Erik, Sparky and I took off in the early morning hours for the 950-mile, 15-hour drive to Ft. Lauderdale. The only part of that drive that was enjoyable was the fact it was over. Honestly, I’m a bit of a princess when it comes to car rides. I get bored easily, very sleepy, and incredibly uncomfortable.
To make his princess happy, Erik set up our 3” exercise mat in the cargo area of the SUV with two yoga mats, nice cushy blankets, and memory foam pillows for me and the puppy to languish on. As Erik navigated through the SouthEast and into Florida, through torrential rain that’s been hammering the East Coast, I was happily napping and catching up on my Netflix downloads. Talk about Netflix and Chill! Which is why we are keeping our SUV when we move aboard and will store it at Erik’s Mom and Stepdad’s house when we leave for the Bahamas.
At one point during the trip, Sparky decided he just had to rest his sleepy head on my water glass, tongue-a-drooling. That’s the thing about our puppies, we let them do things we wouldn’t let our kids do. Spoiled rotten but cute as hell dog!
Since Sparky can’t do the sea trial with us, we decided to stop in at Erik’s Dad’s house in Palm Coast, FL to drop the pooch on their porch. Just kidding, we stayed the night, had a fabulous meal (thanks Paulette!), got the dog settled, and then we continued on for the last 4 hours, finally arriving near dinner time on Sunday.
“When in Rome” comes to mind when you visit other cities, states, and countries. In this case, we decided to eat what the locals eat, and in South Florida, you guessed it – something spicy. We went to TacoCraft, and was delighted with that choice. We started off with a couple artisanal (do we still say that) shots of Tequila, followed by a variety of tacos. I highly recommend this place if you’re in the Ft. Lauderdale area.
After a decent night’s sleep at our cheap hotel, we met our yacht broker for breakfast and set out for the boat. Pascal, the current owner, was already there getting her ready to sail when we arrived, and after a few minutes of introductions, we all felt very at ease with one another. It took about 30 minutes to get to the marina where she was scheduled for her haul out and survey and during that time, Pascal immediately put both Erik and I to work learning our new boat.
Erik got a crash course in her hybrid drives, systems, and just about everything else his inquiring mind wanted to know, and I learned what NOT to do. Two “pro-tips” to share:
- If the cleat angles OUT, don’t toss your line on it – or you’ll (e.g. me) fall on your ass. Hard.
- When getting a call from a doctor with test results, while navigating through choppy water, tell your caller to hold, put your phone in your pocket, and then carefully walk down the steps into the cockpit – or you’ll (e.g. me) slip down the stairs and fall on your ass. Hard.
While we were entering the area where we hauled out, we saw S/V Uma and I seriously had a “fan-girl” moment. Click-click-click went the camera – and my eyes were searching for Dan and Kika. As the day wore on, we sort of stalked the dock to see if they were working on their refit from Just Catamarans. It must be noted that we took a picture of their flip flops that were just outside their boat. Yes, we felt like stalkers, but these 2 kids have led an amazingly uncomplicated life the last couple years and we felt the moment deserved the photo-documented accolade.
It was a crazy day – from the 100+ degree weather when the sun shone, to the lightning strikes while Erik was climbing the mast. The churn-n-burn at the entry to the Atlantic from the channel at Las Olas, to the 1 knot wind trying to sail. They say you cannot force mother nature to comply to your plans. I guess I got a crash course in that reality this week.
The survey proved what a fine girl our Catamaran is – in fact, she’s “above average”. This doesn’t surprise me considering the care Pascal has given her. We are going to be happy to own, care for, and protect this little girl. And we will call her Music & Lyrics. We can’t wait for what’s coming next.