Sunday, April 10, 2011

Northbound Interrupted

While we were in Ft. Lauderdale the captain suffered a hernia.  A visit to the hospital revealed that surgery was not immediately necessary if I wore a truss and behaved myself, which is easier said than done.  Anyway, we backed out of the dock at Cooley's Landing on Friday, April 1 at 9:00 a. m.  Because of Lucy's motion awareness problems, we decided to motor up the ICW, which meant that we would need to pass through 23 opening bridges, most of which operate on a restricted schedule. 

This bridge was the most interesting design.  The bridges are supposedly timed so that one can make each of them for their next scheduled opening, but this is tough when wind and current are working against you.  Also, parts of the ICW above Ft. Lauderdale have vertical walls which reflect boat wakes back and forth.  This turmoil made Lucy sick.  So much for not sailing outside!

We didn't arrive in the North Lake Worth anchorage until 7:30, anchoring shortly before dark.  We called John and Brenda on "Some Dream" and discovered they were in the same anchorage.  They stopped by late in the evening and filled us in on the trip to the Exumas.  Sounds like they had a fabulous time. 

The next mornng we raised anchor and motored 25.2 nautical miles to Manatee Pocket.  Saturday was a tough day to travel because of the weekend powerboat traffic.  Wakes were especially bad around the St. Lucie River.  We were relieved to get off of the waterway, even if the day's progress was limited.  On the 3rd of April we traveled to Vero Beach Municipal Marina.  We spent three days here, mostly waiting for Tuesday's bad weather to blow through.  We were moored next to George and Marianne on the Gemini Catamaran " Wet Wings". 

They cruise from January until sometime in April, spending this year in the Exumas.  They can't come down earlier because they own a Christmas Tree farm and are busy with their seasonal business.  We shared a happy hour with them aboard "Passage" and had a very nice time.

While we were in Vero, I decided that my hernia was too uncomfortable while operating "Passage" to continue our cruise to Ohio.  We made the decision to find a temporary dock and go home to Ohio to have the injury repaired.  Since they had no dock space available in Vero Beach, we arranged for dockage in Titusville.

On Wednesday the 6th of April, we traveled up the Indian River section of the ICW to Titusville, a voyage of 68.2 nautical miles. There was a long line of boats leaving Vero to begin their migration north.  We passed the Kennedy Space Center, and could see a building used to prep and protect the space shuttles.

We did sail a little on this trip after the wind shifted.  It was very nice not to listen to the diesel.  We arrived in Titusville a little after six p.m. and were greeted by a group of liveaboards from E dock.  Among them were Pat and Sandy John from "Inion Na Gaot".

Pat and Sandy were from our marina in Fairport Harbor, Ohio, and have been living aboard their vessel since they sailed out the St. Lawrence River into the North Atlantic many years ago.  It was great seeing them and meeting the newest member of their crew, Little Bit.

Thursday we washed two months of dirt and salt from "Passage".  The local manatees supervised the entire operation in hopes of scoring a little fresh water.

We worked all day prepping the boat for her long visit at the Titusville Municipal Marina.  It was difficult for us to leave her here unattended for the expected six to eight weeks we will be gone.

On Friday the 8th we loaded the Budget rental car and drove to Wytheville, Va.  On Saturday we arrived in Painesville, Ohio.  We are spending the weekend with my daughter Kim and son-in-law Jeff.  The county is scheduled to turn the water back on at our home tomorrow morning.  I will also pick up my medical referral which will  lead  to fixing my problem so that we can return to "Passage" and complete her delivery to Lake Erie.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ft. Lauderdale Follies

Passage separated from the Mooring Ball and departed Boot Key Harbor and the city of Marathon at 7:50 a.m. on Wednesday, March 23rd.   We motored down Sister Creek at low tide and entered the Atlantic Ocean, more specifically the Hawk Channel inside the reef.  We were greeted by two to three foot beam seas and wind too close to sail, so we motored.  Lucy didn't handle the swells well and surrendered her breakfast.  In a few hours we approached Long Key and viewed the amazing Long Key Viaduct.

Seeking smoother seas for our ancient kitty, we crossed under the Channel Five bridge and motored up the Florida Bay side of the keys.  We instantly were rewarded with smooth seas.  As we approached Jewfish Creek, we could see the new high bridge which had replaced the lift bridge since our last trip through here.

After passing under the bridge and motoring through Jewfish Creek, we turned to starboard and anchored in Thursday Cove in Barnes sound for the night.

Thursday morning we continued towards Miami, enjoying several hours of sailing in the sounds and lower Biscayne Bay before the winds deserted us.  We then motored on to Miami.

After a peaceful night at anchor near the Venetian Causeway and the Miami Yacht Club,  we motored up the ICW to Fort Lauderdale.  Lucy appreciated the smooth seas.  Despite fighting current the whole way, we arrived too early to dock on the New River, so we anchored for lunch at Lake Sylvia.  Our lunch was disrupted by some bozo pulling a tube with two kids aboard all through the anchorage.  It turns out that after the State of Florida passed a law stating that cities could not restrict anchoring of cruising boats, Ft. Lauderdale countered by allowing high speed tubing in this little lake to discourage anchoring.  This will probably go on until someone is hurt by the wakes of some speed boat.  They may have the legal right to tube, but they are still responsible for their wakes.  And people wonder why we are taking our catamaran home to Ohio.

Anyway, we arrived at Cooley's Landing Marina in downtown Ft.Lauderdale at slack current and settled in for a weeklong visit.

Cooley's landing is a lovely marina in a park like setting.  The restrooms and laundry are airconditioned and the grounds are lovely.

The marina was named for an early pioneer who settled here and came on hard times.

You can click on the picture twice and read all about it.

We were pleasantly surprised to be greeted by Andy and Molly Jensen, who had just launched their 25 foot C-Dory "Molly J".

We have known them for a number of years, going back to our months at Mangrove Marina at Tavernier on Key Largo.  We have enjoyed many happy hours with them here in Lauderdale, along with several other sailors at the marina.

The river walk from the marina through downtown Ft. Lauderdale is spectacular, and we enjoyed walking along the river.

The city celebrated their centennial while we were here, and we enjoyed the extra action on the riverfront, as well as fireworks on Sunday night.

The New River is very busy, and many huge yachts are transported up river to marinas designed to accomodate them for refits, etc.  These "ships" are moved by two tow boats so that there are no accidents on the narrow, twisting river.

The sheer number of these yachts is amazing, as they pass up or down the river all day, even on Sundays.

On our last night in Lauderdale, we walked down the river to Briny Pub and Restaurant Riverside with single hander Bob Feltman, who sails a Pearson 323.  We enjoyed  an excellent meal and are now fueled up and ready to go.
We are planning to leave Ft. Lauderdale on Friday, April 1.  A nasty front with possible bad storms is expected tonight, and we put off our departure for one day because of it.  So, we will consider April 1 as the beginning of our delivery cruise back to Ohio.