Mar 16 – Fri
Friday afternoon my pal of 40 years , Dave Vrabel & 1st mate Carol Perrotta, arrived in Fort Lauderdale about 5pm. Dave & I met in our sophomore year at Wayne State University College of Engineering in 1978. Dave & I also both started working at American Motors in Jan/Feb of 1982, and never missed a paycheck with THE COMPANY as it transitioned through several ownerships (American Motors-Renault-Chrysler-Daimler Chrysler, Cerberus, & Fiat Chrysler).
Dave is also the person who introduced me to boating & the love of the water in the late 70’s / early 80’s, and coached me when I purchased my first vessel, a brand new 1985 Bayliner 19ft bowrider. I have told Dave, that if I had never met him, there is a chance that I might not be on The Great Loop today.
Dave & Carol came for a long weekend to visit us, and to celebrate Dave’s 60th Birthday. Dave will be joining me in retirement early next year.
Their arrival came with the now usual bag of Christmas Carol Gifts.
Carol showed up with a bag containing ;
> a bottle of Tequila from her trip to Mexico 2 days ago
> a bottle of my favorite Valentine Vodka
> 2 Detroit Tiger T-shirts for me & Nellie
> 2 light jackets, personalized with Gettin’ Looped logos !!!
We started the Dave/Carol visit about 5pm with welcome drinks on the aft deck of Gettin’ Looped, and we were soon joined by our Looper neighbors Unruly, in the slip right behind us. Gary & Angie Karges on the boat Unruly are from Novelty Ohio. Gary & Angie were due to depart on Saturday for The Bahamas, so we wanted to spend some time with them on their last night in Fort Lauderdale. They came over about 6pm.
About an hour later at 7pm, Carol’s friends Doug O’Brecht & Sandra Savinelli arrived. Doug & Sandra worked for Carol at a restaurant in the Cayman Islands about 25 years ago, and met Dave about 6 years ago . They live in nearby Lighthouse Point Florida. Sandra showed up with an awesome platter of appetizers. We spent the early evening on the aft deck having drinks, appetizers, and a great 8 person conversation.
About 9pm Gary & Angie called it a night due to their trip to the Bahamas the next day.
The rest of the crew went to Bubba Gump Shrimp for dinner. Carol initiated the first of many Happy Birthday to Dave singing renditions, including the Bubba Gump Staff.
Doug & Sandra departed about midnight. Doug left his car for Dave & I to meet him for a Birthday Deep Sea Fishin’ Trip the next morning. The Gettin’ Looped Crew called it a night about 12:30am.
Mar 17 – Sat (St. Patrick’s Day)
On Saturday, Dave & I had an early 6am start, due to the Deep Sea Fishin’ Expedition set up by Carol for Dave’s (& my upcoming Aug 5th) Birthday presents. Carol has known Doug a long time. Doug knows a fishin’ captain named Darryl. Darryl & Doug took me & Dave out for what was supposed to be a 1/2 day fishing charter. We arrived at Darryl’s house about 8am, prepped the boat, and headed out on the ICW & Atlantic Ocean about 9am. We had a very fun day and returned to Darryl’s house about 3pm (bonus time for 1/2 day charter). The vessel was a 39′ Sea Vee with triple Merc 350’s. The crew of 5 was ; Dave, me, Doug, Darryl, and young deep sea fishin’ deck hand Mikie.
The fishing was effortless if desired, we could either reel in the fish once on the line, or we could simply hit the auto-reel button on the high-tech gear and save arm muscles. We did a little of both.
We fished in mostly about 200ft of water, but did experiment for a while in depths of 800-900 feet. The water about 30 miles off the coast was a cool looking aqua blue color.
The results were mixed. We did catch 6 fish, but small ; 2 Rosies (version of snapper), 2 King Mackerel, 1 Cero Mackerel, & 1 Small Shark.
The camaraderie & experience was great, Dave had been Deep Sea Fishing before, but it was my first time.
We returned to Darry’s house about 3pm, Mikie cleaned the fish, we let Darryl & Doug keep the filets.
Dave & I returned to The SS Gettin’ Looped about 5pm. We took some quick showers and headed out for a St Patrick’s Day Dinner with Jonell & Carol, who spent most of the day at the Fort Lauderdale beach.
