24 February 2012 | Palm Beach, FL
Well, I was up at 5:30 again this morning, checking the weather. I decided to go back out onto the Atlantic to avoid the 23 or so opening bridges between Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach.
I met a huge container ship coming in the Port Everglades Inlet as I was going out. Needless to say, I gave him plenty of room. I watched the sun rise over the ocean as I headed out the ship channel. As I turned toward Palm Beach, I had the sun on one side and the high rises of Ft. Lauderdale on the other.
The wind was decent and started out on my starboard quarter which was great. Then it started coming directly from behind me, which is not so good. You would think that would be ideal but actually its not. My boat just isn't situated well for dead downwind sailing. For that you either need a spinnaker or at least a genoa with a whisker pole. I have neither.
With the wind coming from the stern and the building quartering seas, the auto pilot was having trouble holding a straight course, as the wind kept switching from one side of the main to the other. I hand steered for a couple of hours and eventually dropped the main to allow the autopilot to take over again.
Even so, I was able to continue to motor at 7.5 to 8.2 knots which is pretty respectable. The winds and swells continued to build as I approached the Lake Worth Inlet (Palm Beach). When I turned to head into the inlet, I got rolled pretty good until I got inside the jetty. (When I arrived, I discovered that the cabin was a mess....)
I got to my marina, topped off the fuel and got into my slip. Tomorrow's plan is to leave at first light and head up the ICW to Fort Pierce. Here is a picture of the sunrise.