Mooring balls are one of the best kept secrets in cruising! Fort Lauderdale marinas can be up to $4 per foot for a slip rental- we found the Municipal Marina offered ten moorings balls tucked along a bridge over the ICW for $ 40 per night. Score!
We had decided to leave No Name anticipating high winds to come the next day. It was calm , so a perfect day to head back out to the Atlantic and cruise north along the shore line. The advantage of ocean travel is we avoided the need to time for bridge openings; weekend boat traffic and the slow no-wake zones along the intra coastal waterway. There are about
This route on the ICW would require timing through 16 Bascule bridges under 22 feet that need to open for our boat on this stretch- vs ocean side- wide open!
We left No Name and then cruised north- beautiful view of the Miami skyline. From there each town just flows into the next- the shore line is beach, bordered by high rises for miles and miles.
Once we committed to cruising on the “outside” we did not have an option to head back into the ICW for miles. there are two inlets; but the guidebooks warned of shallow water and high current, so we opted to stay on the Atlantic until we reached the inlet at Fort Lauderdale.
The inlet is wide and deep- Fort Lauderdale is the jumping off point for several large Cruise ships. The clouds were gathering as we entered the port- known as Everglades Port. Our reservations were for a mooring ball several miles up the ICW- We followed a well marked channel and dodged the heavy weekend traffic to arrive at our destination before the storm hit. Close call- we grabbed the mooring line and just zipped up the enclosure in time to avoid getting doused by the rain storm.
Several more boats were picking up moorings at the same time- with in an hour all the mooring balls were occupied. Centrally located- once we took the dingy to shore, we found it was a few short blocks to the beach!
The water taxis serve a dual purpose- narrated tours and a great way to get from point a to point b. The water taxi featured a narrated tour past “Millionaire Row” – routinely pointing out the homes of current and former residents. Included are a home featured in Miami Vice, and estates owned by the Budweiser family, Wendy’s, Kohls or Pet Smart founder.
Mega yachts are noted as well- you can see One owned by Evil Knievel (until he lost it in a poker game). or even charter one for $200,000 a week. Others are vintage yachts and futuristic yachts.
Way more money in this part of Florida than I can imagine. Mega yachts and cruise ships share the water with our little yacht and we all get along just fine!
We had lunch up the New River then worked our way back towards the beach. The restaurant was kitchy- with nautical items hanging from the ceiling.
As we were dining, larger and larger boats were passing by along the river. We learned that the next lift bridge was going to close for a few weeks, and any boats that wanted to be able to move had to move out today. Plus some were being motored down to Miami for the boat show next week.
The taxi ticket is good all day; so later we went for an evening tour to see the city lights and have dinner. Great way to end the day. Dave rigged up our dingy lights in the bow and stern to be compliant for getting back to our boat on the mooring ball after dark.
An Olympic beach volley ball exhibition tournament was being held at the beach. If you want to see exact opposites- travel with the ICW gray haired salty sailors then cross over to the beach where 20 somethings are gathered for an athletic event! From Senior citizens day to Milleniums!
Along the river construction is taking place. The tallest building will be a condo. It is near the spot where the 1960 Hwy 1 tunnels under the river.
in other spots, million dollar homes are being torn down to build multi- million dollar homes!
One of my favorites was mentioned in passing that it was featured in the background for Kenny Chesney’s music video Come Over. (and I always pictured him in Key West on an old sailboat).
Lovely time but need to move on. our flight leaves from West Palm Beach and we do not want to miss it!