Docking at Ft. Lauderdale

Ambler Isle
V and S
Thu 18 Nov 2010 21:16
26 079 965N
080 06 421W
November 19  - December 17, 2010
We left the ICW to enter the New River in Ft. Lauderdale.  The narrow, fast moving river is very crowded with boats, and always is a challenge.  We put down the radar and antennas and passed easily under all the bridges, except for the railroad bridges.  They had to be opened to pass.  As usual we met up with several tour boats at the tight turns.  Tide, wind, eddy, traffic, all added to the excitement.  We passed Larry and Ulla's 70' Nordland and continued onto our dock about one mile past.  We tied up to the dock, hooked to the electricity, and sighed a sigh of relief.  Ft. Lauderdale is an odd place to have a boat.  For one, they do not allow anyone to sleep aboard a boat overnight.  Actually they do not allow the renting of private docks for any purpose.  But of course this rule is bent and even broken by everyone.  If someone should report us living on the boat, we would have to move.  So we kept a low profile, trying to be invisible at night.  Minimal lights and movement.  Our dock landlords knew we were aboard.  They even invited us for happy hour several times, and even to dinner.  They recommended a waxer, and even a fuel delivery service.  Even they were amazed that we could hide out so well at night.  (By day, we could be there, be outside, work on the boat, play music, whatever.  But at night we were supposed to be gone. ) We used the time to shop for final provisions, boat parts,set up the satellite phone,  supplies and more.  We took one week to fly to Washington State to visit Eric, Sharon and Emma.  We went with Larry and Ulla to his brother's home in Sebring for Thanksgiving dinner.  We even rented a car and drove to Naples to visit Werner and Doris for a weekend.  Valt worked and reworked an alternator, which turned out to be faulty.  Finally it was time to loose the lines and set sail for the Bahamas.