and imaging where they’ve been or might go…

While we were in Miami and during our guided tour of Biscayne Bay, I encountered a plethora of boats, yachts and ships…enough to let my imagination go wild!

This sailing ship is another tourist cruising opportunity.  The Heritage of Miami II was built in Norfolk Virginia and she spent her first season sailing on day trips from Hampton Virginia under the name of Virginia Rover.
The Heritage of Miami II is 85 feet long and she has a beam of 16 feet.  The owners claim that this is the only commercial sailboat in Miami.  They promote her use for weddings, birthdays or a corporate event with up to 41 guests.  To learn more, just go to

This is the National Response Corporation’s ship the NRC Liberty.  She is a Pollution Control Vessel.  This 121 foot ship was built in 1981 and she weighs 200 tons.  

A bit of research revealed many trawler-type ships like the Liberty…
National Response Corporation holds the highest oil spill contractor classification offered by the United States Coast Guard (USCG).  National Response Corporation maintains stockpiles of oil spill equipment around the US and internationally for immediate response.  The company has over 15,000 vessels, 2,000 barges and approximately 1,400 assorted facilities, refineries and pipelines as its clients.   

I’m too lazy to want to work on a sail boat or ship… But I do like the way they look!  The Tamaris is an 82-foot Philip Rhodes Sailboat.  She was built by the Burger Boat Company.  With the advent of electric arc welding, Burger developed techniques for the construction of all welded steel hulls for pleasure craft.  In 1938, Burger built the Tamaris, the country’s first all-welded steel auxiliary ketch. 

If you’d like to go sailing, the Tamaris is available!  Her daily rate, (from 10 AM to 4 PM is only $3,500 with crew and refreshments… Interested?  Just click on this link:

Now this is a Yacht!!  Actually it’s a 228 foot long megayacht… In reality it’s not a yacht in the normal sense of the word.

The SeaFair is the world’s first megayacht venue showcasing unique works of art, jewelry, and collectables in ports along the US eastern seaboard.  The yacht features 4 decks, 28 custom designed galleries, gourmet dining, a champagne and caviar lounge as well as an open-air sky deck.  The idea is that as the first mobile marine venue, SeaFair offers exposure to smaller, affluent, less competitive markets and provides a classy venue to host potential clients in each port.  All events will take place in port only. 

Even just attending an exhibit on this yacht is a bit above my status but if you’re interested in staging an event or seeking an event to attend on the SeaFair, just go to

Mark Cuban owns this ‘little’ 288 foot long megayacht named ‘Fountainhead’.  It’s the sister ship to Larry Ellison’s megayacht, the ‘Mushashi’.  With this acquisition, Cuban entered the list of the Top 100 Largest Yachts list in 2012.  Among other things, Cuban is the owner of the National Basketball Association's Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres and Magnolia Pictures.  Of course, Ellison was the co-founder of Oracle.  The Fountainhead is ‘flagged’ or ‘registered’ in the Cayman Islands.  This yacht was built 2011 by Feadship in the Netherlands.

FYI…This is a ‘borrowed’ photo of the largest megayacht in the world.  The ‘Azzam’ is owned by Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of the royal family from Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates.  Built by Germany’s Lürssen Yachts, the Azzam also has impressive speed due to her innovative water-jet propulsion system (two fixed jets, two directional), which catapults this 590-foot yacht at a staggering speed of 31.5+ knots. (That’s 36.2 mph!)

While I couldn’t find any information on the tugboat Miami as shown above, I just like the look of these hard working boats!

Here’s another tugboat with one of the several big bridges across Biscayne Bay in the background.  This is the Port of Brangus, a towboat from New York City.  It was built in Port Allen Louisiana in 1965.

This 3-masted 138 foot Bermuda schooner has quite a story to tell!  She was built in Emden, Germany in 1922 as a steel-hulled ship for trawl-fishing in the Baltic Sea. Estelle's hometown is Turku Finland. She is now owned by a "Ship to Gaza" company called ‘Northern Breeze AB’ from Finland.  She is the largest sail ship registered in Finland.
Estelle was previously maintained by volunteers who sailed to Africa to export assistance supplies and bring back fair trade goods.  She made her first trip to Angola in 2002.  Following that trip Estelle has mainly sailed in the Baltic Sea, participating in the Tall Ships Race of 2003 and collaborating with Greenpeace on research and campaign work.

