St Augustine Municipal Harbor, St Augustine, FL to Fernandina Beach Municipal Harbor, Fernandina Beach, FL — April 23, 2014

01-Leaving-St-Augustine-Municipal-Harbor

01-Leaving-St-Augustine-Municipal-Harbor

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02-Leaving-St-Augustine-Municipal-Harbor

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03-Bridge-of-Lions-In-St-Augustine

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04-St-Augustine-to-The-South

05-Home-on-ICW-in-South-Jacksonville

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09-Home-on-ICW-in-South-Jacksonville

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10-Dry-Dock-on-St-Johns-River

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11-Dry-Dock-on-St-Johns-River-Note-Homeland-Security-Guarding-Naval-Ship-Must-Be-High-Profile-Target

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12-Dry-Dock-on-St-Johns-River

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13-Another-Ship-Being-Retrofitted

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14-Could-This-Be-Bird-Island

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15-Crew-Catching-A-Few-ZZZZs

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16-Fishing-Boats-In-Fernandina Beach-Harbor

Pretty nice morning with crystal clear skies and temps in the low 60’s.  Candy and I did a pretty good walk thru the St Augustine Old Town area.  I don’t think she was interested in any of the shops.

I helped Blarney Castle get off the dock because the current was trying to keep them in the slip. We had the tide going out at this time of the morning.  The wind was light out of the Northwest but it provided a nice breeze in the cockpit.

Lot of boats headed North and a few cruisers were on plane as they passed us.  That set up a pretty good wake that we rolled on.  We saw a tow with one barge south of Jacksonville today.  That is the first tow we have seen since the Panama City area back in November.

The trip was uneventful until we were about 3 or 4 miles north of the St. John’s River.  We had been gaining on a sailboat and they were still about 1/3 mile ahead of us when I noticed they had stopped in the water.  As we approached I talked to them on the radio and they were aground.  They were in the channel so I tried to go around on their starboard side.  Well we got into some shallow water because the wind was trying to blow us to the right.  We backed up and then went around on their port side. Fortunately we are on a rising tide for another 3 hours so they will automatically get the help they need. Probably 10 minutes after we passed the sailboat we were passed by a tow headed south.  I radioed him and let him know that he was approaching a sailboat aground in the channel.  Last we saw he was slowing and almost stopped.  I hope the tide was good to them, they were from Montreal (boat name – La Contessa).

The rest of the ride was good but I spent some time on active captain looking at their noted shoaling areas and trying to avoid the spots on the ICW.  We also noted 2 Sheriff boats go by us headed north when we were a couple of miles from the sailboat.  They must not have stopped to help although both boats were rigged for towing.

John & Deni were on the dock to greet us in Fernandina Beach.  They travel a little faster than us and with the sailboat problem they got into Fernandina probably 30 to 45 minutes ahead of us. Always nice to see friends on the dock.

We will be staying here for a couple of days before heading North again.

Halifax Harbor, Daytona Beach, FL to St Augustine Municipal Harbor, St Augustine, FL — April 21, 2014

01-Daytona-Beach-Skyline-Along-Ocean

01-Daytona-Beach-Skyline-Along-Ocean

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02-Daytona-Beach-Skyline-Along-Ocean

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07-A-Private-Project-Boat-On-ICW-North-of-Daytona-Beach

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08-Pirate-Cruise-Ship-In-St-Augustine-Municipal-Harbor

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09-Pirate-Cruise-Ship-In-St-Augustine-Municipal-Harbor

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09-Replicas-of-16th-Century-Ponce-De-Leon-Ships

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10-Replicas-of-16th-Century-Ponce-De-Leon-Ships

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14-Looking-East-Over-St-Augustine-Municipal-Harbor

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15-North-Side-Of-Bridge-Approach-to-Bridge-Of-Lions-In-St-Augustine

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16-Spanish-Fort-Overlooking-Mestanzas-Pass-In-St.-Augustine

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17-Ripleys-Believe-It-Or-Not-Museum-In-St-Augustine

