Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Welcome to South Florida

After the sense of relief that came with being through with the trip up the New River then comes the realisation that River Bend Marina is not a marina but a boat yard that makes a few bucks on the side by offering dockage. Their security is stricter than that of the Navy base in Norfolk, and the facilities are almost non existent. I decided to leave and claim a refund on 2 days, since I had paid 3 days in advance, but the lady at the front desk would only give me back one day, saying that we arrived at 10:40 a.m. and the day started and ended at noon. I had to call the manager to get my two days back.
Then, with the help of Jules Harper, we moved to Frank's dock on Tuesday, since Henri's boat (Moving Up) was still at the workshop. I had someone come for the auto-pilot, which keeps quitting in heavy seas, but he said he did not have time to do anything. On Wednesday, we left for Miami where we were supposed to pick up David Sowers.
This was going to be again a sorry trip. As we were approaching the Miami Government Cut, the engine stopped and would not restart. We learned later on that it was dirt blocking the fuel line. I had to call TowBoat US and they towed us, first to the entrance of the Miami river, where he grounded us for a little while, then into the TowBoast US dock up the river.
There, after some tribulations, we managed to unblock the fuel line, change the fuel filters and be back to almost normal, all that at a cost of a little less than a thousand dollars.  In the meantime, David had joined us, and we were able to leave on Thursday morning towards Marathon, by way of the passage off No Name harbor.
We anchored off Rodriguez island and left again next morning for Marathon, where we arrived early afternoon. Glad to be finally there.
Now the fun can begin.

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