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Leaving Fort Lauderdale was almost painful.  Where we had finally settled, on a peaceful canal behind an apartment complex in one of the safest, quietest, cleanest and plushest neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale, was pleasing to all my senses.   Our little “marina” consisting of six slips was primarily occupied by powerboats with no one living aboard.   There was only one other sailboat, the owner of which we hardly saw. 

Our Last Night in Fort Lauderdale - View From Our Slip

Our Last Night in Fort Lauderdale - View From Our Slip

Our Last Night in Fort Lauderdale - Our Back Yard

Our Last Night in Fort Lauderdale - Our Back Yard

The Neighborhood

The Neighborhood

More of the Neighborhood

More of the Neighborhood

Then the powerboats started leaving one by one, perhaps to head back north, and other sailboats arrived.  Beside us was a lovely couple from London, next to them another wonderful couple from Spain, and, of course, our good friends on Sapphire who hauled butt 1000 miles from Trinidad to get here in time to travel north with us.  Everyone connected and began to build what we hope will be lasting friendships.

Michael With Our Delightful New Friends from England, Roger and Susan

On our day of departure on June 3, at 6:30 a.m., both couples on the remaining boats got out of bed to bid us farewell.  I felt pangs of melancholy as we said goodbye to our new friends and took one last look around at our beautiful surroundings.

Then, as I have learned to do, I set my sights ahead.  Onward and forward we go to experience what new adventures life has in store for us. 

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead

Our first day started beautifully.  We got through the Las Olas Bridge and made it in time for the 17th Street Causeway Bridge which opened 15 minutes later.  Normally we would not be able to go fast enough to make it but there was enough traffic to keep the bridge open just long enough for us to pass through too.

Just Made the Bridge

Just Made the Bridge

Exiting Port Everglades was smooth and the water on the Atlantic was calm.  There were no winds nor waves to speak of which gave us perfect conditions to motor all the way to our next stop, West Palm Beach, 54 nautical miles up the coast.   We didn’t even bother putting up our sails.  Having just rebuilt our engine, we will be motoring for at least the first 50 hours to break it in.    By noon we were going 9 knots thanks to the 3 knot current in the Gulf Stream.

We arrived in West Palm Beach just in time to anchor before the weather deteriorated.  Since we were in a rush to outrun the storm building in the Yucatan/Gulf of Mexico, we only planned to spend one night and continue on early the following morning.

Getting Closer to Our Destination

Getting Closer to Our Destination

Anchorage at Palm Beach

Anchorage at Palm Beach

The following day, was equally calm though the forecast showed 70% chance of rain.  We had another good day to break in our motor. During part of this leg of the trip we were escorted by three dolphins who kept exact pace with our boat so that they remained even with our cockpit, beside us, the entire time.  Who could ask for better company?    These past two days were perfect for me to slowly transition back to being on the water again.  

I Can't Say Enough About These Beautiful Creatures

We arrived in Ft. Pierce on June 4 after another 53 nautical miles and got anchored, again just before the rain started falling.

Our plan at this point was to head directly toward Jacksonville, Florida but the leading edge of the storm which was threatening to turn into a tropical storm was quickly closing in on us so we all decided to go as far as Cape Canaveral and tuck into a marina there.

Well, all good things must come to an end.  Our third day on the water was choppy for the entire 62-nautical mile trip with winds and waves increasing as we got closer to Cape Canaveral.   To make matters worse as we approached Cape Canaveral we were advised by the marina that they closed at 5:00 p.m. and there might not be anyone to help us get tied up.  Since we tie up to posts here which I am not accustomed to, and we have two solar panels on each side of our boat, we definitely wanted help on the dock to prevent potential damage, especially since the wind was building and abeam while approaching the slip.   With Michael behind the wheel, and me being the only one on deck to throw a line over the first post, get the bow line tied up, and get additional fenders out to protect our boat and solar panels if necessary, I just didn’t feel confident I could do it all.

On my last call, the woman in the office advised that the office was still open since they were so busy and that she would try to get someone to the dock.  To my relief, when we made our approach, there was a boy standing there and appeared to be waiting for us.  I was wrong.  He was the steward from the power boat next to our slip that had arrived just before we did.   When he paid no attention to us as we were coming in, I yelled for him to help us and grab the bow line.   He was a nice kid and helped the best he could, but because of the unusual setup at this slip/dock and the misinformation about the length of the finger pier (which determined where we put our fenders), and the force of the wind, I did not have enough time to get a fender in front of the steel ladder (with sharp edges) which was affixed to a square concrete column at the end of the pier.  The ladder sliced a long, deep section of our teak rail right off the boat, like a meat carver in a buffet line.   I wanted to cry.  The fact that we came in at high tide didn’t help either.  This put our teak rail far above the rubber corner on the finger pier which at high tide was more level with the downward slope of our hull.   

