TRANSITIONS

As I write this, it’s been 12 days since I arrived at the Marina at Ortega Landing, Jacksonville, FL. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind.

My crew consolidated her vehicles by getting her motorhome and Jeep first moved to the parking lot here at the marina. Then came the task of packing her clothes, sheets, pillows, blankets, toiletries, food and dog stuff and moving it off the boat, carting it to the motorhome and moving it on and putting it all away. She then moved her motorhome to a nearby campground.

We took several trips to look at a number of motorhomes for me. I saw one about 100 miles away that was of interest, for sale by owner. It needed some work but was nice and realistically priced. I calculated the cost to fix, mentally split it, and made an offer. The offer was better than 97% of asking. That’s when the seller told me he couldn’t take the offer since he had received a call from someone (a stranger) in North Carolina who was interested and who wanted to drive down to FL to see it by 11am the following day. The seller said he didn’t know if the prospects had even left NC yet but he felt an obligation to show it to them. Apparently he didn’t feel the same obligation to me – who was actually already there, who had actually called first, who had actually already inspected the coach and made an offer, etc. Or maybe the seller wanted to play my offer against this stranger, several states away who might or might not have left, who might or might not show up, who might or might not like the coach and who might or might not offer, have money or good credit to finance? Seller told me he’d call me the next day if the guy didn’t show up and buy. I apparently was second choice. The seller actually watched a real buyer who made a very good faith offer drive away!

That evening I decided I wasn’t going to buy the rig because I didn’t think I could trust him. I Imagined being at a closing with $ in hand and the seller getting a call from some Nigerian prince offering $millions and the seller telling me the closing was delayed to see if the prince wired the funds. It was satisfying when the seller called the next day, told me that the NC folks came but did not make an offer and so he, the seller, was going to take my offer!!! Before I hung up I reminded him that he turned my offer down and had watched me drive away. Apparently there’s still some work to do improving the gene pool.

Back to the drawing board. And it was worthwhile. Another overnight trip A few days later found us looking at a rig in Orlando and then another one just south of Tampa – within a few miles of where I found my prior Winnebago. After an afternoon looking in all the crannies, test drive etc. I bought myself a new home! A Tiffin Allegro Bus 40QSP. The dealer needs to replace the tires, replace an awning motor, order a new dual pane window and install to replace one that has fogged between the panes and fix some other minor issues. Then it will be taken to a nearby CAT center (even though a Cummins) where they will pull samples of all the current oil from engine, trans and generator for analysis, then change out all oil, coolants and filters and check and replace any belts and/or hoses showing wear. I expect to take delivery after Memorial Day.

With that done, I need to buy a car. Time to pull the motorhome magazine towing guides to see which cars, which models and which years can be towed with 4 wheels on the ground (toad). I once towed with a tow dolly and will never do that again. The guides also tell you any special instructions for the various toads – like this one can’t be towed faster than 60mph or that one needs to be started and placed in drive for 5 minutes every 5 hours etc. The maker that has the most towable models and has been fully towable since the ‘80s and has no speed or distance/time restrictions is Jeep. And that’s what I went looking for.

I found and really liked a 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 4WD. Called to make sure major franchise dealer was open for business due to COVID19 and said I’d be there in 2 hours to see a specific vehicle. Arrived on time and the Jeep was buried/‘parked in’ in the middle of the lot. They got access to it only to find out that not even the interior lights would come on. Battery flat dead. They brought out a mobile charger but it didn’t work. They brought out the wimpiest jumper cables I’ve ever seen and tried to jump it from the next car which was running but the Jeep wouldn’t turnover. Immediately next door was a PepBoys. Their paved lots adjoined. I suggested to these wise people that they get a new battery next door. They looked at us like we were nuts and said, ‘we’d need to drive it over there so they can replace it but we can’t drive it there till it starts’. Walk??? Where do these people come from? Apparently slimed out of the same gene pool as the motorhome seller. Two hours standing in the hot FL sun maintaining social and gene pool distance and we left without ever seeing the Jeep start and move so much as one inch.

I got an email during the night from my crew who found a ‘sister’ Jeep for sale from the same franchise but in Orlando. So we called at 9am to be sure it was available and they were open, told them which vehicle we wanted to see and that we’d drive there and be there before noon. Arrived and…guess what… it wouldn’t start. This one didn’t have a battery in it and they hadn’t managed to get one during 2 hour drive. Apparently the ‘main office‘ has parts contracts with certain suppliers and this battery is a sealed AGM and their suppliers didn’t have one “but we think we can get one tomorrow!” Their personnel folks must take special courses to be able to hire these specialized no customer service people!

