Fort Lauderdale (Mile 1063.9 ICW)

Melvyn Brown
Tue 1 Feb 2011 23:29

26:07.1N 80:06.5W

Fort Lauderdale


We enjoyed our weekend at Delray Beach.  There was a shopping mall across the road with a supermarket and a cinema.  Civilization is rarely that close to where we are docked and so we took the opportunity to see “The King’s Speech” one night and “True Grit” the next.  On Sunday we walked down to Delray Beach Main Street and found it positively jumping!  There was a Car Show happening and a couple of hundred motor bikes also descended on the town.


This photograph was taken from the lifting bridge – the marina is in the far distance with the mega yacht “parked” on the outside dock.


Our neighbour (there for the remainder of the winter) was a certified skipper and told us he has come down/up the ICW (mostly delivering other people’s boats) 80 times!  The journey only takes a matter of days in a fast motor boat, 14/15 days in a reasonably speedy trawler/tug.


We noticed one of the disadvantages of living near the top of the condo blocks is that the turkey vultures cruise at that height and land on the balconies/window sills.  Imagine throwing back the curtains in your $million apartment and finding four or five vultures looking in at you!


My last day’s sailing started well.  It was the first day I hadn’t needed a fleece – let alone hat or gloves.  Out of the wind I only needed a T-shirt.  There were several bridges (all lifting) on the 20-mile journey to Fort Lauderdale and we only missed a couple, resulting in a 20 minute wait each time.  En route we came across a small plane sky writing.  It took us a while to decipher the messages but “Trust Jesus” was one and another was “(heart) God”.


The marina we selected was one of three municipal marinas in Fort Lauderdale.  They tend to be cheaper and this one is $1.35 per foot ($1.10 for the first week with a Boat US membership) and the facilities are new and spotless – if a bit characterless.  The Meeting Room here with its bare walls, functional table and chairs, TV and empty kitchen cupboards can not be compared with Stuart’s Captain’s Lounge with its deep pile carpet, overflowing book shelves and sink-in chairs and sofas.  The downside is the slip is immediately below a lifting bridge – the novelty may wear off but presently we are enjoying listening to the bridge master chivvying pedestrians over the tannoy to get a move on because she is waiting to lift the bridge…!


The first evening here the yacht that was next to us in North Palm Beach arrived and Melv went to take their ropes.  As he approached the dock the skipper shouted to Melv he was reassured by the fact we were already there with the same draft.  He told us they simply couldn’t remain in North Palm Beach because they were touching the bottom at each low tide.


As I was walking down the dock I was looking at the small fishes swimming under the bridge and spotted a HUGE fish lying absolutely still in a few feet of water.  We identified it as a tarpon and it was about 5ft long!  They are renowned as fierce fighting fish – although not good eating.  Ironic to think of all the sports fishing boats passing under the bridge en route to the Atlantic to find tarpon and there is one watching them pass.


I booked my flight home today.  We have sailed 1723 nautical miles, through 10 states.


Melv is heading for The Bahamas and thereafter the Caribbean.  I’ll revert to simply being The Scribe and try and keep the blog going with the bits of news I get.