Passage separated from the Mooring Ball and departed Boot Key Harbor and the city of Marathon at 7:50 a.m. on Wednesday, March 23rd. We motored down Sister Creek at low tide and entered the Atlantic Ocean, more specifically the Hawk Channel inside the reef. We were greeted by two to three foot beam seas and wind too close to sail, so we motored. Lucy didn't handle the swells well and surrendered her breakfast. In a few hours we approached Long Key and viewed the amazing Long Key Viaduct.
Seeking smoother seas for our ancient kitty, we crossed under the Channel Five bridge and motored up the Florida Bay side of the keys. We instantly were rewarded with smooth seas. As we approached Jewfish Creek, we could see the new high bridge which had replaced the lift bridge since our last trip through here.
After passing under the bridge and motoring through Jewfish Creek, we turned to starboard and anchored in Thursday Cove in Barnes sound for the night.
Thursday morning we continued towards Miami, enjoying several hours of sailing in the sounds and lower Biscayne Bay before the winds deserted us. We then motored on to Miami.
After a peaceful night at anchor near the Venetian Causeway and the Miami Yacht Club, we motored up the ICW to Fort Lauderdale. Lucy appreciated the smooth seas. Despite fighting current the whole way, we arrived too early to dock on the New River, so we anchored for lunch at Lake Sylvia. Our lunch was disrupted by some bozo pulling a tube with two kids aboard all through the anchorage. It turns out that after the State of Florida passed a law stating that cities could not restrict anchoring of cruising boats, Ft. Lauderdale countered by allowing high speed tubing in this little lake to discourage anchoring. This will probably go on until someone is hurt by the wakes of some speed boat. They may have the legal right to tube, but they are still responsible for their wakes. And people wonder why we are taking our catamaran home to Ohio.
Anyway, we arrived at Cooley's Landing Marina in downtown Ft.Lauderdale at slack current and settled in for a weeklong visit.
Cooley's landing is a lovely marina in a park like setting. The restrooms and laundry are airconditioned and the grounds are lovely.
The marina was named for an early pioneer who settled here and came on hard times.
You can click on the picture twice and read all about it.
We were pleasantly surprised to be greeted by Andy and Molly Jensen, who had just launched their 25 foot C-Dory "Molly J".
We have known them for a number of years, going back to our months at Mangrove Marina at Tavernier on Key Largo. We have enjoyed many happy hours with them here in Lauderdale, along with several other sailors at the marina.
The river walk from the marina through downtown Ft. Lauderdale is spectacular, and we enjoyed walking along the river.
The city celebrated their centennial while we were here, and we enjoyed the extra action on the riverfront, as well as fireworks on Sunday night.
The New River is very busy, and many huge yachts are transported up river to marinas designed to accomodate them for refits, etc. These "ships" are moved by two tow boats so that there are no accidents on the narrow, twisting river.
The sheer number of these yachts is amazing, as they pass up or down the river all day, even on Sundays.
On our last night in Lauderdale, we walked down the river to Briny Pub and Restaurant Riverside with single hander Bob Feltman, who sails a Pearson 323. We enjoyed an excellent meal and are now fueled up and ready to go.
We are planning to leave Ft. Lauderdale on Friday, April 1. A nasty front with possible bad storms is expected tonight, and we put off our departure for one day because of it. So, we will consider April 1 as the beginning of our delivery cruise back to Ohio.