My crew and I went to lunch and while there I called a Jeep Chrysler dealer 5 miles away and gave them the VIN. Yes, we have that OEM battery for that vehicle in stock and it’s $243.00. Back to the stealer/dealer and advised them that their almost next door Jeep dealer has the battery in stock and did they want to go pick it up or would they like me to go get it. And if main office doesn’t like buying from this supplier, lower the price by that amount and I’ll go buy the battery.

To keep a story from getting longer (and there’s more idiocy) I now own a really clean 2019 Jeep Cherokee to tow behind the motorhome. And we got back to JAX by 9pm that night.

I’ve ordered from Blue Ox in Nebraska a tow bar and a base plate that needs to be attached to the front of the Jeep’s frame. I hope they arrive this coming Tues and that I can get the base plate mounted yet this coming week. If not, I’ll see if I can get the Tampa motorhome dealer to throw in a base plate install. I’ll wait to install the supplemental braking for the toad till the motorhome and toad are together.

Once I get the motorhome in JAX, then I can start moving myself off the boat and turn it over to the broker

Other thoughts. Getting sick of masks, gloves and wipes. At least the thin rectangular ones masks are more comfortable than the N95s

Bus Tour

Power entry awning, power patio awning, slide topper awnings on all slides and pull down window awnings
Side radiator makes rear engine servicing easier.
Slides retracted
Two full width pass thru storage bays with slide out trays accessible from either side. Third open bay is not full width and contains an apartment sized fridge.
Chassis batteries and distribution
110V Distribution
Plumbing center. Pump, filter, hose for exterior fill, connections for grey and black water waste tank drains, hand washing station
Aqua Hot Hydronic Heating System uses tubing to run hot liquid into heat exchangers that disperse heated air into living areas. Coils, with potable water running through them, wrap around the boiler to transport hot water to faucets and appliances. It features continuous on-demand hot water, quiet, clean, even, moist interior heat, fast diesel engine preheating. It uses engine heat when driving, AC shore power for light duty heating and hot water use or direct diesel fuel for heating in colder temperatures and continuous hot water
Cockpit. The large front and side windows are served by power dual shades. One button for each window will lower privacy sunscreens for driving into the sun etc. and another lowers blackout shades.
Comfy captains chair
Seats will also swivel towards the living area.
Behind the driver’s seat is a recliner and file drawer/desk surface area
Aft of the recliner is the dining table and hallway to bath and bedroom.
Corian table pulls out further to seat four. Two additional wood and matching fabric folding chairs are stowed in a cabinet under the bed
On the passenger side of the living area is the galley and more seating. Full diagonal tile floor with accent inserts.
Galley. Corian counters with inserts for the sink and range and tile backsplash. Microwave/convection oven. On the left, the lower cabinetry with drawers rolls out to provide additional countertop. Far right below the mirror/small counter is a pull out can pantry. Another pantry is adjacent to the fridge
Double sink and two burner range
Stainless residential fridge.
View forward towards the cockpit taken from the bath area hallway
The bath area is split by a hallway and separated from the living and the bedroom areas by sliding pocket doors. On the driver’s side if the hallway is the private head with toilet and sink.
…while across the hallway on the passenger side is a garden tub/shower and another sink area.
Passenger side bedroom wall consists of ample drawers and a hamper. The double floor to ceiling doors on the right conceal a stacked washer dryer.
Adjacent to the washer/dryer is a large cedar lined hanging locker behind mirrored sliding doors. The washer/dryer and hanging locker are situated above the rear engine.
And end of day.

And the Toad

Gotta get used to Flying J and the other truck stops again. !

My last voyage on Last Resort

An absolutely beautiful day for a swan song. Bright sunshine, nice breeze, temps in the 70’s and a boat ride!

I turned the map part of the program for awhile to conserve iPad battery and so have filled in the gaps with a drawing tool.

It was a long and tiring day. After 5 weeks sitting still, safe distancing at Marineland Municipal Marina, I had kind of forgotten how long the travel days can be and how tiring. Planned on an 8 am starting time but getting the boat ready to travel took a bit longer than usual. It was a 7.5 hr travel day covering 69 miles. Got a slip for showing the boat for sale on the C dock T Head (the cross dock at the end of the CDock). The Ortega River is fairly lightly used so it should not be rolly from passing boats. The marina is anticipating a regular slip availability and will 16.1move the boat to it when vacated.

