Monday, February 4, 2013

In West Palm Beach Heading to Bahamas Tomorrow

Renegade in the slip in Harbor Town Marina. Dirk took this shot from the top of the mast and it shows the finally completed decks

Well I guess by the heading you know that we left the Harbortown Marina in Merritt Island finally. Everything that we could stuff in got put on the boat and it was time to go. We pulled out on the 27th and made a short trip down the ICW to Malabar and anchored in a new spot to us close to a small island right off the markers.

Very calm night and the only one anchored at Malabar
It was a calm beautiful night and after waking up, having coffee we took off with Vero Beach in our sights.

I was sitting on the best seat in the house

It was the place we would stay to wait out weather, do final provisioning for fresh fruits and veggies and get Butters to the vet for his Bahamas check up. There was a front that moved through so we decided to stay put for four days which allowed us to get a few things done and get back into cruising mode once again. Friday the 1st we decided to leave to make it down to West Palm Beach in order to catch a weather window opening soon. The winds were still strong but since we were travelling on the inside it wouldn’t be too rough. As we came out of Vero you must make a turn under the bridge as soon as you hit the channel but there was a power boat going very slowly through the bridge and we decided rather than cut him off to turn north and turn around and drop in behind him. That was our plan at any rate. Once we got into the channel to turn we had a north wind bearing down on us and current pulling us toward the bridge. The channel is also very skinny through here so as we were making our turn the current and the wind caught us and took us not 3 feet past the channel marker, we were stuck. We tried to back out but the current was making it impossible. We thought about using our dinghy to pull us off but we were so close to the marker we may have hit it if we drifted more. So we bit the bullet and called Sea Tow. Sea Tow is basically AAA for boaters and we had been paying for it for almost 4 years and never used it before. Today was the day. Forty five minutes later he showed up, hooked up to us, pulled us back into the channel and safely away from the marker. It all took place in about 10 minutes. When we were filling out the paper work Dirk asked him how much it would have cost if we didn’t have them. Whew, it would have cost us $800.00, guess it pays to have it. Hope we don’t need to use them again though. Once we got underway again it got a bit rough even for the ICW. There were 1 to 2 foot waves with choppy white caps all around. It wasn’t bad because it was behind us and gave us a nice push. Needless to say we made up some of the time we spent sitting aground. We did have some dolphins visit a bit and we watched them for about 30 minutes before they became bored and left.

Catching dolphins out of the water is hard to do

Here I got one surfacing and one heading back under

We anchored south of the Jensen Beach bridge so we could have a bit of protection and had a comfortable nights sleep. Saturday was our day to travel the worst part of the ICW. This is a very popular location, lots and lots of boat traffic and too many timed bridges that you must be dead on to get right. This is also where we have had the rudest bridge tenders. This time it wasn’t so bad, only one managed to rub me wrong as I didn’t copy him the first time and he screamed at me the second time. So as we passed under the bridge I killed him with kindness, thanked him for the opening and wished him a wonderful day. There, take that.  As we left the last bridge the traffic was really bad. Large fishing boats blowing past us throwing us all over the place. We continued on around to Peanut Island and passed it to anchor in the south anchorage. We had our new friends Tanya and Dave on Dea Latis at the front of the anchorage and found a spot close to them. Later that evening we discussed plans for a crossing over sun downers. It looks like there will be a window opening on Tuesday/ Wednesday so our plan as of right now is to leave here about 4:00am on Tuesday morning and head over to Great Sale Cay. We are looking at about 100 mile trip and it should take us no more than 20 hours to do it. So hopefully the next blog you get from me is one telling you that we made it and we are not still in the states waiting on weather.

1 comment:

Troubadour Admiral said...

Safe sailing! Can'w wait to live vicariously through you in the Bahamas again! I loved the Abacos! Hope you had a pleasant journey! I can see by your spot that you are almost there!