A Taste Of Choppy ICW09/11/2008
They say the photographs never depict the actual waves and this is true for this picture. My trek from Vero Beach to my last remote anchorage on the ICW was as windy and wavy as the the last few days of traveling. Today the winds peaked at 16 knots (about 20 mph) and the waves created enough spray to keep things cool and interesting. At one point I became downright chilled and thought about putting on more clothing. That didn't last long.
Morning In Vero Beachmuggy but cooler in the early morning
It was a muggy night. I slept in Anne's bed (the biggest bed in the whole boat, of course) but couldn't get too comfortable due to the humidity. I let Jake sleep out on deck and he did fine. When I took them on a walk before departing Jake determined to chase two balls into the river and wound up getting himself lost in the mangroves and I just about had a kaniption (sp) before he was retrieved. Jake is such a rebel and he's getting worse as he ages and becomes more independent. Anne, my baby, did something to her right front paw. I think she punctured one of the pads on a pricker or something. It is just a little hole but it is bleeding a tiny bit every time she takes a step. The sailboat is littered with little red dogs from Anne walking about. I'm monitoring it closely and even (this is going to seriously gross you out) licked it clean the way she licked my foot injury clean - she deserves at least that. It tasted salty and her paw pad was rough on the tongue. I know this sounds gross but I can't tell you how many times Anne has brought me comfort by licking my legs or feet at just the right time.
Moored In Vero Beachovercast but comfortable
After an arduous day of cruising in open windy conditions we went through about 8 miles of well protected canals that were calm and beautiful. When I looked up from the page of my book we were at the bridge depicted in the photograph above. I made the sharp turn to the east, called the marina on the VHF for my assignment (#5) and managed to hook the crud encrusted line and tie it off securely to the sailboat. We are moored in this calm mangrove lined lagoon. No bugs either last night or tonight - so nice to just leave the hatches open to the night air. Dropped the dingy and put on the motor, left the dogs on the boat, and went to pay the $12 nightly fee (anchoring is forbidden in Vero but these moorings are sweet). I can do laundry here and exchange some books and tackle several other projects today before heading the remaining 70 miles to Palm Beach Thursday and Friday.
Damn Thieves09/10/2008, Dragon Head Anchorage
I met a nice gentleman from Argentina living in the anchorage who had his dingy stolen and was rowing to and from his sailboat. For a subsistence liveaboard this sort of loss is enormous. If I hadn't left my 2hp in the Rebounder up in Oriental, NC, I would have seriously considered giving it or selling it cheap to him. I've heard outboards are not too expensive in the Bahamas if mine goes missing. To avoid that I've taken to attaching it to the davits and raising it a bit out of the water to make it more a part of the boat and to keep water out.
Playing Ball At Dragon Point Anchorage09/10/2008
It's amazing how a good protected anchorage makes for a calm stay. The wind yesterday and today has been strong thanks to Ike, around 20 mph for long periods. We've driven through it without trouble. I've seen 4 foot waves on the ICW in areas where it is wide.
I'm On A Fast Food Thing And It Tastes Good (But Salty)cool breeze
09/08/2008, Dragon Point Anchorage
You'd think this was foodblogs, but it happens that the food is such an integral part of the sailing/cruising experience that the picture of dinner is often as significant as the beautiful sunset. As you can see, I'm hardly living off of freeze dried packets (though I do have a few from an experiment I did last year - another story completely). Well, I'm off for a hot deck shower while the water is still piping hot from today's cruise. I hope the 1/2 moon doesn't put out too much light.