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18-Sept-8-1865-Historical-Marker-of-The-Founding-Of-St-Augustine

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19-The-Old-Senator-Tree-Over-600-Years-Old

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20-Magnolia-Lane-In-St-Augustine-on-The-Way-To-The-Fountain-Of-Youth

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21-Sea-Shell-Wall-Sea-Shells-Are-Razor-Sharp

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25-Some-Visitors-Were-Sleeping-on-The-Shopping-Mall

Just a quick 1 night stop in Daytona Beach.  We do not have a schedule but we have spent a lot of time sitting in March due to the winds and predicted weather. John and Deni are traveling with us (or us with them) and they want to be in Beaufort, SC by April 29th or so. That will give us some incentive to keep moving.  We right now are about 12 days behind last year but hopefully the weather will cooperate and we can pick some of that up.

The weather this morning was cool, cloudy, with light winds out of the north so at least we are starting out fine. Some of the areas we passed thru it looked like it could rain at any time and we did pass thru some mist twice along the way.

There was a good amount of traffic on the ICW and we even had 4 sailboats with all their sails up about 25 miles North of Daytona Beach. Now we are in the ICW and it is not overly wide but to their credit all the sailboats got in a line and held it as we passed them.

One of the Bascule bridges was not working because they were doing maintenance on the bridge. There were sailboats waiting an each side but fortunately the clearance was 21′ so we were able to go right thru.

About 2 or 3 miles south of St Augustine we had the sun come out.  It was mid-afternoon and it stayed out the rest of the day. The high temps for the day were in the low 70’s so the sun was appreciated.

After Getting docked, tied up, water connected and power on, we saw Beach Quest in 1 of the slips. We had met George and Mary in Alton Illinois and saw them intermittently until after Green Turtle Bay in Kentucky.  It turns out they had their kids and grandkids on the boat so we did not have a lot of time to talk.  They had spent the winter in Marathon.

Lenore came down with a bug so we stayed closed to the boat and I had dinner on board while she slept.  Things were somewhat better in the morning and improved as the day went on.  I went with John & Deni to Winn Dixie for grocery shopping and in the afternoon we did a trolley tour of St Augustine Old District. The tour was great and the driver narrates the tour as you move through town on their route. Narration is top notch.  They have 24 stops on the tour and you can get off and back on as many times as you want during the day to see things that interest you.  You can also stay on more than once.

We also walked thru the Shopping Mall which is one of the old streets that is closed off to traffic so it is a pedestrian mall with shops on both sides. Restaurants, ice cream stores, sports stores, gift shops, souvenirs, etc. The locals call it “credit card alley’.

It was a nice sunny day with warm temps and very enjoyable. We are back on the water tomorrow.

Cocoa Village Marina, Cocoa, FL to Halifax Harbor, Daytona Beach, FL— April 20, 2014

01-Residential-Area-that-Candy-Like-to-Walk-In-Cocoa-Saturday

01-Residential-Area-that-Candy-Like-to-Walk-In-Cocoa-Saturday

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02-Residential-Area-that-Candy-Like-to-Walk-In-Cocoa-Saturday

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03-Jazz-Player-At-Sublime-Restaurant

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05-Jazz-Players-At-Sublime-Restaurant-Tony-Wynn-on-Left

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06-Jazz-Player-on-the-Horn-at-Sublime

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07-Part-of-the-Appreciative-Crowd-at-Sublime

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09-Sunday-Morning-Leaving-Cocoa-Village-Marina-With-Blarney-Castle-on-Face-Dock

11-Leaving-Cocoa-Village-Marina

11-Leaving-Cocoa-Village-Marina

10 Leaving Cocoa Village Marina Went to dinner with John & Deni (Blarney Castle) last night at a restaurant named Sublime in the Cocoa Village Square.  John & Deni had previously been in Sublime in February, had appetizers, and thought it was pretty good. Well I want to tell you it was a great decision because they had a jazz combo playing. These 2 guys were really, really good.  They each played various instruments, different horn types, saxes and even the flute.  They would walk thru the restaurant and serenade some of the tables.  They knew how to play to the crowd.  We bought the 2 album they had on CD and so did John and Deni. The lead guy was Tony Wynn.  They played for over 2 hours without a break and were still going when we left.  The food was also very good.

