Friday, January 21, 2022

Laudy, Laudy

We are underway southbound in the Atlantic Ocean, offshore of Sunny Isles Beach as I begin typing. Shortly we will pass the site of the Surfside condo disaster to our starboard, and a half dozen anchored ships to our port. Four of those are Norwegian Cruise Lines vessels, once again idled by the pandemic.

Our very tony digs last night.

Wednesday morning the Coral Ridge Yacht Club, immediately adjacent to where we were anchored, returned my call. They were able to squeeze us in for a single night, and given that the dockage would be free and we really needed water and a pumpout, we weighed anchor right away and headed for our slip (map).

After a noon conference call and handling our pump-out with the at-slip system, I put the e-bike on the ground and made a provisioning run to the nearby Publix. I also swung by the gas station toting a 6-gallon jerrycan so we could replenish the tender, which was running low. I went back out again before dinner just to take a spin around the old neighborhood -- this area is accessible from the dinghy dock we often use. One of the dinghy docks, behind the CVS, has partly collapsed into the Middle River.

A new tie-up for us at CRYC. Running our line through a shackle on a chain around a concrete post.

At dinner time we made a quick tour of the insides of the club, but opted to eat at their outside venue, since we are avoiding inside dining here in Florida. That turned out to basically be the pool bar, with a very casual menu, and we had the place to ourselves. By contrast, the indoor bar, where no one was masked, was quite busy. The food was good and we were comfortable, albeit in charmless surroundings.

The yacht club needed us off the dock by 9am, and so we had scrambled to fill the water tank and get all the laundry done Wednesday while we had the power and water. While we ruminated about whether to return to the anchorage, or maybe see if the city docks along the New River could get us in for a night or two, we discovered that we have yet another yacht club in Fort Lauderdale, and I called to see if they might have a spot on Thursday.

The lower portion of this abandoned concrete quay, where we used to tie the dinghy, has collapsed.

The Lauderdale Yacht Club allowed as they had a slip for one or maybe two nights, but we would have to arrive at mid-tide or better due to shoaling in the entrance channel. As it happened, a 9am departure from Coral Ridge would put us there just before high tide. We dropped lines at 8:50 to make the 9:00 bridge opening at Sunrise Boulevard, made it through Las Olas and the no-wake zone just south of it in a giant conga line, and arrived at LYC just before 10. Between the bridges and no-wake zones it took us an hour to go just three miles.

They put us on the south face dock (map), I think for depth reasons, as the normal transient area on the north dock was vacant. LYC turned out to be a very nice club, and they had covered outside tables for their main dining room, so I made a reservation for 6pm. I then hoofed it a mile and a quarter to the very familiar shopping center on 17th at US-1, where I made stops at Ace Hardware and Publix.

New pinch bolt. I needed 2-1/4" so I had to cut it shorter. I took this photo so the cashier could scan it.

The Ace stop was necessitated by a need for a pinch bolt for the helm chair, which had sheared off just after we cleared the Sunrise bridge. They were also listed as the nearest SodaStream retailer, and we needed a syrup refill. The Publix stop was owing to having made a last-minute decision to jump offshore and hop to the Keys, nixing our tentative plan to stop in Aventura as per our normal inside-route routine.

By dinner time it was pouring rain, so much so that the NWS was issuing flash flood alerts. We walked the short distance to the clubhouse with our umbrellas and were seated well under cover and dry but very much outdoors. Dinner was lovely and the service impeccable, but we learned that Thursday night is "kids eat free" and the dining room was overrun with them. Our server quipped that on Thursdays he works at Chuck E. Cheese, but he gave us sound future advice to dine after 8pm, when they've mostly gone.

Miami anchorage. Four Norwegians, and, a bit closer, one container ship.

We have our sights set on Tampa Bay, which has the best heart hospital in Florida and where I have made a follow-up cardiology appointment, and the only way to get there right now is around the Keys, as St. Lucie Lock is closed for maintenance through March. Getting around the Keys requires good outside weather windows, and when it popped up that we might get a good three-day run to Key West, we jumped on it. I was able to score two nights at the city marina, after which we'll have to regroup and figure out our next move.

Today's route will take us to No Name Harbor in Bill Baggs State Park on Key Biscayne. Tomorrow we should be off Rodriguez Key, and off Marathon on Sunday, for an arrival in Key West on Monday afternoon. Unless something changes, my next post will be under way northbound out of the Keys for the west coast.

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