Although the SV Estelle was sold to Swedish interests 2012, she is still registered in Finland.  The new ownership used her in an attempt to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.   Estelle departed for the Gaza Strip to try to break Israel's maritime blockade in the summer of 2012.  "We are sailing with peaceful intentions," a crew member said.  The crew consisted of 11 Swedes, 2 Finns, 5 Greeks, 4 Norwegians, 3 Israelis, 3 Spanish citizens, 1 Canadian and 1 Italian.   The Israeli military seized the vessel without incident and took it to the port of Ashdod. Those on board are to be turned over to the police.  What this ship was doing in Miami can only be imagined…

These photos show part of the Port of Miami’s container handling facilities…with the Miami skyline in the background.  ‘PortMiami’ is connected to Downtown Miami by Port Boulevard, a bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway. (A tunnel is currently being built to alleviate traffic issue on the bridge) The port is located on Dodge Island, which is the combination of three historic islands.

As of 2011, the Port of Miami accounted for 176,000 jobs and with an annual economic impact in the Miami area exceeding $18 billion.  It is the 11th largest cargo container port in the United States.  In 2010, a record 4.33 million passengers traveled through the Port of Miami with one in seven of all the world’s cruise passengers beginning their voyage from this port.

As I mentioned, I like ships and I like to take photos of them… Just my luck!  On the day we took our tour of Biscayne Bay these were the only cargo ships at the PortMiami…and none of the giant cruise ships were to be seen.
The ship on the left is the Caribbean Jade.  She’s a 330 foot long container ship that was built by the Jinling Shipyard (China) in 1997.  The Jade is registered in Antiqua and she belongs to a German shipping firm.  She has also sailed under the names ‘Sea Jade’ and ‘Mexico Express’.
The ship on the right is the Franklin Strait, previously called the Herm J.  She is registered in Antiqua/Barbuda.  When I wrote this in March she was in Barbados in the Caribbean.  There is a website that tracks over 50,000 ships, tugs, yachts, etc. around the world.  You can find a ship or check out a port to see what ships are in the harbor.  Check it out at

The Franklin Strait is also German owned although her home port is St. John’s Antiqua in the Caribbean.  She is also a 330 foot long container ship.  She was built in 2000 by the Yichang Shipyard in the People’s Republic of China. 

This is a view of the Coast Guard Station on Biscayne Bay.  This is a very big, very busy and very important Coast Guard Station. 

From what I could determine the US Coast Guard operates roughly 186 cutters, (vessels more than 65 feet long), and about 1,400 boats, defined as any vessel less than 65 feet long.  In addition, there are a significant number of large river vessels in operation that based on length, qualify as ‘cutters’. 

I was able to identify 4 Coast Guard Cutters moored at the Miami Coast Guard Station in the photo above… The USCGC Margaret Norvel, the USCGC Paul Clark and the USCGC Richard Etheridge are all new Sentinel Class Cutters. This new class of cutters is 154 feet long, 26.6 feet wide and has a top speed of 28 knots/32 mph.  They are equipped with 1 × Mk 38 Mod 2 25 mm automatic gun and 4 crew-served Browning M2 machine guns.  The ship’s complement consists of 2 officers and 20 crew members.
Margaret Norvell was a lighthouse keeper, employed by the United States Lighthouse Service, a precursor agency to the United States Coast Guard.  Norvell became a lighthouse keeper in 1891, and remained in that service for 41 years. Norvell's husband drowned in the course of his duties. Norvell was credited with saving many lives, including by venturing out into storms in a rowboat to rescue stranded mariners.

Paul Clark served as a Fireman in the United States Coast Guard.  During WWII Clark was assigned to a landing boat during an assault on a beach in North Africa.  When the craft's two other crew members were wounded by a Luftwaffe fighter, Clark took command of the craft and rescued his wounded crew members.

Richard Etheridge, an African American, served in the Union Army during the Civil War.  He achieved the rank of Sergeant and after the war he served for a time as a ‘Buffalo Soldier’ in Texas.  When he left the army, he joined the newly formed Life-Saving Service, another precursor agency to the United States Coast Guard.  Not only did he become the first black man to manage a life-saving station, he was responsible for the rescue of many mariners… His life is quite a story!  (

For a clear close up photo of a Sentinel Class Coast Guard Cutter, click on this link:

The 4th cutter I could identify was the USCGC Siticnak, a 110-foot Island-class Patrol Boats.  These cutters are a Coast Guard modification of a highly successful British-designed patrol boat.  All Island-class cutters are named after U.S. islands.  You can see a photo at:

