Work is progressing on Beatitude. In fact, we could be out of here by the end of the week. It turns out the separation of the deck and hull along the transom is not a structural issue at all and just needs to be reglued. The factory must have skimped a little on the glue. That work will likely be completed by Friday. So, now we wait for the first available weather window to leave the country. My fingers are crossed that we may be able to go sometime this weekend.
My little mishap coming up the New River has been resolved. Rather than get dinged by my insurance company, I just paid out-of-pocket to cover the cosmetic damage to “Two Thumbs Up.” The French Captain, Hugo, is an extremely nice guy. He told me that professional captains, who have been doing their jobs for years, hate to travel up the New River. He confirmed how difficult it can be. This, of course, made me feel a lot better and restored a little confidence in my ability to handle Beatitude. He also noted that I was coming up the river at the height of the ebb tide, which made the passage extremely difficult. We’ll be sure to exit the New River close to slack tide, when the current will be a little less ferocious. By the way, we discovered that the owner of the stricken vessel is a nice lady by the name of Marsha Serlin. This Chicago Tribune article features her inspiring story of rising from single motherhood with three jobs to owning a multimillion dollar a year business.
We’ve been blessed to visit with several friends while here in Ft. Lauderdale. Ken and Alice Hodgen, who we know from my wife’s hometown of Akron, Ohio, are visiting their daughter, Amy, who lives nearby. We met them, along with Amy’s husband Paul and their daughter Madelyn, for a wonderful breakfast at “Grampa’s” in Dania Beach, a restaurant which was featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Drives.” They followed us back to Beatitude afterwards, where we visited for a while longer.
On Tuesday evening, we were visited by Dominique (our son, Jeremy’s, sister-in-law and our “adopted” daughter) and her boyfriend Bryan. We enjoyed our conversation aboard Beatitude and played two games of “Shut the Box” before they left. Both games concluded with box-shutting, the first by Dominique and the second by me (Barry).
We’ve found a great pizza place, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, not far from the marina, where you can have wonderful pizza with a nice, crisp crust. Delicious! We’ve done some shopping while here, and yesterday enjoyed shopping at a large Diver’s Direct and Bass Pro Shops. We then visited the International Game Fish Museum and Hall of Fame, which is next door. The experience was pleasant with many hands-on exhibits. Kids would really enjoy it.
Finally, we used to think of Beatitude as being a rather large vessel. All illusions of grandeur have been erased after spending the last week in the East Basin of Lauderdale Marine Center. Megayachts galore surround us, with more coming and going everyday. We are dwarfed by these magnificent vessels with their multiple full-time crew members. Celebrities like Johnny Depp, Jeff Gordon, and Julio Iglesias have, or have had, their yachts here. Following are a few photos.