1 LiveBloggin' the ICW: Four day report...

Friday, April 6, 2012

Four day report...

I'm finally out of Miami Beach and Biscayne Bay, heading north, destination Georgian Bay, Lake Huron. This may take a while!
The first day, I went up the ICW as I didn't want the extra three mile run back to the restaurant I planned on docking at just north of Lauderdale. Being Sunday, the boat traffic was incredible. At one popular sandbar by Bakers Haulover just north of Miam, there must have been three hundred or more boats anchored or beached, some as big as 40 or more feet. Music of every sort, and a strong whiff of suntan lotion as I sailed by. Yes, I actually had the 'emergency white things' up the mast. It happens sometimes.
From Lauderdale the next day, I headed offshore for Palm Beach. The Gulf Stream comes in close here, so I hitched a ride most of the way, cruising at over 6 knots. 
Some days on the water are simply better than fabulous and this was one of them. There we are, the pup and I, on the turquoise blue Atlantic, warm sun, great wind from behind, dolphins playing about the boat, and wham! - a skipjack tuna, about three pounds, gobbles down the lure I'm dragging behind the boat. We have dinner! Sailed in to Palm Beach and anchored off Peanut Island, poured a glass of wine and sat on the foredeck, just chillin' before going ashore to let Aduana run on the beach.
The next day sucked! Yep, it did. The Gulf Stream is about 11 miles offshore at Palm Beach and 17 at Fort Pierce, my next destination. I was sailing in close, about a mile or so offshore. What I didn't realize is that a back eddy peels off north of Palm Beach and as a result of that current and the light north wind, I struggled to make 4 knots to the endless drone of the diesel. Long, long day, came in well after dark, tired and frustrated.
The highlight of the day was getting a big hit on my fishing line - no idea what it was, but it was big enough to create a big splash when it hit the lure, breaking the line and getting away.  So much for fresh fish for dinner.... might have been a mahi mahi, but more likely a big mackeral. Both great eating...
My next stop being Melbourne to visit Al and Joyce, I headed up the Indian River on day four with a lovely west wind pushing me on my way. Even though at times I was only making two knots, it was worth it just to sail in peace and quiet. I was passed by several sailboats - all of them with sail up....and diesels running to make time. Hardly sporting, and the stench of burning fossil fuel was terrible, if I'm not being too sanctimonious to say so! I simply had to turn up the stereo and pour an ice cold beer to deal with it, while trimming my lovely, quiet sails...and we sailed on into the night, with the full moon trailing a shimmer of coppery light on the water. 
Today, the winds are out of the north and strong, so I'm taking up Al and Joyce's invitation to do laundry and catch up on some chores. Next stop, St. Augustine.