A rather crisp morning today with temps about 60.  Sky was cloudy and the wind had shifted overnight from the Southwest to the Northwest. It was gusting to the mid-20’s but we still decided to go.

Had some light traffic on the ICW.  I think these were the more serious boaters because it was Easter Sunday, pretty wind and a lot of gray clouds out. The wind stirred up the ICW today and there were white caps on the wide portion of the ICW.

The ride was pretty uneventful except for the 5 miles leading to the Cape Canaveral Haulover Canal. We were headed northeast and the wind was out of the north at about 25 mph.  In retrospect what that did was to blow the boat out of the channel to the right if you did not adjust for the wind.  It happened to both myself and John. A lesson learned with out damaging anything.

The sun did come out in the afternoon and it really brightened up the day.  The clouds were kind of strange because you could see clouds to the west and also to the east over the ocean, but it was mostly clear sunny skies above the ICW

We arrived at Halifax Harbor in Daytona Beach at about 4:30.  The Harbor is quite large so the dock hands move around in a small john boat to go from dock to dock.  One of the nice things that they have is slip side check-in so we did not need to go to the office which was probably about a mile walk.  We hosed down the Champ III to get all the salt off the boat after we were all tied up and the power hooked up.  Took a lot of spray across the boat today and there was salt residue everywhere.

Melbourne Harbor, Melbourne, FL to Cocoa Village Marina, Cocoa, FL — April 16, 2014

01-Morning-In-Melbourne-Harbor

01-Morning-In-Melbourne-Harbor

02-Just-Because-They-Make-The-Color-is-No-Reason-To-Buy

02-Just-Because-They-Make-The-Color-is-No-Reason-To-Buy

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03-Morning-In-Melbourne-Harbor-Champ-III

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04-Melbourne-Harbor-Looking-Back-Toward-The-Office

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05-Shoreline-Across-From-Melbourne-Harbor

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06-Florida-Institute-Of-Technology-Evinrude-Operations-Center

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07-Leaving-Melbourne-Harbor

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13-Looking-Back-Toward-Marina-in-Melbourne

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08-Shoreline-With-Inhabitant-at-Cocoa-Village-Marina

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09-Official-Greeter-at-Cocoa-Village-Marina

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10-Looking-Toward-ICW-Marina-Office-at-Cocoa-Village-Marina

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11-Looking-North-On-ICW-From-Champ-III

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12-View-Toward-Village-Square-In-Cocoa-FL

Had a little wind this morning and the sky started out gray but the clouds thinned and life was good.  We got a reasonable start so Lenore could sleep in a little.  We were only going 21 miles to Cocoa Village Marina today.  It received rave reviews from John & Deni Lillis, our Mississippi travel mates.

Not a lot of traffic on the OCW and we have passed thru the area with all the low bridges so we do not need to wait for any more until the Georgia portion of the trip.

This section of the ICW is wide and the wind gets the water stirred up some but not bad.  Because most of the water area is shallow the wave only get to about 1′ or so but they are real close together.

We arrived at Cocoa Village marina early and got setup so I was able to take a walk around the Village Square.  It is an are about 3 blocks wide by 4 blocks deep and has a lot of nice shops, restaurants and ice cream shops. There was even a small farmers market on but nothing of the scale of Fort Pierce.

The weather is supposed to be rainy and stormy with wind for the next couple of days so we are going to hang around waiting for better travel weather.  John & Deni are headed this way one of these days so we will probably see them again.  The marina is really nice with a large boater’s lounge, classy showers and laundry with 4 washers and 4 dryers so there is not a lot a waiting.

I cannot remember the last time I took a bus to go somewhere in any town/city.  Well I took the local bus to the Publix Supermarket and back.  It was about 2 1/2 to 3 miles away on Merritt Island and the fare was $0.60 each way.  Pretty well used by the local people and I must have fit right in with them, nobody paid any attention to me. On the way back I got back on the eastbound bus and took is a couple of miles to the end of the line where it turned around and then came back to Cocoa Village. It really worked well for what I needed to do.

