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Two If By Sea
The Gold Coast

Our southern swing began early this morning. We had a 28-mile run down the ICW through Lake Worth, Palm Beach, Boynton Beach to Delray Beach. Lake Worth showed off with lovely homes and a lack of busy boat traffic. Fronting the ICW in Boynton Beach are beautiful houses with manicured lawns and swimming pools on the bay. We had lots to look at and to take our minds off the ten bridges to be dealt with. Our anchorage is a small pool off the ICW and we are surrounded by homes, canals, boats and condos. As you can see, this spot allows us to get on the Internet easily and I just had to check on the American Idol performances of last night!

Tomorrow we head to Ft. Lauderdale, a 22-mi. run, again on the ICW and again with lots of bridges. Bob and Mary may continue south with us or possibly cross to the Bahamas. Their trip plan has always been about six weeks longer than ours, so if the weather is perfect, they may hop.

We will continue our trip south to meet up with two other boats who are also on Plan B and who are in the Key Biscayne area now. We may go on the outside to Miami, rather then the ICW route inside. More to decide...

05/07/2009 | Richard & Joanne Collins
We are currently anchored off Elliott Key. See our blog! Maureen's phone doesn't work here so if you want to call us call 281 543 8781 or 281 543 9018.

Richard & Joanne
Heading South

This is the season of wind. We are still in the North Palm Beach anchorage and I regret to report that we are going to head south instead of east to the Bahamas. This decision came after much soul searching and discussions between ourselves and with Bob and Mary. We have a time frame in mind and to go now would force us to not rely on "island time" and enjoy and take advantage of the opportunity. The way we look at it is that we have experienced a trip we would not otherwise have taken and, better yet, we have a good 3 to 4 weeks of continuing new experiences ahead of us, as we complete what some cruisers call the "Florida Loop."

Although we did not get to the beautiful beaches of the Bahamas, as you can see, we did get to the beach in North Palm. How could we miss this spot? Actually, we had noticed some dinghies going through the anchorage and disappearing down a channel. I motored over to a neighboring boat and asked about that and was told that there was a spot near a bridge to put your dinghy and walk into town. There was a Publix grocery store within a block, a Duffy's Sports Bar, West Marine, and assorted shops. We timed it for happy hour with 2 for 1 drinks and the best home made potato chips we have ever had. We later took advantage of the Monday dinner special.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, we plan on heading south on the ICW towards Ft. Lauderdale, and then Miami and Biscayne Bay the next day. From there, we will work our way through the upper and middle keys and visit spots we have not seen in earlier trips to the Keys. We may also meet up with two other boating couples that are touring the Keys after deciding that they would not be able to cross as well. I imagine we will stop off in Marathon and prepare to go up the west coast and complete the loop.

05/06/2009 | Barb
OH, we're so sorry your not going to make the crossing, that means you need to go with us next year! More adventures are yet to come as you travel south. xo Barb
05/06/2009 | Chris & Glyn
Nice one, considering the wind.Have a great adventure completing the loop. Will you be giving the anchorage at JF Bank a miss ?!!!
Fond memories Chris& Glyn
Not Stuart, Not The Bahamas

Yes, I know. We previously told you that we were moving from Stuart on Saturday to West Palm/Lake Worth, and then we would head to the Bahamas on Sunday. Well, we did leave Stuart around 11:00 and had a terrific ride down The St. Lucie River and then the Indian River. It's hard to describe the homes and the boats along the waterways. We arrived in West Palm around 6:30 and anchored in a fairly nice protected spot near the Lake Worth Inlet. It was a Saturday night and these people love to party. Weather predictions for the crossing were 5 to 10 knots for the wind, less than 2 feet for the seas. Well, once again, NOAA was not very accurate. We were up at 5:45 to leave the anchorage by 6:30. When we got to the Inlet, it was an outgoing tide with an incoming wind of 15 knots. What happened to the prediction? The waves in the Inlet were over 4 feet, and breaking. At times, half of our boat would be entirely out of the water. We got out to the Atlantic and it went downhill from there. With making a blazing speed of about 2 knots, and rough seas, it would take 30 hours to reach the Bahamas, instead of the 10 to 12 as planned. Therefore, we swallowed our pride and came back in, only after waiting a couple of hours for the current/tide to go slack for passage back through the Inlet. We had to pass by the Peanut Island party scene. We agreed that we could not survive that life style. We did go to a different anchorage which is surrounded by 20+ story condos and private homes, with the largest boats in one area we have scene. Apparently, the east coast is more affluent than the west coast. We have not given up in our quest and will try again. Hopefully, the next time you hear from us will be from the Bahamas.

05/04/2009 | Jess&Sheri
we have been following your travels, sorta like a story book from when I was a kid. we are hoping your crossing can still be made. sounds like the east coast is far and away more lively then the west. ed may have found his boat, guess he will find out today. we are well and hope you guys are the same. keep us informed, may the good lord sail with these days, (I'm finding religion these days). later...
05/05/2009 | Linda Schwandt
Patty and David,
Not sure how, but I've happened upon your sailblog. I've enjoyed reading your tale, but am sorry it's been a long wait to leave for the Bahamas. Hope by now you have had a smooth and safe sail to your destination.

Stuart Farewell

John and Celia did arrive on their trawler, Messing About, this afternoon. We all got together, again, for another bon voyage sunset drink on their boat. They head north tomorrow morning first thing and we head south to West Palm, about 30 miles, for an early departure Sunday morning for the Bahamas. The horizon is in sight, full speed ahead.

Final Days At Stuart

It's time for an update and, perhaps, a final word before we cross. Sunday is to be the day as things now stand. The winds are to be about 10 knots out of the southeast, with waves 2 to 3 feet. During the last couple of days, we have just been hanging around the anchorage and going into town occasionally. We did hop on the bus yesterday and ran up to our favorite mall for a new sudoku book as we are about to finish the one we have on board. We also happened to find a Haagen-Daz store there. Cannot pass up on the ice cream.

Since we have been here, we have listened to a local radio station that advertises upcoming concerts. It seems that we have returned to the 60s and 70s as the groups include Spyra Gyra, Jefferson Airplane, Davy Jones, Steve Miller, James Taylor, Kenny Rogers, Hall and Oates, and The Beach Boys. Where is Rick Springfield? Says something about the audiences in eastern Florida.

Because of our delayed departure from here, our friends from P Dock at Burnt Store Marina, John and Celia, have caught up with us. They are taking their 42 Grand Banks trawler back north to New Jersey and will be taking a mooring ball here tonight.

We have talked so much about where we are, we walked across the highway bridge this morning to take this picture. Our boat, along with Bob and Mary's, is in the final row.

Movie Review

We are still in Stuart but it now looks as if Saturday will be the day for the next leg of this cruise - Grand Bahama Island and Old Bahama Bay Marina at West End. However, because we are still here, we decided this was movie day. We got back on the same bus we used previously to get lost on and headed to Treasure Coast Mall in Jensen Beach. Fortunately, it was the first stop, right at the main entrance. The movie selection was State of Play, starring Ben Affleck and Russell Crowe. The setting was in Washington D.C. and was quite suspenseful. A good way to spend an afternoon. We even got on the right bus for the return trip, only after Patty and I did a quick run down the highway to West Marine for a chart purchase, and an even faster run back to the bus stop. Our traveling companions, Bob and Mary, held the bus departure for a few minutes as they could see us running back. We will be checking the weather forecasts for the next few days and hope to leave here Thursday for a run down the Intracoastal Waterway to West Palm. There, we will anchor for a night or two and then depart early in the morning.

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Who: Patty and David Power
Port: Punta Gorda, Florida
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