Lighthouse at Ponce Inlet
Spent two nights at the Daytona municipal marina - a very nice place, but not particularly inexpensive. Had a nice pizza night at a hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant. The next night we anchored in a well-protected creek that reminded us of a Chesapeake anchorage, and now we are spending 3 nights at Marineland Marina. This is a rather isolated spot with nature trails, a dolphin center, and easy access to the Atlantic beach. No restaurants or shops nearby, though the marina is inexpensive.
Yesterday we walked the nature trail: very pretty with palms mixing with live oaks and magnolias, and so on. Today we went to the dolphin center where the Admiral wanted to swim with the dolphins, apparently to keep up with a sister-in-law. Unfortunately the dolphins are booked solid for two weeks, so we watched others swim with them.
Tomorrow we plan to go to the beach, and the next day proceed to Saint Augustine and take a mooring for a night. Planned arrival at our Jacksonville Beach marina is Sunday.
A random tug.
After three nights on the hook, during which time the Admiral added several new birds to her sighting list (it's genetic), we pulled into the municipal marina in New Smyrna Beach yesterday. We are staying over again tonight. All this is by way of drifting up to Jacksonville where we will leave arrow for a week while we attend a wedding in San Diego. There are few good anchorages in northern Florida, so we often will be going marina-to-marina. Next up is Daytona for two nights.
The weather continues to be lovely: around 80 deg during the day and 70 deg at night. We have been amazed at the absence of pesky insects throughout our rambling around Florida, but we are now starting to see the occasional fly or mosquito.
The Captain predicts a declining frequency of blog posts for the remainder of our trip. Photos of the south side of objects whose north-side photos were posted earlier would be boring. And the Captain's life-long remedy for boring publication - namely, the inclusion of more equations - has been rejected by the Admiral. (Fortunately for the addict there are many other sailblogs to consult.)
Spoil island in the Indian River.
We left the marina at Fort Pierce at 7:30 am to catch the tide and the start of the southwest breeze. We motor-sailed north about 40 statute miles, past Vero Beach, to anchor in the lee of the pictured island/sandbar. On the way we saw a lovely wooden ketch hard aground and heeled over as the result of an apparent navigational error, but there was nothing we could do to help.
After 5 nights on the hook, we came into a nice marina near the Fort Pierce Inlet yesterday, and we plan to stay two nights. (After 6 or 7 nights out we usually need fuel, water, pumpout, and some fresh supplies.) We continue to have beautiful weather, including even wind direction, for a change. We had a nice sail up the Palm Beach area, past Fort Worth Inlet, Peanut Island, etc, and then we have had a couple of days of motor-sailing up through Jupiter and the St. Lucie Inlet area. Anchorages have been wide open, but the nights have been pretty quiet.
We have two weeks to get to Jacksonville, from where we fly to CA for a wedding. When we return, we head north for home. Yes, we will not be going to the Bahamas as a number of issues (weather, schedule, etc) have caused us to change plans.
Today was similar weather, but with a bit more east wind forecast. If we took the outside route again, we would have to go more than twice as far as yesterday before coming back in (at the Lake Worth Inlet). We didn't feel up to a long day of heavy seas, so we took the ICW route through 17 drawbridges to Lake Worth,
about 8 miles south of the inlet. Whew. At least we have now finished the worst bridge stretch of the trip back.
We are anchored along the edge of Lake Worth, expecting a quiet night, but there really wasn't much to choose from in the way of anchorages.
Up before sunrise, and out of our quiet anchorage, through the Port of Miami, and into the Atlantic. We hoisted the jib, close-reached out a couple of miles, and found the Gulf Stream. Our speed immediately jumped more than 2 knots, and we saw our first schools of flying fish. We sailed rapidly north, but the seas were quite large, and by the time we were approaching Fort Lauderdale, about 3 hours, we were worn out just holding on. So we picked up a mooring near the Las Olas Bridge, and relaxed and read for the afternoon.