Wednesday, January 11, 2017

On to Ft Lauderdale

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Started out as another typical delightful day and stayed that way.   We again scheduled a short 30 mile day to Lauderdale due to the number of drawbridges we would encounter along the way.  When I counted them up, there would be thirteen!!

I quickly discovered that they were set up like stop lights, and you had to get on the "pattern" to make each one and avoid having to wait a half hour for the next opening.  Unfortunately, this "pattern" required maintaining a speed of 5 1/2 to 6 knots, which pushed our engine much harder than normal due to wind & current.  It began to run hotter than usual, although it didn't overheat. 
Will we make the next bridge??

The level of development around here is staggering.  High-end condos, palatial residences, and giant boats abounded.

The channel became narrow, with concrete bulkheads on both sides.  This reflected the numerous boat wakes back and forth endlessly, making it quite rough at times. I believe this portion of the ICW is known as "The Canyon". Approaching us was a gigantic tour boat of some kind.  It suddenly slowed and began turning.  To our astonishment, it executed a complete 180 in the middle of the canal!  It was so large that it spanned nearly shore to shore as it did this!  We had to stop and wait until they were turned around.  I chafed at the delay because the next bridge opening time was approaching.  Once it turned, we slowly overtook it and passed.

At the bridge, there were a number of sailboats waiting, and we got through on their coattails.  The tour boat followed us through, and it just barely fit under the raised spans!
Phew!!  Made it!
Once we reached our anchorage, a place called Sunrise Bay, we found the mile-wide "lake" surrounded by mega-homes and completely empty of anchored boats except for one small day boat with a young couple fishing.  We had the place to ourselves!  There are so few good places left to anchor in Ft Lauderdale that it was hard to believe! 

The air was balmy, the water clear and warm, and Joanie just couldn't resist it. 

Tomorrow, its on to Miami and hopefully rendezvous with our friend Scott Thorne aboard the s/v Irish Blessing.

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