Candy like the walks.  We varied them thru a residential area and thru the Village Square area.  The early morning walks were thru the Village Square before everyone woke up and the hustle and bustle of the day started.

The weather was as they predicted and John & Deni were able to make it up from Fort Pierce on Friday.  We had a good cocktail hour with them and planned on going to dinner with them on Saturday.  They have been here before so they are the resident experts.

 

Harbortown Marina, Fort Pierce, FL to Melbourne Harbor, Melbourne, FL — April 15, 2014

01-Leaving-Fort-Pierce

01-Leaving-Fort-Pierce

02-Homes-Along-the-ICW-Near-Indian-River

02-Homes-Along-the-ICW-Near-Indian-River

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06-Home-Under-Construction-Along-the-ICW-Near-Indian-River

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08-Closeup-Of-Bird-Nest-On-ICW-Marker

09-Looking-Back-Along-the-ICW

09-Looking-Back-Along-the-ICW

We stayed Monday at Harbortown Marina so we could welcome John and Deni back to their boat.  They said when they left Iowa that it was snowing.  Well the temps in Fort Pierce were the mid 80’s so that was good for them.  We went to a nice restaurant, Chucks Seafood with John , Deni, Brent and Susan and had a great time.

The cruise up from Fort Pierce was nice.  Although the wind was fairly strong, it was pushing us so that was no real problem.  There was a lot of boat traffic but very few large power boats making big wakes.  We have been traveling anywhere from 7.5 to 10 mph depending on the tides coming in or going out and where the inlets are. Anyway we were not rocked to much.

This section of the ICW is fairly wide with lots of conservation areas.  There are a few narrower sections but for the most part we had wide open water with just a narrow channel to follow.

As we moved further north the clouds were starting to thicken. The morning was warm and they were predicting isolated showers later today.  We talked about possibly going to Cocoa Beach for the night but then I looked at the radar and there was a line of heavy rain coming in from the northwest.  We were able to get into Melbourne, get tied up and take Candy for a walk and still had a little time before the rain started.  It only lasted maybe an hour but it was pretty heavy at times and a lot of puddles around. It was a good thing we were not out on the water.

We are in a slip right in front of some condos.  It is nice to look out the back of the boat and see grass, just like Pine River Club.  Candy only has a 30′ walk to grass instead of the 300′ or 400′ down the docks we had at Harbortown.

We are next to a large sailboat, Valkyrie, that is from Maryland. They can only travel on the ocean because their mast is too tall for the bridges on the ICW.  In this area most bridges are 64′ to 65′ and maybe a little more depending on the stage of the tide.  Their mast with instruments and lights are at 66′. I am not sure why they put themselves in that position, but they did.

This morning the winds are blowing, the sky is gray and the temp is about 59.  The winds are out of the northeast so we will be going into them today and the ICW stays wide for most of the day.

Old Port Cove Marina, North Palm Beach, FL to Harbortown Marina, Fort Pierce, FL — April 11, 2014

01-Old-Port-Cove-Marina

01-Old-Port-Cove-Marina

02 Old Port Cove Marina

02 Old Port Cove Marina

03 Old Port Cove Marina

03 Old Port Cove Marina

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09-Jim-Candy-Lenore-and-Larry-in-Fort-Pierce

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12-Entrance-to-Harbortown-Marina-in-Fort-Pierce

A little cooler this morning but the sun was out.  By cooler I mean it was about 68 when we left the boat at 6:30 for Candy’s 1st walk of the day.

She is doing better.  Not quite back to normal but none us are when we age.  All signs appear good and we had a final vet check before we left Lighthouse Point.

The trip today took us thru Jupiter and Port St Lucie.  Lots and lots of big homes on the south side of Jupiter.  One of the newer subs had 8 homes under constructions.  They were very large but still in a subdivision setting.

