The ship's blog for SV Nelleke out of Shelburne, NS

Plodding further north

Up early, first parade, raise up the dingy, up anchor, clean all the smelly mud off the foredeck and we're underway. Today where will we end up?

Plan A was to head out the Canaveral Barge Canal and anchor at a nice little spoil Island that we know of where the Canal crosses the Banana River. Nice but not doing much towards getting us home.

Plan B was pretty much the same except we wouldn't anchor but continue on through into the Atlantic. That idea had merit except for one small detail - for the first part of the day until early afternoon there was almost no wind so we would have been motoring anyway, so that brings us to......

Plan C. This would have us continue on up the ICW today and get as far as at least Daytona where would anchor and continue the next day on northward with the goal of picking up a mooring ball in St Augustine where I would take Barb out for dinner. The only concern I had about Plan B was the condition of the ICW, particularly in the area of Matanzas River. The last couple of times we came through there it was beyond skinny and we only got through by following someone else who draws 6' and he carved out a path for us. Barb called TowBoatUS and spoke to the guy responsible for that area and he said that they had just finished dredging it and he went through it yesterday evening and never saw less than 12' in the charted channel. Really good Intel!

Well, all good plans often fail in the execution and this was partially true here. We we're rocking around and I was just congratulating myself with how we had timed things to get the best of the currents at the inlets, and an opening at the first of two scheduled bridges that we were going to go through today. Then, pride goeth before a fall, as they say, and the last bridge that we would have to transit before getting to the planned anchorage for tonight was going to shut for more than an hour just before we arrived.


But, all was not lost. There was one of those old marinas right on our starboard side that we had stayed at a couple of times in the past and it was still $1.10/ft. So we thought, nuts to this! It's supposed to be fun. So tonight we are having another inexpensive night alongside. It gave us a chance to hit a convenience store and relax. The only thing that I will be missing is that I had pretty much convinced Barb to go skinny-dipping off our stern tonight, but now I guess that's out.

Speaking of skinny dipping, we saw lots of manatees on this leg of the trip both solo animals and herds. As we were transiting the Haulout Canal there was a backwater that was full of them, at least a half dozen, perhaps more, and they had either found a particularly nice patch of underwater vegetation and they were in the manatee equivalent of a feeding frenzy, or it was that time of year and they were making manatee whoopie.

And speaking of making whoopie, I can't believe the number of people that were out on the water today! I can't believe the sunburns in the back of some truly immense guys! All I could think about when I saw them was beached Orcas. And, I can't believe the size of some women who wear next to nothing for a bikini! In fairness it was great to see everyone out enjoying themselves on a beautiful Saturday, especially families with their kids on he spoil islands playing in the sand or wading out to fish.

All in all, a good day.

Barb amused herself by thinking up the Florida version of Hinterland Who's Who. She started on the young males of the species - ball hats on backwards, reflective wrap around sunglasses, bare chested and sunburned, board shorts partly slipped down to accommodate their already growing beer bellies, driving overpowered gas guzzlers at top speed in no-wake zones - called "red backed chick attractors". If they survive long enough they "mature" to be called "heart-attack-waiting-to-happen geezers" with plumage that they appear to think disguises their corpulence but still seeming to be able to attract scantily clad young females of the species. We don't pretend to understand all of the mating rituals of the males of the species as found in this stretch of the ICW but tomorrow, still the weekend, we will be carrying out more field research.