Port Canaveral To Charleston

It’s always bittersweet saying goodbye to friends. On one hand you know you’re going to miss them and on the other hand you know that family lies ahead in the voyage. So we said our goodbye’s to Doug and Pat from Sanctuary and headed out of Port Canaveral for Charleston. We chose to make the run outside because if we went up the ICW it would take eleven days to reach Myrtle Beach. By going outside it took us four days, thus cutting off a weeks travel time. Total time outside was forty hours and 302 nautical miles, then two days up the ICW to Myrtle Beach.

The day started with us motorsailing on a rhumb line to Charleston Harbor as long, rolling swells swept under us. After a few hours it was apparent that the wind was slowly shifting and we had two options. One being staying on the rhumb line, dropping the sails and motoring, or two, changing course and still continue to motorsail. I chose to alter course and motorsail. Now the new course would run northwest to a point about midway to Georgia and ten miles offshore before changing course to the northeast and heading more or less straight toward Charleston. Imagine a course shaped like a sideways “V”. This course was working great until late afternoon when the wind shifted once again. The shift was to the north which allowed us to run a straight line once again. That was the last course change we made as the wind held steady and blew from 10-18 knots the rest of the way in.

The highlight of the trip had to be the dolphins and the sunset on the first day out. Of course just being out on the open ocean was a highlight in itself. We encountered dolphins over and over again throughout both days. They would come in from every direction and play all around boat. They would jump and leap beside the boat and then race up to the front, crossing the front of the boat back and forth. At one point when we had following seas the dolphins could be seen surfing right along with us! I guess the total count for both days would be in the neighborhood of about 60-80!

Around midnight on the second day we entered the channel at Charleston. This is a pretty straightforward entrance as long as you remember to enter before buoys 17 and 18. The jetty runs out to these buoys and can be hard to spot at night. Once in the channel we followed it around to where it connected to the ICW, which is right in front of the Charleston City Marina. At 2:30am the hook was down and we splurged and slept in until 10:30. After a quick breakfast and coffee it was off to the marina to top off fuel and continue to make our way north. Now that we’re in Myrtle Beach the biggest issue we’re having is with the darn cold weather. They’re calling for to it to be in the 30’s tonight and 40’s tomorrow. All of a sudden heading back south looks mighty tempting! 🙂

P1040371Saying goodbye to our friends from Canada, Doug and Pat..

P1040375Took this shot on the way out the canal. It was an old tug and I thought the colors were cool…

P1040376We passed this guy while in the canal and his look never changed the whole time.

P1040382The Port Canaveral Lock

P1040388These were the breakers over the shoal about four miles off the coast at the Port Canaveral inlet.

P1040434Sunset on the first day out…

P1040493 P1040516 P1040519Just a few of the many dolphins that joined us…

P1040532Back on the ICW…

Here’s a couple of links to video I took of the dolphins playing around the boat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zwBT-Q85LQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV4AjQMG9iw

Until then…

 

Heading Outside

The days have flown by here at Harbortown Marina. Good friends Doug and Pat have driven us around to shop and just see the sights around the area. We have so much fun and camaraderie when we’re together that it will hard to depart on Sunday. Even now, I’m looking forward to meeting up with them again in Marathon sometime in December-January.

Today was a boat cleaning and prep day. Cleaning, because I had access to unlimited water to wash the decks and prep for the run outside. We’re not expecting any rough weather but better t be safe and prepared just in case. PassageWeather reports mild winds and sea state for Sunday and Monday. We will leave the Port Canaveral Inlet and lay a rhumb line to Charleston Harbor Inlet. I figured a conservative 6 knot estimate will have us there in 36 hours. This will be the first offshore work for us as a team, not counting the Tongue of the Ocean in the Bahamas, so it’ll be interesting. I came up with the 6 knot estimate because that’s what our cruising speed is running on one motor. So, worst case scenario with no wind is where the 36 hours comes in. We’ll top off with diesel in the morning and off we go! We may get a cell signal in the beginning of the trip and towards the end. I’ll update if I can. The middle of the trip we’ll be too far offshore to have any kind of signal. And since tomorrow is my birthday, I’m hoping to catch a nice fish! 🙂

Until then….

Vero and Then Cocoa

Before we left Stuart, good friends Mick and Sue on Jenny, came and picked us up in a rental car they were making use. They were kind enough to give us a tour of the area. We stopped at another anchorage in the area called Manatee Pocket and next time we come through Manatee Pocket will be a must stop. The area looked like the keys and was very kicked back, so we’re looking forward to a longer stay. On Sunday we visited the Green Farmers Market in downtown Stuart and had a nice morning just wondering around the small display stands.

