Our trip to Ft Lauderdale

Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Sat 27 Aug 2011 22:21
Visiting with Will & Di in Fort Lauderdale
We have just returned from a wonderful 2 week 'holiday' to Fort Lauderdale, Florida enjoying the hospitality of our friends Will & Di Paterson.  They had already booked a trip up north, and so after a few days with them, they left us with the run of their home, their car and the care of their two dogs, Asha & Elvis. And yes ...he has a little "shakin' thing going on".  We always have a great time with Will and Di and their family - with lots of eating, drinking and laughing.  Di introduced us to a whole new way of cooking - planking - where a thick piece of cedar wood is soaked in water and then put on the braai (BBQ) on top of which, the salmon is cooked. The delicate smoky flavour is awesome! 
It was Mike's birthday on 19th and he got a wonderful surprise when I produced presents that his daughter's in South Africa had sent to us. We went for dinner to an old favourite, the Rustic Inn, where we had a feast of oysters, grouper and Maryland crabs. Mike and I feel like real local's in Fort Lauderdale, finding our way to restaurants, shops, etc with ease.
There were quite a few boat issues to sort out, and spares to buy.   Our first stop was a drive up to Palm Beach to catch up with James Knight, who is always a pleasure to see.  The next day Mike had a meeting with Village marine who after some tests agreed to replaced both membranes for free!  We also had the depth sounder re-set by Furuno and got instructions on how to re-set the AIS - both pieces of equipment are now working perfectly. Yipppeeeeee!   You may recall that Mike also had a problem with our alternator, so he bought a replacement, that we brought back in our suitcase. All 20kgs of metal, and 2 x 1m watermaker membranes required a little explaining to the flight security people!  In fact our cases were packed full with stuff for the boat (and some personal shopping too)  . The good thing was that we got everything back to the boat safely and without any baggage or customs fees!  This free airmiles trip had really worked for us!
Just before Di & Will returned from their trip we were made aware of an approaching hurricane (Irene), while we were nervous for a day or two, I am pleased that she did not make much of an impact on Florida. Sadly the people living further up the north east coast were not that lucky. Last year we were in the Chesapeake, so close to where the brunt of the storm hit...what a difference a year makes!
Mike and Will
Di preparing the Salmon
Mike's Birthday
Giant Oysters!