10 November 2018 | In transit
We needed to settle with the office before we left and they didn’t open until 8 AM so we didn’t rush out of bed. The bugs seemed to have disappeared when the blazing sun appeared over the horizon. We had coffee and made preparations to shove off. We made sure we were on the list for storage next summer, settled our very reasonable bill and said our good-byes. The staff at the marina is so very nice and really can’t do enough for you.
With a friendly shove from the folks across the dock at 08:26 we made our way out of the fairway and into the St Lucie canal. We planned to pick up a mooring ball in Stuart for a week or two. The trip down the canal to Stuart was about 26 miles total. We needed to transit the St Lucie Lock and then continue down river to Sunset Bay. The ride up to the lock was uneventful and at the risk of sounding like a broken record HOT! We had to wait at the lock for the level to be raised before we could enter. Once in the lock we’d be lowered 15 ft to the river level. Total locking time from arrival to exit was about 30 minutes. Interestingly the lock keeper didn’t have Scott cut the engine as they did when we locked through in June. We also found going down to be much smoother that being raised. Not sure why. As we left the lock and got close to American Custom two tow boat US boats pulled out in front of us towing a large 125 ft motor yacht. One boat in front, one behind. The captain wasn’t happy as they really did pull out in front of us causing us to slow to a crawl. They had to have seen us but apparently were not willing to let us go by before they started their operation. We radioed them to see if we could pass. The channel here is quite narrow so there wasn’t a whole lot of room. They did agree to let us pass, begrudgingly and some of the chatter coming thorough the radio wasn’t pleasant. We did get by them without a problem, only to find they were towing this vessel less than 500 yards from where they started to someone’s private dock. Why they didn’t wait for us to pass before pulling out puzzles me. And why they didn’t tell us they were only going a short way when we radioed them puzzles me further. And in case your asking, they did not give a Securite warning before pulling into the waterway. Wonder what BoatUS might have to say about that?
The rest of the trip down river was fine. Capt did have some pucker factor in the one area where the water gets very skinny. We made it to Sunset Bay and picked up the mooring first try. Yeah no easy feat in the current that runs through the mooring field. Total travel time was just over 4 hours. We got the dingy launched and the motor on. At this point we were both tired and cranky, did I mention how HOT it was? Scott climbs into the dingy to start the motor, PHFTTT! Nope that was not happening. You can imagine what color the air was. Off came the engine cover and pieces and parts were disassembled. After a good two hours of monkeying with it he was able to get it running. Seems the jet had plugged even with the careful use of non ethanol gas and storing it with stabilizer in the fuel.
We headed to shore where we signed up for the mooring for a week.Scott got a ride back to Indiantown to pick up or car. It was almost dark by the time he returned. We were thankful for our doggie bags from the night before as that became our supper. We didn’t even bother to heat it up. Combined with a cold adult beverage we sat in the cockpit and enjoyed the breeze while we munched.