Saturday, March 31, 2012

Supersizeville (aka Ft. Lauderdale)...

Welcome to the land of big, bigger and biggest. There is no doubt that on our arrival to Ft. Lauderdale there was a bit of a competition going on as to who had the biggest yacht. It was no surprise that when we arrived, there were cruise ships in port. Ft. Lauderdale is home of the Port Everglades inlet and boasts a sizable - nix that - supersize cruise ship port. What I always find amazing though is just how big the cruise ships are. Photo 1 shows the stern of a cruise ship next to a freighter. The freighter looks pretty minimal next to the people carrying ship.
Around the bend we headed for the bridge and off to starboard we found a special surprise. CAKEWALK was in port. She is the largest US built pleasure vessel ever - at 281 feet - and holds 97,000 gallons of diesel. Ugh....glad I don't have that fuel bill to contend with. Of course, the only reason I known this is that Captain Dave who is a marine trivia whiz - but can't remember his phone number - took one look at her and said "do you know what that is???" So photos 2 and 3 feature CAKEWALK. I found her toyhauler capabilities quite interesting.
Once through the bridge we continued to be overwhelmed by big boat after big boat. Which makes me everyone in Ft. Lauderdale really this rich or are they just over-leveraged?? Hmmm.
The Admiral

Friday, March 30, 2012

Away from the Dock.....

On a beautiful morning, with friends to see us off, we finally left the dock at Stuart. We slipped out the inlet and turned the boat south towards Lake Worth. It was such a pleasant day that the Captain had the opportunity to take a bit of a snooze on the front deck while the spinnaker flew above him. A pod of dolphins celebrated our new found freedom with us and swum in front of us for a while doing backflips as we egged on their performance. Even a Loggerhead turtle surfaced to let us know that he too was taking notice that we were underway.
Once in Lake Worth, we celebrated with a great dinner onboard and took in the sights and sounds of the working port.
Next stop Ft. Lauderdale
The Admiral

Monday, March 26, 2012

Parties Continue....

The parties have taken on a bit of a more serious tone - party tone that is. Of course we celebrated St. Patty's Day and all had to show a bit of Irish - even if we weren't Irish. Then Dave and I finally got serious about leaving Stuart - hence the serious tone. Unfortunately, we've cried wolf so many times that none of our dock friends truly believe we are ever going to leave. So Friday's Crossroads party went on as usual. Saturday's game night was the same. It wasn't until English Mike's big bash on Sunday that we finally got people to understand that our time at the marina was truly coming to an end.
Speaking of English Mike's bash. Only a boater's party could start out with 15 to 20 of us huddling underneath the canopy in his cockpit in the rain enjoying good drinks and good friends. Sammie, a friend and party goer who opted for the rain delay before joining the party watched us all from the safe haven of her and Barry's boat called and suggested we all hang out on her drier bigger boat during the rain. So at the first break in the rain clouds we ran over to her boat. Even though the clouds continued to diminish, the sun came back out and more party goer's kept arriving we continued on at Sammie and Barry's. That is until we decided to take it to the docks and it was back to J-dock for us. Five hours into the festivities Dave and I decided we needed a bit of a break and returned to the Breezer for a pause. But we ventured out again at about 9pm to find the crew still in full swing. The musc kept playing. The dancers danced and the non-dancers - well they didn't but good fun was had by all.
So we are truly off - isn't that an understatement! The Captain is filling the water tanks as I type. A few more chores and then we continue the journey southbound - FINALLY!
The Admiral
Photo 1: Chuck during St. Patty's Day fun
Photo 2: Dave and I's last Crossroads party for the season
Photo 3: Dave and I's last Dominos challenge for the season - with English Mike
Photo 4: English Mike's big bash at Sammie and Barry's place

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Goodbye Parties Begin...

The bad thing about spring is that your boating friends start to head in different directions - mostly northbound. And so it goes....... We had our first official goodbye party this week. Saying goodbye to lots of great friends like Chad and Julie who were heading home to the Midwest and Rod (with the bunny ears) who is flying down to the Dominican Republic to spend time with friends. It is always a bummer to see them go but being good boaters we sent them off with a bang.
The bar started out with tequila. Styrofoam shot glasses appeared from another boat. As the group got bigger so did the bar selection and before we knew it we were enjoying shots Jeremiah Weed, Glenlivet, Sambuca, Jagermeister, spiced rum, Nassau Royale and more. As you can imagine some of us made it for our 7am card game......others did not.
The Admiral

Friday, March 9, 2012

New Pastimes....

Since we are still in Stuart, Florida we thought it was time to pick up some new hobbies. We've already told you about cards and aqua aerobics. We've also added harmonica lessons to the mix. Captain Dave is picking it up much better than I am. He and our friend Chuck have started taking familiar songs, surfing the internet for the harmonica music and refining the music to suit their tastes. I, on the hand, am still working on lesson 1 - Taps.
Additionally, I've been helping our friend Rod out. He had his hip replaced several months ago and is in need of the other hip to be done as well. He hadn't been doing exercises as he should for a while so we started an early morning 30 minute pool session which serves as Rod's physical therapy. Its been going well. Rod is feeling better. Despite this, he still refers to me as his Drill Sergeant whenever we are in the pool. Hey, I'm just here to help - but if he doesn't keep his legs movin' I definitely give him a hard time about it. Pictured here is one of our first pool sessions which wasn't interrupted by the downpour. We paused for the photo and then kept on exercising.
The Admiral