Miami to Fort Lauderdale

The rain that was there when we left Miami stuck around to greet us on our return.  We dinghied  back to Beatitude in the rain.

The rain that was there when we left Miami stuck around to greet us on our return. We dinghied back to Beatitude in the rain.

A dinghy full of provisions.

A dinghy full of provisions.

We arrived back on Beatitude on Wednesday. I was worn out from working 11 days in a row at the hospital. Upon returning, we found that the guy we had hired to do some work on Beatitude in our absence had only completed one of the three jobs we had expected. He had not installed the new freezer nor the wifi booster. He had only installed the new hot water heater… and this cost twice as much as we had expected. I will one day learn that one should automatically double the expected cost of any job on a boat, and then add a little bit more (And, also double the time it takes and add some). Needless to say, I wasn’t real happy about that. The freezer install was actually quite simple, so he did it upon our arrival. However, the wiring had melted by later that evening, so he had to come over the next day to redo it. It’s now working fine. The hot water heater installation was also leaking, which our workman fixed the next day. However, it was leaking again the following day, which I hopefully repaired. The wifi booster… That’ll have to wait for another time.

Full moon rising the night before departure from Dinner Key.

Full moon rising the night before departure from Dinner Key.

We were too tired to get underway on Thursday, so we hung out for a day before leaving Dinner Key. The weather and sea conditions were supposed to be better on Friday anyway. Friday morning, we arose before dawn and released the mooring lines around 6:25 in the morning. The cool November morning called for a sweat shirt and jacket until the sun could climb above the horizon to warm the day. After exiting the Dinner Key Channel we turned north to pass by downtown Miami and beneath the 75’ vertical clearance Rickenbacker Causeway bridge before transiting the Government Cut Inlet, an extremely busy commercial channel which required dodging ferries, cargo ships, tugs and smaller vessels. We successfully exited the pass, and then pursued a heading of 003° for Ft. Lauderdale.

The early morning light on our departure from the Dinner Key Mooring Field.

The early morning light on our departure from the Dinner Key Mooring Field.

The 75' Rickenbacker Causeway Bridge with downtown Miami behind.

The 75′ Rickenbacker Causeway Bridge with downtown Miami behind.

Morning Glow Miami

Morning Glow Miami

Cindy piloting us through Key Biscayne

Cindy piloting us through Key Biscayne

Cindy loves to decorate for all the holidays.  It has been scaled way down aboard Beatitude, but we do have our pumpkin windsock.

Cindy loves to decorate for all the holidays. It has been scaled way down aboard Beatitude, but we do have our pumpkin windsock.

Wilson trying to glance over his shoulder out the salon window to see what's ahead.

Wilson trying to glance over his shoulder out the salon window to see what’s ahead.

The early morning sun reflecting off this building and into the water.

The early morning sun reflecting off this building and into the water.

Miami as seen beneath the boom and above the salon roof.

Miami as seen beneath the boom and above the salon roof.

One of the tankers in Government Cut.

One of the tankers in Government Cut.

This is one of several ferries we encountered  taking vehicles and people from the mainland onto Fisher Island.  This one is loaded with two cement trucks, among other things.

This is one of several ferries we encountered taking vehicles and people from the mainland onto Fisher Island. This one is loaded with two cement trucks, among other things.

Mr. Pelican standing guard.

Mr. Pelican standing guard.

After navigating throughout the traffic of Government Cut, the next three hours were wonderfully relaxing as we made our way into 1’ seas with a light breeze blowing from the south west. About 2/3’s of the way through our brief excursion into the Atlantic, my starboard fishing rod bent strongly and line started flowing from the reel. I shifted into neutral and yelled for Cindy who was sunning on the bow trampolines. I grabbed the line while Cindy rounded up the net and gaff. A moment or so later, I landed a beautiful dolphin fish (a.k.a., mahi mahi). Cindy returned to her spot on the bow as she can’t quite endure seeing the catch cleaned. It wasn’t long before the fish was cleaned and on ice, and I was back at the helm.

The admiral enjoying the view from the helm.

The admiral enjoying the view from the helm.

Beatitude is in almost 500 feet of water as we head north in the Atlantic.

Beatitude is in almost 500 feet of water as we head north in the Atlantic.

This beautiful mahimahi was caught in about 350' of water trolling at about 5 knots with a 9" jointed lure.

This beautiful mahimahi was caught in about 350′ of water trolling at about 5 knots with a 9″ jointed lure.

A few minutes later we entered another busy channel, the Port Everglades Inlet which leads into the Fort Lauderdale area. The next two and a half hours were among the most stressful of our two-plus years aboard Beatitude. The goal, to reach Lauderdale Marine Center on the south fork of the New River, would require navigating four and a half miles of extremely narrow channels lined on both sides with multi-million dollar yachts while making our way beneath five draw bridges and fighting a stiff current. The river was filled with boat traffic, most of which was much larger than our beloved vessel. The third of the five bridges brought trouble. The current was strong, the river was narrow, and the 3rd Avenue Bridge controller delayed opening the bridge despite multiple requests (it is an on demand opening). After fighting the current for what seemed like eternity, it got the best of us and pushed us into a magnificent 77’ yacht. Fortunately, it was a relatively light collision. Beatitude escaped unscathed, but our starboard rub rail inflicted a few scratches and divots into the gelcoat of “Two Thumbs Up” (Two thumbs were definitely not up at this time). The French captain who was in charge of the vessel emerged, and we tied alongside until we could exchange information. After about forty-five minutes or so, we untied from his vessel and continued our journey.

