Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Boating Community

The boating community never fails to amaze us.  I know we have said it a lot but we just can't say it enough, we have met so many awesome people along the way. All to often now we find ourselves saying goodbye or rather see you later.  Our arrival in Ft Lauderdale meant more of this for us.  Many of our fellow loopers have headed over to the Bahamas or are in in the process of preparing for this.  Although we would have loved to have gone to the Bahamas we decided we will save that for a future adventure and focus our efforts on this crazy thing called "a job".  So many times our friends have asked us why aren't you going to the Bahamas with us, we tell them well we have to get home and find jobs, this response is always met with laughter.  Retired people can be cruel that way.  We also parted ways with our friends the Parrent family who are headed on a much slower path that we are up the East Coast.  It was a sad thing to leave the Parrent family, we made hopeful plans to connect again up north once again parting with will see you soon.  On the happier side we got to have a great dinner with our old friends from Monkey Girl, Bill and Laura Peters.  They live in Ft. Lauderdale and were kind enough to drive us around to help us provision and then invited us to have dinner at their home.  We got delicious authentic Italian ingredients from Mimi's and drank our favorite wine.  I would tell you what it is but Bill has sworn us to secrecy since it is harder and harder to find.  As a matter of fact we had to go to two stores to get enough of it for our dinner.  I will give you a hint, it's cheap and good.  We spent a great night eating in a house and sharing stories of the people that we had met and where we had been and are going.  It was great to see Bill and Laura but it was another reminder that our time for reentry is coming closer.  They like many other loopers who finish the trip were trying to decide what to do next.  If you have spent a year preparing and a year doing you feel rather confused at the end.  At one point in our visit Bill spoke to me with great concern for our state of mind when we finish. He always surprises me, he comes across as a funny light hearted guy but in truth he is one of the most thoughtful and caring people we have met on our loop, his presence on our final leg will be greatly missed.  We had a great stay at Cooley Landing while we were in Ft Lauderdale which included an interesting nail biting trip up the New River.  If you have never done this then I suggest a walk along it or a dingy ride up or down if your boat is at one of the other marinas.  Taking your boat up the river it is quite intimidating and will test your nerve, even for us on a small boat the river felt tight with its mega yacht on ever turn.  Pulling out of Ft. Lauderdale we continued north up the ICW.  The houses along here are truly amazing with all the different styles their is always something to look at.  As we continued north the boaters got to be a little friendlier and even on occasion slowed down so as not to wake us too extremely.   Our path north finally connected us with our Island friends Kim and Ellen Tonkin near Jensen Beach.  They own the Nantucket Ship Chandlery on Nantucket and we see them often at the Angler's Club as well as for social visits in and out of their store.   They live in a gated community filled with some great people all whom like them enjoy the winter months in their own little paradise.  We enjoyed a great dinner with them at Shuckers Restaurant, a great place on the beach across from their home.  They looked tan, happy and relaxed, a combination that is hard to come by when we see them at their store on Nantucket.   The next day we furthered our northern push, we have an item on the bucket list that might finally get checked off.  In two days with any luck we will see the Space Shuttle Discovery rocket itself into space.  I can't wait!
Welcome to Ft. Lauderdale

Our Coast Guard friends in training

Ft. Lauderdale in the distance as we arrive

Our final view of Negotiator before we parted ways. 

This train bridge was one of our bigger challenges up the New River as the tide was screaming and we were headed towards it with a large casino cruise waiting to come through from the other direction.  Lets just say he wasn't stopping.

You will see many diverse boat sizes and styles as you cruise in and around Ft. Lauderdale.

Big boats and building line the shores of the New River

That building would be a great spot for an apartment. 

Look at this big boy being towed down the New River. 

The tugs in the bow and stern allow the mega yachts to navigate their way around the hair pin turns.

Here is that boat about to round the corner on the new river.  You can see how tight it can get with the bow and stern tugs working to keep it in the middle.

A huge home under construction.  It is amazing to see all the different styles and materials used on these homes especially when you are coming from an island that has many restrictions on building codes

A big home hidden among the palms

A beautiful and classy home along the ICW

It is strange to see the city rising up above the trees

Bye Fort Lauderdale

Their are big yachts everywhere in and around the Fort Lauderdale area.

As we got closer to these big boats we realized we knew this one who often comes into Nantucket.  I think I smell a bunch of Yankee Candles.

Imagine having the shrink wrap job on some of these boats.

This was the second boat we saw in less than 10 miles that was a frequenter of Nantucket Harbor.

You never know what sort of things you will see along the ICW

Our family friends the Turners keep their boat here in Jupiter.  The water in the inlet was some of the cleanest we had seen since the keys.

We learned that their are many kinds and styles of Golf Carts.  This one of course being the best, it was no shock that it belonged to Kim and Ellen.

Kim and Ellen in front of their convertible.

A view of Kim and Ellen's great community.

So long Kim and Ellen, we will see you back on the Rock.

This is truly bizarre.  The crane flew up and landed on our dingy while we were underway.  He hung on for a few miles and then just flew away

The dolphin started swimming along with us just after the crane landed and I was joking that we were becoming the Ark

Sunrise the morning of the Shuttle Launch

We could not figure out what this boat was doing aground just off the ICW.  That is going to be a big job for Sea Tow.


  1. Really nice..
    Must say Good collection of pics.....
    All the best for future!!!!!!!!

  2. Really great to have with Boating Community.