In the Heart of the City
13 January 2012 | Cooley's Landing, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Beth / 80's
We have had a delightful few days on the New River, walking to grocery stores and the theatre, taking land and water transportation to get to Total Wine, Bluewater Books, Sailor Man and the new West Marine store.
From Cooley’s Landing near the 7th Ave Bridge, we caught a #6 bus to 24th St (State Road 84). This is Mecca for boaters because it has 3 marine stores and a great diner. (Bus is $1.75 each way or $4 for an all day pass.) Along with Steve and Sandi (Yonder) we made Lester’s Diner our first stop to fortify ourselves for a happy prowl through Sailor Man – the well stocked consignment store. (We didn't see the pulled pork man, Pat - he must be waiting for you!) With a few new bits and pieces in hand (no really awesome finds) we checked out the huge new West Marine store to ooh and aah at all the brand new and pricy items, and then hoofed it across the street to Boat Owners Warehouse where we found new products at reasonable prices. Jim bought another macerator pump for our holding tank and thought about getting a fresh water pump just in case the need for one arises. We haven’t gotten it yet so we hope the pump replacement disease felt by our friends on Estelle isn’t catching! This process of keeping spares is a never ending and tricky one. It is expensive and space consuming to keep spares of all the parts of this boat aboard, and yet there are some items that make a part failure a quick and easy fix if we have them on hand instead of a time consuming and possibly expensive one if we need to locate and ship the replacements.
We walked all the way to Bluewater Books on another day (Cordova at 17th) and spent a happy hour checking out books and charts before wandering a few doors over to the Total Wine store. Friends have told us about this chain but we had never been in one and wow – our arms were loaded by the time we picked up bottles of well priced and unfamiliar wines. They had lots of the standards that we could find at Publix, but it was so much fun to find bottles we’d never heard of before. Based on last night’s consumption, Lindeman’s Bin 85 (Australia) beat out Conte Priola (Italy) in the Pinot Grigio category and Sobon Estate (California) was the Sauvignon Blanc of choice.
With our arms loaded we looked for an easier way home and found the water taxi right down at the bottom of 17th St. The inbound one brought us up the river to Stop 13 by the Broward Art Centre and only a block from home. We were even lucky enough to claim Steve as our token Senior and get a family fare for the ride!
Last time we were here, we spent an evening at the Broward Art Centre listening to the comedy of Capitol Steps. This year, we enjoyed the Jersey Boys - and what a treat it was – fantastic music and great cast. It is almost as much fun looking at the beautiful people at places like this, and being able to walk out the door under an almost full moon shining over the water to stroll along the boardwalk to our snug little home on the river was the icing on the cake.
Another familiar face was Shel – our neighbor last time. He is still here, living on his boat and greeting all comers with a cheery good morning.
As usual, watching the boat traffic is excellent entertainment here at Cooley’s Landing. Tug boats fore and aft guide humongous yachts up and down the river, other tugs drag barges that take the full width of the river, and then there are all the regular 70 and 80 foot boats that in any other environment would seem huge but here are merely standard. We met a stunning new 155 ft motor yacht coming down river when we were on our way up. And this familiar face beamed at us from the wall near 3rd Ave Bridge! Theodore was here for the boat parade and is staying till February we heard. It is such fun to see our delightful NS ambassador down here. He's not quite the elegant Bluenose, but he attracts attention.
We’re leaving Cooley’s Landing on the high slack tide at noon to move down to Lake Sylvia for the night. We are all of us just superstitious enough to refrain from starting a passage on a Friday – let alone Friday the 13th, so we’ll head out through the Port Everglades inlet and point south to Coconut Grove (south Miami area) tomorrow.
Cooley’s landing info: Slips are $1.30 per ft (not quite sure) with a 15% Boat US discount. Power is $10 for the first 3 days and a free mobile pumpout is available. Clean showers and a laundry with 6 washers ($1.75) and 4 dryers ($1.50) and a change machine that works round out the amenities. But of course the best part of this place is location, location, location!