About 6pm we took an Uber ride to the Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk, and had our St Patrick’s Day Dinner at the same Irish place me & Nellie had lunch at earlier in the week, a place called Briny’s Irish Pub.
The crowd was very large, very lively, and very fun. We had several Guinness & all had the Corned Beef Sandwiches. Nellie found her Lucky Irish Gold Coin.
After dinner at Briny’s, we went for a stroll to the other side of the river and had drinks at another waterfront place called The Down Towner. The walk over the bridge was filled with beautiful views of the river and surrounding buildings.
We ended the night with another walk down the riverfront, with nice views of fancy hotels & water fountains, and a very late Uber ride home.
It was a very long, very fun day 2 of Dave & Carol’s visit.
Mar 18 – Sun
Guess what ?
On Sunday we slept in a little, with an 8:30-9:00am wake up, and a very foggy headed morning.
We warmed up the day with a little coffee, got the brain functioning, and then embarked on a little dinghy trip to a mid-day lunch.
The destination was an easy 1-2 miles away, with most of the ride being in small protected canals and a short portion of the ride being on the ICW.
The lunch destination was a place called The Southport Raw Bar.
Prior to going on the dinghy ride, we made plans to meet Jonell’s good friend Jodee Johnson & 1st mate Dean, who were in Fort Lauderdale on vacation for the week. Jonell & I have known Jodee for over 30 years.
Jodee & Jonell both play cards in a monthly Euchre club with my sisters Brenda & Paula, and blog followers ; Denise, Debbie, Libby, and Nancy. The girls Friday night Euchre Club has been active for more than 25 years !!!
We arrived at The Raw Bar about noon on the dinghy, Jodee & Dean arrived by car about 1pm. We enjoyed Grilled Oysters, the special Murphy Burger, and great conversation.
After lunch at the Raw Bar, Dean joined me, Dave, and Carol for the Dinghy ride home. Jonell & Jodee took the rental car back to the boat. Surprisingly, the dinghy beat the rental car back to the boat (cigarette break ?).
We spent the late afternoon socializing on Gettin’ Looped, showing Jodee & Dean our boat, and then walking the beautiful grounds of the Bahia Mar Marina and looking at the monster ships.
We ended the night with dinner at Coconuts. The place was PACKED !
We arrived at Coconuts at 7:10pm but were not seated until 8:40pm.
We were so tired that the blog master forgot to get any dinner photos.
Mar 19 – Mon
On Monday morning we had a leisurely ride from Bahia Mar in Fort Lauderdale to The Lighthouse Point Yacht Club near Boca Raton. The LPYC is a private club that allows “transients”, but harbormaster Zack prefers to call us his “visitors”.
The Lighthouse Point facility is another beautiful place like Bahia Mar (it should be $$$), but is much smaller in scale with only about 200 slips, and a bunch of very friendly locals.
We arrived about 11am on Monday the 19th and were tied up and having welcome beers by noon.
We then spent the afternoon at the pool, cleaned up about 4pm, and headed into town for Happy Hour snacks at another waterfront place called 2 Georges at The Cove Restaurant.
After dinner at 2 Georges, we crossed the bridge over the ICW, and walked to the Deerfield Beach area on the Atlantic Ocean. The Deerfield Beach Boardwalk & Beach are beautiful, with lots of green grassy areas, lots of shade trees, and the normal sandy beach.
We walked the boardwalk, settled at a place called JB’s on the Beach, and watched a solo entertainer until about 8pm.
After dinner at JBs, we went back to the boat, played Euchre until midnight (Now Officially Dave’s Birthday, March 20th), and celebrated Davies BD with a midnight toast of Champagne.
Mar 20 – Tue (Dave’s 60th Birthday)
After the late night, we woke about 8:30-9:00am, started the day with the usual coffee. Carol & Dave had some Bfast sandwiches, we pumped out the heads after a weekend of liquids, and spent most of the morning talking about the weekend events and looking a the photos we had taken.
We had lunch at the outdoor patio of the Lighthouse Point Grill, on site at the marina.
After lunch we strolled the Lighthouse Point Grounds, rested in one of the cabanas, then returned back to the boat about 2pm for the sad “Return Home Packing Hour”.
It was a very quick, very short, fun packed 60th birthday & St. Patrick’s Day weekend with great friends !
Dave & Carol departed about 3pm.
Next stop = Jupiter Florida , The Loggerhead Palm Beach Gardens Marina.