After our crazy weather experience at anchor a few days ago, we had a delightful sail back to the coast of Florida. For several months we have been sailing INTO the prevailing wind, and getting the chance to sail downwind is a relaxing change. The winds were mostly quite light, and the sailing slow. We coasted along at a steady, if sometimes a bit lethargic, pace.
Our crossing of the Gulf Steam was uneventful, although a bit “lumpy” as the north winds clashed with the northward flowing current. We arrived off of Fort Lauderdale at about 10PM and had our anchor down in South Lake in Hollywood, Florida by midnight.
Unlike our past experiences, checking into the USA was uneventful and went as it should have. The Border Patrol has a new system where you use a program on your mobile phone to check in. It took about 10 minutes, and that was it. We were approved.
Returning to “civilization” is always a bit of a system shock. It starts 20 miles offshore when you get within radio range of the coast. You hear so much chatter, and so much of it obnoxious and rude. The shock continues right on until you get to the grocery store, where the choices can be almost paralyzing.
It’s hard to understand the difference. Grocery shopping in the out islands is more like foraging. You never know what you’ll find on the shelf. If you see something you want, you get extra because it might not be there for months. In the USA it is hard to understand the excitement that can surge through the cruising fleet when people find out the market actually has bananas–for the first time in weeks.
We are settled in on the docks at Lauderdale Marine Center because they have the best rates around. We have some routine medical stuff to take care of, and we have a significant repair to our dinghy we need to make happen. After a few other minor things to source and fix, and then we’ll be off for points north.