As we moved north the sky got a little more cloudy and I checked the radar.  There was rain scattered in the area but we missed it for the whole day. That was pretty nice. The wind was from the south fairly strong and we had it at our back today.  Again with the ICW there is not a lot of wave action, even in the wider parts of the waterway.

Fort Pierce is a busy area.  Last year we stayed at the City Marina and this year they were full and had no room. I made a reservation at Harbortown Marina about 1 mile away and they only had one slip available for our size.

It was good we stayed at Harbortown.  As I was walking down the dock with Candy after we were settled in I ran into Brent (and Susan) from “Once Upon A Time” who we had traveled with on the Illinois, Mississippi and Ohio Rivers last fall.  Also tied up was “Blarney Castle” that belongs to John and Deni who we traveled on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers in the fall of 2012.  I had just texted them and found out they are in Iowa at home but will be back on Monday.

It was a great surprise and this is Brent and Susan’s Loop Completion Destination even though they are from Minnesota. They bought their boat in Florida and started the Loop here.  They have sold their house and plan on continuing to cruise with short trip back “home” to visit friends and family.

Last nights dinner was really special.  We went to the local VFW Post for their Friday Night fish fry. We went with Brent and Susan along with 3 other couples from boats at the marina.  Most of them have done the Loop or are on the Loop. The fish was good and the conversation great.  We stopped on the way back for gelato and/or latte for dessert.  That was very good.

On Sunday my sister Janice and her husband Jim came up from Jupiter to visit.  They are down from the cold north for a week or so and the weather is cooperating.  We had a great visit. It was good to see family and catch up on things from home.

Lighthouse Point Yacht and Racquet Club to Old Port Cove Marina, North Palm Beach, FL — April 9, 2014

01 Lady Arlene behind us on the Dock

01 Lady Arlene behind us on the Dock

02 Champ III in C Dock Slip

02 Champ III in C Dock Slip

03 Looking South on Dock at Lighthouse Point Yacht Club

03 Looking South on Dock at Lighthouse Point Yacht Club

04 Looking Northeast Over Champ III Bow at Lighthouse Point Yacht Club

04 Looking Northeast Over Champ III Bow at Lighthouse Point Yacht Club

05 Looking Southeast from Champ III Bow at Lighthouse Point Yacht Club

05 Looking Southeast from Champ III Bow at Lighthouse Point Yacht Club

06 Leaving Lighthouse Point Yacht Club

06 Leaving Lighthouse Point Yacht Club

07 Leaving Lighthouse Point Yacht Club

07 Leaving Lighthouse Point Yacht Club

08-Homes-Along-ICW-Near-Lighthouse-Point

08-Homes-Along-ICW-Near-Lighthouse-Point

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09-Homes-Along-ICW-Near-Hillsboro-Beach

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10-Homes-Along-ICW-Near-Hillsboro-Beach

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11-Homes-Along-ICW-Near-Boca-Raton

12-Look-Close-to-See-The-Yacht-Beaing-Loaded-On-The-Red-Freighter-at-Port-of-West-Plam-Beach

12-Look-Close-to-See-The-Yacht-Beaing-Loaded-On-The-Red-Freighter-at-Port-of-West-Plam-Beach

13-Container-Ship-Being-Loaded-at-Port-Of-West-Palm-Beach

13-Container-Ship-Being-Loaded-at-Port-Of-West-Palm-Beach

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14-Dock-Area-Next-to-Container-Ship-at-Port-Of-West-Palm-Beach

15-Dock-Area-at-Port-Of-West-Palm-Beach

15-Dock-Area-at-Port-Of-West-Palm-Beach

Well we spent a lot of time at Lighthouse Point Yacht & Racquet Club, some by design and some not. The most significant was with Candy.  She was in the cockpit a week ago and I was reading.  It was near lunchtime and I decided to go down to make some lunch and invited Candy to go down.  She had trouble getting up and could not walk a straight line and was stumbling.  We asked the Dock master Zack for help finding a vet and when his was not responsive to the emergency he got the number to the Club Manager’s vet and then he drove us there.  They were able to rule out several things but felt it was more of a neurological issue and sent us to Lauderdale Veterinary Services.  They did some x-rays and gave her a shot but their diagnose was that it was an inner ear balance issue similar to “vertigo” where you have a difficult time maintaining your equilibrium. By this time Candy was showing definite signs of improvement and they gave her a bottle of pills for motion sickness.  It took a couple of days but she is doing much better but not quite all the way back.

