Greetings from Winston Salem, NC. It is Thursday October 6th, 2016. Checked Out is berthed at Loggerhead Marina of Palm Beach Gardens and is smack in the middle of Hurricane Matthews path. Let me tell you how we got here.
Monday, September 26th we left Cocoa Village for a short trip to Melbourne Harbor. Nice trip, no docking drama. We were passed by 3 large boats which does tend to rock our boat.
Tuesday we went from Melbourne to Vero Beach. This was a nice day. We left at 7am and arrived around 12:30pm No drama docking. The Marina did have courtesy bikes so we rode to the Publix for groceries.
Wednesday Vero Beach to Stuart, Florida. This trip was 41 miles, one of our longest trips of the journey. We had to push this longer journey because there was not a good marina to stop at and the weather for Friday was supposed to be very rainy. We wanted to get home on Thursday. Did dock the boat in a tricky spot between 2 larger boats. I could not have docked the boat between these 2 boats when we first started.
Thursday, Stuart to Palm Beach Gardens. This trip was only 21 miles but there were 5 draw bridges, a tide against/pushing us and a busy inlet. We’ve dealt with different issues in every state we’ve traveled. Florida and especially this last week seems like our graduate exams to be real cruisers. The first 3 bridges open on demand so if you ask nice they’ll open the bridge. The issue is boaters don’t want to be close to the bridge until it opens because they don’t want to hit the bridge. Bridge tenders don’t want to open the bridge until you are close to the bridge because they don’t want to hold up traffic waiting for your boat to go through the bridge. All of the bridge tenders said keep on coming which meant they would open when we were really close to the bridge. I got so close to these bridges it was pucker city but we got through quickly.
The next 2 bridges open on the half hour if you have requested transit through the bridge. The 707 bridge is north of Jupiter Inlet and we had a current pushing us 7 mph towards the bridge. Again pucker city getting close to this bridge but we made it through ok. 100 yards past the bridge we entered Jupiter Inlet and turned right following the ICW. Because we were heading away from the Inlet on an ebb tide we went from 7mph to 4 mph. If Jupiter Inlet sounds familiar it is the first place Matthew might make land fall. The final bridge is the Donald Ross bridge 3 miles away. If you can do 6 knots you can make the next opening on the half hour. Since we were doing 4 miles per hour we took our time and arrive 45 minutes later. This meant 15 minutes of doing circles in the ICW. We also had a large motor yacht come up behind us and request passage on our right. I did lose track of our position while doing circles at this time and ended up really close to the shore. The depth finder said there was 1′ of water under our keel! We travel 829 miles and almost run aground 100 yards from our marina. Again, pucker city.
After the bridge opened we turned into our marina but we weren’t home yet. First we got fuel. Then we went to our slip around some really big boats. Found our slip and pulled straight in. Oops, we need to back in as we stick out too far of the slip. 20 minutes later with a lot of man handling and pulling of ropes we are tied up. Yeah!!!
We have a beer and go see my father, everyone is happy.
Friday we are still tired so we rest and see my father. We start doing laundry, 6 loads that we finished on Saturday.
Saturday we have a hurricane coming and we need to go to Boone, NC to get Scout and Jan’s car. Let’s spend Sunday getting ready for the hurricane and head out Monday.
Sunday, on and off rain and the forecast is only 30mph as Matthew passes by. We pull the bimini, wrap the sails, check dock lines and pack.
Monday we are on the road and Matthew is aiming for Palm Beach with 100 mph winds. Drat! We chose Loggerhead Marina of Palm Beach Gardens because it is 2.5 miles from my father and it is a hurricane hole. That means it is well protected from storms. At least we hope it’s well protected. I tend to think so because hurricane holes do not have a lot of breeze going through them and Loggerhead can be a little stifling.
Tuesday we arrived in Boone to see Tyler and pick up Scout. She was happy to see us and needed a bath and haircut. We stayed in Boone on Wednesday for the haircut and bath.
Thursday we headed to Winston Salem to see oldest son, Ben. We did not book a hotel in Savannah for the return trip because we did not know where the hurricane will be. Since over 1 million people are evacuating the hotels are full.
Matthew is presently approaching the Florida coast and will be on his way north tomorrow morning. Our next post will talk about the journey south and the aftermath of Matthew.
More to come,
Jan, Matt and Scout