Feb 25 – Mar 1, 2017
We picked up a mooring ball in Ft Lauderdale to ride out some heavy winds rolling in. First time picking up a mooring ball for the season is usually stressful for Angie. A lot can go wrong with her leaning way too far off the front of the boat, trying to catch and pick up a loop, a hook, a line, whatever could be there. There are no consistencies in the type of connections to the ball. Do we need to have to change our shackles/gear? Do we have to feed a line through or attach a shackle? Do we have to shorten the bridle? (Always) What is the best way? How close are we to the other boats already on their moorings? (Always too close.) Then, what type of secondary/back up do we install, incase the mooring line lets loose? How are the winds and current pushing us around while Mark is trying to keep us in one point long enough for Angie to do her job? So, we don our handy two way communicator headsets (and remember to put the antennas up, even though they get tangled in the rigging), Angie takes the various gear, tools, and pre threads as much line as possible for the back up, and then deal with whatever comes our way, without falling overboard, flipping off her headset into the water, or dropping tools. What configuration she comes up with usually looks a mess, and Mark usually has to redo it, once the boat settles and there is no tension on the set up.
We have spent a lot of time in Ft Lauderdale with the boat. This is where we bought Uno Mas, 8 years ago. Time has certainly flown by. We love Ft Lauderdale too. When here, we have to hit our favorites: Skyline Chili (Mark, a Cincinnati thing), Catalina (a Latin American restaurant, for both of us), and Nanou French Bakery (Angie’s) next to the Las Olas bridge.
This time, however, we were on bicycles, walking, or trying to find a place to ditch the dinghy close by. We also found a Trader Joes for some last minute provisioning, and made the circuit of Boat Owners Warehouse, McDonalds Hardware, and Sailorman’s. We actually managed to avoid West Marine. At Sailorman’s we found some great second hand foldable bikes to replace our existing ones, at $400 each. (Yeah, going to keep our existing, tried and true, rust buckets.) However, we were given a free t-shirt, I guess because we had been hanging out there so much. The staff is always friendly and we love perusing through all of the used goods. However, we really need to stop thinking of new projects to do on the boat. We also were waiting on last minute parts we ordered to arrive at the marina. Our $10 sewing machine part cost $40 to overnight. That just hurt. And, our friends in the Bahamas had more parts shipped to us to bring as well.
Mark got his first SPEED warning by the sea cops, in our Dink! The area is posted 35 mph. Fine print was….. other. Our dinghy was planing and we had a small wake. If we were towing someone in the water, we would have been fine. But, since we were not, we got a warning. As we were sitting there, getting the ticket, all of these power boaters were waking us, while towing kids on tubes. Just didn’t make sense. However, the guy liked Lagoons and he recognized our boat. (It is pretty hard to miss the purple with yellow flames, moored just on the SW corner of the Las Olas Bridge.) We had a good talk. We figured the flames on our outboard made us look like were were going fast, like, really fast, way faster than possible with a 15 hp Yamaha. (We should have asked for a print out of the radar gun.) After all of that, for the first time ever, Angie pondered, “Maybe it isn’t always so good to have a boat that is so easily recognized….hmmmm”
Sitting and spinning on the mooring ball gave us ample opportunities to do MORE boat projects. Mark finished up the stainless steel bimini structure additional supports, which included adding a sundowner beverage/snack tray. This is now Angie’s favorite spot to sit and watch the world go by. We now have current fire extinguishers, and the dinghy chaps got reworked and installed. Angie also worked on cutting down the seat cushions for the recently relocated Island cabinet unit. Mark installed the main sheet haul down cam lock, and strapped down all of our “stuff” in storage so it does not get tossed about in rough seas. Angie still is trying to finish up internet computer work. Once we leave Florida, it will take a while to get Bahamian wifi.
We had an opportunity to cross the Gulf Stream and get to the Bahamas. However, the night before we were supposed to depart, Angie realized she left parts and the Marina gate keycard at a restaurant that day. The place did not open again until 11 am, the next morning. We missed that weather window. That one missed day, set us back another week, plus, before another crossing opportunity. You can’t change the past, and you can’t change the weather. So, we wait.
Angie has not been sleeping well at night. Creaky boat noises, being jolted awake by the anchor alarms, hearing the winds escalate and “sing” through the rigging, and worrying about boats letting loose and crashing into us, make her a very light and anxious sleeper. Hopefully she will get used to the noises, because she is a crank when not getting enough zzzz’s. I don’t know how many times she gets up in the middle of the night to check the lines, chafe guards, and try to figure out where the noises are coming from. Mark sleeps through it all, like a baby, snoring way. (Adding to the boat noise)