Time to do some ocean sailing. So we decided to sail down the ICW and leave from Ponce Inlet. The trip to Ponce was uneventful. Anchoring was a different story. The tide and current was ripping and after checking out the inlet we made the decision to travel the ICW to Ft. Pierce and use that inlet to go out to sea. We have a saying that the inlets we use to go to and from the sea have to be capable of having large ships come in at night or it has a Coast Guard Station. Ponce Inlet has a Coast Guard Station, but the inlet was shoaled and recommended to be used with local knowledge. Ft. Pierce is a major inlet for commercial ships. You can go in and out at night.
Ft. Pierce is a great little town. We put the dingy down and went to Ft. Pierce Marina. The marina was damaged by Hurricane Florence. The floating docks were destroyed and over 100 boats sank. The dock master said that it took two years just to clean up the debris. Now they are rebuilding and installing 'barrier islands' to act as a break wall. We put the dingy down and were going to get fuel. Unaware, we went right thru the construction zone. Power boat came from around the corner and told us to 'use the channel', we said OK, now? his response could not be understood over the yelling and gestures. We smiled and went to the fuel dock. We got fuel, water and threw away our trash. We went to the restaurant and had a wonderful lunch. Every Wednesday they have a farmers market. Was a treat to buy fresh fruits and veggies and organic meat. Coming back to the boat we used the channel.
Went from Ft. Pierce Inlet to West Palm Beach. Since Miami was our destination we had to make a night time approach and anchoring. There were some Navy exercises in the area and we would of had to increase out trip by 20 miles. Better to stop at Palm Beach than to around the 'live fire' training. Whenever we come into an unfamiliar place at night it looks so intimidating. All you see are lights and shadows. Distance is hard to judge. We just looked for the double spreader masts and anchored around them. Anchor down, all is well. The next day was warm and sunny. Matt put on
his wet suit and dove on the anchor. The anchor was dug in well. He tried to pick up a shell, but it moved! Matt spent most of the day poking at small marine animals. All that snorkeling training in the pool paid off.
Checked the weather forecast, seas 2 to 3 ft, winds S 5 to 10 mph. We left at 3am so we would get into Miami during daylight. We found the seas were 8 to 10 ft and the wind was 15 to 20 knots and gusts to 30 mph. Total slog, traveling at 3 knots. Never going to make Miami while sailing into a washing machine. A new plan was needed. How about Ft. Lauderdale? We headed for Ft. Lauderdale. Got through the 17 st bridge at the scheduled opening and found Lake Sylvia. Anchor down.
Don't know if we will make it to Miami this week. We will keep trying.