I started this actual travel adventure April 1, 2019 and so I’ve been a traveling live aboard for 13 months and 4 days. Many times I spent multiple days in one port. What quickly comes to mind is a month in Baltimore, 3 months in the Keys and 5 weeks “safe distancing” in Marineland. Actual travel days were 70. Distance traveled by boat was 3,210 nautical miles or 3,694 statute miles. Average distance per travel day was 52.7 statute miles. Longest single travel day was 92 statute miles and there were two days during which the distance traveled was only 16.1 statute miles per day.

Some parting photos for Last Resort

First bridge of the day. I had a foot of excess clearance and so did not require an opening. Went under 27 bridges today and only the last one, 1/4 mile from Ortega Landing, required an opening as it has less than a 9’ height from water to bridge bottom.
St Augustine waterfront
St Augustine’s Bridge of Lions

Quarantine

Looking back, it was about a month ago in Ft Lauderdale that I had ‘outside’ food and that was takeout supper brought back to the boat to eat. Prior to that was another takeout on March 19 from a COVID19 shuttered restaurant in Key Largo, also taken back to the boat to eat. The last actual restaurant experience was in Marathon before March 1. It has been incredibly quiet waiting out the stay at home order in the marina for the past 5+ weeks. Big benefit – stayed healthy.

Over the past week have made two trips with my crew. Rented a car and did a round trip single day trip to Miami to pick up crew’s car from storage. I95 and the FL Turnpike were pretty empty but still a long day. Stopped at an ARBYS drive through for some food. Not exciting.

Two days later took crew’s car to Tampa to pick up crew’s motorhome and bring it back. Another drive through. Ugh. All done in preparation of the crew moving off from the boat prior to putting the boat up for sale with a boat broker

So this past Weds was a little bit of a treat. Went to a nearby barbecue joint for supper. Wait outside standing on the sidewalk X’s until your turn, one at a time, to go in to order and pay. Then back outside and wait for your name to be called. Pickup is on the patio/porch entry on the side of the building. Big deal you say. Well it was. The restaurant is immediately next door to a large waterfront closed county park with lots of really well spaced out picnic tables. Buying dinner and not having to eat it in a car or boat! Felt really good!

Restaurant social distancing table seating!
My waterfront table

My broker to be was able to get me a slip in my preferred marina. They’ve been full and not taking boats for over a month. I had had a slip reserved at a not as nice boat yard. This one has amenities that might help set the mood for selling the lifestyle. Also has the practical amenity of good floating docks which makes ingress and egress on to the boat really easy. The boat makes the one day trip next Monday.

That leaves me with a project. I have to find a home. One of the brands of used motorhomes I’m interested in had one for sale about 120 miles away. Also saw it this past week but not for me. There is another one in Phoenix and 2 in Las Vegas. I checked the engine serial numbers with Caterpillar and the Phoenix one had a serious engine issue (severe overheating) about 140 miles ago (probably why for sale) and CAT tech said ‘don’t go there’. The 2 in Vegas checked out fine. Last thing I want to do is don a mask for a whole day, climb on a plane and fly cross country only to find the coach doesn’t live up to the photoshopped pics or have other issues.

I’ve made some shopping preference adjustments and have found what seem to be really nice units of another brand – 3 within 150 miles. All three of these are Cummins and I checked the engine SNs with Cummins. One had an engine speed sensor issue some years ago but that’s not a big deal. One had a warranty repair of a rocker housing gasket and rocker pin but nothing in the several years since. Saw the first today and it actually would be acceptable. The cabinetry is too dark for my taste but acceptable. A bit warm and uncomfortable digging around a coach for hours in a mask and gloves.

Hoping to be able to see another one Saturday which based on pics, color etc is probably a better fit. Cummins reported zero engine issues with it. It’s only about 100 miles away. Fingers crossed!

Once I have the home and know if there is towing equipment on it or not, it’ll then be time to get a tow behind car (toad) followed by moving all my stuff off the boat and getting the boat detailed in and out. If you’re looking for a fine vessel and want to buy commission free, give me a holler – quickly😎🤪😃

Titusville to Marineland

Another long segment. Something went wrong with my mapping program and it dropped the final 25% of the route but picked up the destination when I stopped the program upon arrival. I’ve added a red arrow to show the completion. Total distance today was 82 miles and a lot of it was dodging pleasure boaters. Apparently the prevailing philosophy amongst the young is that this is vacation time and packing your runabout with 8 people or 20 people on your pontoon boat qualifies as social distancing cause they’re outdoors, drinking beer and playing loud rap. 🤬😡😠🤯

Stock photo of the marina with ocean in the background. Photo pretty well represents current occupancy status.

