Hanging out in Ft. Lauderdale
20 January 2013 | Lake Sylvia, Ft. Lauderdale FL
We woke up on Saturday to rain but decided to move on anyhow. Funny, for a Saturday on one of the most congested waterways on the East coast we were pretty much alone. There were a lot of bridges that needed to open for us but Bill has it all figured out now so we were able to get to most of them in time for their scheduled openings. It didn’t hurt that there was no wind, which made it easier to wait for the bridges when we were early.
I am power crazy. If you know me at all you know I don’t mean I need to have power. I mean I am constantly watching how much power is left in our batteries. We have a gauge that gives us all that information. I was so excited to have to be at a dock for four days, when we had he engine issue, so our batteries could charge up to 100%. After the first day it was obvious something wasn’t working properly. Bill told me that charging with shore power was slower than charging with the engine running so I didn’t worry too much. It turns out the battery charger was set to the wrong setting so we never got up to 100%. We ran our engine for almost five hours on Saturday and when I looked at the battery percentage again it was lower than it was when we left our anchorage. Something was definitely wrong with our alternator too. Bill spent some time checking everything out and finally found the problem. I know our sailing friends are watching our mechanical issues so forgive me. The 200 amp terminal fuse on the alternator positive wire had blown. Bill thinks that there was probably a short across the wire when the mechanics lifted the engine to put the mounts on. Luckily it was easy enough to fix once he found the problem. I am worried we are not yet finished finding other things that broke while we were having the original problem fixed.
So now we are in Ft. Lauderdale. We are anchored in a lake at the end of a bunch of canals that open up into the ICW. To get to where all the places to go are we can either go all the way around or duck under a bridge, and I do mean duck – literally, and go up the main canal. As the tide goes up the space under the bridge goes down. We’ve timed it pretty well so we have enough room to go under. Of course we had to get Papa Johns pizza again to watch the football playoffs. We had the pizza delivered to the Hyatt Regency hotel which isn’t far from where we are anchored. It was pretty tight getting back under that bridge. Look at the picture above, it is not the bridge we use, it’s the next canal over. You can see the tide line in the picture. When we picked up the pizza the tide was at the high mark. We had only two inches of clearance for our engine. Bill and I were lying down in the bottom of the dinghy! Also notice what is docked next to that bridge, those boats are small compared to many we have seen docked on the canals. Lots of boat money in Ft. Lauderdale!