Sunday, July 9, 2017

July 4th. 2017

July 4th. 2017 - HISC Cruise 

After working at cleaning the hull for over a week and not feeling ashamed at how grotty our boat looked, we loaded her up for the short trip down to Bahia Mar for the 2017 HISC Independence Day Cruise.

Saturday we left the slip around 3pm and arrived without incident at Bahia Mar by 4pm as planned. From our previous arrivals there and recent arrival at the Big Game Marina in Bimini, we were a lot more prepared to make a Pro arrival. We prepped the boat with lines ready at the Bow and Stern and Amidships on both sides of the boat, fenders ready to deploy and a note pad to write down the Slip position during the radio call to the Bahia Mar. 

We were designated to Slip H828 which is in the North Basin, Eastern most dock facing A1A port side to when tied up aft end in.

When we arrived, we could see Esprit Du Vent, Bob & Pat's boat already tied upon the next dock. Plan was to dine out with Pat, Bob, Pierre and Åsa of Charity. Dinner was at the B just over the street on the East side of A1A.

Pat led me to the Mermaid Show while Bob & Peggy confirmed the reservation. Once Pierre & Åsa arrived, we sat down for a delicious dinner. I'll add 'Two Beet Salad' to my list of favorite dinners.

Pierre & Åsa returned home after the dinner as they live just about 10 minutes away from the Bahia Mar and they planned to bring their boat to the dock on Sunday.

Sunday we went out for a day sail on Eximius with Pat & Bob, just cruising around outside of the Port Everglades channel. Not a lot of wind, but hey, we had nowhere to go in a hurry and it was a beautiful day on the water.  And sometimes it's really worthwhile just to sit back and enjoy, relax and let the Autohelm do it's thing.

Back at the Dock, Peggy took a bunch of pics as club boats started to fill in the empty slips. We ended up with about a dozen club boats, another dozen boats from the Seabird power boat club, and probably over 100 boats around the marina. 

The Bahia Mar was having a problem with the marina bathrooms and showers and they were all closed off for repairs. The hotel provided a room that we could use for showers, but it was not very well managed. Peggy & I waited 45 minutes for the room to become vacant and were then told that the current occupants would be at least another hour! We didn't make a fuss, why spoil our mood, and so we returned to our boat to have a shower on board. Several other club members commented on the poor state of the room when they were able to use it. Good idea but bad implementation.

Bahia Mar was not the only one having a problem! Our AC quit and in the Florida Sun in July that's no fun! After our experience in Bimini last month, I figured the problem was a blocked raw water supply line and that was it. So, using a a hose spout, I back flowed water through the Raw Water system and was able to clear the blockage. We need to do something about that. Joe - Rhapsody, told me about Barnacle Buster and I was able to order some online for pickup at the local West Marine Store. So I have job 1 for when we get back to the slip. The AC required back washing several times over the weekend, but at least it kept us cool over night which was really important in this heat.

We dined on board Sunday & Monday, just being a bit frugal as dining out tends to hit $100 most nights. But that meant we had the chance to chat with many of the other Club members which is always a treat. We learnt about things to do in places that we plan on visiting later this year. In particular, we sat aboard Diversion and had the chance to grill Bob & Joyce about their cruise up to St. Augustine. We're going there in a couple of weeks to celebrate Peggy's birthday and later this year we plan on sailing up there. Getting that kind of personal experience is a huge plus and stories of their adventures are always worth while.

Tuesday, July 4th arrived. I got up and made coffee & breakfast then dressed ship! Ironically, Eximius was the only boat in the marina that was dressed up for the 4th. Come on guys! It reminded me of the time we were in France aboard a Destroyer alongside an American ship and one of our Petty Officers took a tray of Tea over to the US Skipper - great sense of humor on both sides of the dock and both sides of The Pond.

Later that day we helped with the setup of the Celebration at the Skippers room at Bahia Mar, most of the work was done by the Host boat crews - Bob & Pat, Pierre & Åsa. They must have been exhausted with the number of balloons they had to inflate.
Food & Drinks started to arrive around 4:45pm (remember the HISC Cruising rule - Get there early - Get there Hungry & get there sober!). Bob & Pat had set up their Jeopardy game, the Jenga blocks were ready to grab the attention of the first players and the Billiards table was just crying out for someone to setup the balls and prove how skillful they thought they really were!

The Seabird club guys started to arrive, kids, adults, everyone just joined in the fun. Food - Fantastic! everything from Salads to Hams, Beans to Pulled Pork, Coffee to Vodka, and, oh! those deserts by Pat Schuldenfrei! 

Peggy took a bundle of pics and I have posted them on the HISC smug mug site (visit hisc.org to find the link) and I also put them in a video clip.




Tuesday night the Fireworks were just off Fort Lauderdale Beach. Several of the club members went down to the beach - not our thing - We just walked to the end of H dock and the end of the T pier where we had a great view of the 30 minute awesome Fireworks Display in company with Bob & Joyce Tiger - Diversion.

Wednesday morning it was time to take the flags down, assist some of the club members with departure from the Bahia Mar and then, finally, for us to cast off. We're getting better at doing this and managed to leave the dock without so much as a puff of smoke from our Diesel.

We headed out behind Jeff & Janice - Cheshire, Joe & Barbara - Rhapsody, Bob & Joyce - Diversion as everyone else was leaving early. We were the last ones to leave the dock. Motoring under 17th Street bridge into the turning basin, we raised our sails and headed out of the Port Everglades Channel. The wind was from the East, so we furled the Jib and motored out to the outer marker, then letting the jib fly, we turned to the South East leaving the Port behind us.

We set our sails for a SE course and headed out for a relaxed sail. The weather decided to go dark to the South of us, so we turned back towards the North, with the Gulf Stream and flew up past the Everglades entrance. On the radio, we heard Cheshire  &  Pegasus call each other as they approached the Hillsboro Inlet to the North of us. By that time, I'm sure that Pierre & Åsa  were already tied up at their dock just North of Bahia Mar.

We missed the dark weather as it turned and passed over Hollywood to the South West of us. So we did a lazy run back into Port Everglades with the wind behind us and barely making 4 knots, which was fine as we need to time our arrival at the slip to be at least 2 hours after low tide.

Ambling back under the bridges was easy, we only had to turn a couple of doughnuts before 7th Avenue Bridge to await the opening, simply because we were not in a hurry and didn't need to rush after the boat ahead of us to get through the bridges.

We called 11th Avenue Bridge - Mary was on duty - and it opened. We motored through but then had nearly an hour to kill before getting back to the dock. So we dropped anchor just West of the bridge and had a late lunch of Snackables. Come 16:30 we pulled anchor and slowly approached our slip without incident.

It took us about an hour thirty to pack up our bags, move the food to the coolers and cart if all to the truck. We also moved a couple of Palm Tree fronds that had dropped into the yard / canal rather than leave them to rot. Then we took the drive home.

A relaxed weekend but we were still exhausted! Go figure! Now we're already looking forward to next year - not sure if it will be at the Bahia Mar, but things can change a lot in a year.

Now, well, we're planning our trip to St Augustine in a few weeks to celebrate Peggy's Birthday, that should be a great trip and we hope to check out the city marina with the intent of sailing up there later this year.

Time to fix a few more things on the boat - It's just fun to sail, to motor and to fix!

See you on the Water.

Paul & Peggy