A tanker passing to our starboard side entering Port Everglades.

A tanker passing to our starboard side entering Port Everglades.

Two shark fins!?  No... on closer inspection it was a lawn chair. :)

Two shark fins!? No… on closer inspection it was a lawn chair. 🙂

One of the many multi-million dollar homes along the New River in Ft. Lauderdale

One of the many multi-million dollar homes along the New River in Ft. Lauderdale

B. Carey followed the Carrie B. up the river for a good while..

B. Carey followed the Carrie B. up the river for a good while..

The first of five bridges on the New River.

The first of five bridges on the New River.

Multi-million dollar yachts line the New River.

Multi-million dollar yachts line the New River.

The large white yacht on the right is the one into which Beatitude was pushed by the current.

The large white yacht on the right is the one into which Beatitude was pushed by the current.

The damage to the expensive yacht with the French captain.

The damage to the expensive yacht with the French captain.

Traffic passing us by while we were rafted onto "Two Thumbs Up."

Traffic passing us by while we were rafted onto “Two Thumbs Up.”

The next bridge required further acrobatic maneuvering skills as we had to wait on a railroad bridge for about 10 minutes or so. Fortunately, we made through this bridge and the next one without further mishap. Upon finally arriving at Lauderdale Marine Center, we again had to dodge multi-million dollar yachts as we awaited a slip assignment. After probably a half an hour, we were assigned to a slip in the middle of a working boatyard – not the ideal spot. The marina itself was full, so we have this side-tie in the east basin sitting next to a large vessel being grinder and pounded continuously. Fortunately, the din subsided around 5 p.m., when the crew went home. We are supposed to move to the main marina when a slip becomes available, hopefully sooner rather than later.

The railroad bridge is in the background of our 4th bridge along the New River.

The railroad bridge is in the background of our 4th bridge along the New River.

Our marina for a week or so.

Our marina for a week or so.

This large yacht is about 3 feet from Beatitude's port bow.  Lots of noise from the work crew.

This large yacht is about 3 feet from Beatitude’s port bow. Lots of noise from the work crew.

A shot of Beatitude in her temporary slip, dwarfed by the many 100'+ yachts nearby.

A shot of Beatitude in her temporary slip, dwarfed by the many 100’+ yachts nearby.

The reason we are here is to have the separation of the hull and deck along the transom repaired. We were told this would likely take a week (longer if weather delays), so it looks like we will be in Ft. Lauderdale for a little while. It was killing me to do this since our heart was to head to the Bahamas and we had a weather window this weekend to go. The Bahamas are off the schedule for at least a week while Beatitude sits in Ft. Lauderdale for repairs. This boating life definitely requires patience, and hopefully the Good Lord is able to teach me some.

Our eight-hour trip for the day.

Our eight-hour trip for the day.

Beatitude's present location in Ft. Lauderdale.

Beatitude’s present location in Ft. Lauderdale.

After settling in, we grilled our freshly-caught mahi mahi with some rice, and paired it with a La Crema Chardonnay for dinner. A little Stan Getz on the sax in the background made for a lovely dinner. It’s always nice to be back in a marina where we have shore power. I sit typing this in the owner’s hull with the air-conditioning going. Because we’re off in the side basin, the wifi is not available here, but hopefully we’ll get wifi in a couple of days when we move to a better slip. In the meantime, we’ll be figuring out how to spend the next few days enjoying Ft. Lauderdale. There are worse places to be “stuck” for a few days.

The dolphinfish transformed into the evening's dinner.

The dolphinfish transformed into the evening’s dinner.

12 thoughts on “Miami to Fort Lauderdale

  1. What a stressful day…but you guys handled everything well! You’re getting a lot of experience with different things! Those boats must have been Hugh because yours is nice size I think. Keep up the good work! Patience is a virtue 🙂

  2. We know how it feels to be waiting for the bridges to open and trying to hold against that darn current there, only we were trying to hold back against going out towards the Atlantic!!! Being a monohull didn’t help at all either as we don’t have dual engines to assist us to hold off the mega – yachts… Came very close to “kissing” one ourselves and just missed being demasted due to a bridge handler “holding” for traffic, meanwhile all the “little boat” traffic was not helping the situation at all by taking up what little room there was for maneuvering… I finally got on “the horn” and explain the situation to him and he open the bridge up within minutes…. We swore we would never return to this area again even though we had a great time while there…

  3. I can see why your entry to ft. Lauderdalenwas your most frustrating and difficult. If you could do that, you’ll be able to do anything !!! Let’s hope that was your worst maneuver. Cindy, I am so sorry I didn’t get in touch with you while you were here. This is no excuse, but I’ve spent a lot of time in and out of medical facilities. Nothing serious….by having my lower back CT ed, it was discovered I have multiple gall stones, so Thurs. I’m having lapo surgery to remove them. Haven’t had any problems, but I’d like to avoid any !!!…..lower back ? Old age, Mr. Ritus, some old injuries, etc. Keep at it,you Guys. Love to read about your adventures !!!!!

  4. WOW. What an adventuresome voyage. You certainly are being hit with
    problems, but at least you are in an area where repairs are readily available.
    Answered prayers are not always clear. God is watching over you.
    Thanks for your blogs, so great to keep in touch and enjoy your adventure.

  5. What an adventure…..sounds exciting, but very taxing as well….but I am absolutely sure, Barry, you can do anything….right, Cindy? I love reading every detail, thanks for the “pics” as well. Keep on keeping on. Lots of prayers for and much love to you both!

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