Ft Lauderdale (by water)

4 April 2015

With a little luck we will be heading north again today! We pack up our hotel stuff (this was really a good place to stay) and Pam picks us up at 8. BONUS! She made Aunt Hazel’s chocolate chip cookies for us last night! A real treat!

We make it down to the boat yard. Unload and re-prime the air conditioner. Ozzy, our mechanic soon arrived and did the final shaft check and bolted us up. It’s 10:15, we are ready to roll or float or something. Time to head NORTH!

We wend our way out of the Miami River, we only needed a few openings to get us out into the harbor. A quick run at 2500 RPM (almost WOT) and no vibration and no leaks from the shaft. All systems go.

Our trip north was nice. We hit the bridges we needed to have open at the right times. Since we had gotten out early I canceled with Pelican Harbor Marina reservation and we pushed on to Ft Lauderdale. Lots of pretty houses. There was one place that there was a sandbar off to the right of the channel. There must have been over 100 boats rafted up, it’s the largest collection of party boats we’ve seen since we were at Oreliea Canada.

Well until 1PM when I started into Ft. Lauderdale. We started seeing more and more and more boats. Big boats, small boats. We started into the Port of Ft. Lauderdale and it was a circus. Susan and I thought traffic was bad, we were impressed with the boat traffic. The 4 miles of the Port were done at no wake speed. When we got to the channel that leads to the ocean we could see the cruise liners on the left. This is the place where we left on our two week cruise from, we remember the water circus from the balcony of our room.

Up ahead was a 200 tanker and two tugs going out to sea. We navigated around, ducked past a tug, and fell into line behind a 80′ pleasure craft to go under the bridge. And of course since this is South Florida, no concept of two lanes, we were 6 abreast at one point.

At 2:15 we are outside our marina, the “Swimming Hall of Fame Marina”. Called and after about a dozen rings it’s answered. Gave my name, no reservation. Ok, that’s not making me happy. Much discussion, not on the white board, computer is crashed, can’t check there. Since he can’t check, we can’t check in. Not a good sign.

So Susan starts the hunt for a new marina while I keep us off the channel trying to stay out of traffic. Wow there are a lot of people out there! About 3PM Susan calls Sunrise Harbor Marina and spoke to Mike. They have slips, they are $4.25 / foot a night. I had called Mike and talked to him the week before, he had directed us at “Hall of Fame”. He told Susan the same thing, and she told him the tale of them not being able to find the reservation. He said hang on, he would call us back in 15 mins. He must of called over since I got a call from Derek the marina hand. He would put us in a slip for now, bt we could need to move later. No problem, we turned in and at 3:15 we are docked and tied up.

True to his word Mike called us back. Susan explained that we may get kicked out. Mike said no problem, if they do come to his marina. We would see two 150′s on the front dock, go around them and dock in the inside. Mike said that people have tenders the size of our boat, it wouldn’t be a problem. Yay Mike.

Even better both Ozzy our mechanic and Walter from the yard called to see how the trip went. Great customer service, would use both Ozzy’s Marine and the RMK-Merril Stevens yard in Miami again.

When I went up to the marina office to pay, I found that this was Dereks third day on the job and his first day alone. There had been two other boats that were to come in, but with the broken computer he had also turned them away. Ugg, I felt sorry for them, Mike hadn’t been able to rescue them.

Across the parking lot was Coconuts. They don’t take reservations, but if I came over at 5:30 they have a Raw Bar special on Oysters, $1 each and half priced drinks, the wait would be about 30 mins. Called Pam and Gunn and set us up to meet for dinner.

Coconuts was mobbed, while I put our name in, Susan score great seats the raw bar. We got drinks order 6 oysters (from Virginia, makes us want to get home faster) and watch the activity. The stress of the marina and the marine boat circus ebbs away. By the time Pam and Gunn arrive, oysters are gone and we are both back in our happy place.

Dinner was great. We started off with “Scooby Snacks”, crab claws that have been partially cracked. They came with a garlic, onion, pepper, butter mix. No vampires on the Quo Vadimus tonight! Gunn went for the Maine style lobster roll, I went for the Philly style (?!?) , it’s lobster, bacon and cheese. (Not Whiz), Pam had great looking fish tacos and Susan went with the crab cake salad. Another great evening of chatting, it was nice on the deck as the sun set.

When we came back from dinner, I walked our dock, there were 5 slips other than ours open. So it wasn’t a big deal after all.

Thanks to Mike, Ozzy and Walter for making our day work out. And good luck Derek on your new job!