We also had an issue with the freezer on the boat. We had a repairman come out in Islamorada and he diagnosed the problem as a leak and he ordered parts under warranty from Uline the manufacturer as the freezer is only 18 months old. Well the parts did not come in until after we left the Keys so we had them forwarded to Lighthouse Point and Zack gave me a recommendation for a repair company. Once we received the parts I was able to get a service call scheduled and they came out.  The gentleman took about 5 minutes to determine it was not the compressor and was the fan.  Can you imagine, there was too much dog fur on the fan.  Fortunately he had a spare fan motor on the truck and in about 1/2 hour the freezer was repaired (after 7 long weeks).

Lighthouse Point is a delightful marina/Club.  They have probably 100 slips that are full with members and when the members go out they keep tabs on when they will return and they have transients come in and use the open slips.  The Club restaurant is open for dinner Wednesday thru Saturday with a great brunch on Sunday morning. Zack turned out to be very helpful in many ways and the facilities are top notch.  It is located in a little community called Lighthouse Point that sits between Pompano Beach and Hillsboro Beach and Federal Hwy and the ICW. I do not think I have seen more Porches, Bentleys, Maserattis, Ferraris’ in another place except for maybe Miami Beach.

We had a great visit with Jerry Knapp and his wife Sue.  Jerry is a past President of HRC and has been retired for a number of years.  Jerry and Sue are residents of Florida now even though they still have some roots in Michigan.  We had a good cocktail hour on the boat and then went to dinner at an excellent restaurant that Jerry and Sue recommended.

The weather was great during the stay with a little rain the night before we left. Once we were on the ICW we pretty much had it to ourselves for the morning.  It was kind of nice not to have a lot of other boats around that you needed to guess what they were going to do. The wind was up a little from the North but we were on the ICW and only the part around West Palm Beach gets a little wider but no real waves.

As we passed the Port of West Palm Beach we caught a glimpse of a yacht being loaded on a freighter.  That is how some of these boat get transported across the Atlantic so they can cruise the Mediterranean. You need to look at the photo closely and probably enlarge it a little,

Old Port Cove Marina is a great facility to stop at.  We were here last year and they have been sending me emails with their weekly specials since then.  When Candy and I went in the office they had us on file and even noted on the card was Candy.  This is the first marina that ever gave me a bottle of wine for stopping at it. Candy enjoyed all the treats in the office.

Los Olas Marina, Fort Lauderdale, FL to Lighthouse Point Yacht & Racquet Club, Lighthouse Point FL — March 31, 2014

01 Leaving Los Olas Marina in Fort Lauderdale

01 Leaving Los Olas Marina in Fort Lauderdale

02 Leaving Los Olas Marina in Fort Lauderdale

02 Leaving Los Olas Marina in Fort Lauderdale

03 Fort Lauderdale Beach Skyline Noth of Marina

03 Fort Lauderdale Beach Skyline Noth of Marina

04 Marina and Condos North of Fort Lauderdale Along ICW

04 Marina and Condos North of Fort Lauderdale Along ICW

05 Skyline Along The ICW on The Ocean Side

05 Skyline Along The ICW on The Ocean Side

06 Homes Along The ICW Near Hollywood Beach

06 Homes Along The ICW Near Hollywood Beach

07 Mansion Under Construction North of Hillsboro Inlet - Ocean SIde

07 Mansion Under Construction North of Hillsboro Inlet – Ocean SIde

08 Goodyear Blimp Over Lighthouse Point Area

08 Goodyear Blimp Over Lighthouse Point Area

09 Goodyear Blimp Over Lighthouse Point Area

09 Goodyear Blimp Over Lighthouse Point Area

10 Lighthouse Point Marina View

10 Lighthouse Point Marina View

11 Lighthouse Point Marina View

11 Lighthouse Point Marina View

12 Lighthouse Point Marina View

12 Lighthouse Point Marina View

The Los Olas Marina is on the side of the ICW and gets a lot of wave action from the passing boats.  The boat rocks an awful lot so it was good that we only spent one night there.  The location relative to Fort Lauderdale and the beach was great so life is full of trade-offs.

