Fort Lauderdale

Second to last day and waking to hangovers we did the laundry, finished a
bit of work on the boat and got ready to leave. Except that the GPS marks
for the marina were on dry land, not the chart so we didn't actually know
where we were going. Murray had just got ready to go get directions when one
of the local pro skippers dropped by for a chat and went through the route
with us step by step - what a stroke of luck. So we cast off and started
with green buoys on the Starboard side as we carried on towards what is
known locally as dysfunctional junction, the shallows on the chart. This
junction is basically a water roundabout with three exits and a definite
grounding if you try to cut corners. Just to confuse us further at this
junction the buoys on our starboard side now needed to be red. As we
approached the junction Murray was on the helm and seemed to lose all his
concentration and started asking me to look out for green buoys when we
actually needed the red buoys on our starboard side. The sight of
dysfunctional junction took us both by surprise as about 20 power boats full
of partying crew were yelling, cheering, drinking beer, throwing thong clad
young girls in the water (may explain Murray's confusion), lifting engines
up and throttling hard to create large waves in each other's boats. A sort
of mad water party scene greeted us just when we needed to concentrate, so
with another switch of bouyage system we slipped into the New River and
tranquility.


A few more miles to go, but each bridge needed to be contacted by radio on
channel 9 to get them to open, so this would take some time. Some tourists
were videoing us, lots of people stared as bridges were opened just for us.
The exceptions would be our last bridge that was fixed but we would clear by
at least 5 feet and the railway bridge, which would normally be open. If the
railway bridge was shut we would just have to wait. We slowly motored
through this no wake, manatee conservation area arriving at Marina Bay by 6
o'clock, so we just picked our own berth and our boat travels were at an end
for now.