As mentioned, picked this Marina because it should be a good quiet (smallish) marina for a long stay. Not much housing nearby so there will be opportunity to walk a bit. A Publix with Instacart only a couple miles away. One block away is the ocean beach so if it’s not banned, walking the beach is a possibility too. This marina is about 150’ off from another county where beach walking has been banned so it is possible that this beach could be crowded by people banned elsewhere.

Got to sleep in Monday morning. What a treat! Moved the boat over one space to a vacant slip this morning so that I’m now close enough to the pump out cart without further moving. Their pump out hose wasn’t quite long enough. With no center piers between slips, it was easy to just loosen line and with the help of a little breeze, use the lines to just pull the boat across.

Spoke with the dockmaster. He attended a telephonic meeting Monday morning and believes the governmental marinas will be closed in FL, as soon as perhaps Tuesday. Reading comments on the various boating forums, it appears that there’s quite a flotilla heading north of boats kicked out of the Keys (government and private marinas closed), of boats leaving the Miami and Ft Lauderdale area and of boats leaving the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos etc. Miami – Dade and Palm Beach County have closed all marinas. Then Tuesday Miami – Dade rescinded or altered its order to allow marinas to handle commercial fishermen and recreational liveaboards. Palm Beach County apparently has its Sheriff Dept on the water preventing, ticketing and stopping boats that are transiting the ICW. Sure would be nice if local pols would think things through before shutting down/ reopening etc. Counties don’t have legal authority to shut down the ICW. That authority belongs solely to the US Coast Guard Commandant in charge of each particular area and has never been ceded to states or their subdivisions.

The dockmaster here knows we picked this as a ‘harbor of refuge’ in case of a long stay and I’m quite sure he’ll be able to make that happen. This morning (Tues) I told him we’d stay at least a week. The next harbor that we’d consider as a good one if needing to hole up for a week or two is three days travel away. So it has relieved some stress to believe that we can stay here if needed or prudent.

This afternoon changed out the big Racor fuel filters on both engines. The old ones, changed only a week ago in Islamorada, were black! Will keep changing them frequently as long as they keep needing it. The new little shut off valves installed at the filter to prevent fuel from draining out of the line worked perfectly. Both engines started right up😁😄😅.

While traveling Saturday, the generator quit right after starting. I was sure that the genny Racor, which hadn’t been changed, had fouled. So troubleshot that this afternoon as well. The genny has a separate fuel line from the tank and it turns out with all the work done in Islamorada, that line was shut off and never turned back on. That filter was also dirty and now has been changed to a clean one and the fuel line opened. Primed the generator (easy to do as it has a 12v pump) and the ginny started right up. Great insurance policy, if marinas are not available, to anchor out and use the genny for power, air conditioning, cooking, etc.

Enjoyed a great homemade spaghetti dinner last night courtesy of the Instant Pot. One pot spaghetti sort of sounds bad to me but it honestly is the best I’ve ever had. The pasta while retaining its integrity is actually infused by the sauce. Have tried a number of different versions and I like the recipe at Salty Marshmallow the best.

Used some time here in Marineland to track down a little leak in the engine room. There was some water accumulation in the bilge area below the port engine. It was water, not coolant. Crew investigated and found a little trace of salt running down one of the new hoses. It was a hose carrying sea water to a cooler. The hose clamp needed tightening. Retightened it as well as all other clamps on both engines. Also pulled the sea water strainers from the air conditioning system, from both engines and from the generator and cleaned the mud, grass, shells and other debris from them and reinstalled. Below decks has never been better!

Also had a leak in the vacuflush bellows for the main stateroom head. It’s part of the middle system that pumps stuff from the head to the holding tank. So I took it apart and installed a new bellows from the onboard store of spare parts. Ordered new O rings for the install as well. A crappy job! No pictures of ..it will be posted🤪. It still leaked so the next day I tore it down again, found a couple of bolts not tightened enough against the O ring and fixed that. The system, as it’s name implies, is vacuum driven and the loosened bolts allowed air to bypass the O ring, enter the system (and let stuff out) and without sufficient vacuum levels, the pump kept running and the stuff kept flowing downhill. Now it is fixed right and working the way it should.

