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Trip Start Nov 06, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
En el anchoragio

Flag of United States  , Florida
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Though the air still was a bit chilly this morning, it wasn't long before the sun started to warm things up and it felt a bit more acceptable for Florida weather. By breakfast time, I was content to shed my gloves - which was great as I needed my dexterity to eat some delicious pancakes! Connor takes great pride in his pancake abilities, and I, for one, was quite impressed with the outcome. After a round of plain ones, he opted for apple almond, and they were phenomenal (with New Hampshire maple syrup!). It was a very nice start to the day.

More motoring today, what do you know? But the sun continued to heat us up, and long underwear could be ditched by lunch time - hopefully for good for a while! As we neared Palm Beach, we were once again in residential canals, with some pretty giant mansions, ridiculous docks, and big motorboats. As it is such a heavily inhabited area and the canal is quite narrow, we were once again confronted with a plethora of drawbridges. Luckily, in this stretch, it's like a serious business so the bridges operate (generally) on schedule, and they are sequenced so that you will have sufficient time to make it from one bridge opening to the next...mostly. Seeing as we're a sailboat, we don't quite have the engine speed capabilities as some of these yachts, so a few of the "sequences" haven't quite been generous enough for Hejira.

All along the Florida ICW, we have seen signs warning of "Manatee Zones." As is well known, manatees are constantly being injured or killed due to negligent motorists, but despite being in these zones, we had yet to see any. However today along the waterway we could see sections of water sort of "bubble" up, and you could tell that there was a cluster of a few manatees there - and then you would see their big sea cow backs surface before they dove back down. Not quite as majestic as the dolphins we've been seeing, but interesting to see nonetheless - though definitely worrisome when they surface so close to the vessel.

We stopped for a fuel up in Riviera Beach, just north of Palm Beach. There happened to be a family from Switzerland there with two young children, a girl of about nine and a boy of about four or five. Their grandparents live in Massachusetts, and that is where they went to get their sailboat. They have been traveling down the eastern seaboard and are planning to travel to the Bahamas. I asked the young girl (who is perfectly fluent in English, of course) if she missed Switzerland at all, and she very quickly told me she did not. Seems like a pretty sweet way to show your kids the world and another way of life. Not too shabby.

After our fuel stop, the sun was starting to set and we still had a good stretch of miles between us and Fort Lauderdale. We decided to just carry on and see how many bridges we could tackle before we either got held up or too tired to continue. We made decent progress, but just before 2100 we passed a couple of sailboats at anchor - and we did not catch the next bridge at 2100. As Connor had dinner all prepared for us, we decided to just go back to join those sailboat and eat our dinner in peace before turning in for the night. Up early tomorrow to get to Fort Lauderdale!

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PER on

Thanks Ellie for the great story. It nice that you write something every day. It will make a great book.
The Not-Christmas sounded like fun, hopefully you will keep the dinosaurs dry, we don't want them to take over the boat.
Don't complain about the weather, we were in the single numbers last night. I'v been trying to figure out how to get NH under way each fall for the trip south but haven't come up with anything yet. Oh well we will just have to wait until global warming kicks in.
Drop us a quick post when you kick off for the islands.
Keep the main sail trimmed!


Lauren Chase-Rowell on

Woah... the trip evidently favors beards. Ellie?

hejira on

I'm working on facial hair is just really blond...

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