Our next trip to Florida would be by car. It’s been 33 years since I last drove down and that was senior week in college. Different experience this time although the same road. We left Friday early Friday morning and made it to Santee, South Carolina by dinnertime. Up early the next day and with quick stop in Brunswick GA to check out a potential marina stop we continued on to Stuart to check out two more marinas, Loggerheads and Sunset Bay. It is likely we will spend some time at Loggerheads before heading north.
On Sunday we decided to go to the Miami boat show. I have been to many boat shows over the years but never Miami. What an enormous venue. An exhibit hall filled with vendors and three on water venues to choose from. We took the bus to the large boat venue and there were large boats to be seen. This is a show to see at least once.
Of course the purpose of our trip was to participate in the boat survey. That was scheduled for Tuesday so on Monday we got together with the owner and spent 9 hours going through the systems. The owner, Richard, is both pleasant and thorough. Later in the day we took the boat up to Apex Marina to park it for the night and be prepared for the morning haul out.
Tuesday found us at the boat by 7:30 and we met with our surveyor, Bill Slattum. He had been recommended by Capt Chris whom we had met at Trawlerfest a couple of weeks earlier. Bill turned out to be a great person and a meticulous surveyor. The entire process including the sea trial took just under 12 hours. The morning haul at Apex went smoothly. By 3PM we were ready to launch and start the sea trial. Apex Marine is located up the New River about 4 miles from the 17th street causeway bridge. Two smaller lift bridges must be raised on the outbound journey and despite it being a Tuesday the river was busy with large yachts returning from the Miami boat show.
The sea trial took us out into the Atlantic a few miles and all went smoothly till the auto pilot test. Apparently there is a previously unknown feature that activates with a double tap on the key board. That feature overrides the second autopilot thus not allowing us to shut off the course correction test and subsequently had us going in circles. To Richards credit the manual was right there and a quick read corrected the problem.
By 6:30 PM we were back at the dock at Bahia Mar. It was a long and interesting day. Our flight back was midday Wednesday so we said good by to Richard and headed back to the small but funky hotel Cath had found in Ft Lauderdale.