Sunday, February 7, 2016

6. It's Not All Sunsets & Cocktails

    Cooley's Landing - Ft Lauderdale, FL

We’ve had such an amazing time in Ft Lauderdale.  Our beautiful sail from Lake Worth wrapped up with and exciting trip up the New River to our new marina home at Cooley’s Landing.  The shores were lined with amazing homes and equally amazing yachts.  The girls had a blast calling "dibs" on each of the houses they liked most.  The girls & I were thoroughly enjoying ourselves as Andrew white knuckled it to keep her in the channel and out of the path of approaching boats.  Nothing is more nerve racking than meeting a 100’ yacht at a hairpin curve on a channel about 40’ wide.  Luckily my boy executed it marvelously, we even got into our tricky slip with no issues.  
    School in Ft Lauderdale

The river traffic is unparalleled.  
We watch millions of dollars of boats be towed by our slip daily from the boat yards up river down to the ocean inlet.  
    They have tow boats on front and back to help them navigate the tight channel.
One of the larger vessels waked the marina so hard that one of the pilings we were tied to, collapsed.  That was way more excitement than we had expected during our first sundown.  All hands were on deck to carefully float us out and back into the next slip over, where we have settled in nicely.  

Ft Lauderdale offers lots of support to the cruising community via shops and resources - Sailorman-buy/sell/trade/consignment, McDonald’s Hardware-every fastner known to man & the largest West Marine in the states :)  
    Sailorman's mascot - Mockie
We have frequented the local marine parts shops stocking up on everything from new davits to lift our dinghy, a manual windlass to help lift the anchor, 160’ of new 5/16” chain for all new ground tackle, and trying to find a new anchor roller for our new to us Rocna 22, to name a few.  
It has been a productive week!

It hasn't all been hard work.  The girls have enjoyed all the various animal life that passes our way.  
    Guys pulling in blue crabs on the dock.
Lots of manatees, iguanas, ducks and dogs.  We’ve met lots of fellow cruisers and have enjoyed touring different kinds of boats and exchanging stories and plans.  We are a short walk up the river from a park that has had little festivals with entertainment each weekend and we’ve also taken advantage of some great restaurants within walking or dinghy distance.  
    Cloggers at the Arts Fest
    Sky representing for Scott Jones School of Dance when she was pulled on stage :)
    Went back to get a little stage time of our own.

Here is where our week takes a dive.  We headed out to dinner with some of our new friends, Matt & Bonnie and took their dog, Goose, along for the walk.  We had a great night chatting it up and enjoying an awesome local dive.  On our way home we stopped at a park that they have frequented to let Goose run.  He got away from the group, crossed the street and on his way back was hit by a car that was going too fast to notice he was there.  It was horrible, something I would have wished never for my girls to witness and experience.  Not only was losing Goose devastating but watching our new friends mourn the loss and not even knowing how best to comfort them was even harder.  It was a long night with lots of tears.  
And that’s all I have to say about that.
    We love you, Goose.
The next day we headed to the Museum of Science & Discovery to stay busy and distracted.  It was a great museum with lots of hands on activities for the whole family.  Sky even got to participate in a local survey of how senses affect a student’s ability to retain info learned at displays.  It was great to watch her little brain work!    
    Mad Scientists
Sending up smoke signals.    

It has been an amazing week that ended on a difficult note, but sometimes that's just how life is!

Things learned this week:
This is the new normal.  It has taken 6 weeks but I think we've found our groove.  As the projects wrap up and we move closer to what an average day will hold, everyone is seeming to thrive.  The only short-coming is that Sky could use a little more interaction :)  Anytime we meet someone new, she talks their leg off!  Can't wait to meet up with some kid boats.
We make a strong team.  Whether boat demands or life demands, we pull together to get through and make things happen.  Each one of us brings different strengths to the table but it's only as a team that we truly shine.

We are heading back to Jax for the last time this week.  We have lots of loose ends to tie up as quickly as possible.  Our first possible weather window to head to Bimini is forecasted for a week from Tuesday.  
Stay tuned to see if we can get it all done.


  1. Oh my - you've got me smiling from your stories of great adventure and crying from loosing a new "best friend" - yes, that's how life goes. But our prayers are with you always, and for those you meet along your journey. Love you all so very much!

  2. What a terrible tragedy, losing Goose. My worst nightmare. Love your post - I guess the good and the bad, which is what life is made up of, after all.

  3. We are enjoying your journey along with you! Thanks to Mary for posting so we can enjoy and pray with you for your strength and protection!

  4. Always a joy to read your stories, see your photos, and see your list of things learned.
    Thank you for keeping this going, Summer.

  5. Great to keep up on your adventures. Thanks for posting non-FB. Travel safe. Love you and your family Brother. MEH et all.

  6. Great to keep up on your adventures. Thanks for posting non-FB. Travel safe. Love you and your family Brother. MEH et all.