02/20/2011, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale a week ago Saturday just in time to deliver Debra to her sailing school. Dropped her off for her weeklong liveaboard sailing school on a four cabin, two head 43' sloop. After meeting Captain Wayne, I headed for Miami to spend the week with my best friend since high school, Bob.
Debra was assigned a small cabin which consisted of bunk beds on the starboard side forward. The front V-cabin was for a couple, Greg and Joni, who owned a smaller boat on Chesapeake Bay and wanted to refine their skills. The rear cabins were occupied by Captain Wayne and Richard, a student from Montreal who had a boat on Lake Champlain. Debra had the job of assisting the captain with provisioning the boat for the week, and they went out to dinner that night. Only Richard and Debra spent the night aboard.
The next day, with everyone aboard, they headed south along the Intercoastal Waterway. They entered the Atlantic at Port Everglades, returning to the Intercoastal at Government Cut, just as the cruise ships were leaving for their weeklong cruises. They ended up anchoring off of Key Biscayne with a beautiful nighttime view of the Miami skyline.
The next few days involved sailing south to Key Largo, with full hands-on instruction, which Debra says is the only way to go-classroom schools are not nearly as effective for her. Richard, who used to be a professional musician, stole the show with karaoke at Gilbert's in Key Largo. The crew and Captain Wayne became the backup dancers as Richard sang Twist and Shout! Captain Wayne, a sixties era participant, also tuned in with his own version of Bob Dylan. They returned to port on the outside. Debra could not have asked for better weather and conditions as it was sunny or partly cloudy with moderate winds and minimal seas for the entire week. On only one early morning on the way back did she experience rain, which was a brief shower while everyone was still in their berths. The only negative for the week was that Joni first experienced some seasickness and then threw out her back bad enough on the way to Key Largo that she had to take a taxi back, so that Debra was the only female aboard for the return trip. Nevertheless, she was totally comfortable with her shipmates.
Debra arrived back to port Thursday afternoon. Through some slight changes in schedule, she, along with Richard, were able to take their final tests that night rather than on Friday, which gave me the opportunity to pick her up Thursday night, rather than Friday, which worked out well for our boat show plans. Check out our Boat Show blog, as well.
Debra learned on Friday that she passed the test with flying colors, giving her great relief. She will shortly receiver her bareboat charter certification from the American Sailing Association, but she still would be hesitant to take on such as responsibility without more experience which we will continue to obtain about Murar's Dream, as soon as I get clearance from my surgeon to go back to sea.
We will attach a few photos upon our return to Colorado Monday night so you may want to do a follow up view of this blog in a few days.
P.S.-Debra would highly recommend Blue Water Sailing School to those of you who way wish to venture onto the seas aboard the dream of your lives.
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