DAY 151 OF OUR GREAT ADVENTURE
Brooke & Susan Smith
03/31/2012, Marineland Marina , FL
Getting caught up on the blog....
We stayed in the Cocoa Village Marina Tuesday night and explored the Historic Village of Cocoa. It is part of Cocoa Beach and City of Cocoa, very nice marina. The largest old hardware store I've ever seen is here in Cocoa. Travis Hardware has been in operation since 1885 when it was on a barge that took the store from town to town. Huge wrenches, and old wood stoves. I bought some brass hardware at very old prices!!
Wednesday, we traveled on and moored at Titusville Marina, very near the Space Center. We took on fuel ($3.89/gal 150.5 gallons ) for the first time since February 5 when we filled up at Lake Worth for the crossing to the Bahamas. That's correct! We went across to the Bahamas; stayed 5 weeks and came back without taking on any fuel. Good old boat sips fuel. We still had over 1/2 tank! We thought about going to tour Cape Canaveral but decided not and stayed on the mooring ball for the evening.
Thursday, we started traveling at 7:30 and ended up doing 66 miles. We should start earlier more often because of all the nature we got to view before the midday sun. Going down, we did not see any manatees until Miami when Jonathan was with us. Now, on our way home, it is the birthing season and they are all over the place! We need to be very watchful so we won't hit any. At the end of the day, yesterday, we were at a LONG stretch of the intracoastal where we couldn't pull over and anchor for the night. Too many rocks, so we entered the Palm Coast Marina to stay Thursday night. It was a very late stopping time for us, around 8 PM. The old guy, late dock-master, was telling about the marina and surrounding areas mentioned the bathrooms at the marina were bi-sexual. I think he meant Unisex. We cautiously checked the bathrooms out and they were labeled Men and Women. So that's what he meant by bi-sexual! Hey old guys rule!
We walked to an Italian restaurant called Mezzaluna, for dinner, Delicious! We ate bread with seasoned oil like there was no tomorrow and then an antipasta and split a sandwich. Long days make you extra hungary..
Friday morning we had a short run to a place Brooke was dying to see called, Marineland Marina!! It is highly recommended by a trawler organization, MTOA (Motor Trawler Owners'Association) we joined. Has GREAT rates and FREE laundry (only place we have seen with free laundry!). This is where the original Marineland is, from 1937, where they used to film Tarzan, Sea Hunt, and Benji and other TV shows. It was closed for a long time and reopened in 2006, and is on the National Registry of Historic Places! Right across street from the marina! We will go there to tour tomorrow, after I go with two other cruiser women to the grocery (in the marina's courtesy car). We got a free ticket to Marineland because we went on a kayak tour this evening, so we will see it tomorrow. The kayak leader said the population here in Marineland is 8 people! Sunset kayak trip was fun, but it was overcast and we didn't actually see it. After grocery trip, it will be laundry and Marineland and a peek at the beach! Tonight we are invited to join a bluegrass jam session, here at this small, totally rebuilt marina. Actually, the University of Georgia has research facilities in several buildings here,too. In the morning, we will continue our travels north.
I added another photo gallery of Titusville to Marineland. So check that out.
Today's picture is Susan in the front of the tandem kayak. Check that long hair out.
DAY 147 OF OUR GREAT ADVENTURE
03/26/2012, Anchored near Melbourne, FA
We moved up the ICW today from Ft. Pierce. Just another windy day and a nice sunset. Wind was blowing to 25kts. So, it was slow moving 45 miles in 9 hours. But we moved.
I forgot to mention yesterday that I had posted move pictures on the gallery of the crossing. Check The crossing pictures.
Today's picture is sunset through the Eau Gallie Causeway bridge.
DAY 145 OF OUR GREAT ADVENTURE
Brooke & Susan Smith
03/26/2012, Fort Pierce City Marina
Day 145 West End Bahamas to Ft. Pierce I slept good. Lots of things going through my head:
Tomorrow we would be traveling 87 nautical miles - the most miles we had ever done in a day - mostly in the Atlantic.
The path Liquid Therapy would be traveling would put good use to the gulf stream's northerly march.
The weather window was good for lighter winds and calm seas the entire trip.
We had plenty of fuel.
All systems "GO"
I figured this trip could take 10 -13 hours depending the actual push we got fro the gulf stream..
