The Maltese Falcon, the world's largest sailing yacht and also a giant floating metaphor for the financial collapse, has pulled into Port Everglades, tucked away unceremoniously in a spot far from the riffraff and almost unseen unless you happen to be driving a cargo truck into Port Everglades anytime soon.
The port doesn't allow visitors up close to dock 28F, and the ship is too far from any public spot to get a good look (unless your buddy with a boat takes you up the Intracoastal past John U. Lloyd State Park). So generally forget any thoughts you had about getting a glimpse at what $100 million looks like.
Port officials gave the Pulp an up-close look yesterday. It's parked unceremoniously at a scuffed concrete dock,
a berth away from a container ship. Trucks screamed by to unload containers, and a port security guard kept watch nearby.
The Maltese Falcon was heralded as the world's most advanced privately owned yacht when commissioned by venture capitalist Tom Perkins back in 2005. Yachties have marveled at its 62-foot, carbon-fiber masts that stand over the port like a trio of phallic monuments to great fortune.
It's owned now by British hedge-fund manager Elena Ambrosiadou, who initially indicated she works too much to ever really use the thing. It's unclear if Ambrosiadou is on board; the ship's first mate said the Pulp would need to speak with the captain, who hasn't returned a message.
If you're lucky, you might get a view of the 289-foot clipper as it steams out of the port Sunday on its way to New York City. From there, it'll participate in the Transatlantic Race in June, in which sailboats travel from Rhode Island to England so that the owners of the ships can keep their tax shelters working.
If you'd like to see the Maltese Falcon from afar as it heads out to sea Sunday -- and let's assume you can't afford gas for your car -- hop on Bus No. 40 and get off before the 17th Street bridge. Hoof it to the top, where you'll be able to spot its three technologically advanced masts, towering over everything like gleaming testaments to a ship that cost nine figures.
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