Leaving Fort Lauderdale… Eventually

What was originally anticipated to be a one-week stay has now stretched to at least two. As planned, we used our time in Fort Lauderdale (self-proclaimed “Yachting Capital of the World”) to do some boat projects: Rebuilt our fuel pickups, installed an Iridium GO! satellite hotspot and external antenna, re-rigged our radar-reflector and courtesy-flag lines, changed various oil and fuel filters, replaced worn belts, and gave the boat a thorough washing. Have been impressed by the quality and extent of the marine-related providers here.

Bahia Mar

Bahia Mar

We’ve been at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, by far the nicest of the (few) marinas at which we’ve stayed so far (and about to get nicer). We selected it in part because it had a pool, was near the beach, and had good laundry and shower facilities, but I have to confess that I picked it in large part because it was the marina where the (fictional) Fort Lauderdale P.I.-type Travis McGee lived aboard his houseboat “Busted Flush”, moored in slip F-18. Even though the books hold up very well after 50+ years (and Travis even has his own Twitter feed), F-18 sadly no longer exists. The F Pier has been reconfigured to accommodate mega yachts and I’m pretty sure I know what Travis would have made of those.

Mountain View representing.

Mountain View representing.

Our stay in Fort Lauderdale was greatly improved by a visit with some neighbors from Mountain View, the Siminoffs, who are on a cross-country (and soon, intercontinental!) year-long trip similar to ours (more at celngo.wordpress.com). Their kids are the exact same ages as Soren and Elsa, which provided some much-needed (and now, much-missed) socializing for them. Linda and I also had a great time comparing notes and felt like we actually got to know them in a way that we hadn’t back home. We visited them down in The Everglades (checking off alligator, crocodile, and manatee sightings) and overlapped with them for several days in Fort Lauderdale. Was great to have hung out with them, out of context, and we look forward to seeing them again back home.

Everglades manatee, drinking fresh water from the culvert after a rain storm.

Everglades manatee, drinking fresh water from a culvert after a rain storm.

As a first, small step toward The Bahamas, we left the marina and anchored about five minutes south in the Lake Sylvia basin. We’d been planning a departure this morning at 3 a.m., catching the wind as it clocked around to the south. Yesterday afternoon however, we talked with a couple of locals who convinced us that the forecast 30+ knot winds, even though they were from the desired southerly direction, would not make for a good crossing. Discretion being the better part of valor, we decided to stay put. It’s cold, rainy, and windy and, because we’re all ready to go, we’re doing our best to enjoy the enforced lazy weekend. Looking to Monday/Tuesday as the next potential weather window.

Lake Sylvia

Lake Sylvia.

4 Comments

  1. You all look so tropical already! Casual, sun-tanned, relaxed. Yay! the Photo of Lake Sylvia reminds me of watercolor work of FL by Winslow Homer. May your crossing be blessed in every way.(And thanks to Elsa and Soren for their notes!) xox Love, Aunt Mindy

  2. You guys are lookin’ good! We wish you fair winds and many friendly dolphins for your crossing to the Bahamas! I’m sure you’re anxious to untether yourselves from the mainland…

  3. Eugene Carlson

    January 24, 2016 at 10:48

    Been wondering about the extended FL stay. Thanks for update. Passage Weather chart looks promising early in the week.
    Forgot to mention there’s a cruiser net operating out of Marsh Harbour plus good Bahama intel. Man O’ War Cay and Hopetown should definitely be part of your itinerary. Mimi agrees.

  4. Eugene Carlson

    January 24, 2016 at 16:58

    NYT Sunday travel section piece on Bahamas diving http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/24/travel/bahamas-scuba-diving-james-bond.html

    Other stops on previous EXIT cruise highly recommended by us:
    — drug runner’s DC3 wrecked and sitting in the water at Norman’s Cay
    — iguanas on the beach at Allan Cay
    — Warderick Wells — interesting anchorage — and nearby national Land and Sea Park — wonderful diving.
    — diving at Thunderball Grotto, Staniel Cay. Airport at Staniel if you need it.

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