January 31, 2014

So Long, Fort Lauderdale...

"Close friends are truly life's treasures. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves. With gentle honesty, they are there to guide and support us, to share our laughter and our tears. Their presence reminds us that we are never really alone.” 
Before I shove off from Fort Lauderdale, I must give a special thanks to my long time friend and partner in crime, Craig Sandel and his lovely wife, Linda.  They opened their home to me and allowed me to park Glory Days in their back yard on the Intracoastal Waterway for almost a month.  During that time they showed me many of the local sites, helped me gather supplies, and put up with my boat projects as I rotated my stay between their home and the Lake Sylvia anchorage.

Here we are contemplating photosynthesis, mitochondria, and the wonder of mitosis at a local orchid nursery... There is also a nice display of huge staghorn ferns behind us.
The view from their canal was a great start to each day.  That's Craigs blue boat on the left with Glory Days grinning beside her.
Jogging over the 17th st. bridge made for some nice oogling over megayachts. Again, who ARE these people?

Canals like this are commonplace down here... We observed the sluggish manatees in this one near Coral Gables.


The anchorage at Lake Sylvia above was a perfect refuge to ponder stuff, meet fellow cruisers,  and it served as a perfect location for me to access about a dozen different marine specialty stores for outfitting Glory Days...

Quotes from Lake Sylvia:

" if I could just remember to bring my shoes when I dinghy into town, I would be so impressed with myself..."

"I splurged tonight and used nearly 3 gallons of fresh water for a nice shower aboard the boat after a hard day in the sun..."

"Since when did people start using little baby carriages to take their little dogs out in public?  I don't get it."

                 COMING BELOW ... BOAT UPGRADES !

One of my main reasons for staying in Fort Lauderdale was to access the vast resources of marine products. I was like a kid in a candy store.

Listed below are some of the recent upgrades I made on the boat during my stay here... what a joy it is to be a "do it yourselfer"... A year ago, I didn't know didley squat about marine electronics, sealants, solar, chart plotters, or marine refridgeration ...but thru helpful boaters, research, and taking a few chances I am pleased with the new additions...


Dinghy davits finally! 

Basically these are just heavy duty "brackets" that bolt to the stern of the boat, as seen below, used for hoisting the dinghy out of the water for convenience and to prevent barnacle growth when dink sits in the water too long... An added feature is that they will serve as a shelf to my a large solar panel later this week. Personally, I think they are gorgeous... Solid stainless steel mama.

Another improvement were these shiny new plastic, super clear, windows replaced in the dodger windshield. Oh yes I can dig this.  Why did I wait so long to replace these? Bigtime improvement... Now I am a shiny happy person... With a clear view ahead 

These are not very exciting I know but, Yep, I replaced these worn out furling rollers with new ones plus a new centering clamp for the furlng lead.  These little pieces of plastic were eight bucks apiece and I needed eight of them.... Go figure...Just another gleeful adventure in the high markup of marine products... I'm just grateful I could buy them and actually FIND them on line. Somebody somewhere behind some desk in some town made a buck off these... Good for them.. So Now the furling line for the genoa sail reels in nicely like a greased piece of eel juice...

Ventilation in the tropics is important, so This is a custom-made rain fly so I can leave the front hatch open for ventilation even during a rainstorm. Sweet. Only $40 made by my new friend Rob at the canvas shop... 
Ya ya ... This big solar panel will provide 140 W of electricity to recharge my batteries and Power up all types of toys like refrigeration,  computers, lights, and electronics whenever I am at anchor or sailing.... just add sunshine and youre in business...
Now this here thang is a new VHF radio equipped with AIS (automatic identification system). It will allow me to spot freighters and ships at night or in fog within 20 miles just in case they are on a collision course with my itty bitty boat... It also gives me their ship name, length, speed, and course over ground (COG)...It's sort of like the poor man's version of radar to help you see what's "out there."

Recently installed, that little radio you see here is a remote VHF access. It allows you to communicate on the radio from the cockpit instead having to dash below to access the main radio.  Very handy, especially for all the frequent communicating with the draw bridge tenders 
 I'm proud to report that Dazy The Dinghy is now equipped with official running lights, bow and stern.  I am barely legal now.  
This new metal eye ring for the mast will allow me to mount the spinnaker pole to a fixed position for downwind sailing. Nobody likes a floppy genoa on a downwind run, and this bugger should fix that, once I carve out a wooden backing plug for it and create threads in the mast, and screw in 4 set screws without dropping any of them overboard.... Piece of cake.
Thanks to Craig, Glory Days is now equipped with a full set of scuba gear. I hope I don't regret lugging it all the way to the Bahamas,  so I'm going to make darn sure I use it. I also bought a spear sling and a lobster noose for catching one of those rascals ...and yes it is true, I have decided to become a male model for wetsuits. 


 Good music ...
Good workout...weights, bike ride, and yoga is a great start to any day

Good friends ... biking at Univ of Miami campus

 Good tourist sites...I'm  always amused at how the high society ultra rich folks spend their time and money collecting art, making art, gardening, eating rich food, and how they treat their help. ..thankfully these folks were philanthropists and they left an entire 60 acres for the public green space on the coast never to be developed. The Bonnet House and the Hugh Taylor Birch Park are the only vestiges of green space preserved for miles and miles of the south Florida condo jungle .

Nice digs.
A Wealthy swan

We toured the home.

Here's their own private orchid house...this is the little one.. Bonnet House is worth a visit if you're  ever in Ft Lauderdale.... 

And could this be another boat named Glory Days?? ... Yes, it is... This guy went nuts trying to flag me down cause we share the same name...

But I'm glad to say THIS is the welcome mat that greets me as I approach her back home on a dark night in Dazy. ... (I know, I'm obsessed ... but there could be worse things.)

Keep in mind, a cruiser's inflatable dinghy is his connection to land, ... and it is like your "car" that gets you out and back home again... Sometimes finding a place just to park your "car" can be a challenge... Some of the high end marinas may charge you $20 just to use their dinghy dock, others less.

Thankfully, this here place called the Raw Bar only charged $10 to park your inflatable dinghy...plus they let you apply that $10 as credit toward food or beverage... Sweet.

Thats about it folks for this post...

 I didn't want to dwell on it, but I did sprain my foot when I had a little misunderstanding with the last step on a staircase ... It was just one of those quirky little missteps than can alter your entire week or month... It was a good thing in disquise now that I think about it... It made be realize how valuable just ordinary stuff like walking around without pain is... Thank you Craig for taking me to the ER and sitting around for hours waiting to get X-rayed.  Thankfully, there was no fracture... But a lovely little sprain that is still giving a nice little wobble to my hobble ... It's All good.




  1. Great blog Joe! Follow your Bliss!

  2. Keep em coming. I am really enjoying reading about your adventures.