Monday, February 1, 2010

Fort Lauderdale, the Venice of America

So many canals, so little time.

This city is REALLY impressive from the water. I realized my mouth was hanging open (guess I looked like a mouth breather, Arthur!) as we motored past Las Olas Marina and up the New River yesterday. Countless megaboats (excuse me, yachts) surrounded us. Fiberglass on the grand scale and gorgeous megahomes (like the one on the left) have replaced the dense jungle and swamp of the 1800s. Fort Lauderdale has 270 miles of canals to explore, compared to 45 miles in Venice.

It looks like we’ll be spending a few more days here, waiting for that “weather window” to offer a calm day to motor/sail down the coast to Biscayne Bay, where we can begin our next leg to the Keys. We are looking for 2-4 foot seas or less before we go out the inlet. No need to be a hero bashing around in 6 foot plus seas. Been there, done that. Not fun.

We are tied up at the New River Downtown “Marina” in the heart of downtown, just a few blocks from the restaurants and shops on Las Olas Boulevard. I put “marina” in quotes because boats literally tie up to both sides of the New River and we’ll be showering on MicMac (second boat from the bottom of photo). But the price is right.

For entertainment yesterday, we watched the tour boats, river taxis, and other cruisers parade by, while watching the nearby bridge going up and down, and listening to a jazz guitarist singer at the Downtowner Saloon on the promenade by our side. It’s kinda like anchoring a boat on Fifth Avenue right in the thick of things.

An Arts Festival was taking plae just across the dock. Sorry, but I just had to take a photo of this dog lover. Her face was tighter than a drum, but her plastic surgeon had not yet mastered love handles. I gotta get more exercise!

Today it’s raining cats and dogs, as the weatherman predicted. So we saw Avatar this afternoon at the nearby IMAX. WOW! The special effects were awesome in 3D, especially on a five story tall screen. Perhaps our ticket purchase will push it over the top to the highest grossing movie ever.

Tomorrow we’ll move MicMac closer to the inlet to the Hyatt’s Pier 66 Marina, hoping for an early morning departure to the ocean on Wednesday—unless the weatherman lied. Laundry duty should keep me busy tomorrow.

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