Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Free Dock Space

December 30-January 1, Ft. Pierce to Hollywood Beach, FL
We had been forewarned that we needed to vacate our slip in Ft. Pierce on December 30, come hell or high water, hurricane or death in the family. Our flight on December 29 landed in Miami, and a few days before departure there were no rental cars to reserve from any agency. But one of the rental web sites showed availability on December 30 in Aventura. Claus and Rachael had their boat nearby, and they kindly picked us up at the airport, fed us another gourmet meal, and put us up for the night.

The next morning when we tried to pick up our car there were none to be had. A corporate computer glitch had allowed thirty reservations with no cars except those that might be returned that day. People walked into the office, confirmations in hand, and found that they were stranded. There was no other way for us to get to Ft. Pierce. I immediately began to pray. We were third in line…two cars were returned…and we soon learned that we happened to be standing behind a man who wanted to exchange a Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder convertible for a sedan. In a short time we were cruising up the freeway, the top down, the sun shining, and the wind in our hair. All things do work together for good!

That night we anchored across the ICW from Ft. Pierce and then motored for two long days to reach the dock where we would stay next. Thirty bridges spanning the waterway needed to open for us to pass through. Most were on schedules, forcing us to wait a few times, but more often Keith cranked up the engine and made the opening.

The further south we traveled, the fewer trailer parks or open spaces. Spectacular residences, complete with fountains and statuary and fabulous yachts out front, lined the waterfront. See-and-be-seen boaters buzzed all around us.

We were on the move toward Hollywood Beach. A strong cold front with beach-emptying forty-degree temperatures and forty-knot northerlies was forecast for several days. Before it arrived, we wanted to be securely in place. And what a place it was! On the east sat a row of condos with docks; behind them a one-block walk to the Atlantic surf. On the west, rare undeveloped parkland created the foreground for vivid sunsets.

We stayed at one of those docks thanks to our well-connected friend, Claus. He makes friends wherever he goes, and one friend’s son owns one of those condos. Claus and Rachael kept Kyanna at that dock and made it their mission to find Pelican a place at one of the empty docks in the development. The owner next door agreed, and our boats happily bounced in the wakes together.

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