Monday, March 14, 2011

Hypoluxo – At Palm Beach Yacht Center

One of the 16 bridges that had to open for us today
We had 16 bridges today! I’m reminded of the song, “16 Tons” by Tennessee Ernie Ford and if you remember that, you’re showing your age. At each bridge, you called the bridge tender on channel 9 and he opened the bridge according to his schedule. Some were every 30 minutes starting at the top of the hour and some starting at 15 minutes past the hour. A few were every 20 minutes and the best ones opened on demand when you got there. If you could maintain 7 kts, then you could make all the bridges without having to wait. The selection of whether the bridge opened at the top of the hour or 15 minutes past seemed to depend on the distance between the bridges, sort of like timed stop lights along a major road. Once you got in sync, you could almost go nonstop – provided you could do 7 kts. “16Tons” kept playing in my head as we passed all those bridges. We started at 8:45 and reached the Palm Beach Yacht Center by 2:00. By the way, the scrubbing the diver did of the bottom of the boat seemed to have helped our boat speed but I’ll need a current free stretch to really find out. I still don’t think it’s entirely back to normal.

A winter house?
Along the way we passed mansion after mansion – each one trying to outdo the other. Strangely, most of them looked vacant and a good percentage had For Sale signs posted. After awhile, it became, “Oh look there, another mansion, oh hum”

Oh Look, another mansion...

Joe Mastri, our friend from the yacht club back home (he winters over in Florida), met us at the yacht center and we went out for dinner at the Banana Boat. We went to the restaurant at 5:00 figuring that it was early enough to be ahead of the crowd, besides, it was a Monday night. However, the place was packed. It was nothing like Ft. Lauderdale in the average age of the clientele which probably plays into the advanced hour of eating. When we left there were lots of empty tables.

In all our travels we still haven’t seen a manatee! We’re heard reports of sightings and warnings about manatees ahead but nary a one have we spotted. They are supposed to be around in the 100’s, perhaps tomorrow.