Friday 19th January

Today we explored the waterways which form the Port Everglades and the marina section of the Intercoastal Waterway. The water taxi took us from Pier 66 near our hotel passed endless numbers of luxury houses all, according to the tour guide, owned by somebody famous. The Americans on the boat seemed more interested in the names of the people than the location!

There is very little left of the Everglades or mangroves, a region of shallow slow-moving water inhabited by sawgrass and island-like masses of vegetation (bushes and trees) which are packed into locally called ‘black muck’ which was formed over millions of years from decaying vegetation in the water that is mostly stagnant except at high tides.

We were back in time for lunch and ate local cuisine such as coconut covered shrimps with mango and pineapple salsa and guava glazed chicken wings washed down with a cuban pale ale. All in the open air surrounded by palm trees and overlooked by the 1960s tower of the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 hotel. Over lunch we learnt that the tower was badly damaged in hurricane Irma in August/September 2017. Damage was inflicted which led to water ingress and may rooms damaged. The hotel was saved by a development company who is going to upgrade the facilities and develop the land across SE 17th Street facing the Port Everglades. This will make the Port into an attraction as we found it fascinating seeing the cruise ships so close to the town.

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