Ahoy from Ft. Lauderdale, FL!
I'm very happy to report that we arrived here on Tuesday evening. If you've been watching the weather you know that a strong low pressure system moved across the south-east US and is now moving up the coast causing lots of destruction. I had been watching that front and knew that we had to be in before it arrived. We actually needed to be in on Tuesday as the winds were switching to the S and were going get quite strong before its arrival. Since we were headed S, that wasn't good. As it was they switched to the S for the last 6 hours of our journey and slowed our progress. But we made it in without any problems. We're docked behind the condo of Art & Lynne Schneider who we met in Guatemala 4 years ago. We've remained in contact since then and a slip was available behind their place. What more could we ask for!
But lets back up a few days...When I last wrote we were in St. Augustine after doing an overnight from South Carolina. We though that we were going to be able to day-hop down the coast, but when I saw the forecast I knew that we needed to put the peddle to the metal. As a result we decided to head to the Lake Worth area, which is also known as the Palm Beach. It was a cold overnight passage, but nowhere near as bad as forecast. The forecast was for lows in the 40s, but it was in the mid-50s. That's not great, but still it was much better than predicted. When I had the boat in RI my dock mates were Jeff and Pam Nelson from the S/V Foggy Mountain. The last time that I saw them was in Grenada in 2002. They made a bee-line for FL and the last e-mail that I had from them said that they were at the North Palm Beach marina. We pulled in there just to see them, and lo and behold, they were still there. We had a nice time catching up and the next day we headed out for the last leg of the journey.
We were able to travel right along the coast and view the magnificent houses in Palm Beach. To call these houses minimizes their stature. These are pure mansions costing more than I can imagine. I can't even envision what one would do with all of the space. These are the places that you'd have seen on Lives of the Rich and Famous. A mega-yacht went by which was named "Never Enough" and that seemed to sum things up. Clearly for many of these people you can never have enough. It's amazing to see the amount of money controlled by a relatively few people. I had never given much thought to the widening gap between very rich and the majority of the population, but travelling along this stretch of oceanfront brought that home.
Ft. Lauderdale isn't much different than parts of Palm Beach, except that the houses are much closer together. The number of mega-yachts is truly astounding. My AIS receiver provided details on many of the vessels that we passed by and I was amazed at how many 150+ foot yachts line the canals of Ft. Lauderdale. The 120 footers pale next to the 175 footers. I receive a magazine which shows the interiors of these yachts and I can assure you that I've never been in a house as nice as these yachts. Further back in the canals of Ft. Lauderdale you'll find BlueJacket docked among like boats. We may be the relative paupers of the neighborhood, but you know what? I can maintain every system on the boat and I can captain it anywhere. It might be nice to have crews who do everything for you, but that's not for me.
We're going to be here until Tuesday when we'll fly back to Boston for Thanksgiving at Sue's folks. We were amazed to find flights for $89 each so close to Thanksgiving. We hope that everyone has a great Thanksgiving and we hope to see you soon!
-- Geoff & Sue
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