This is a very, very different Christmas this year. So, why are we in Fort Lauderdale for Christmas, you ask? Was that the plan, you wonder? Well, we’ve asked the same questions as we continue on our adventure.
We got here on December 12th with the intention of staying for three days to work on a couple of boat projects and do some provisioning for a crossing to the Bahamas. Well, 13 days later – here we are! Although the weather has really been wonderful for walking on the beach, sitting in the sun and exploring Fort Lauderdale, it hasn’t been the right weather for a crossing from Fort Lauderdale to Bimini, Bahamas. It’s about a 60 mile trip, not long really, but ideally, the winds should be from the south and we’d be happy with waves at about 2 – 3 foot height (Danny wants me to add that it all depends on the wind direction, but you get the drift – pun intended). That hasn’t happened; in fact there have been a lot of gale force winds out in the ocean, not our kind of boating!
We decided a few days ago to move further south to Dinner Key in Miami, in the Coconut Grove neighborhood; we heard that a lot of people stay there to wait out a weather window and we thought we might meet a “buddy boat” to cross with – safety in numbers. So we left our spot on the New River in Fort Lauderdale and started south. About an hour into the trip the port engine alarm sounded (NOT a pleasant sound when you’re underway) and Danny discovered that there was oil spilling into the engine. Long story short, we had our first tow from Boats US – they showed up really quickly, towed us to a marina and somehow turned our big double-wide around to stern into the slip! They were amazing and surprised it was our first tow, they said “sooner or later everybody gets towed”! Danny spent the last day and a half trying to find the problem, and he’s pretty sure he did; apparently when he changed the air filters he put a tube too far into the filters which caused back pressure in the motor and all the oil to come out. Ugh. Although my heart was beating pretty fast as we shut down the engine, waited for the tow boat and tied onto them, it could have been much, much worse. We were in the ICW not far from where we started, there wasn’t too much boat traffic as Danny turned the boat around on one engine, and we avoided the GIGANTIC cruise ships that were docked nearby. I keep thinking how frightening it would have been if we were halfway across the open water on the way to Bimini and this happened.
So, Christmas is in Fort Lauderdale this year. Over the past few weeks we’ve seen SO many decorated boats and homes and palm trees along the intercoastal, we saw a Santa parade in Titusville, FL and a boat parade here in Ft. Lauderdale. Boating and Christmas still kinda crack me up. Not New Englandy. I’ve tried to get into the Christmas spirit, but without my kids, my Lilah, my sister and our good friends it’s just not the same. Today we are eating a bad, unhealthy breakfast, we’ll go for a walk on the beach to try to walk some of it off and make room for a dinner at a nearby restaurant later. We had a little face time with Brenda and family yesterday, I have a video from Lilah (which I can’t insert here for some reason) and hope to face time with everyone else later. Not the same, but we will make it a Merry Christmas.
So, what’s next? We are excited that our good friends Robyn and Terry were able to change their flights to Nassau to flights to Ft. Lauderdale, so they arrive here on the 30th. We will celebrate New Years Eve here with them and maybe do some cruising toward The Keys for part of their stay. We will figure out The Bahamas when we figure out The Bahamas. As Danny keeps saying, we don’t have a curfew!! Meanwhile, coffee in the mornings and wine in the evenings on the bow of the boat enjoying being together and on our adventure.
Merry, Merry Christmas and much love to our family and friends. If you’re lucky enough to see this little angel today, please hug her for me. Enjoy the season wherever you are!