Days on cruise: 303
Distance traveled: 53.4 miles
Travel time: 7 hours, 56 minutes
Total trip odometer: 6,231 statute miles
We got an early start this morning because we were tied to a river wall between two bridges in Fort Lauderdale, it was unclear whether we could fit under the bridge without asking for an opening, and the bridge WILL NOT open during rush hour. So just after first light, at 7:15 a.m. we slipped our lines. We were unhappy to learn the unusual high tide today, combined with a swift current in the river, plus a NARROW space in which to turn the boat around 180 degrees, AND high winds blowing us askew, made the getaway a precarious, heart-pounding event in which our boat came closer than we were happy about to several other large, expensive boats before control was re-gained and we cleared beneath the bridge. Whew, not our favorite way to start the day! We prefer caffeine rushes to adrenaline rushes at 7:15 a.m.
The sky was cloudy, even sort of stormy looking as we pulled out of New River and into the ICW, with the wind blowing 15 knots and a Small Craft Advisory.
We spent the day traveling “The Ditch”, a long, mostly narrow ICW path from Fort Lauderdale to Palm Beach. Multi-million dollar 100+ foot boats continued to line the shore, along with many-multi-thousand square-foot houses costing many millions of dollars. The opulence is hard to absorb or believe. Where do these people, so many of them, get SO much money???
There are boats with helicopters on the sundeck where we stow our dinghy. There are lots of boats that make ours LOOK LIKE a dinghy.
We remain confused about one matter. Last year just before we started our Loop, we took a shake-down cruise to the Keys. Our “bread crumb” track (think Hansel and Gretel) is still there on our Chart plotter, only this year it looks like we spent much of that journey traveling WAY up on land, missing lots of marks! It’s not unheard of for a GPS or Chartplotter to show you on land when you’re not, but sometimes this track is SO far off-base that we know it can’t possibly we reflect what we actually did last year. So is there something related to which satellites you’re connected to any point in time that show your track differently, or what??? See the dashed lines below showing our old track?
This modern house below stands out, in that it’s very different in style from the thousands of humongous Venetian-style homes with columns and arches which are always painted a pale yellow-golden color.
This one is typical in style and size, but unique by being blue.
What’s the message here: 1960s hippies turned millionaires?
We lost count of how many bridges we passed beneath today, but we had to ask for an opening from ELEVEN of them! Mostly they open every half hour, and mostly we arrived within 10 minutes of their scheduled opening, but sometimes we had to wait longer and hold our boat in place against both the current and the high wind, no mean feat. By the end, it felt like an arduous travel day, when combined with “Idle Speed, No Wake” and “Slow Speed, Minimum Wake” manatee protection zones. We actually saw two manatees today, so that made all that hassle feel a little more worthwhile! Alas, no photos of manatees as they’re elusive.
This wreck of a house seems an unlikely candidate for salvage by moving to a new location on a barge.
After 8 hours of travel, we pulled into the beautiful Old Port Cove Marina in North Palm Beach and tied up for the night. Bob is calm and mellow as always, while Cathryn is on an emotional roller coaster over our impending Loop completion tomorrow. She even called her parents tonight to discuss it and cried a little bit. She’s both homesick and ready to go back to life in Seattle AND sad about leaving the Loop, as a stranger on the Tennessee River in October warned her she would be.