Moving to our new slip!

Ft. Lauderdale, FL: April 2015 

Independence was initially berthed in Ft Lauderdale, just off Las Olas. Sounds fun, eh? It was fun! Unfortunately, Las Olas LOVES a good parade / walk / show and hosts one every weekend, shutting down the main road to get to Inde. :-( (Yes, dear reader, the side roads / detours were constantly under construction also.) It would take us most of the day to get to the boat, and then we would be pretty grumpy and have to take questions and stares from the hotel guests, whose backyard we were in. Kinda OK, fun, lovely to talk to you, the nearest liquor store is down that way, I don’t know why I didn’t get a bigger boat, how interesting that your friend had a boat and hated it, when did shirts go out of fashion for men? Do you know about sunscreen?

So, yes, lots of fun, but not a permanent place and we decided to move her to North Palm Beach Marina. All we had to do was get her there….

Leaving Ft. Lauderdale

Per the usual, we passed some nifty yachts in Ft Lauderdale, and again, per the usual, had to wait 29 minutes for our first bridge. The second bridge closed as we approached, but we decided to get our blood pressure up and take our 54 ft mast with 2 ft VHF under the 56.5 bridge (if the sign was accurate!).
Looks like we are not going to make it, right?
The VHF didn’t even scrape! Past Steven Spielberg’s 282 ft yacht, the 7 Seas, past the Cruise Port, the police boats, and out the inlet being jostled by an incoming tide. 
Check out the dinghy's pod bay!

The Open Ocean

Ah, the open ocean! Raise the sails. Except they have other ideas. Apparently they are not affixed to the boom and we are missing sailcars. We can still get them up ⅔ of the way. Later, I get 3 calls from the rigging company who had arrived to finish the job they told me they finished a week ago. They were flabbergasted that we had the sails up at all - I’m pretty sure the tone inferred that we would die any minute. Matt told me it was getting nautical (code for, shits hitting the fan / death is approaching / where’s the EPIRB) and Hastings got sea sick. It's a miracle that we survived long enough to notice no one thought to pack lunches, and then the slow miserable, grumpy death ensued.

Survival Rations

Luckily, I always have survival rations of salt and vinegar crisps and Cadbury’s chocolate eggs which somehow kept us conscious. It was a fairly straight forward 50-mile trip, dodging tons of fishing boats in the Gulf Stream, watching literally 100s of flying fish at a time leap out of our way, staring at the turquoise blue water going by. One of Matt’s co-workers flew over and took pictures, which entertained us all for a while.

Fly over shot, fun!

Getting nautical!

Things turned nautical again when we arrived at our inlet and struggled to take down our jury-rigged sails while Lucy steered towards some divers - in 80 ft of nasty water - in a shipping lane. Everyone survived (again!) but were definitely getting tired, hot and hangry.

I received the briefing detailing my job once we got to the dock: From 20 ft away, lasso the tiny minuscule cleat, and hold it there while the boat lines up. Not a problem, the boat only weighs 16,000 pounds. That's 15,880 more than me. Then, when the marina is in sight, Matt decides he needs to use the bathroom. He’s had 12 hours to decide that and now it’s an emergency? I'm beginning to get panicked that the docking will be a scene and all our new neighbors will be out there watching. I ask what plan B is to this absurd lassoing scheme - it's to reverse and try again, 969 times until we get it. OK.

Home again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

Amazingly, I got it right the first time and we tied up, then started untying and re-tying - standard procedure :-). I’m only sorry our new neighbors didn’t see how awesome we are at docking! We then ordered Thai and walked across to get it (yes, there’s a Thai restaurant behind the marina!)
Welcome wine, can't beat that!
We like our new spot!

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