Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Titusville is far astern now

Sunday Jan 9, 2011
Well I finally got out of Titusville. I was feeling stuck there, it was getting to comfortable to be there and another week and I would have never left. Made some friends and left a few behind. Most of the friends I had made are farther south or in the Bahamas now. My only regret is I have no one to share this with; special times are truly special when they are shared with a friend.
I started the engine at 07:10 and after carefully untying and maneuvering out of the dock I requested an opening and I passed through the Max Brewer Bridge at 08:00. It was a long uneventful motor down the waterway. The Canaveral Canal had closed for maintenance while I sat in Titusville. The next outlet to the ocean was Fort Pierce. I motored for the entire day and arrived at Jones’ Fruit Dock at 17:30 about 15 minutes before sunset. No one was around and there were no services. I tied up for the night after motoring 71.91 NM in 10 hours and left at 07:10 the next morning.
I motored for 4 hours and stopped for fuel at Fort Pierce. They allowed me to stay on the fuel dock and I took a shower and had lunch at a waterfront restaurant. By 12:15 I was on my way. I was losing focus and almost hit a channel marker; it was hard to see ahead with the dingy on the foredeck. I was heading to Manatee Pocket but when I saw a couple boats anchored north of the Jensen Beach Bridge I decided to stop at 14:40 and 39.51 NM

The morning dawned with thick fog and even with the radar the channel marks don’t show up and the channel is quite narrow. By 08:15 the fog was lifting a little and by 08:30 I headed out. I followed a couple boats a way but one turned off and the other didn’t show on radar. After leaving the channel a few times the fog lifted and at 09:30 I turned out to enter the ocean at St Lucie inlet. On the way out I had a CBP boat checking me out. After a few minutes they sped of around me and hooked around a red buoy I thought was out of place but marked a dogleg in the cut. Thank you CBP. The shallowest spot was about 6.5 feet beside the breakwater but it was a rising tide and a few minutes later I was out in the ocean.
The winds were light and forecast out of the west all day but as usual the forecast was wrong. The one thing I was worried about was the hard freeze forecast so my plan was to get as far south as I could before the 15-20 and gust to 30 started. As usual the wind was anywhere but west and I had about a hundred miles to Fort Lauderdale. It would be another long day of motoring. I was doing about 7.3 knots through the water but had a contrary current of 1.5 to 2 knots.
Around lunch a pod of dolphins came to play beside me, enjoying the wake and breaching beside me. I took several pictures, one dolphin wanted more attention and slapped the water with his tail 3 times until he managed to splash me. That was something new to me, has anyone ever experienced that before?
At 14:20 I was about 1020 miles south of Norfolk VA. The moon would be a half tonight and the sky was lightly overcast. My ETA for Ft Lauderdale was after 21:00. It was a long day but I was finally in the channel and I tied to a mooring at 22:30. Today I did 99.35NM.
I think I will stay here an extra night. The mooring is only $30.00 a night and it is cold out now, the cold forecast finally arriving.

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