Fort Lauderdale

26:07.123N 80:06.507W
 
Sunday 18th December 2011
 
Distance run: 94 nmiles
 
After an aborted attempt to leave Fort Pierce on Monday (couldn't lay the course as wind directly on the nose, so turned back) we spent a couple of days in Harbour Town Marina.  It made a nice change to be able to get off the boat and walk around ashore, and we made good use of the facilities - laundry, showers, bar etc. and managed to find somewhere to get the stanchions straightened.  We moved back to the anchorage on Thursday, and finally left Fort Pierce around 0800 on Friday.  The sea was calm and with little wind we motored for a few hours before we were able to sail.  We had current against us most of the time, sometimes as much as 2 knots, so it was not a fast passage.  This was not a problem, however, as we didn't want to arrive at the inlet before 0700 Saturday when we would have both light and current with us.
 
The inlet was calm as we came in and then we waited in the turning circle for the 17th Street Bridge to open.  A rib from the Sherriff's Office came over and a very aggressive Officer questioned our intentions and told us in  no uncertain terms to go and wait in the ICW channel which was just about wide enough to let two boats pass each other let alone wait for a bridge opening!  Welcome to Fort Lauderdale!
 
By 0800 we had passed through the bridge and were tied up alongside in Las Olas City Marina.  We had parcels and mail to collect from the OCC Port Officer, as well as a pump to collect from West Marine, so we set about finding our way across town to pick them up.  We jumped on a passing trolleybus which seemed to be going in the right direction, only to find that it was not!  So a taxi ride later we arrived at West Marine and picked up the water pump.  We looked around Bluewater Books and bought a travel guide to Cuba. We stopped for coffee and cake in a diner, and by this time were flagging a bit, so we headed back to the boat leaving the other stuff till the next day.
 
Fort Lauderdale was a bit of a surprise as we had not realised there are many canals there, with houses fronting onto a street and backing onto a canal. There is also a lot of money here because many houses had more than one boat parked outside!  This morning we successfully found the correct trolleybus which dropped us within walking distance of the OCC Port Officer's house, and collected the parcels and mail she was holding for us.  After a lift back to the shopping centre, we had a delicious lunch al fresco at an Italian restaurant before wandering around the shops, stocking up a bit at the Publix supermarket and then carting it all back to the boat on the trolleybus.
 
All our ordered items successfully collected, the plan is to set off tomorrow mid-morning for Miami.
 
           
The beach at Fort Lauderdale                                                                        and promenade.
 
           
A system of canals exists along with the roads                                              and some houses have more than one superyacht parked outside!