The rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated!
I unloaded from Dockwise Yacht Transport on 24 April. There were three poweboats with dead batteries, which had to be towed off. So Joey and I motored late up to Bahia Mar Marina and sought sanctuary between a populaion of over-200' megayachts! There is waaaay too much money in Fort Lauderdale! Arriving just before nightfall, the dockmaster put us on the fuel dock for the night. After tying up, filling the water tanks, a hot shower and getting ready for bed, we were startled around 1030 pm by a HUGE (again over 200') dinner cruise boat with a VERY loud horn and VERY bright floodlight, the captain of which informed me I was tied up right where he usually disembarks his passengers; we would have to move the boat! We did, he did, and back to bed. We moved to a slip the next morning and began cleaning up the boat and moving back on board.
I noticed some damage on the port side forward - some serious scuffing in the Awl/grip paint. When I confronted Dockwise with this, they referred me back to the original contract, whch said they have a $5,000 deductible - that reads to me that their insurance company doesn't pay out under that figure. It reads to them that Dockwise can do up to $5,000 worth of damage to your boat, with no responsibility. My insurance company ensured me it read that I was covered, so they won't pay it either. When I get to the Chesapeake, I'm changing my insurance company and warning all boaters against Dockwise Yacht Transport. Now I'm engaging a Florida Maritime Lawyer to pursue damages.
Check Out the Slide Show HereMy older brother Dixon came down on 5 May from Unionville, Pennsylvania, to help me up the ICW for five days and we departed Fort Lauderdale the next morning. We went outside from Ft. Lauderdale to Palm Beach. After a good walk for Joey (and our legs too) and a night in a Marina, we went back outside to Fort Pierce. The instruments crapped out leaving Fort Pierce, so no knotlog, windspeed, or DEPTH guage! From there, we motored up the ICW at a decent pace; making 60-70 miles each day and tucking into a marina each night. It was an idyllic experience, and wonderful having a few days to re-bond with a brother I haven't been alone with in many years. We covered almost every topic possible, and renewed a special bond. I wish my other brother David could have been with us.
Let's see ... I ran aground on sand bars at least twice, maybe three times; Dickie almost twice - faster reflexes! Somewhere offshore between Fort Lauderdale and Fort Pierce, we were boarded by the biggest damned dragonfly I have ever seen! It bounced off my head, and landed down below. Using the boat hook, I placed a pot lid over it (yes,I hate bugs), slid a glossy chart under it and set the B-52 bug free. In the photo, the round item next to it is a quarter!
I'm in Saint Augustine now. Dixon left yesterday to resume the grind, and renew is company of his sons and wife again. I cherish the opportunity to spend time with him again; he may come back in a week or two with his sons - that would be way cool; but if I find crew before then, I'll continue North. I have come to realize though it's eay to motor up the ICW, doing so along imposes some problems: if Joey were to fall overboard, what could I do, while drifting in a channel with a current? How to go to the bathroom, or make lunch, or even pore over the charts, when making decicions about the route and distance? So, I'll do this in short legs, waiting for crew along the way; possibly buying a delivery skipper, if it takes too long. In the meantime, Saint Augustine, being the oldest city in the U.S. is a pretty cool place to hang out for a while; cleaning th boat and stretching our legs.
More to come as the adventue continues ... Sam
(somewhere along the ICW) Sam Thayer