Ryan was glad to hang up the VHF radio when we finally got to Fort Lauderdale. There were 27 bridges that needed hailing between Riviera Beach and Fort Lauderdale, and only a handful of those bridge tenders were in a good mood. In fact, the last bridge we hailed before pulling into Cooley’s Landing Marina shot us a snarky, “I see you, but you should have called in earlier, so I’m closing the bridge.” After which Ryan handed me the radio and declared his day’s defeat to miserable government employees.
Originally, we’d planned to make the 46-mile trip from Riviera Beach Florida to Fort Lauderdale in one day. But we ended up having to slow down so much for the bridge schedules that we fell short by about 15 miles. So, instead, we anchored in Lake Boca Raton for the night, which turned out to be a gorgeous spot for its views of multi-million-dollar mansions with private docks and fancy water toys.
The next day proved to be a record-winning crawl, though, with even more restricted bridges than the day before, resulting in Hideaway covering a pathetic fifteen miles in four hours. But at least while we maneuvered under the ICW bridges and up the New River, we got to experience the wild ride of motoring through the back yards of some of Florida’s wealthiest home owners. As we coasted past the manicured lawns of Fort Lauderdale’s riverfront homes and waved enthusiastically at mega yacht captains who barely glanced at us, it became clear that this town was WAY out of our league.
But the good thing about arriving on your little boat to a fancy port like Fort Lauderdale is that you have everything you could possibly need for provisioning within walking or cycling distance. West Marine, Publix, Save a Lot, Home Depot, Staples, you name it. Not to mention the crazy college bars where you can get 6 drinks for $15! Which is how I ended up dancing in a “Keep Calm and Gangnam Style” t-shirt, courtesy of my generous friends Justin and Anastasia.