Throwing off the Lines in Ft. Lauderdale

Riverview Marina
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
2:00 a.m.

Two weeks, 58 to-dos, and several boat units later, we are almost ready to go. It’s 1:35 a.m. on Friday, January 19, 2007, and I have just finished a thorough housecleaning while Ole is in the engine room changing the oil in the generator and the Lehmans. We have been at it since 7:30 a.m.

While the doing has been fairly straightforward, the getting ready to leave has been a bit complicated, mostly by the emotions of transforming relationships from “present” to “absent.”

Both Ole and I are rather linear, in that if we have a task to do, we put our nose on the line and follow it, often to the detriment of anyone or anything that gets in the way. And this week, what has “gotten in the way” have been our friends and neighbors phoning or stopping by just to chat, usually right in the middle of some straight-line project or other.

At first, I found it mildly irritating – after all, aren’t these people aware of all the stuff we have to do? But after the third visit in the same day from one of our dock buddies, it finally dawned on me – we are loved and we will be missed. In the past couple of days in particular, I found myself stopping on purpose — to chat, share a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, or to just “be” for a few minutes, savoring the feeling of community, and knowing that the tasks would still be there when the conversation ended.

The world is moving on. Maggie is going in for back surgery tomorrow morning. Trevor left today to deliver a work boat back to the Caymans, his former home. Gin is leaving the area for Key West on Sunday, looking at a change of career. Frank has gone back to school. Terry has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and will be going home to Arkansas this weekend to allow his mother to care for him. Amy and Ryan are selling the sailboat – Amy is pregnant and looking forward to the cottage with the white picket fence. Ed has quit drinking. Kim and Brendan are looking forward to the last child finishing high school when they can cast off the lines. Chris is still searching for “the one.”

But even more profound is that the relationships will still be there, once the task list is complete and we have moved on.

11:00 a.m.
Leaving Riverview Marina


The “goodbye committee,” though small, was lovely. Michael, Spiff and Gin, plus Mabeline and Mugsy, were there to help us push off.



The last cruise down the river was beautiful — a day in the low 80s with sparkling sun and light wind.

The last passage through the 11th Avenue Swing Bridge, followed by the bends in the North Fork of the New River — although it’s not for the weak in spirit, bigger boats than us have come and gone.

We cruised south toward Miami, arriving at Miami Beach Marina at 3:30 in the afternoon, only to find that their actual moorage rates were 25% higher than those advertised on the web. Can’t wait for the picture of Miami in the rear view mirror! Although the going away party at Monty’s is scheduled for this evening, we’ll write about it tomorrow!

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