Picture Taken After the Boat Was Tied Up Properly and With a Southerly (vs. Easterly) Wind Blowing

Picture Taken After the Boat Was Tied Up Properly and With a Southerly (vs. Easterly) Wind Blowing

Damage to the Teak

Damage to the Teak

Snug as a Bug

Snug as a Bug

Our friends arrived shortly after we did and had the same problem getting in the slip because of the way they have the finger pier and steel ladder setup.  Fortunately, we were able to help them as well as the steward from the power boat.  With three additional sets of hands, they made it into their slip on their second attempt with no damage.

Our Friends Sapphire Trying to Keep the Stairs From Damaging Their Boat

Our Friends Sapphire Trying to Keep the Stairs From Damaging Their Boat

Today, we feel fortunate to be tucked safely in a marina as Tropical Storm Andrea passes us by.   Based on the captain of a boat which arrived today, it’s blowing about 45 knots out there right now.

The Red Dot Is Our Location

After anchoring a couple of times, we discovered our windlass motor is on its last leg so today Michael is spending his day getting a new one installed.  As usual, the new one is larger than the old so modifications are necessary taking more of his time than he anticipated.  At least he has some time to get it done.  The last thing he wants is to pull up a 75-pound anchor with chain by hand.

Today is wet and windy.  Tomorrow we are hoping for nicer weather so we can visit the Kennedy Center and hopefully, if weather permits, continue on toward Jacksonville on Saturday.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Part II)

May 27, 2013

May 27, 2013 After a couple of months in California working on big yard project for Michael’s Mom, a couple of weeks in Virginia visiting my sister, several weeks in Maryland visiting my mother, and a road trip through North Carolina, Georgia and Florida visiting friends we have not seen in many, many years, we [...]

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Fort Lauderdale, Florida

December 18, 2012

We arrived in Fort Lauderdale on the morning of July 3, went through our first ICW bridge,  and got a mooring ball at Las Olas Mooring Field.  Wow!  What a beautiful place.   The mooring field is situated just southwest of the Las Olas Bridge with a backdrop of luxurious multi-million dollar homes and their [...]

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Crossing the Gulf of Mexico

July 6, 2012
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May 14, 2012 We left Isla Mujeres at about 6:30 on the morning of May 14.  The weather was fine but by noon we were back in a washing machine.  It was uncomfortable and nauseating but I was not complaining.  This was good.  No high winds, no big seas, no storms, no lightning. I could [...]

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Isla Mujeres, Mexico

May 18, 2012
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May 9, 2012 On May 9, it was time for us to head to Isla Mujeres, our last stop before heading to Florida.   We had to get some fuel first but there was a lot of surge in the marina so we requested some help getting out of our slip and tying up to the [...]

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Puerto Morelos, Mexico

May 10, 2012
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April 26, 2012 We left Roatan at approximately 12:45 in the afternoon for Puerto Morelos, MX.  This 286 nautical mile passage was the longest we’ve made so far and among the most uncomfortable.   We couldn’t wait for it to be over.   It made it to our list of top 5 worst trips to [...]

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Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

April 29, 2012
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April 10, 2012 We left Guanaja around 6:30 a.m. for the 36 nautical mile trip to Roatan.   There were many options on Roatan where we could take our boat.  We could have stayed there for weeks visiting all the beautiful bays and cays but due to time constraints we decided to just focus on [...]

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Guanaja, Bay Islands, Honduras

April 12, 2012
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April 6, 2012 We left the Hobbies around 8:00 in the morning and had a pleasant 162 nautical mile passage to Guanaja.  With the wind on our back, the wind speed ranging between 12 – 23 knots and the current in our favor we made good time.  We even had an opportunity to use our [...]

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The Hobbies Cays

April 6, 2012
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April 1, 2012 We left Providencia at about 11:45 p.m. with Island Dreamin’ for our 194 (nautical) mile passage to the Hobbies Cays, a small cluster of cays off the NE coast of Honduras, where we planned to rest before continuing on to the Bay Islands.   Trumpeter decided to leave six hours earlier.  We were [...]

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Providencia, Colombia

April 4, 2012
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March 26, 2012 We left San Andres with Trumpeter and Island Dreamin’ at 3:00 a.m. and slowly navigated our way through the channel which was a piece of cake because it was so well-marked.  Our 61 mile passage to Providencia was almost perfect – a beautiful sunny day, no seas to speak of, the wind [...]

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