11th Jan - 24th Feb 2013 - Florida - Part 3

Mon 25 Feb 2013 16:41
Whilst in Palm Beach, we were invited for a meal at some friends’ of Emmett & Mecca (of Charleston) who we met in Charleston over Christmas.  As we arrived at  Ben & Blanca’s we were greeted by 2 German Shepherd dogs and were told specifically not to even look at them, as they were trained to attack unwanted guests!  
Relaxing after a lovely meal – Blanca & Ben (2nd and 3rd from the right)
Kenny and Sarah  joined us on board Nimue for the 50nm sail from Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale.  Before leaving we went back into Old Hope Cove Marina to purchase some fuel and fill up with water with our new hose (a lightweight expanding blue hose), but then had to wait another half an hour for safe clearance underneath the Riviera Beach Bridge.  Once out of the inlet into open sea, we set the sails for our first really good sail since we had left Beaufort, NC – hoorah!   We made for Lake Sylvia, but there was no room for our 7ft draft, so made for another recommended anchorage in the Middle River, just past Las Olas bridge.  When we woke the following morning it was like we had anchored in the middle of an upmarket housing estate,  with exceptionally large houses on both sides of the river.  We had found a brilliant spot, near a good dinghy dock and very close to the local supermarket, Publix and trolley bus to get us around Fort Lauderdale for only a dollar a ride!
While sailing to Ft. Lauderdale we spotted the beginnings of a ‘waterspout’ (dark line shown to the left of the rigging and beneath the dark cloud)
Fort Lauderdale has numerous waterways which join up to the ICW and just a short dinghy ride away from our anchorage, were a number of privately owned slips at Bruno’s, which were inexpensive to rent and a favourite place for Bahamas bound vessels.  It  was here that Kenny and Sarah introduced us to Lisa and Val off Rising Star (another Valiant), Sherrie and Joe off Narsillion  and David off Blue Yonder, (yet another Valiant).
Nimue at anchor in the Middle River, Ft. Lauderdale
After a couple of days Kenny and Sarah caught the train back to Windward Passage and Val and Lisa kindly invited us to join them and Narsillion to go to the Miami Boat Show.   We all chipped in to rent a car for the day and although it was a tight squeeze into the standard saloon car (meant for 5 adults) we made it to Miami.  The rainy weather was slightly disappointing, but we managed to keep dry by staying inside.  Our only purchase was a manual hand wash plunger, which does exactly as it sounds and assists with hand washing laundry items.
Shallow draught vessel seen at the Miami Boat Show. Not the type of vessel you would see at a UK Boat Show!
One of the many Lifeguard stations along Ft Lauderdale beach (the red flag denotes dangerous seas and the purple flag; dangerous sea life!!)
Michael needed a haircut                                                                           Featuring Joe & Sherrie off Narsillion  & Val & Lisa off Rising Star
Enjoying the best fish taco’s in town
Cooking steak on the new Magma grill on Nimue and Sarah waiting patiently in the cockpit!
Some unusual sites on the water; a water borne Anglia and airborne man powered by a water jet pack
We treated ourselves to a couple of nights in Las Olas Marina, so we could do the laundry and provision up for our trip to the Bahamas.  We had always intended to sail directly to Nassau, as we needed a new outboard engine and it was still possible to purchase 2 stroke engines there.  Rising Star & Narsillion revised their plans and suggested we could all travel in company to Nassau.  This sounded a good plan and the start of a very good friendship..........