Leaving Ft. Lauderdale

January 6th, 2013

With everything scrubbed clean and equipment loaded, we are ready to get out of southeast Florida.

In a certain way, we love the southeast portion of Florida.  It’s warm in the winter and the waters are beautiful but the cities are large and require 12 lanes of interstate and there are tons of boats here.  Too many boats actually.  The waterways are abuzz with boats heading in every possible direction as they churn the waters into a wake filled white foam.

But before we can enjoy the solitude of peaceful cruising once again, we will have to navigate the tangled web of draw bridges for the next couple of days.  It’s a simple and straight forward process.  We simply drive our boat up to the draw bridge, at which time I would call them on our VHF radio (basically a CB radio) and we would discuss when the next bridge opening will be.

Sometimes they would open when we called and often we would have to wait between 5 and 30 minutes for the next opening.

It’s a hindrance to our progress that we anticipated and we only scheduled to travel forty miles on the first two days.

Boca Raton Anchorage

Panoramic Shot of Boca Raton Anchorage

Our first night we anchored in the crystal clear waters of Boca Raton.  Condo’s and houses encapsulated the shoreline and many other boats joined us in this rare anchorage in these parts.

We were very anxious to move further north so we moved along early the next morning with the knowledge that we would have to contend with the draw bridges all day once again.

Million dollar home after million dollar home lines the ICW.  At first they were fascinating but soon they all began to look the same.  All of them had a brown stone appearance with multiple columns in a Greek architecture fashion.  They built basketball courts on their roofs because they had no yards left.  Every piece of land was used to build the largest house they possibly could and it gave the whole area a very crowded feel.

Most of the cruisers are heading south this time of year, avoiding the cold temperatures up north.  As we continued our north bound journey we would see all kinds of sailboats and motor yachts making their southerly migration.

The rains came on the third day and as I steered our boat in compete comfort from inside the pilot house I had to chuckle at all the southbound sailors in their rain gear standing outside in the weather at the helm of their yachts.

Roxanne at the helm.

We arrived in Stuart Florida just before sunset and just before the rains really began to pour down.

Manate Pocket Stuart Fl