Stop on the ICW
"March 10, 2001, Thursday"
We left the mooring about 4-4:30 in the afternoon - we wanted to get out of the harbor while we could see.
We motored out of Government Cut about 5 - dodging ferries and one big freighter, but fortunately no cruise ships. It was much more peaceful the last time we came in Government cut at 3 am.
Put up the sails, and motorsailed in light east winds. Had dinner in the cockpit. I went down for a nap about 7, and slept or dozed until 10:30. Came up into the cockpit and we talked. We had 72 nm to cover, and we didn't want to arrive before about 8 am. Therefore we couldn't go fast - would have to be less than 5 knots- or we'd be there too early.
The winds got stronger so we shut off the engine, and Bob went down to sleep about midnight. He couldn't sleep in the aft cabin because of the noise, so he went forward to the bunk in the main saloon. I sailed, aided by the Gulf Stream. I put the autopilot on the wind (which shifted from east, to southeast to south to southwest) going anywhere from 2.8 to 6.5 knots - depending on the wind and how much of an assist we were getting from the Gulf Stream until about 3:30 when I looked to see if he was asleep.
We didn't see many boats - no cruise ships - just some fishing boats and a few tugs with barges.
The wind was shifting, and the Gulf Stream was carrying us east, so we turned on the motor, and I went back to take a nap about 5. It was cold - even with a coat, sweater and quilt in the aft cabin I was cold. I didn't have any problem with the noise tho - I used ear plugs.
About dawn I came up - we were off the Lake Worth inlet. Bob had taken in the jib, but left up the other sails because there were big swells - big as in broad. You hardly noticed them (with the sails up as a stabilizer) but the boat would go up to the top and then down into a valley. No seas breaking over the bow - just big swells carrying the boat up and then down.
We saw a boat which proved to be called PALM BEACH PRINCESS (from Panama) and looked to be a small cruise ship. Bob did a circle as it appeared also to be headed for the inlet. Then he went to take down the staysail, and put out docklines while I was at the wheel.
All of a sudden, the PRINCESS, which was going into the inlet ahead of me, stopped and started to back up. I moved out from behind them and called them on the radio. I called on 16 and then on 13 with no answer. Finally I said "Where are you GOING?". and they came up on the radio, and said they were waiting for a pilot, and they did see me, and I should go on in the inlet.
There was a current about 3 knots in our favor. I started calling the marina on the radio, but got no response. We passed the Riviera Beach Municipal Marina and went up the river. I finally called them on the phone. So we are safely in the marina. Bob has done a wash, I've downloaded e-mail, he went to the consignment store, we ate lunch, I took a nap, and we had dinner. We expect to leave here Sunday and go to Ft. Pierce.
"March 12, 2001"
The big problem leaving was going to be current. There was a LOT of current in the slips. Plus there was wind. So we wanted to leave in the early a.m. when the wind was calm, and close to high tide. But high tide was not until 9:30, so we had to try to get out before then.
Everything went well. Bob got the lines singled up, and after he explained again to me which way I was supposed to be backing (he had the wheel preset), we just backed nicely out with the wind pushing us back out of the slip.
Going out the inlet, the current was against us because the tide was still coming in. And it was SUNDAY so all the crazy powerboater/fishermen were coming out the inlet. The little boats were not a problem - although one of them stopped and bought bait from a bait boat IN the inlet. But the big sports fishermen came out pushing half the water ahead of them, and they'd pass us on each side, and their wake tossed us around like a cork.
Next - going in the inlet in Fort Pierce