29 April 2017 | Jeep Week in Daytona - they are Everywhere !
Finally ! A good weather window to leave Marathon, and a group of us all left late morning after a squall line went through. Hawk Channel runs south of the Keys, in the Florida Straights, and we decided to sail outside and go around past Miami and Ft. Lauderdale to Lake Worth. Initially a roly-poly ride, but the seas settled down and by the time we got to Key Largo we got a smooth ride and brisk conditions. Dan and Dawn on Gertie led the way, with just the two of us remaining for the overnight. As we rounded Key Biscayne going north towards Miami we picked up the Gulf Stream and began to "fly", approaching 10 knots for a great sail all the way to Lake Worth. Miami was a spectacular site as we passed offshore about midnight, all the lights glowing and the sky bright, reflected in the night sky.
At Lake Worth we traveled the ICW north 12 miles to one of our favorite marinas, Old Port Cove, took a slip and stopped for a couple days to rest and re-provision. The weather continues to look good through the week, so we wanted to move after a couple days. Still making outside jumps, we decided to move the 12 miles back to the Inlet and go outside, again, north to Ft. Pierce, a good day sail. Gertie still with us left early, but we had to wait until about 11 AM for a falling tide to get under one bridge near the inlet. We had scraped our antenna on the way in with just under 64 ft showing on the dock boards, so we had to wait it out to get to our magic number for clearance.
It was another good day traveling north, although we didn't go out far enough to get into the Gulf Stream, the wind had shifted to the southeast and we made a steady 8 knots. We entered the Ft. Pierce inlet about 6 PM and went directly to an anchorage and dropped the hook to rest for the night. Gertie, running about two hours ahead of us had moved on to Vero Beach. As usual, Diana cooked another wonderful concoction and we made "fake" bloody Mary's with V8 juice and Cuban Rum!
Wednesday the 26th was another good weather day, and we decided to stay inside on the ICW and continue the north bound trek. We advanced 100 miles that day, arriving at Titusville where we anchored for the night, and pushed on the next day another 60 miles to Daytona. A front is moving through over the weekend, and winds upon arriving at Daytona were already pushing 20 knts, so we took a slip at Halifax Harbor Marina for the weekend to get out of the oncoming weather and enjoy the City. Coming south we had stayed next door at the Halifax Yacht Club, but this weekend is their blessing of the fleet, and annual event in most sailing clubs and they were full. We will go by there over the weekend to see the dockmaster, who had been enormously helpful on our stop back in November, and drop off a Pamlico Plantation burgee for him.
Daytona is a nice stop, facilities are great and there is so much to do within a short walk. This is "Jeep Week" in Daytona, the town is overrun with Jeeps. This morning I stood at an intersection waiting to cross a street as 50 jeeps roll past on one light change. The annual "Oyster Festival" was today, actually not much in the way of oysters, but complete with bands, lots of booths with food and novelties and we did manage to get one dozen oysters to share at the only booth that really had them !
So tomorrow, Sunday will be a preparation day to get ready to move north Monday. The front will continue high winds, but laundry and provisions were done today and we will be ready to move again Monday to St, Augustine.