I already had a new vacuum generator in the “cart” on the internet so not having to order it saved $1250.00 plus install time. The forward head vacuum generator bellows also leaked a few months back in Marathon and I had it fixed be a repairman from a local boatyard. Total bill for that fix, including new $80 bellows/rings was $950.00 and there was still a small vacuum leak he couldn’t find (it has subsequently disappeared). $1,250 parts for a new system plus something close to $900. in labor meant fixing it myself was a worthwhile savings.

The first time I had the Racors changed, northbound in Savannah, the total for that, including parts and oil change, from a Cummins authorized svc center, was $1950.00. And for that, their svc rep used a wrench to tighten a ‘hand tighten’ spin on secondary filter which then 10 hours of use later split along the crease created by the wrench and dumped 40 gal of diesel in the bilge. That necessitated a tow which ended up in a heavy grounding with the towing boat. Results of that ‘professional‘ authorized svc center job? Pumping out and dumping 40 gal of diesel from the bilge, gallons of detergent and hours of cleaning the bilge, a mechanic to troubleshoot and fix the filter problem, and two props being pulled and fixed. In all, about $2,800. Having Mr. ‘no name’ mobile boat mechanic two weeks ago install the new shutoff valves at the Racors cost maybe $150.00 including marine grade parts which now enable us, without priming the engines, to change the filters ourselves. Figuring how and then ‘doing it yourself’ is worthwhile both in money and getting it done right.

Have done two Instacart shopping trips since arriving here. All the talk of Amazon and Instacart strikes, NC, MD and now SC and much of GA being off limits and marina closings reports pouring in everyday are a little spooky. Pretty much have 2-3 week food supply on board but time to augment with another couple of weeks. Even now, somethings are hard to get. Soups, canned vegetables, canned meats, noodles, ground beef (the stuff that has a long shelf life and that you can easily throw together into a casserole without thinking) are limited or not available. So I thought it might be interesting to tell you how we manage it.

Ordering online, I find, is more difficult and time consuming than in person. I’m a visual person and can visualize my pantry, zoom down every aisle and “see’ what I need. Rarely do I forget something. Online, I don’t find the organization to be intuitive or even if it is, I don’t trust it. So I’ve learned to write my handwriting list as I go and hand it over to my crew to be done online. The boat is basically, for food purposes, divided into 3 areas.

First is the galley and fridge/freezer space. It is for food to be used in the near foreseeable future and for refrigerated items. Included in the first area is the port side of the outside cockpit for cases of water and soda. Second is the lower bunk in the third stateroom. It is the storage area for foodstuff that can be immediately ready for moving to the first space or for use. Food in this area is “clean”, that is it has been there long enough that any virus present on packaging will have died, i.e., it’s been on the boat for at least 72 hours before moving to immediate use status. The third area is the upper bunk in the third stateroom and the starboard side of the cockpit. That third area is the quarantine area where newly purchased food, water and soda, will sit for 72 hours for any virus present will die.

Any food purchased that is needed immediately or has to be refrigerated/frozen is taken out of the plastic bags on the dock and each can, package of bacon or whatever is wiped down on all sides before coming aboard and being put away. The empty plastic grocery bags from those items are segregated from the boat’s bag supply for 72 hrs. The dock cart used to bring the groceries from the shoppers vehicle to the boat is also wiped with soapy water before use and hands are gloved. Both myself and crew would be considered ‘high risk’ and see no reason to have these items which have been handled who knows how many times in a store and in a shoppers care come on the boat without some cleaning or thought.

You also have to deal with shortages. The last shop there was no ground beef available, a staple for so much. So a quick flip to buying prepackaged hamburger patties is a good substitute. Patties for burgers or combine a few to make 1.5# of ground beef for spaghetti or tacos. No canned chicken breast on the shelves. So had the shopper buy 5# of fresh chicken breasts which, after seasoning, went into the InstaPot to make some bags of chicken for casseroles or for making sandwiches.

The last few days have been very very quiet. Maybe see a person every 3-4 hours. Cones with yellow tape guard access to the dock. Access not denied but it’s an ever present reminder of “do you really need to get off your boat” etc. Glad to watch the market begin to bounce back (it’s nice to have satellite TV). Thinking of staying through mid week, like maybe to April 1st or so. More marinas ahead (north) have been reported as closed or closing. Working on getting a slip at another safe marina for a month a little further north. Should know 3/30/20.

