Sunday, January 9, 2011

Fort Lauderdale – 16 bridges along the way (that had to be raised)!

Typical summer house on the ICW
There is a rhythm to the bridges. We found that if you can do 7 kts (and sometimes 7.3) then you can hit the bridge openings without having to wait. The bridges that open on the hour and ½ hour are followed by ones that open on 15 before and after the hour if they are close together. The most we ever waited was 10 minutes on two bridges. Most of the time we were within 5 minutes of the scheduled opening and several times we never even had to slow down. All in all, the 16 bridges added about ½ hour to our total trip time. If your top speed was 6.5 kts, you would do a lot of waiting at bridges.

However, the traffic was terrific! It was a sunny, Sunday day and the ICW was packed with “Sunday drivers”. We were “bumper to bumper” by the inlets but it seemed to be ordered chaos. We took a City of Fort Lauderdale mooring by the ICW and was surprised to find it very calm, we expected wakes but it’s right by a bridge and it’s in a no wake zone.

We took a walk to the beach which is only two blocks away and it was also packed. After all, it was 77 out with full sun, it felt like summer. Lots of young people were out and the bars were hopping. We returned to Fleetwing and watched the sun set over the palm trees before having hamburgers for dinner.

On Monday we go outside to Miami. We can’t continue down the ICW since there is one bridge by Miami which is 56 feet high instead of the ICW standard of 65 feet. With that we’ll sail down the coast and reenter the ICW just south of Miami and anchor for the night. It’s supposed to be in the 70’s again with lots of sun, hard to take.