Tuesday, March 7, 2017

ever changeable plans

March 6, 2017
As I write this, we are at Florida anchor, aka hard aground, waiting for the tide to come in and lift us off. We spent three nights at Halifax Harbor Marina because the wind was strong right on the nose and we weren’t having fun.  I was below and Reggie was at the helm in his sweat pants, coat and hat.

some days are less warm than others in Florida

Let me back up to our crossing. We knew we expected brisk winds from the ESE. It was brisk and rocky rolly. I felt like an old tennis shoe in the washing machine. Our plan was to go straight through to the St John’s River which would take about 48 hours. After doing isometric exercises for two hours at the helm followed by a two hour restless break before the next round of isometrics, we opted for plan B. We altered course for Ft. Pierce, ETA 24 hours after leaving Ocean Reef.  Once we hit the Gulf Stream, we thought it might be an easier ride to go with it and the waves. Back to Plan A.  It was smoother for a short time, then worse than ever. Plan C, Head for Cape Canaveral.

As we worked our way up the coast of Florida on Wednesday morning, a couple different turtles let us get closer than they ever have before. They are very shy and usually dive before I get a good look at them. These guys let us get within about 20 feet.  We also had a large group of dolphin escort us. There may have been as many as twenty. They were smaller than usual, maybe 3 to 4 feet average length. Most of them had spots on the backs. I have never seen ones that small or with spots. Do you know if they are a different breed?

We arrived sometime on Wednesday. Cape Canaveral Inlet is deep and wide, so we didn’t have to consider tide. However, it is about 8 miles from the ICW with two bascule bridges and a lock. First bascule opened for us and only a short wait for the lock to open. The next bridge closed and would not open until 6 PM. We found a place to drop anchor which allowed boats to navigate around us and ate dinner and relaxed. Once through the bridge, we dropped anchor just off the ICW and slept.

Thursday morning we were back on the water highway. 

approaching the drawbridge before passing out into Mosquito Lagoon

local rules posted on the bascule bridge

We made good time and had a quiet night at anchor. Friday morning the cold front arrived, but Reggie bundled up and headed north. We were going to need to fuel up sometime in the near future. Halifax Harbor Marina was the place. Our stay here allowed us to hide from several days of brisk (20 knots, gusting up to 30) winds on the nose.

Daytona seemed like a nice place. We walked about 3 miles to a grocery store on Saturday and lugged four sags of food back to the boat. I think my arms are a couple inches longer.  On Sunday, we again walked about 3 miles to the bus terminal only to find that it was closed.  Reggie walked most of the docks. I went with him for a couple of them. We searched for a good sea food place, but didn’t find one.

The tide should be starting to rise pretty soon and we will be on our way again. It should take us four days  to get to our next, and last, marina for this trip. That is our present Plan A.

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