Monday, February 1, 2010

T minus 5 days 17 hours

We are back at the Isle Pompano Casino (map), where it was relatively crowded last night with seven rigs here in the lot.

We remained at Bahia Mar until lunch time yesterday, just enjoying the view of the ocean and catching our breath after the show. Saturday night's dinner and cocktail party was more sedate than Friday's -- I didn't have to cross-dress -- and we met some more nice folks. I got a new hat and some other trinkets out of the deal as well, in honor of my birthday (no one's birthday actually fell on Saturday, or I'd have been aced out).

Late in the evening I decided to walk around the whole marina, something I had not had the chance to do earlier. The place is enormous, and I have never seen so many large and expensive yachts up close in one place. There were at least three or four 150+ footers, including Gallant Lady VI and Man of Steel (apparently for sale for a mere $54 million), and dozens of more modest yachts that were still large enough to require full-time crew. Many were on the for-sale docks of Allied Marine, Cheoy Lee, and others. I'd have to guess well over half a billion dollars worth of floating mansions, all told. I was a bit surprised, frankly, to be able to walk right out onto the docks.

I've been very focused on Trawler Fest for the last few days, but I had the sense that we had some unfinished business here in Fort Lauderdale. If nothing else, some final visits with friends before leaving the area, as we've decided to skip the Miami boat show. (We decided it was not worth delaying our departure by four days, and driving an extra 400 miles, just to tick three or four boats off our list.) So we headed back over here to collect our thoughts and perhaps make a few calls, as well as nail down our plans for the Space Shuttle launch next weekend.

We wandered over to the casino for dinner in the buffet. At $18 it's not cheap, as some loss-leader casino buffets are, but the food is quite good here. At some point, though, we were treated to some member of management (I would assume, from the suit and tie) stepping out of an office area near the restaurant, and yelling to a housekeeping employee 50' away that his garbage cans needed to be emptied. Not once, but three times. We also learned, from the same yelling, that he'd been trying to call on the radio for some time without success. Message to casino management: your customers do not need to hear the internal workings of housekeeping matters shouted across the house floor, especially while dining. Sheesh, how hard would it have been to walk another 20 steps and have this conversation in a normal tone, or even, perhaps, away from the clientele altogether?

By the end of the day I was mostly caught up on email and nailing down the route and calendar for the next few weeks, having finally made a decision about Miami. I'd also finished my research on parking opportunities for the launch (it turns out Titusville has actually written overnight RV parking for launches into the city code), and figured to spend today wrapping up our Fort Lauderdale visits. Just before I turned in for the night, though, I made an unpleasant discovery: I've chipped a tooth.

I have no idea how I did this, nor even when. I have no recollection of any trauma that may have caused it. Nevertheless, there is a small chip in one of my central incisors; more troubling, it appears to be associated with a long crack in the enamel that extends the height of the tooth. I have no pain, but it made for a miserable night worrying about it.

This morning I called a dentist here in town recommended by one of our local friends. They are able to squeeze me in today at 2pm, so we'll be packing up in a few minutes and driving over there in the bus. It's pouring rain here today, and I did not want to ride the dozen miles or so on the scooter. Besides, this will give me the chance to unwind a little bit after the appointment before having to drive anywhere. But for the moment, any further plans in Fort Lauderdale are on hold. Good thing we have a full five days before we need to be in Titusville for the launch.


  1. With a getup like that, I hope your cat is rooting for the Saints in the SuperBowl!

  2. Great post! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your words and hope to do so more in the future. Thanks for visiting my site and your kind words...


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