The Ancient Mariner on the New River

Nothing to do with albatrosses,  the Ancient Mariner was a floating restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. Since it was just before my time, I’m not exactly certain where it was but it seems it was on the New River not far from the Stranahan House.

It was originally a Coast Guard cutter and had served admirably in the Second World War. Her name at that time was Nemesis. (In Greek mythology, the spirit of divine retribution, Hmm). She then became a restaurant called Livingston’s Landing but sank, most likely due to rust holes.She was finally fitted out as an African steamship and pressed into service as a restaurant again as the Ancient Mariner; another name with unfortunate, cursed connotations…

The restaurant lasted for about five years but then became the alleged source of an outbreak of Hepatitis A. It was discovered that a kitchen worker was the source of the disease which affected over a hundred people. The restaurant was closed by the authorities and unable to re-open due to the amount of bad publicity generated by the outbreak.

What happened to the craft? Ultimately she became part of Broward County’s artificial reef program. Those who had been made ill by eating at the restaurant weren’t sorry to see it go to the bottom of the ocean.

Evidently divers still visit. Now that is too spooky for me. It looked spooky enough when it was above water.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

Don’t you think the Ancient Mariner looked spooky? Or is it just me …?

Edit: Thanks to Kathy from the Sun Sentinel who let me know via Twitter that the Ancient Mariner was docked just west of where Hyde Park Market used to be, across from jail.

Posted by Las Olas Boulevard in : History News,

  • Sunny, Waterfront Mid-Century Gem

    Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States
    Set midway between Fort Lauderdale Beach and the fabulous Las Olas Boulevard, this quiet and secluded complex is right on the waterfront and enjoys charming Mid-Century Modern features. Fully moder...
    Short Term Rentals in Fort Lauderdale

    Las Olas Boulevard - there's no other place quite like it. Las Olas offers you the very best in dining, antiques, shopping, fashion, the arts, history and much more.

    Las Olas Boulevard is located just seconds from the beautiful Fort Lauderdale beach and enjoys the wonderful South Florida weather. When you visit us on the boulevard, why not come by boat? The Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi will bring you right here.

    We have lots of special events which take place throughout the year and some of the nicest people you'll ever wish to meet are right here. If you're planning a destination wedding, there's no better place.

    The boulevard has a lot of history too. Stay at the Riverside Hotel - built in 1936, or visit the Stranahan House Museum and see where Fort Lauderdale itself began. Enjoy breakfast, at any time of day or night, in the historic Floridian diner. See the Elbo Room, the place featured in Where the Boys Are - the iconic Spring Break movie made in 1960.

    Las Olas Boulevard has something to suit all tastes, all ages and all budgets. Dance the night away or enjoy a quiet drink in a relaxing bar. Experience fine dining in one of our many restaurants, or grab a pizza, sandwich, panini or salad. Enjoy cuisine from all over the world right here. And don't miss the treats we have for you - chocolates, ice creams, frozen yogurts, candies, pastries - all made right here on Las Olas. Eat at a sidewalk café, people-watch, visit our world-class museum of art, take the kids to the science museum for a day of fun, sit and watch the water traffic go by on the New River ... there's so much to do.

    Shop for the finest goods - and bargains too. Our stores sell everything from diamonds to dresses, from gowns to garlic bread!

    We have all your needs taken care of on Las Olas. We have a pharmacy, dry-cleaners, a deli, dressmakers, gifts, quality cigars ... in addition to pampering services if you're looking for a massage, a manicure or a magnificent haircut. We even have our own Sunday farmers' market.

    We haven't forgotten the business traveler. If you're in Fort Lauderdale for business, you'll find every service you need on the boulevard and what better place to work? Many of our restaurants have free wifi so you can check your email and write your blog as you sip an Italian coffee and enjoy a snack in a sidewalk café.

    We'll look forward to seeing you on Las Olas!