It's been said that the only way to see this remarkable city is from the water, as there are some 185 miles of natural and man made waterways. In a city that was largely dredged up out of mangrove swamps, which created both the land and its waterways, a cruise up the New River provides a cruising experience unlike any other.
And in case anyone doubts why this city calls itself the "yachting capitol of the world", this river trip will dispel any notions to the contrary, for you will see more boats in just a few hours than you've probably ever seen before. For boating is what this city is all about.
Even the geology of the river is unique, for it is not a normal river as most people know them. It's not a drainage river, but is completely tidal saltwater. On a rising tide, the current flows upstream, even as far as five miles inland. Twelve thousand years ago, the lower Florida peninsula was a vast atoll, bordered by a coral reef on the eastern side. The New River was actually a cut or pass through the reef. As the earth cooled and ocean levels receded, this pass through the coral reef became this unusual river. It was cut by the tidal flow between what is now the Everglades and the Gulf Stream.
Because of this, the river does not silt up, and does not pose the usual threats of shifting sand bars and the like. It is cut deep into coral rock, and her depths do not change.
You'll be amazed to see that the water is clean, not muddy or badly polluted. It is also very deep, up to 60 feet in places with a minimum draft of 12 feet. It's not unusual to see 150 footers making their way up to the big yacht yards.
As you wend your way up this endlessly twisting river, the scenery is constantly changing. Lined with palatial homes at the mouth of the river where it meets up with the Intracoastal Waterway, with Las Olas isles to the north, and Lauderdale Isles to the south, it passes through Rio Vista, the highest ground in Fort Lauderdale, which is actually the top of the ancient coral reef.
After passing through a neighborhood of graceful older homes in a setting of lush tropical foliage, rich with flowering tropical trees like the flaming red Poinciana and blue Jacaranda, you soon pass over the New River Tunnel and into downtown Fort Lauderdale.
David Pascoe - Biography
Buying, Owning, Maintaining a Boat or Yacht.
Over 160 articles by David Pascoe.Boat Reviews Buying a Boat Hull Blisters Cores & Structural Issues Insurance Issues Marine Engines Maintenance, Repairs & Troubleshooting Boat Handling & Boat Safety Hurricane Preparations Marine Surveying All Online Articles