Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thirsty for adventure Thursdays

Winter is still present and accounted for in North Florida. Temps are still in the teens at night, and merely cold in the day.

Won't stop me. I see a weekend on the Barco approaching, and we have heating if we need it. No worries on the ice maker, I don't suppose it has come on in a week.

I ran into a pack of boat vagrants at the Moon River Pizza, Wednesday. We pretended not to notice them, but they came up to force us to acknowledge them. Feeling sorry for us "non-cruisers". I asked if they would be leaving anytime soon... Of course, they said "We're off to the Abaco's, this weekend!"


I wouldn't mind a little two week jaunt to the Bahamas. I would probably head down the coast, perhaps the Intracoastal if the winds were busy, to Daytona. Stay the night at the Halifax River Yacht Club Halifax is a very nice club with a wonderful dining room and a great little Marina. They are just to the North of Daytona's city marina.

View Larger Map

Depart at 0-Dark-Thirty the next morning. Head South through the "Haulover Cut" at Cape Canaveral. But go slow; there are hundreds of Manatees in the lagoon by the drawbridge! All right, I'm fibbing about 'hundreds'. Tens.

View Larger Map

Gotta love Google Maps! A mariner can really plan a journey with the great tools available on the web.

After clearing the Cut, the next delay will be on the Nasa Causeway. They stay closed during commute times, so stay flexible and bring a snack.
This boat caught an opening.

View Larger Map

So, now we buster as quick as possible down the Indian River. We have to make Eau Gallie for our next RON! (Remain Over Night)

So we would arrive at Eau Gallie.
Not quite as nice as Halifax River, but great location. Fuel is about a hundred yards away. There are stores within walking distance to reprovision the larder.

Underway before sunup, we should be able to make Fort Pierce by late afternoon.
Once at Fort Pierce, choices can be made. You can anchor in a snug little lagoon, or pay the big bucks to one of the marinas that specialize in boats heading south.

We would be at a point to consider going off shore for the next stop, West Palm. South of Fort Pierce is the land of Burt Reynolds and Greg Norman. The Intracoastal gets narrow and the millionaires don't like us going too fast or stay too long in their private waterway. I prefer offshore.

Once you get to West Palm, Lake Worth is a nice place to spend the night. Go to Singer Island Marina to see various art shows and just the hubbub of big time fishing boats. Under the docks, which are lighted, you can see huge fish taunting the wannabee fishermen.

Then the fun begins!

I would do a good study of the weather coming up. One would not want to get under way with the winds coming from the South. Big. Fargin. Swells. in the Gulftream. Same if the winds are from the North. Only steep and squared. Doubleplusungood.

Ideally, winds from the West or East. (Generally, the winds will come from a more South-easterly direction, which is still good).

Set your GPS with proper waypoints, which I will not give out. I ain't takin' blame for someone hitting a hard bit! Be sure to check those waypoints with someone else. It is too easy to reverse digits, and cause yourself to run into a nasty bit of coral. Oh, don't forget to bring a "Bahama's Cruising Guide"! Good info with detailed maps for entring marinas and coves.

Pick a good time to depart (I like nighttime passages) and go. Grand Bahama island is about sixty miles away, figure 12 hours for a sailboat making an average of five knots.

View Larger Map

Anyone up for a trip?

No comments: