Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New River & the Wiggles

Our destination was Marina Bay which is up New River and the trip mileagewise was not bad. We had groused about the need to go to Ft. Lauderdale which is busy, crowded and expensive. But in the end it was a very very productive stop over. One of the challenges is traveling up New River. For the Captains who run this river all the time it is not an issue, and maybe humorous, when they watch those of us (me) who do not travel these waters often.
The New River is like  interstate traffic on a country two lane highway. It is small and twisting with the turns and sections having names like tarpon bend, the wiggles and little Florida. Boats line the waterway and boats are going up and down ranging from small dingys to megayachts under tow. On top of this is the Jungle Queen (JQ), a large 4 deck tour boat that runs this waterway. Throw into this interesting mix a strong current and half a dozen bridges and this is white knuckle boating.
The bridges are as interesting and challenging as any we have seen. This is the Davie Blvd bridge and as you can see turns slightly to the port with little room for holding still. It can be a difficult area when the current is "ripping". Coming outbound yesterday we waiting for about 10 min. with 4 boats including the JQ behind us. We twisted and turned forward and aft to stay in tight alignment and away from everything. The last bridge is a large span across interstate 95 and rail above and through. For a total of 6 spans. There is a 45 degree narrow turn underneath the bridge which is the only bridge we have seen like this.

New River also has some fascinating homes that line the waterway. Everything from fabulous estates found in Little Fla to high rise condos & hotels to ramshackle homes about ready to fall down, all within a short distance of each other. So much humanity in such a small place. Also dotting the waterway are marinas of every stripe and color and some gi-normous boat yards that cater to the mega yacht crowd. Here we are a humble small boat and we are happy about it.

There are real characters along the way and we found this to be a one of a kind.  I wish I could've stopped for a haircut but it just didn't work out.

Off the waterway are many numerous channels with homes and boats closely packed.

While at Marina Bay we had a most productive time with the never ending list of projects. Of note we had some warranty work done small things but necessary. Also we installed a linkpro battery monitor by Xantrex
This helps us with both battery health and charging rates and status. We also had  a screen enclosure fabricated and installed for the aft deck made of textaline. This will helps keep the bugs out and make this area a bit more private and livable in the warmer months. We took on fuel for what seemed like at good deal $$ wise and did a handful of chores on our own. While we grumbled about having to go here we had a most productive stay.

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