Still there was lots of very deep blue between the Bahamas and the United States. I had spent much of my Navy years in the Atlantic. I had seen it good and bad. But mostly good. And when it's nice out there it is really beautiful. So even though we had crossed over to the Bahamas from Lake Worth. We were more interested in "getting there" than observing the beauty of the Atlantic. This crossing would be different - enjoying the Atlantic.
As we pulled away at first light 6:45AM and said goodbye to the Bahamas we were quickly in the Atlantic. I set the GPS for the entrance marker at Fort Pierce and set the GOTO function and saw something that looked wrong. The arrival time saw 2:45. I was thinking PM and that seemed impossible. It was indicating 2:45AM. We were catching a southernly flow along the cost of the Bahamas and making only 4.3kts! Yikes I wasn't counting on that. So, I changed course to the west to get out of that current. Then things got better. 9:40PM ETA. But that was before we hit the gulf stream. I told Suz that the ETA would get better as we picked up more of the gulf stream and then get a little worse as we got closer to shore. I took hourly position readings and recorded the ETA. The best ETA we got was 7:32PM with my 4:00PM fix to the #4 entrance marker. We were tied up at Fort Pierce City Marina at 7:57PM. We had left 6:51 AM. So my 13 hr travel time was OK.
We also did an old ritual at 12:00 noon. We tossed a message in a bottle for someone to find one day @26º 59.8N 79º 28.8W. Nice wine bottle with instructions to contact us if it is found. Now where will it go???
The gulf stream influence is strange to witness. For a couple hours my compass course was 265º. The boat was traveling 305ºT at 7.1kts. So there was quite a cross current out there. Of course you could not see this on the calm ocean. The trip across was very pleasant except for the last 8 miles. As we came out of the deep water the waves got larger and the the wind also picked up. What had been a slight roll of the ocean swells was now building to 5-6ft seas hitting our port quarter and at times almost broadsides. The autopilot was no happy and I manually steered to take better angles on the overcoming waves. This was not dangerous, just reminded me of the Chesapeake Bay chop. But if it had gotten much worse we would have had to make course changes making our landfall delayed. I considered to heading north to Cape Canaveral as an alternative. Susan went below to control anything shifting around. I had my PFD on that Meade Shore had loaned me. It has the tethered to keep you from leaving the boat. It never got that bad. But the large swells appeared to come very closet to the dinghy hanging in the davits. Liquid Therapy handles just great in all of the sea conditions. Very good when you get in tune with the handling characteristics. As we got closer and in shallower water the waves subsided to 3-4ft. We did have to turn to port as we entered the Fort Pierce inlet channel and the waves were now hitting us broadside on the port side. The boat was fine with this and the decreasing wave size. We came through the inlet at dusk with lots of boats fishing in the channel and it was only about 10 minutes to our slip.
We were tired and and tied up went up to the TIKI restaurant and had an American Hamburger with a pickle spear. Wow that tasted good and the pickle was something good.
Todays picture is a barracuda I caught. YIKES.
Message from Susan after we arrived in Ft Pierce.
Good Night to All, from Fort Pierce, Florida!!
We wanted you all to know we arrived, back in the states, safely, the around 8PM tonight. We went 87 miles in 13 hours, our longest travel day yet! Understandably, Brooke is alseep after his first hamburger in weeks! We had a great weather forecast for today, and a pleasant crossing, until about 8 miles out the wind cranked up and so did the waves. I had to stay below it was so rough. Things were flying all around, as my regular securing for travel wasn't enough today. Thank goodness we had stayed at this marina before on the way down and knew how to get in here! Tomorrow we will take a cab to Publix to get groceries and then start back up the ICW early Tuesday. We may make some outside passages, too. Just depends on the weather.
What an adventure we have had! We highly recommend you visit the Bahamas, as well as southern Florida. We will continue to update the blog until we get back home. Thanks to all of you who have kept up with the blog and supported us with your comments!! See you before too long!
DAY 145 OF OUR GREAT ADVENTURE
Brooke & Susan Smith
03/24/2012, Old Bahama Bay Marina
The theme song for today is Alvin Lee's "I'M GOING HOME" Love that old song. Old Bahama Bay Marina to Fort Piece FL is the passage for today. We left the beautiful turquoise Bahamian waters briefly into the beautiful deep blue Atlantic to come into Old Bahama Bay Marina. Getting underway in a few minutes 6:45..
