Sunday, December 4, 2011

Isle of Venice

If I was asked to describe Fort Lauderdale in one word, I'd have to choose "Venice". I never would have thought that would be the word of choice to describe a place in Florida, but it's true. Fort Lauderdale is an intricate system of canals, waterways and bridges that run up and down the whole city. Beautiful, multi-million dollar homes, yachts and sailboats line these canals, making it even more impressive!

We've been here now for over a week and have been staying at a small dock in one of the canals, where we've been able to work on repairs, outfit and provision our boat before crossing over to the Bahamas. The road leading here is named Isle of Venice (how fitting)!

It's an amazing location, sooo much better than an actual marina for many reasons. First, it's way cheaper, only $150 for the week and that includes the pools, bbq grill, shower and laundry facilities. Second, every single person at this dock is friendly, willing to offer a helping hand, and provide advice or spare parts to help us get ready for our voyage. Some are also heading South, others live on their boat, but will not be traveling this season, but all of them have great stories and advice and are fun to be around. And last but not least, we have some of the best hosts in all of Fort Lauderdale here (Justin & Will) who have taken us on countless trips to West Marine, let us use Port Supply (big savings), helped us with projects on the boat, driven us to the grocery store numerous times, and shared dinners with us in the evenings. Of all places to be preparing a boat, this is it! Plus we are not stuck out in an anchorage where I can not get to shore to go for a run and release some of my bottled up energy!

On a side note, my first experience running in Fort Lauderdale almost got me arrested! Only our second day here. We had anchored for two nights at Lake Sylvia and Mike and Justin were planning to take the dingy carburetor apart to try and diagnose it's problem, I decided to go for a run. So, I had Mike drop me off at a small bridge on the canal and I got off and ran for an hour. It was a great run, hot and humid, but it felt good to move my legs again after 5 days of traveling on a 32 foot boat and not much shore leave.
Anyways, I was waiting at my drop off point to be picked up and all of a sudden a cop car backed up with her lights on and began asking me for my name and information. I was a little confused, "Is it illegal to run in this town?". I gave her my name, well my maiden name, that's not really a lie, right? And she gave me a warning and went on her way.

In the meantime, I'm wondering if she's going to write me a ticket or take me in. I hope not, that would really ruin my day and my great run. I tell her I'm from out of town and didn't realize this was not a spot to get onto land, I just wanted to go for a run, geez! Finally, she rolls away and Mike returns on the dingy, which he had turned around when he saw the cop. What was he planning on doing? Let me get arrested? At least I could have called him for my one phone call! Thankfully I made it back to the boat, but it's nice to be at a dock slip now where I won't get arrested when trying to get onto land to run. Who would have known you could get in trouble by trying to stay in shape! Well, it was worth it!

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