Looking for Fort Lauderdale – and More Memories
I couldn’t possibly count the number of times I’ve flown down to Fort Lauderdale. I know that I’ve been going to the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show for more than 30 years, and the new one, starting Nov. 1, will be one more trip there. And in the old days, before Twitter, my magazine, Motor Boating & Sailing, had an office in Lauderdale, so I flew down from New York about every other week. (Actually, for many years the office was in very good hands; Peter Truslow, now the president of Bertram, was running it.) But that was business.
The fun part came in the trips to go boating, particularly when it was on my own boat. I bought my Grand Banks 36 over in Fort Myers and took it to Bob Roscioli’s yard up the New River in Lauderdale for some help. Let’s say it wasn’t exactly tired when I bought it; just pre-loved a lot. Roscioli did all the teak, painted the boat and had it looking like new; it looked so good that I put in the Miami boat show a few months later.
But the boat was in Lauderdale over the holidays, so I gathered my son and two older daughters, who all flew in from various parts of the country, to meet there to go down to the Ocean Reef Club on Key Largo for a long New Year’s Eve weekend. They loved the idea, and were smiling ear to ear as we cruised down the New River toward the ocean.
Once we were in the ocean, however, I realized that one by one, my entire family had left the bridge, looking a bit green around the gills. Soon some of them were hanging over the leeward rail. Well, this wasn’t the great family cruise I had in mind. I made it as fast as I could (wide-open throttle at 8 knots) down to Baker’s Haulover Inlet, and we made the rest of the trip (quite happily) on the Waterway. The rest of the weekend at Ocean Reef was one of the best New Year’s I’ve ever had; playing Monopoly at night, swimming, hanging out, having fun together; it’s hard to have a bad time at Ocean Reef. And we made the return trip inside on the Waterway as well.
Now I’m heading back to Lauderdale next week for the big show; I assume some of you are as well. This time it’s business. I have a whole list of new boats to see; you can read our reviews of 34 of them under the Boat Shows tab on our home page or via the link below. Sure, it is business, but it’s often pretty hard to keep the business part aside from the pleasure part. I already have a lot of memories starting out in Lauderdale; I’m always game for some more.