Hello from Fort Lauderdale. This is definitely not Kansas, nor Maine. This is the most densely populated area of Florida, and there are A LOT of boaters here. Jeff Siegel tells me to expect less-than-friendly encounters around here, and I imagine that constant exposure to this many people, and this many boaters, could sour anyone on both.
Sunday morning we left our protected anchorage in North Palm Beach, pulling up anchor in a warm rain shower. We traveled a few miles, pulling off the ICW into the North Lake Worth anchorage (ICW mile 1014) where we dropped the hook for only an hour while I dinghied ashore to pick up some groceries. Then we continued south, through on-and-off rain, for 17 miles, to the Lantana anchorage near South Palm Beach (mile 1031). It was a so-so anchorage, near a park and a noisy restaurant, but we could land Riggs ashore. That's getting to be a challenge around here.
Today was absolutely gorgeous, sunny and in the 70's, so we spent the day on the Flying Bridge. Riggs spent much time watching homes glide by (some with dogs!), but occasionally ducks under the dash to catch some z's (see below). We were in the 'concrete canyon' area, where the ICW is bordered on both sides by vertical concrete seawalls, and every power-boat wake bounces from side to side and seems to never dissipate. Its good that this was not a weekend day. There were enough boats as it was.
We had several drawbridges to deal with. They open on various schedules: some on the hour and half hour, some at quarter past and quarter till, some every 20 minutes, and some every 15 minutes. If you maintain about 6 knots it all works like a well-timed series of stop-lights, and you don't have too wait too long for any one bridge.
We turned off the ICW in Fort Lauderdale at mile 1063, and headed up the Middle River for a half-mile, and again dropped anchor with a dozen or more beautiful homes looking at us. If we dinghy farther up river, under a low bridge, there is a park for Riggs.
A comment about speed limits: Around here you see many signs spelling out many rules, most apparently based on the prevalence of Manatees. Some areas are minimum speed - no wake, others are 25-35 mph max, and here in this anchorage, its minimum speed, unless you are pulling waterskiers. Go figure.
Tomorrow we will hit Miami!