Ft. Lauderdale to Lake Boca Raton

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 With a little luck and a prayer or two, the conditions were good for our departure today at 8:00. We woke with the alarm at 7:00 and we each had our jobs to do. Auggie got his walk, Bob filled the water tank, and then we were ready to shove off. The current was going out and the wind was going in the same direction, so all we had to do was get away from the wall safely and the current and wind would work in our favor and take us right along. We untied the lines, gave it a good shove, and Bob backed us out into the current and away we went. We planned to leave between 7:30-9:00 when the bridges downtown do not open because of rush hour traffic. That would mean that no large yachts, water taxis, or tour boats would be in the New River. Hence, we wouldn’t have to run into them going the other direction, around any curve, or narrow bend in the river. We were right! There were no other boats on the river at this early hour.

 
 
The river was peaceful and calm with the morning sun reflecting off the water.

 
 
Once we left the New River and got into the Hillsboro River, things widened up and people were just beginning to stir, starting their morning chores on the big yachts.

 
 
As we traveled down the river, Bob wanted me to get out the ruler to measure our wake to make sure we stayed under the 15″ limit. I mean, REALLY!

 
 
The skies were sunny and blue and the wind was light…for now. The temperature was cooler after the cold front moved through last night and this morning it was definitely less humid. We got one good rain shower yesterday afternoon, but none of the heavy rains moving across the state affected us. Again we would have to time our arrival at certain bridges to arrive when they schedule their openings if we were too tall to get under them. At one of the bridges, where we had to wait for an opening, we got hassled by the bridge tender. He thought that we should be able to pass under it and not block the other boats that were waiting for an opening. Our clearance height is 14′ with antennas down. The fender board which measures the actual height clearance of the bridges in real time said 14′. Should we take the chance of ripping off our anchor light if the level isn’t correct? We like to err on the side of caution and so we waited for an opening. It wasn’t as if we were the only boat asking for the bridge to open. We would rather drop our antennas and go under the bridge than have to wait, but this situation was too “iffy”. He continued to harass us and even threatened to write us up. I think Bob plans to call the state authorities to complain. Motoring north, we spotted a convenient place to get some gas for the dinghy. If we wanted to do any exploring and be able to get Auggie to shore, we needed some gas. It was an easy in, easy out and we were on our way again. We crossed under our last bridge for today and dropped anchor in a protected corner of Lake Boca Raton at noon. We had stopped here on our way north and wanted to come back. This was the view from the cockpit of our boat.

 
 
The winds had picked up by now and were downright gusty at times. We anchored in a spot that would, hopefully, be somewhat protected from the winds, although they were expected to die down a little at night. The skies became partially cloudy, but when the clouds blocked the sun, it became cool. We shared the anchorage with a catamaran sailboat who also spent the night. Bob set up the anchor alarm as he always does when we’re at anchor. About 2 hours after we arrived, the anchor alarm went off causing us to scramble. Bob started the engines and I ran to the bow to work the anchor which was dragging across the bottom, not holding us in place. We raised the anchor to reset it in a different place and hopefully it would hold us. That left us with pounding hearts as we were heading for the shore. Once we were sure it was holding, we relaxed in the sun in the boat, reading, and making sure the anchor wouldn’t decide to let go again. The clouds disappeared and the sun came out in full force around 3:00. The winds seemed to die off a bit and weren’t so gusty. But we weren’t done with our excitement for the day yet. I looked up and saw the sailboat behind us driving right at us—with its anchor down yet! What’s up with that? Bob yelled at him that his anchor was down! They got about 30′ from us before they understood (They were French speaking.) and finally backed up—still dragging their anchor. We couldn’t figure out what they were trying to do. After that, we kept a pretty close eye on them.

 
 
As we floated in Lake Boca Raton, other small boats came and went, but it was pretty quiet for a Wednesday. Auggie enjoyed his favorite pasttime most of the afternoon.

 
 
We cooked steaks on the grill and watched the news. Before the sun went down, we took Auggie to the boat launch at Silver Palm Park for his evening walk. It was going to be a nice evening with cooler temps, better for sleeping. We did some star gazing tonight as the planets Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars are visible in the night sky.

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