Bender's Chronicles June 2009

Ft. Lauderdale – Boca Raton – Pompano Beach – Lantana – Peck Lake – Stuart – Merritt Island – New Smyrna – Palm Coast – Fernandina Beach – Wahoo Creek, GA – Hilton Head, SC – Wadmalaw Island, SC This will be just a quickie to give you a brief glimpse of how June has filled our hours. Seems each month’s entry is shorter and shorter. In Ft. Lauderdale, we spent the first few days in Las Olas Marina, a block from the beach and on Las Olas Boulevard where shoppers can while away the hours in the many upscale shops as well and plenty of places to spend money on Ocean Blvd along the beach. We enjoyed our stay and look forward to returning. Cruising up the waterway north of Ft. Lauderdale, the opulence of the jillion dollar homes is eye-popping. It seems each home-owner tried to out-do his neighbor with a monument to themselves!!! Peck Lake was our anchorage one evening so we swam to the little spit of land dividing that body of water from the Atlantic Ocean and walked over to the beach. Least Terns had already nested along the beach and turtles were beginning to lay their eggs so these areas were cordoned off. The beach is so private and pristine and the water, very refreshing. Stuart was our next stop. They’ve just opened a brand new marina that is so well designed, clean as a whistle and absolutely gorgeous. As our good luck would have it, the following night was their Grand Opening with a band and food and drink. We stayed till the band packed up and went home. What a great evening!!! We were really looking forward to visiting friends the next day on Merritt Island. We had a wonderful visit, met their daughter and played with their new dog. That was such a treat. They’re a fantastic couple. Next was New Smyrna. We skipped it on our way south and so many people said we should stop…so we did. A friend and ex-colleague from Cancer Centers of the Carolinas in Greenville, has a friend from nursing school with whom she’s kept in touch all these years. She’s told me about her for so long and said when we went to New Smyrna to be sure and call her. I came within a hair of not calling because I wondered if our mutual friend hadn’t mentioned me to her…or she’d forgotten because it was so long ago. I am so glad I called because in just a few minutes she and her husband arrived to welcome us. We stayed at their yacht club, spent much of our 3 days there with them, had a blast, and when we cast off our lines, we felt we were leaving friends we’d know forever. When we were in Punta Gorda for the trawler owners’ gathering we met a couple who live in Palm Coast and welcomed us to tie up to their dock…which we did. What a great time we had with them. She’s a master gardener and they had a multitude of tropical fruit trees, some of which were bearing. We went to a local seafood place that had great food and was quite colorful. We’ve known for several weeks that our starboard transmission was sick enough to be admitted to ICU so we were putting in a week of very long and exhausting days in our attempt to reach a boat yard south of Charleston, SC. We’d used this yard before and were very pleased with their work. In this area, it’s difficult, if not impossible to find a yard with a good reputation so we were focused on getting to Wadmalaw Island and Rockville Marine. Finally we arrived, tired to the bone, and with our hinnies’ getting there several days later but were thankful to arrive without the assist of Sea Tow. The starboard engine did burp, hiccough, and even said, “I quit” several times but could always be coerced into starting again. We’ve been here for 2 ½ weeks getting some major work done. It would bore you to enumerate them all but suffice it to say, the list is quite lengthy. Below we're being hauled out and put on jack stands for repairs. We’d planned to go to a hotel while the boat was out of commission but a friend/ex-colleague from my employment at Cancer Centers of the Carolina has a gorgeous home in Charleston and graciously gave us a key not only to her house but also to a car. She was so generous and insisted that we make her home our home since we had to abandon ship. What a great friend. Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston had a Beach Blast on Saturday with some of the old Motown groups. This was the weekend of the Maritime Festival with 13 tall ships which made a weekend party. We celebrated Bill’s birthday with dinner at one of our favorite Charleston restaurants. That was also a celebration that his work and the yard’s work is completed and we will be splashed the first day of July! Yipee!!! From Charleston we’ll head north and will report to you next month on the path we took. Fondly, Bill, Laura, and the old pup


Frank 'n' Sandy said…
I always look forward to your blog post, Laura! Thanks for keeping us in the loop. You meet the nicest people in your travels, but I'm not surprised. You're a magnet for nice people!!


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