Saturday, April 28, 2012


Fort Lauderdale, FL

The New River in Fort Lauderdale meanders way inland. It's a beautiful trek amongst gorgeous houses with amazing boats tied up behind them.

It's a pretty narrow creek in some spots, even without being lined by docked boats on each side, and it's heavily trafficked by large boats.
The Jungle Queen, she moves fast.
Add to this a swift current and drawbridges, you have a pretty entertaining flume ride.

Sometimes the bridges open right away when you hail them; sometimes they make you wait. When we were headed up the creek, the railroad bridge which is 'usually open' was, in fact, closed, which required a quick tie-up to the water taxi dock to wait for the opening.

We spent three nights at Lauderdale Marine Center (a great spot and only 80 cents a foot) but decided to head back downstream for the weekend. We left the marina slip yesterday at slack tide, removing at least one factor from the excitement. However, slack tide on the New River = Rush hour. Turns out everyone that needed to move a big boat was underway at the same time.

The big boats kept warning of their locations on the VHF. Unfortunately for us, they were using references only locals would know.

"This is motoryacht Lukousaurus moving upriver near the girls school. Standing by on 09 for concerned traffic."

Where the heck is the girls school?

We cleared the first bridge before becoming concerned traffic. As we came to one of the narrowest parts, we saw towboats pulling a large yacht toward us. We crept as close as we could to the starboard side of the creek, right up against the pilings, lines at the ready in case we had to tie up. I ran for the camera.

I snapped this picture just after the guy on the cell phone waved at me. Once the boat passed, my jaw dropped, and Chip, whose sole focus had been keeping us off the pilings, (not me taking pictures) started shouting, "GET THE CAMERA!"

Blue Guitar is Eric Clapton's motoryacht, a nice, classy contrast to Spielberg's boat.

I went dashing back to the cockpit, frantically zooming in to see who just waved to me from on deck.

Alas, it was not The Man.

About that time, apparently Lukousaurus had cleared the girls school. We came around a hairpin turn to this:

Fortunately he saw us coming and slowed down until we hugged the far side.

And then hauled ass around the turn.

William Marshall Bridge.

Gauntlet run. Safely anchored in time for a spectacular sunset.


  1. Wow that was an exciting post, I was riveted; I just read it aloud to the whole family! We can relate after today's trip! Ha.

    1. It's really intense, fun, but intense. Makes you appreciate open water!

      Welcome to Fort Lauderdale. Let's get together.........