Go for Launch

We joke about the two week project that took two years. Two years and a month, to be exact.

On February 1st, Steel Tow pulled the catamaran out from in front of us and we took a moment to reflect on the many, many changes made to the ship’s systems. Luke considered the changes in the hydraulic system, the new navigation and autopilots and all new engine monitoring, alarms and sensors. Finally, he took a breath, checked the bow thruster one last time and called ‘I think we’re ready’ into the radio mic.

You think? Good enough for me!

No one knows better than Luke. Over the past two years he had worked on nearly every system, replacing major components on everything from refrigeration to navigation. Even the dock lines I was casting off were new. We wouldn’t need those until we reached the New River just a few miles away, but we would need that bow thruster.

A little breeze had kicked up and that thruster seemed to be slightly beleaguered, perhaps not getting enough hydraulic flow. Something for the sea trials. We eased out of that muddy hole we’d been in since May 2020, and out into Dania cut, announcing to the world with a loud blast of the horn that Wanderbird was back under way.

We made our way past the port into familiar waters, under the 17th street causeway and up the New River to a beautiful and more bustling spot in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Now, to finish the repairs and make way for the open sea – or at least the Bahamas before hurricane season comes.

I found time to start a GoPro on the flybridge, if you’d like to see the short transit:

Wanderbird running from Harbour Town Marina to New River, downtown docks, Fort Lauderdale