We got started at noon because we needed to make sure they had a slip for us at Lighthouse Point Yacht & Racquet Club.  Traffic on the ICW was relative light at first and started to pick up as we went along.

The day was nice and sunny with temps in the high 70’s.  The scenery was really good with the ICW all lined with well kept homes and many new places being built.  Many, many large homes along the way with lots of workers around tending to the landscape, etc. around the houses. The season is still on here so the canals are full of boats in front of all the houses.

This was not going to be a long day except that we needed to go thru 3 bridges that had their clearance listed as 15′ in the chart book, but they were less when we actually arrive at them. Each bridge has tide boards that show you the minimum clearance.  The Champ III needs a little over 12′ for clearance and I like to see 13′ before proceeding.  The first bridge’s tide board read 11.5′ so we waited. The second bridge was at about 12′ so we waited. The 3rd bridge as we approached had 2 other boats waiting to go north and there were 4 boats waiting to come south so we had a 10 minute wait.

After we passed the 14th Street Bridge the bridge tender said we could have cleared and did not need to wait.  I am not quite sure how I was to maneuver thru traffic to look at the tide boards and take the chance that this bridge was like the previous 2 bridges.

Anyway we moved north in the procession of boats and a large, probably 70′ sport fisherman, backs right into the ICW and then proceeds north toward the Hillsboro Inlet.  At the inlet all these boats we are following stop and start drifting waiting for the bridge on the inlet to open so they can go out to the ocean. All the boats are effectively blocking the ICW.  I finally went on the radio and asked the captains to make room as I wanted to proceed north on the ICW, Almost surprisingly they moved over to allow passage.

It was only another mile or so to the marina turn off.  Lighthouse Point Yacht & Racquet Club is set one canal west from the ICW so it is protected from the wakes of the boaters on the ICW.  No rocking during the day. Our slip was right across the dock from a boat from Sandwich, MA that had been at Plantation Yacht Harbor about 1 1/2 weeks ago, small world.

The plan right now is to stay here 3 nights as we will be visiting with another HRC retiree, Jerry Knapp and his wife Sue.

 

Plantation Yacht Harbor to Los Olas Marina, Fort Lauderdale — March 30, 2014

Boat Anchorage and US 1 Bridge In Key Largo

Boat Anchorage and US 1 Bridge In Key Largo

Resort Marina in Key Largo

Resort Marina in Key Largo

ICW South of US 1 Bridge

ICW South of US 1 Bridge

ICW South of US 1 Bridge

ICW South of US 1 Bridge

Key Biscayne in Biscayne Bay

Key Biscayne in Biscayne Bay

Port Of Miami Dock Area

Port Of Miami Dock Area

Downtown Miami Skyline

Downtown Miami Skyline

ICW-Homes-North-of-Miami

ICW-Homes-North-of-Miami

ICW-Homes-North-of-Miami With Lawn Art

ICW-Homes-North-of-Miami With Lawn Art

ICW-Homes-North-of-Miami - Under Construction

ICW-Homes-North-of-Miami – Under Construction

ICW-Homes-North-of-Miami

ICW-Homes-North-of-Miami

Hwy AIA in Fort Lauderdale

Hwy AIA in Fort Lauderdale

Hwy AIA in Fort Lauderdale

Hwy AIA in Fort Lauderdale

Ocean View In Fort Lauderdale

Ocean View In Fort Lauderdale

Hwy AIA in Fort Lauderdale

Hwy AIA in Fort Lauderdale

Sunrise at The Beach In Fort Lauderdale

Sunrise at The Beach In Fort Lauderdale

An Altlantic Sunrise

An Altlantic Sunrise

 

Well it was nice to be back on the water again.  Last night we had some thunderstorms that rolled thru the Keys and it was pretty gusty and a big light show for awhile.  Today started out cloudy with a chance of a morning shower and then clearing for sunshine.

