From Lake Worth to our destination in Miami was 75 miles. We had been averaging between 40-55 miles per day. Friends had informed us that between Lake Worth and Miami it would get interesting finding an overnight anchorage (local laws allow for it, but municipalities can be pesky toward anchored boaters). We looked into marina dockage in Ft. Lauderdale, but the only space available was a "first come; first served" spot at a fuel dock for $240/night). These logistical findings prompted us to set our alarm clocks for 5am and to go for Miami in one day (vs. two).
Our strategy was a good one, but did encounter a few glitches. On the first three bridges, we lost 1.5 hours waiting on openings. Just before the fourth bridge we experienced a lack of power. Zion and I took the wheel while Kyle looked into the situation. The swift current brought us toward the bridge so we ended up anchoring on the side of the channel for about half an hour. He changed the fuel filter and bled the lines which resolved the power issue!
As Kyle pulled in the anchor, I called the bridge tender and hopped in the queue to await the next opening. I was the first southbound vessel in line, but after about 10-15 minutes I quickly relinquished my spot to an enormous vessel in tow.
We ended up buddying up with the towing entourage as they received bridge openings on demand upon EVERY request (even though most all bridges were on scheduled openings). Kyle figured it would save us time if we stuck with them so we travelled together all the way to Ft. Lauderdale!
The guidebook indicated that Fort Lauderdale is the Venice of North America and the boating capital of the world. This was very apparent as we cruised through. We attempted to capture some of what we saw of this water-centered world!
A big reason Kyle was highly considering crossing from Lake Worth was to avoid the "Bridge Hell." This long stretch of ICW with a ridiculous number of bridges (most of which do not open on demand) can create a lot of extra waiting. He started considering getting out on the ocean instead of continuing south via ICW. The next opportunity to exit the ICW was Fort Lauderdale. After crossing under 21 bridges, we made the decision to go out on the open water where we could likely sail-assist the motor (making better time) and gain more real ocean travel experience (more on that adventure in the next post)! Some of the coolest bridges we saw are pictured below!
After Lauderdale, we exited the ICW and continued south to Miami. Kyle detailed out Our First Ocean Outing in the next post, but in summary, we made it Biscayne Bay (south of Miami) as the sun was setting and just in time to get a glimpse of Stiltsville!
We anchored and inflated the dinghy in order to be prepared for our commute to shore the next morning.