This is the ‘Lejos’… Lejos translates to “Far Away”.  It was previously named ‘Cinque’.  This ‘modest’ 131 foot yacht is also registered in the Cayman Islands. I couldn’t find any other information on this ship…

This is the ‘Lady Sura’.  She is a 164 foot megayacht that was built in 2012 by Trinity Yachts LLC in Gulfport Mississippi.   Her port of Registry is also the Cayman Islands.  Her engines produce 2,250 horsepower.  She is available for charter with a maximum of 12 guests.  There is also a crew of 12…
Features of the Lady Sura include a full beam two-level master suite on the main deck with forward panoramic viewing windows, four guest staterooms located below and one VIP guest stateroom on the first deck.  The interior, designed by is rich in anigre, (an African hardwood), mahogany and varied burl finishes. The sky lounge is panoramic and the flybridge features a hot tub. A large tender garage aft provides ample storage for the tender, jet skis and water toys.  Lady Sura has a top speed of over 19 knots with a range of over 4,000 nautical miles. 

This is the superyacht Mylin IV.  It was built for the late Ted Arison, founder of Carnival Cruise Lines.  The Mylin IV is still owned by Ted’s son Micky Arison, who is the Chairman and CEO at Carnival Corporation. The yacht was named after Ted’s wife Lin.   

Mylin IV is a 200 foot yacht, custom built in 1992 by Feadship in Kaag, Netherlands.  This superyacht has a cruising speed of 17 knots, a maximum speed of 20 knots and a range of 4000 nautical miles.  She offers accommodation for up to 8 guests in 4 suites.  The Mylin IV also has a 16 person crew.  

In addition to being Chairman and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, Micky Arison is also the majority owner of the NBA's Miami Heat.  Arison, who was born in 1949, is one of the world's richest businessmen, with an estimated wealth totaling roughly $5,700,000,000.   He also owns the 185 foot megayacht Sirona III.

The ‘Carpe Diem’ is the last of the superyachts I photographed.  She is 191 feet long!  The Carpe Diem was built in 2011 by Trinity Yachts LLC in Mississippi.  She cruises at 14 knots, has a crew of 12 and she sleeps 12 guests.  She has a range of 4,361 nautical miles.
The Carpe Diem is currently owned by James Packer.  He is the son of the late Australian media mogul, Kerry Packer and the grandson of Sir Frank Packer. He inherited control of the family company, Consolidated Press Holdings Limited, which controls investments in Crown Limited, Ratpac Entertainment, Zhoapin Pty Ltd and other companies.  His wealth is estimated to total $7,100,000,000 (US).

The good news is that you can charter or just purchase the Carpe Diem.  Charters range from $395,000  to $ 584,940  per week.  The asking price for the Carpe Diem is $62,000,000!  This yacht is decorated throughout with Art Deco antiques and vintage fashion photography.  It is quite stunning.  You can check out the Carpe Diem’s décor at

Laurie took this photo of the MS Bimini Superfast.  This is a fast ferry operated by Resorts World from Miami to their Bimini bay Resort and Casino.  It was built in 2001 as Superfast VI Keil, Germany for use along the west coast of Greece.  She was sold to her current owners in 2013.
In June 2013, the MS Bimini Superfast made her first daytime crossing from Miami to Bimini. Once in Bimini, passengers disembark to visit Resorts World Bimini Bay Resort and Casino.  The starting fare is $64.50 per person.  The ship sails daily Friday through Sunday during the Spring Season.  A passport is required.  To learn more, go to

The MS Bimini Superfast is a 32,728 ton ship.  She is 669 feet long and she has 10 decks.  Her cruising speed is about 33 mph.  She can carry 1,608 passengers.

And so ends my review of boats, yachts and ships encountered during our tour of Biscayne Bay… Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at one of my favorite subjects!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Hi David, WOW---there are some mighty fancy dancy boats down there --and EXPENSIVE. Yipes!!!!! Me??? I love the big tall ships... We took a ride when in Yorktown on one of the tall ships... Awesome!!!! But--that took lots of work on the part of the crew.... Once the sails were hoisted, that was the smoothest ride I have ever taken on a boat... It was terrific.

    Great photos.

  2. Great shots Dave - hard to believe so many people can afford them. We considered a super yacht, but bought the RV instead.

  3. Wow! David all these look awesome and really beautiful!
    Have a happy and awesome Easter with your family!!:)