The wind was up a little but being on the ICW in the Bay, the water was a little choppy but not the six foot waves in Hawk’s Channel in the Atlantic. Traffic was light on the ICW until we got to Miami.  I think everyone was sleeping in this fine Sunday morning.

The boat traffic in and around Miami was crazy but with the sun out so were the boats.  The water looked like Lake St. Clair with the waves coming in all directions and the same with the boats.  It was hard staying in the channel sometimes when boats are coming right at you from the other direction.  There were a couple of times I had to slow down (from 8 mph) to avoid some nut crossing the channel.

We saw a couple of places that were a lot like Gull Island or the sand bar in St. Clair.  The boats were parked all over the place and it looked like a real party going on. As we got further north the traffic thinned out.  Just South of the Fort Lauderdale inlet we had to wait while 2 tugs jockeyed a freighter up the ICW and turned him into the inlet to take him out to the Atlantic.  Pretty interesting to watch and beside we had no choice because they pretty much blocked the ICW.

The houses along most of the ICW was pretty nice.  There are some really large “estate” style homes and some that are under construction.  A lot more homes being built this year than I remember from last year.

Lot of bridges that we are able  to get under while the other traffic has to wait.  We only had one bridge in the Downtown Miami area that was only 12′ clearance, Venetian Way, and we were within a couple of minutes of their opening. I did put the VHF antenna down to make sure we did not damage it.

The Fort Lauderdale area is really busy.  It is spring break time down here an every body wants to go to the beach.  We are 2 blocks from the beach and right next to one of the large Beach Parking Lots. We did carry out from one of the beach side restaurants and it was doing a booming business when I went up to get the food.

 

In and Around Islamorada Florida

Hi Everybody,

I have taken a little break from the posts since the last one but we are close to getting ready to leave to start North on the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW). We have had a great winter in Florida and the weather down here has been spectacular.  I have keep tabs on the winter back home and I am glad we are where we are this year.

We have done a lot of things.  We have been to Key West and Marathon several times.  We have been North to Florida City, Homestead and Kendal on various occasions.  We have had some work done on the boat with update to the salon sofa and new canvas over the cockpit. A little more mundane, we had to have a new water heater put in, Lenore did not want to take cold showers.

The events at the park have been good and pretty entertaining.  We had a nautical flea market that drew in excess of 5,000 people. There was a Bluegrass Festival and we did have an unscheduled duet encore one night during the week a little while ago.  We have had “Pops In The Park” (a couple of times) and Candy and I have watch some high school baseball and Wednesday night is slow pitch softball night.

Today(Saturday) at Founders Park is Woofstock. This is essentially a dog event that started 5 years ago and just keeps growing.  They have musical groups every hour during the whole day on 2 stages and several events for the dogs like a tank for the dogs to see how far they can jump into the water and a race track like a greyhound track with a mechanical rabbit and you can enter you dog, pretty entertaining.  A lot of booths for pet adoption services, pet supplies, souvenirs and a couple of food booths. There are dogs all over the place and Candy did pretty good walking around Woofstock.

We have made some new friends with Phil and Jeannie from Georgia/Tennessee and we were re-acquainted with many of the long term marina residents.  We even had a visit from John and Deni from Blarney Castle.  We traveled with them on the first loop on the Mississippi/Ohio/Cumberland Rivers.  Great couple but unfortunately they ran aground in the lower section of the Tenn Tom and it took several months to repair their boat.  They are on the east coast of the US moving north with the summer and south with the winter while going back home for family weddings/graduations/etc.  They are going to take several more years to complete the loop.

All the restaurants down here with patios(most) are dog friendly.  Candy thinks that is a great idea.  We don’t do it all the time but she has been to a number of different places and enjoyed them.

Stay tuned for the postings as they will start next week.