ross witham beach
located at the gilbert's bar house of refuge is ross witham beach. at ross witham beach is an exposed section of the anastasia formation. the anastasia formation runs along the atlantic coast from st. augustine to the north to palm beach county in the south. the anatasia formation was created during the pleistocene era and is formation of fragmented mollusk shells and sand cemented by sparry calcite. this ancient geological formation is will worth a look when visiting hutchinson island near fort pierce. from fort pierce take US A1A twenty miles south to jensen beach. at the mariott resort take mac arthur blvd south to ross witham beach.
2000, December 15-16 - Anchoring at Ft. Pierce
"December 15, 2000"
After we left the Melbourne Marina, we were back on the ICW by 8 am. We were at mile 940 by 11:28 after 22 miles
We see what appears to be a PWC race course with PWCs racing around it south of Grant Farm Island. I took a nap.
Passed a local sailboat (from Wabasso) anchored on the edge of the channel with a white haired naturest man working on his tan lineless tan. An Island Packet named SEAS THE DAY from Philadelphia passed us at 11:40 after trailing for awhile. An old man with a white beard is at the helm and a younger non-bearded person (not sure if a man or woman) is looking for the marks with binoculars. They aren't doing too well. See them go off the ICW, and then come back on. Then see that they have gone off again and are aground north of Vero Beach.
When we come to the new Vero beach fixed bridge, we see a boat which was going by on the ICW as we came out of the marina this morning has gone aground, and a police boat and another little motor boat are helping it get off so that it can go into Vero Beach. They are making large wakes so that the boat can bounce off. I call them on the radio and tell them that SEAS THE DAY is aground - he's been calling Sea Tow and hasn't gotten any answer that I've heard.
Eventually Sea Tow from Ft. Pierce speeds north, and then after an interval, speeds south.
Finally was able to do pocketmail without getting a circuit busy signal. The wind is about 16 knots on the nose. Bob pulls out the jib a couple of times, but can't keep it drawing for too long.
We finally came through the North Fort Pierce bascule bridge (see photo), and decided to anchor just beyond it.
We first try to go right in after going through the bridge (see green line) and it quickly shallows up. So we go down around the marker for the shoal that extends out from the bridge and turn into the anchorage.
The chart says 8 feet, but there are lumps. We finally get the anchor set (Bob resets it at least once) at 3:35 after 47.1 miles at 6.2 mph for a total of 1002 nm.
I call our son in Charleston and all of them are getting the flu. There are 4 other boats here, and we all swing completely different from each other. We are only parallel to each other briefly at intervals. It is very windy and the wind generator is humming, and the boat swings and rocks.
I call our friends from Juno Beach, and they suggest we go to Manatee Pocket to anchor tomorrow. Bob wants to go farther, so I make a reservation at a marina that is about 43 miles away.
"Going to Lake Worth - December 16, 2000"
After Bob went to sleep last night (15 Dec), I saw a floating object with flashing blue lights hanging about under the bridge. Our boat swings wildly (really) all night with the wind gen going to beat the band. We are not swinging in synch with any of the other boats.
We started the engine and pulled the anchor and were underway before 8.
Just after high tide. Went under a fixed bridge - clearance board was sideways (had slipped). Fat lot of help that is.
The western shore has a bluff of 25-40 feet tall. The Indian River is very wide. There was shoaling (depth down to 6.2) south of the power lines in the middle of the channel right next to the marker. Winds are 20 knots on the nose. There are little ripply wavelets which sometimes have froth on top. Not as much crazy traffic as I expected on Sat.
A big cruiser comes out when we pass Nettles Island. At StM 980 we have gone 14.7 miles and it is 10:35 am. Indian River bridge warned us she was only opening the west span. The current is really against us. Wind surfers are out having a ball.
There was a big side current in the St. Lucie inlet - noticed the big cruiser crabbing into it, so we were prepared. We can see a local rainstorm across the inlet.
The sun is out again - 990 mile mark at 12:30. Lots of boats out now.
Saw three red triangle channel markers (one of them with the ICW yellow triangle on it) which someone had planted up on a bank in the trees. We came down past Jupiter Island and all the big expensive homes with manicured lawns, and chairs grouped around for relaxing. No one out enjoying the beautiful Sat weather - except a couple people up by a pool, and one guy standing on his boat at the dock talking on a cell phone. The west side of the channel is completely wild as it is a wildlife preserve. Saw a humongous boat named WHO CARES.
Frenchman's Marina Juno Beach