The trip to Vero was pretty uneventful and even though we stopped there just to pick up some fuel and water, we ended up staying the night. Sue and Mick had told us to keep our eyes open for two Gemini Cats that were headed north like us and lo and behold, there they were not 50 yards from where we were. We dinghy over and met Tim and Jill on Links and Jen and Bud on SeaQuest. We had a great time together and the laughter came easy. Michele and I are still amazed at all the really nice people we have met on our journeys.

Today, the highlight of the trip to Cocoa was the dolphins. This section of the ICW can be quite boring as it’s so wide you really can’t see in any detail what’s on either side of you. So it’s mile after mile of trees then some houses, then some more trees and maybe a bunch of condos. You actually look forward t getting waked just to change things up a little. 🙂  Then the dolphins showed up. For some reason there was a lot of dolphins out today and so we kept our eyes peeled to spot them all. All of a sudden Michele yells out, ” dolphins straight ahead and I think they may want to play”! And sure enough, for the first time ever in our travels on the ICW, a dolphin played in front of the boat in the bow wave. He was there long enough to get a decent picture and then slid back under the boat. I walked back to see if I could spot him coming out the back and there he was! Only now he was playing right beside the sugarscoop. I have never heard of a dolphin playing in the back of a boat before. It was really, really cool to watch. I tried to grab a picture but missed him.

Here at Cocoa we dropped the hook and the anchor just drug and drug. Pulled it back up and it was covered in sea grass. Moved to a different spot and dropped again with the same result, only this time there was so much sea grass on the anchor, you couldn’t see the anchor. So, moved again and then yet again. I was beginning to wonder if we were going to get a good set, Finally found a clear area and then the Spade dug in and held. And that’s where we are for now. Tomorrow we’ll meet up with good friends Pat and Doug again!

P1040352 P1040351This little flower stall at the Green Market in Stuart had the most beautiful assortment of flowers…

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Michele caught this shot of a flight of pelicans…

 

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And this guy took a liking to our mooring ball in Vero…

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Here’s the dolphin that came to play..:)

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This is the back of the boat by the sugarscoop where the dolphin came to play after leaving the front of the boat. I wish I had gotten a shot…

Until then….

 

 

 

 

 

Stuart, St Lucie River

Well we got accomplished what we needed to get done while in Lake Worth. The most important being making a new lifting rig for the dinghy. One end broke when we got waked from a large powerboat heading the opposite direction on the way here. Power boat wakes, ah, a rant for another post. We found a really nice mall, the Garden Mall, about two miles up on PGA Blvd. On the way there a nice girl gave us a bus schedule for using on the way back. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve seen quite a few bus schedules and the all seemed as if they were written by a committee consisting of a nuclear physicist, a chemist and an engineer. You could hide national secrets in the bowels of a bus schedule and no one would be the wiser. There has to be a way to make those things comprehensible.

Before I forget, I want to thank Grace and Joe Keenan for spreading the word about the blog. If you remember, we met Joe and Grace in St. Augustine at a Veterans Day Celebration. Afterwards they invited us to lunch and then after that, they drove us to the store so we could pick up supplies. If that wasn’t enough, they then drove us back to the boat! Thanks guys, what a great day!

Our stay here in Stuart has been really nice. The downtown area is a short walk away and has that small town feel about it, although there are plenty of tourists shops. We stopped at Flanigan’s and had an early dinner and wow, the place was awesome. We started with steamed clams and these garlic rolls that were incredible. The rolls came drenched in melted garlic butter with plenty of minced garlic. Dipping the rolls in the clam broth created a little heaven on earth! 🙂 For dinner I ordered nachos and the nacho’s were the biggest I had ever seen. They were at least a foot tall! Michele ordered prime rib and it was delicious as well. I wish they had outlets in more states.

Sunset Bay Marina is where we picked up the mooring ball and at 20 bucks a day it’s not bad. The marina is very nice with a cool upstairs lounge area. The bathrooms and laundry room were clean and there is a ship’s store on the premises. Outside you have plenty of tables and chairs to sit at and watch the sunset. The rockers are very popular. They have a large BBQ grill that is available to use as well. I think a return trip is in order to fully explore all Stuart has to offer.

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Some of the homes on the way to Stuart. What do you do with all that space??

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We made really good time because of this tug. We followed him right out of Lake Worth and since the bridges pretty much open on demand for commercial traffic we avoided a lot of wait time.

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The light at Jupiter Inlet. Jupiter is special to us in the fact that if you come down the ICW it’s the first blue water you come to after miles of ice tea brown water. The blue water only lasts a few miles though. It’s also the first place to start collecting floating coconuts.

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Under the US 1 bridge at Stuart. This is along the Riverwalk Trail that goes into downtown…

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Check out this McDonalds. When was the last time you saw a sign like that? And the building looks like the original…Cool

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And some wildlife…:)

Until then…