Magic's Adventure

21 April 2009 | Georgetown
17 April 2009 | Mayaguana
11 November 2008 | St Croix
07 November 2008 | St Croix
22 October 2008 | St Croix
21 September 2008 | St Croix
15 September 2008 | Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad
15 September 2008 | Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad
14 September 2008 | Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad
07 September 2008 | Scotland Bay, Trinidad
21 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
09 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
06 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
06 June 2008 | Bequia
05 June 2008 | Bequia
02 June 2008 | Bequia
28 May 2008 | Bequia
27 May 2008 | Bequia
26 May 2008 | Bequia
25 May 2008 | Guadaloupe

Vero Beach to Fort Lauderdale

04 December 2007 | Nassau
The check out time for the Municipal Marina in Vero Beach is 12 noon. So at one minute to (we believe in leaving ourselves plenty of time) we were pulling away from our mooring and heading for the fuel dock. After topping up on fuel & water we headed back to the ICW to once again head south for the Fort Pierce Inlet. We had calculated that we needed to be at the inlet no earlier than 5pm to be able to catch the ebb tide out. We remembered all too clearly the ride we had had coming in on the flood tide and did not want to be fighting that same tide on the way out. We meandered as slowly as we could, but as luck would have it the current was with us and was adding about 2 knots to our speed whether we liked it or not. Suffice it to say we reached the inlet about 2 hours before we wanted to, but decided to head out anyway fighting a 2ish knot incoming tide. Speed - 9.9kts on the way in, 4.2kts on the way out!
Once we were out of the inlet the current was not a problem and we turned south for our passage to Port Everglades inlet, Fort Lauderdale. The wind was right on the nose (when isn't it? Why, when it's right on the stern of course!). But we planned on a series of long tacks across our rum-line to get us where we wanted to go. No problem. And it wasn't. We had a good sail, were making good progress and at 6pm started our usual system of watches.
At 10pm I came up on watch. Dave did the usual hand-over - "no change in wind speed or direction, the lights off our stern are from a freighter that's gone past us, the lights off our port bow (way in the distance) I think are a couple of fishing boats. Keep an eye on them just in case" - and headed below to sleep. I did exactly as I was told and kept my eye on the 'fishing boats', although it soon became apparent that one of them at least was no such thing. It was lit up like a Christmas tree and as we came up on it, was very clearly a cruise liner. A small one, but a cruise liner never-the-less. Moreover we were catching up to it which was very strange. Amongst all the brightness I could not find its navigation light, but there was no change in the overall light pattern so I was sure that it was not changing course and was still a safe distance from us. A short time passed and I did start to see a different light configuration on the cruise liner. I still could not make out a navigation light but it was definitely changing course, I just couldn't make out which way it was heading. I woke Dave and he came up on deck. Between the two of us we figured out that it was now headed away from us and as Dave still had 30 minutes of his 'off-watch' period to go he headed back down below.
With that bit of excitement over I settled back in to my watch, still keeping half an eye on Mr Cruise Ship. Something wasn't right. The light pattern had changed again and a little voice in my head kept whispering (actually yelling like a banshee) that I should not be able to see both red and green navigation lights because that would mean that Mr Cruise Ship was ............coming straight for us! And now at some speed. There was no time to change course or fire up the engine so I could only hope that he had seen us and that we were through his path. Fortunately we were, and as he was passing about 100 yards off our stern I called down to Dave again that he may like to come up and see a sight. He was great! His face only dropped a tiny little bit when he saw the ship passing our stern. But he decided to stay on deck and we finally figured out that the cruise liner had been ambling along waiting for its appointed entry time in to West Palm Beach. The manoeuvring we had both seen earlier was the liner picking up its pilot, and once the pilot was on board the liner headed at some speed in to port. I had actually heard the liner captain speaking to the pilot on the VHF radio earlier, but had not put 2 & 2 together. I will next time!
The rest of the passage was uneventful and although we had to 'stooge around' outside the entrance to Port Everglades waiting for it to be light enough for us to go in, it gave us the chance to sort ourselves out and have a well earned cup of tea. Just before sunrise we headed in, past the numerous cruise ships safely at berth, through the 17th Street Bridge and continued to our chosen anchorage. We like the anchorage at Lake Sylvia but remembered from last year that it is tricky to get in to because of the shallow water at the entrance. We recalled that you have to stay very close to the port-hand side of the entrance and even then don't have much more than 7ft depth of water. In addition, we were approaching low water so we had to be even more careful. We approached the entrance, kept the green marker well to our right, rounded the turn and ............went hard aground! Oh boy, am I glad the Captain was at the helm and not me! I might almost get us run over by a cruise ship, but I don't run us aground! And approaching low water at that! And it wasn't even 9am!
By 1pm El Commodore had had enough of sitting on the hard (as had I, and as had Magic!). We hoped the water level had risen sufficiently for us to drive ourselves off, and we knew that the deeper water was to our left. To give us some heel, and hopefully a little help, we pushed the boom as far to the left as it would go. A 5 gallon container of water was also dangled from the end of the boom to add more weight. Oh the indignity of it all! Magic was not standing for this and with the engine at almost full revs and the yankie giving extra drive we were floating again! We limped into the anchorage, heads bowed, threw down the anchor and thanked our guardian angel for another safe passage. We had heard from Chris Parker, SSB weather guru that tomorrow was the day for crossing the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas. We were ready.
Vessel Name: Magic
Vessel Make/Model: Baba 40
Hailing Port: Ipswich
Crew: David & Donna Glessing