Dragon Point AnchorageKeith, nice
What a day. I didn't get out until 11:00 a.m. because I was hanging out again in the shade with the guys at the Titusville Marina. A small rainstorm came through before we departed and foretold a day marked by wind and waves. It was heaviest during the first few hours, with winds gusting over 20 mph and waves that hit the side of the sailboat, came up into the air, then blew into the cockpit. Now I appreciate the dodger. I think the cabin is pretty much dried out from the spray that came into the ports before I closed them on the windward side (forgive me the terminology, but we're in Rome now, so to speak). With all that wind, often coming from the beam, I had to do some sailing and that added a knot or two to my speed throughout the day. I traveled 32 knots between 11:00 a.m and about 5:30 p.m., which isn't bad. This anchorage is sweet. It is protected from the east winds that are stirring from Ike, it is scenic, and there is a major shopping area within a short walk. I met a local (meaning local living on a sailboat and not actually cruising) who showed me the secret dingy dock, which has a great area for the dogs to run. Seeing a supermarket and a pizza joint within walking distance of a dingy dock is like finding the holy grail. There's even a petsupermart in the shopping center. I could live in this anchorage for a week if I wasn't meeting someone in Palm Beach on Friday. Regardless, I may have to do some more shopping tomorrow morning before I move on. It should go without saying that we had pizza tonight for dinner. I made the salad.
The Best Burger King Evernice
09/08/2008, Titusville, Florida
I remember fast food like this being disgusting but I have to say this was really tasty. I went to the KFC later in the day and brought dinner back to the boat - it was indeed finger licking good. I have leftovers for lunch as a long cruise is anticipated for today. The weather in Titusville was nice with a cool breeze and the marina had a perfect shady area with concrete floors (which the dogs love) and we wound up sitting there for several hours while I studied Skipper Bob's treatise on cruising in the Bahamas. The dogs just laid down on the floor and greeted everyone who walked by. Skipper Bob says the people who cruise there on sailboats and trawlers don't typically go for a week or two and then leave. He claims the cruising community goes there to stay for the winter and they sometimes cruise around to different destinations but more often hang in a few places and form communities on the water. Interesting. I might have to try that. He also warns that first timers typically don't go much farther than the northern Islands. My personal destination in the Bahamas for this trip, as I think I've mentioned before, is Eluthera. Eluthera is in the Exumas, a chain of islands farther south. Eluthera is where I worked as a Club Med sailing instructor many years ago and I've always wanted to sail back there on my own one day. That day is a coming. Even though the village was closed after a hurricane, I will remember the pink sand and the geography and the feel of the place and probably there will be some remnants of the Club Med. After Eluthera we may or may not head back. Heading back, if that is what we do, will be its own travel adventure so fear not readers, plenty more of this little travelblog is to come.
Still Morning On The Way To Titusvillehot and muggy
Mosquito Lagoon lived up to its name. There were so many mozzies in the cabin by midnight I had to do something. I put up the screens and cleared the cabin of the blood suckers before the dogs and I could sleep the remainder of the evening in peace. The sunset in that remote anchorage prior to the onset of the buggy night was just spectacular but when I awoke at sunrise I just wanted to get the hell out of there. The remaining cruise to Titusville lasted only another 3 hours and we were anchored by late morning. I took the dogs to shore and found a great park by the water to let them run. Then we walked into town and I ate fast food for the first time in months. Last night was spent at anchorage in Titusville. There were no bugs and the cool breeze made for a comfortable evening. Jake and Anne kept alerting to the breathing of manatees that inhabit these waters. At least I know nothing will get close to the boat at night without barking dogs.
Dinner Time For Doggies09/06/2008, Remote Anchorage
It is starting to calm down in the huge inland body of water I've found myself on tonight. The bit of wind we have is still fetching a swell in this open anchorage, but as long as we're holding we're fine and hardly feel it. Jake would prefer to sleep on deck and I have to cope with his protests almost every night to staying in the cabin, but its just too dangerous for him to be on deck by himself while I am sleeping. What if.. no, we won't take the chance. It's a beautiful night. I can see stars and there is 1/2 of a moon out. We should have a full moon for the crossing in about a week or so. I saw my first manatees in New Smirna today. What wonderful gentile creatures. The best way to describe them is a cross between a cow and a mermaid. So big, so slow, so harmless and defenseless. There are signs up everywhere for the last 200 miles reminding people not to go fast since the manatees are evidently all around these waters. The ones I saw were sadly bearing severe scars from probable encounters with boats.
Singer Family Adventures
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