Started day: mile marker 1031
Ended day: mile marker 1064
Last night we had a discussion with some friends that are local to this area, the Sailing Jasons (both sailors are named Jason!) on S/V Moondance. They were concerned about us traveling this part of the ICW on a Saturday as it gets VERY busy and is very narrow, shallow and wakey. Plus we have 15 low bridges to traverse.
We decided to leave really early since it was Saturday and hopefully get a head start on most of the traffic. Also, the day was a little rainy, so that might also be in our favor and keep the traffic down.
We pulled out of our anchorage at 6:50am (Dec 18th, Saturday) and traversed almost all the bridges before things got crazy. There was much more traffic the last few bridges and the wind was causing quite a bit of current and wake in the ICW which was very narrow now. We finally made it to Fort Lauderdale around 1pm and were so happy to anchor after such a nerve racking morning.
The plan was to anchor on the south-west side of the 15th bridge (Las Olas Bridge). It was the old mooring field. We had trouble setting the anchor and it was very shallow. In addition, there were several derelict boats here which made us nervous. With great reluctance we pulled up the anchor and went back through the 15th bridge traveling north up the ICW trying to decide where we should anchor. The wind was really picking up and so was traffic. Plus there were party boats and water taxis all over the place.
The New River Sound was just north of the Las Olas bridge and there was enough depth and some space for us to anchor here. It seemed a bit exposed but honestly we were tired and Stew’s back was screaming, so this had to be it for the night. We got ourselves anchored and ice on Stew’s back by 2:00.
Our new friends, the Sailing Jasons, decided to use their dinghy to come and meet us. We had not yet met face to face, only online, and we were very happy to finally meet them. They are docked on their boat Moondance up one of the Fort Lauderdale canals. They moved aboard in October and spend most their hours (outside of work) preparing Moondance to leave the dock and sail permanently. We struck up a friendship online through our facebook page and have been texting our entire trip south. It was nice to finally meet them in person.
They stayed about an hour and then had to get back to their boat as it was getting dark and a storm was coming. They invited us to come up on Sunday to shower, do laundry, and provisioning (they have a car). That sounded great to us!!