We are having coffee now and hope to pull out in about half an hour. Just have to drop the lines and go. We had a fun last night in the Bahamas, great dinner of red snapper and a fun visit with some fun Canadian friends. We keep running into people we have already met. Today will be the longest day, 85 NM, we have ever traveled in one day, a straight shoot to Fort Pierce, Florida. We should get there by dark. Our weather forecasts are very good. After all those weeks we waited to cross over here, this is wonderful to just pass on back so quickly! We'll send you another email after we get settled in Ft. Pierce!
Picture for today is the deep blue Atlantic yesterday as we left the Bahama Bank since February 15
DAY 142 OF OUR GREAT ADVENTURE
03/22/2012, Leeward Yacht Club, Green Turtle Cay
Today was our last full VACATION day in the Bahamas, sniff, sniff. We are ready to come home, but have had a wonderful experience, or shall I say adventure. We came back to the Black Sound on Green Turtle Cay and we are staying for two nights at the Leeward Yacht Club. Adrian and Christie are great hosts and Laverne, Summer and Beryl at the Lizard Lounge made sure we were never hungry or thirsty! After puttering around the boat a bit, we got in the dinghy and went around to New Plymouth settlement for a last visit. We checked several grocery stores, but just got bananas and one more loaf of that good Bahamian white bread. We picked up some pineapple rum and some white rum, both made in the Bahamas! Susan got a Bahamian style pareo, made from the Androsia fabric from the island of Andros. We saw Mrs. MacIntosh and told her we would have dinner later at her bakery/restaurant, especially when she told us she had grouper!! When we went back that evening, the fried lobster, grilled grouper and cracked conch were all to die for! The afternoon trip was made complete by stopping by Miss Emily's Blue Bee Bar for a Goombay Smash. Check this link http://www.abacoescape.com/FoodDrink/SandySolution.html
Miss Violet is the present proprietor, and the Goombay Smash was invented by her mom, Miss Emily. If you like coconut rum and pineapple juice, as well as several other kinds of rums, you will love the world famous Goombay Smash. Well, we are back aboard our home on Liquid Therapy and will pull out early in the morning for Great Sale Cay. We will anchor out Thursday night there and Friday morning venture on to Old Bahama Bay Marina for our last night in the Bahamas. If we are lucky, the divers and fishermen will come by selling lobster and grouper on Friday night!! VERY early on Saturday we will leave West End, Grand Bahama Island, for Fort Pierce, Florida, about 85 miles! These next three days will be long and we will be out of touch. We will have plenty of time to reminisce and be thankful that we were able to undertake such an adventure! Thanks to all for having the perseverance to follow us for these months down the ICW, through the Florida Keys and across the Abacos Islands!
Today's Picture is Susan outside Miss Emily's Blue Bee Bar.
Day 141 OF OUR GREAT ADVENTURE
03/20/2012, Leeward Yacht Club, Green Turtle Cay
Well, we are headed home! Yesterday, we left Treasure Cay and headed over to our favorite spot, No Name Cay. We just like it, a lot. It has lots of shells and wild pigs and a conch graveyard. We actually took a short cut and did not have to go out in the Atlantic around Whale Cay yesterday. We anchored closer to shore than the last time. You are basically anchored in the Sea of Abaco near the notorious Whale Cay inlet and wave action can be bothersome. We 'rocked' all last night. But we went ashore this morning, one last time, to feed the pigs. They were a little more aggressive and scary, than the last time we saw them. One tried to get into the dinghy and tried to bite Susan's foot! They don't look skinny, but must be hungry LIKE PIGS. We left there and putted back over to Green Turtle Cay and got tied up in a slip at the Leeward Yacht Club for the next two nights. We will be taking on water and any food we think we might need. Then, we will be truly on a mission to get back to the US by Saturday evening, as the weather is supposed to be GREAT, 5-10 kt winds out of the southeast! Instead of going straight across, we are going to do about an 85 NM run to Fort Pierce. That will be taking good advantage of the gulf stream current and will take hardly any more time than going straight across and fighting the gulf stream.This will save us some ravel time on the ICW, also.
That's our plan. Saturday night we should be back in the states...
Today's picture is me snorkeling!
Also check our latest Photo Gallery no Name Cay to see the pigs and sea stars.