So…. we’re back in the good old US-of-A. Ft Lauderdale, actually. And the feeling is…. EHH. Sorta anti-climatic.
Not gonna lie… We’re split between being super happy and super sad. The Bahamas we nothing short of ah-mazing, but man, did we miss the amenities of home. Seeing family & friends again? Can’t wait! Free water that’s not reverse osmosis (and tasting a little funky)? Yes! Grocery stores that stock everything under the sun and where we can find a can of Pringles for under $5? Sold!! McDonalds? I’m Lovin’ It! The shitty brown water here at the marina? The hectic pace of life? The feeling that you always need to be somewhere. Doing something. UGH. Welcome back to the states.
The sail back to the states was pretty nice. The wind was directly on our nose almost the entire time and we didn’t get to do much actual sailing until pretty close to Florida, but it was nice and calm, and we’ll take those conditions any day. MUCH different than our crossing to the Bahamas just two months ago. Was it really TWO months? Damn. Feels like just yesterday.
As Matt lowered the Bahamas courtesy flag I almost teared up. Wow. Our trip is over. That can’t be. We just got here! I was definitely singing a different tune when we were tethered to that marina in Emerald Bay for 18 days. I couldn’t wait to get home. Oh well, guess I’m damned if I do, and damned if I don’t.
Speaking of our flag, look how tattered it is! It seems to have shrunk a bit during our trip. We’re plan to frame it and hang it up so we can always remember what a great time we had.
Somewhere around hour four or five of the trip, I remembered that we had a coconut onboard still. Matt found this on the golf course trail by the marina and picked it up because of it’s size… it’s huge! We were going to break it open and enjoy the water, but never got around to doing it (which is OK…. fresh coconut water has a weird after taste that I don’t particularly care for anyway). I grabbed a Sharpie and wrote a little message on it before tossing it overboard. Seems fitting that we set sail in October with a pumpkin onboard and we finish up with a coconut. I wonder where it’ll float to? Ah, who am I kidding? That marker has probably already washed off and it’s just another random coconut floating in the Gulf Stream. It was fun while it lasted.
As we approached the coast, we could start to make out faint buildings on the horizon. At first they looked like a mirage. Could that be the Motherland? Are we home already? As we got closer, the images took shape and the city of Ft. Lauderdale appeared clear as day before us.
Skyscrapers as far as you could see. Six cruise ships all lined up in port. Huge jet planes roaring overhead en route to the airport. It was sensory overload. We haven’t seen life like this since we left Miami in November. Certainly nothing like this in the Keys and the Bahamas where the buildings we were used to were two levels at best, and the planes usually had pontoons on the bottom. It was a shock to the system for sure.
As we approached the Inlet, our anxiety levels began to skyrocket. Not just because we were home and our trip was over, but because there were boats everywhere. It was a Sunday, and it seemed like absolutely everyone in Ft. Lauderdale who had a boat was out and about. And being complete assholes in their tiny little day cruisers circling around us like a swarm of bees. Some had drunken spring breakers passed out on their bow. Most had their rap/latino/classic rock music turned up at full volume for the rest of us to enjoy along with them. Yeah, we know you have a good sound system onboard. Thanks for sharing.
Just past the inlet was one of the many bridges we had to pass under as we made our way up the New River to the marina. It had a fixed opening schedule (only on the hour and half hour), so we had to do a complicated little dance of holding the boat still amidst all of this chaos until the next opening. Those little day cruisers just buzzed right by us and the few other sailboats who couldn’t clear the closed bridge. Guess they had the last laugh.
Finally made it thru “The Gauntlet” and had a pretty trip up the river via the narrow canals that cut through downtown Ft. Lauderdale.
We made it to the marina, and are tethered to a dock once again. Instead of having two world class resorts nearby like we did in Emerald Bay, we have I-95 as our backdrop. Most of the time the noise drowns out any sort of conversation we’re trying to have, but hey, at least we have air conditioning again.