We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale on November 1st. There were a number things that we wanted to have done on Panache to get her ready for a 5-year circumnavigation. The work was scheduled to take about 6 weeks. Our plan was to then spend a week with Richard Widmann, a very experienced, professional skipper, to get acquainted with our new boat and absorb as much of his nautical wisdom as possible. Greg and Nichole Holmes would then join us for the crossing to the Bahamas and we would spend Christmas with them at their house in Freeport. That was the plan!
The work on the boat ran well behind schedule. We managed to delay Richard’s arrival to January 2nd. Greg and Nichole, who had arrived in Ft. Lauderdale en-route to Freeport, joined us for Christmas on the boat. We spent the day touring the port in the dinghy and drinking Mimosas.
G&N’s son, Randy, is a first officer on mega-yachts and was in Ft. Lauderdale for a time while we were there. He is a keen fisherman, and took us to Bass Pro Shops to buy rods and gear for catching tuna, wahoo and mahi-mahi. We also purchased Hawaiian slings for spearing hogfish and lobster. We loved seeing him and his girlfriend, Jen, from South Africa. And we really appreciate all his excellent advice about sailing and fishing.