And so I did.
Driving the road that follows close to the coastline of Florida is a pain in the patootie. First of all, there are so many houses, hotels and condos you only get occasional glances of water. Second of all, the traffic is bumper to bumper for miles and miles. But we drove south. Got into Ft. Lauderdale and couldn’t find Bahia Mar. So we called information and then Bahia Mar and got directions. Got back on the oh-so-fun road of endless traffic and drove past Bahia Mar. Managed to turn around. Got back to the entrance and waited forever until someone took pity on us and let us cut across. Paid to get in and park. Here is the sign at the entrance. I got my husband to stop, let me out, then circle around and come back for me so I could take this.
Let me take a break, while my husband is parking and finding his sunglasses, to tell you why that anonymous friend of mine - Mark Troy - wanted me to find this place. Bahia Mar, Slip F-18, is where Travis McGee docks his boat, the Busted Flush. And you-don’t-know-who - Mark Troy - wanted a picture.
So, we found the F Dock:
Next, we began walking the dock looking for Slip 18. Some boats were empty. On some, people lounged in the aft area (notice how I can speak boat), talking, drinking, and eyeing the strange Texans.
As we walk up and down the dock, avoiding staring at the strange Floridians sitting in boats going nowhere, let me tell you a bit more about Travis McGee. He’s fictional. He’s the protagonist created by John D. MacDonald. In the very first McGee book, MacDonald introduced McGee and the Busted Flush in the opening lines of the book:
"It was to have been a quiet evening at home.I knew that, but he-whose-name-shall-not-be-spoken - Mark Troy - asked for a picture. So here it is:
"Home is the Busted Flush, 52-foot barge-type houseboat, Slip F-18, Bahia Mar, Florida.
"Home is where the privacy is. Draw all the opaque curtains, button the hatches, and with the whispering drone of the air conditioning masking all the sounds of the outside world, you are no longer cheek to jowl with the random activities of the neighbor craft. You could be in a rocket beyond Venus, or under the icecap."
Which one is it, you ask. None of them. There is no Slip F-18. Not that we found. But that is a picture of the area where it should have been.
So there it is. The pictures I said I would take for you’ll-not-hear-his-name-from-me, author-of-the-Val-Lyon-series (Mark Troy). This is the first time these shots have come to light. Not even he knows I took them. I’ve been waiting to surprise him. So now, your writing assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to link over to his blog and leave him a message letting him know his pictures of Bahia Mar, Slip F-18, that he requested are here for him to see.