Back to Very Familiar Territory

Again a pretty strong wind out of the East today so no running on the outside. At this point though the FL ICW isn’t too bad. There were probably 15 bridges today but only one required opening. The rest could be passed without waiting – just a brief slowdown as bridges are always “no wake’ zones. It was a nice sunny day with many sections of the ICW where I could just set the auto pilot and sit. There is less concentration of housing at this point but what there is is very nice to look at. Left before 9 am and ended at 4:30 pm including a half hour wait at the fuel dock for boats ahead of me. Took on 409 gallons of diesel. The Middle East oil war with Russia is paying dividends. Fuel was down to $2.15/gal. There was one fuel dock in Ft Lauderdale that was down to $1.89 for diesel but I didn’t want to make a separate special stop.

Have traveled 150 miles so far since leaving Marathon and just passed ICW S M 970 so there’s 970 more miles to Norfolk (S M 00). The intention is to go some distance north of Norfolk In the Chesapeake to find a location for marketing the boat this summer.

Jupiter lighthouse
Jensen Beach
DAY’S END

On to Riviera Beach, FL

A relatively hard day. A definitely tiring day. Have I said before that boating is hard tiring work? Today was only 42 nm but it took nearly 7 hours. Didn’t do an actual count but had to pass under at least 20-25 bridges today and 1/2- 2/3 had less clearance than the 21.5’ I need. That means they need to lift for me. They are for the most part “timed” for a specific non specified speed. Some bridges open on the half hour and on the hour while others open on the 1/4 and 3/4 hours and there was one that open every twenty minutes and the lowest one, a 10’ clearance if I remember, opened on demand. But you have to call the bridge operator and request an opening or it may not happen. So the exercise is to check the charts for the next bridge for which you will need an opening, then calculate how far away it is from your current position, check the charts to see it’s opening schedule and then you can calculate what your average speed needs to be in order to arrive at bridge opening time.

Problem is you can’t count on boat traffic that might slow you down. The ICW is quite narrow and the channel can be even more narrow. A boat in fron of you out ‘for a Sunday drive’ with oncoming traffic may mean you can’t pass. You are stuck. Then there are the slow No Wake zones past marinas, slow manatee zones, bridges you can clear but the zone before and after is “idle speed”. For probably a half dozen openings I had a ‘pack’ of sailboats about mile behind and strung out another half mile. So I’d arrive ‘on time’ for an opening but the sailboats would be late and the bridge operator seeing 4 boats coming a mile away would decide to wait on opening till the first arrived. So now if the next bridge is 1/2 hour away, you’ve only got 25 minutes to get there. That would be fine if the next bridge operator was also a soft touch but odds are it is a bridge operator Mussolini trained. It is a real PITA to miss an opening and have to hold position in front of a bridge for a half hour. Likewise it’s a pain to hurry and arrive 10 minutes early and have to hold in place for 10 minutes. Best to have your between bridge plan calculated accurately and executed well. When trying to make time, it’s a little stressful as is holding your position in the wind and current. It nice now that the worst is behind as there are fewer bridge crossings from the mainland to the barrier islands as populations diminish.

This video is really slow but shows a fairly typical scene north of Ft Lauderdale
This private marina is on the south side of the ocean inlet in Riviera Beach. It is full. Note that the white hulled yacht at the end of the video is actually in the ICW and is rafted off an even bigger yacht that is at the dock.

Also note the marina I am in is immediately north of the same inlet and it is a municipal marina. None of these pictured yachts could squeeze into the municipal marina even with a shoehorn.
The private marina is so full that this poor fellow had to anchor out with all the sailboats that don’t want to pay marina fees. Guessing its slip fee in a marina would be about $1,000 per night plus electricity and water at a substantial rate.
Made the reservation by phone this morning and 10 minutes later this photo and message was texted to me showing the channel marker at the marina entrance and directions to my assigned slip. It’s nice since it tells me in advance that if I stern into the slip, the finger pier will be on the starboard side and therefore the primary tie will be a starboard tie. Their message also included an advisory that the ICW current runs thru the marina (no breakwalls). That gives me a chance before entering the confines of a strange marina to stand off at slow to no speed to see how the current will affect my docking. I think I remember two other marinas that had their act together like this. Marlin Bay and I think one in GA. Then there were marinas like Bill Bird in Miami that didn’t have even one staffer who could tell which side the finger piers were on or actually, in their case, tried to put a 15’ beam boat in a 14’ wide slip.
Step off the docks at Riviera Beach onto a nice shopping promenade. This picture was taken on the South in mid-December. Today, due to corona virus restrictions, it’s pretty much closed.
One of the things I like to watch are reflections. In Ft Lauderdale, in particular, there are many modern home with acres of plate glass windows facing the ICW. Here you can see the reflection of Last Resort passing by.