S/V SeaYawl did her usual awkward landing at the intracoastal Fort Lauderdale Marina on a cool December day. We hung out with sailors in open bars with big heater fans blowing warm air.
The price for docking was way beyond our means but we signed on for a month. On the intracoastal side of the wharf luxury yachts hosted officials, Orange bowl executives, ladies having $3000/hour birthday parties for their kitty cats. Inside the little narrow harbor we watched experienced Ft. La-de-da with awe; had Christmas aboard our modest vessel with our daughter and one year old granddaughter; and had guests from the northern climes. Our month was up and plans were to sail to the Bahamas with the latest guests. Gear and provisions were stowed.
I was at the helm backing out, SeaYawl kept backing and backing and backing and no amount of work on the gears put her into forward motion. Bill dashed below deck to find the transmission was stuck in reverse, the shifting linkage was broken. He manually shifted it but by this time we were approaching s/v Bear down at the end of the harbor. I was yelling at their crew to push us off. They did intercept our backward motion at just the moment Bill shifted us into forward.
We returned to our slip and went to report the incident to the harbormaster. The reverberations echoed up and down the docks. ”The Bear has been hit, The Bear has been hit.” This was with similar foreboding as the SS Titanic striking an ice flow.
Within two hours a representative of State Farm Insurance had arrived to assess the damage. Our dinghy motor had to be replaced. S/V Bear whose Captain was not aboard (just a work crew) had no damage.
Next morning we received a call from State Farm that a new agent had been assigned to the case and that S/V Bear had $55,000 damage to the structure of the boat. They canceled our insurance and that was pretty much the end of our dream to sail around the world.