"ICW Trip 2001 Leg 27-Jumping out at Ft. Pierce" Fort Pierce Travelogue by grandmaR
Fort Pierce Travel Guide: 43 reviews and 112 photos
We got to Ft. Pierce, and the bridge said she might have to give us 'a delay' because they were doing maintenance on the bridge. The car traffic was only one way because the maintenance trucks were parked on the bridge. Bob was turning around when the bridge horn sounded, but we did get back in line and go through. We were tied up at Harbortown Marina by about 2:00.
We've gone 1060 nm so far.
We had dinner at the restaurant - we are currently trying to decide whether to go outside (the wind will be on the nose) or go inside again.
Talked to Sunny and Charlie of COSMOS and saw their updated bimini, which looks like a power boat thing to me. Late in the day, Sunshine II came back from the yard. They have the same kind of bimini. I took some pictures of both boats. Bob went out exploring on the bike. We had the early bird special in the restaurant.
Our original plan was to leave today and go outside to Lake Worth, stay there a day or so and then go outside to Miami. But the winds are supposed to be gusty and from the SE and would be on the nose. There is supposed to be a cold front come through this afternoon though, and the winds are supposed to switch to the SW tonight and tomorrow. So we stayed an extra day. Bob did a load of wash, and I walked over to where AURORA is on F dock. I talked to a broker (not the one who listed the boat), and he let me into the security gate, and I went down and took some pictures of her.
We had dinner on the boat, and then Sunny said the boat parade was that night, and the marina had chairs set up, so we went up to watch. We sat next to Ralph and Cindy of Sunshine II, and discussed a lot of stuff, and I finally persuaded Ralph to come over and see how we'd done the stuff on our boat. He was impressed with the pin rails, and wanted the 'plans' for them. Bob laughed and said there were no plans. He drilled some holes in a piece of oak, and used coffee table legs for the 'pins'.
We decided just to go all the way down to Miami from here. Last year we went overnight from Miami to Lake Worth (started at about 17:30 and ended up about 12 hours later up at Lake Worth even though we sailed a good bit.), and then went during the day from Lake Worth to Ft. Pierce, so I figured we could do both in less than 24 hours.
Bob was up at 7 and returned the splitter and keys to the marina. We cast off in a relatively uneventful way and were leaving the marina by 7:30. The tide was going out the inlet, which pushed us pretty fast until we got to the end of the jettys and then it was bumpy as it had been last year on the way in. Light winds, - Bob put the main and staysail up and also the steaming cone (meaning we were motor sailing).
I went below and took some naps. Could hear the bridge tenders calling on the ICW. We are avoiding 30 some non-fixed bridges by going this way. We passed St. Lucie inlet about 11:45. Bob put up the jib, and then gave up on it. We saw a tug pulling something long and skinny - either a dock or some kind of pipeline.
Bob started looking at the water temperature to be sure we didn't get out into the Gulf Stream, which is warmer. It was up to 82 deg F, but then went back down again. After lunch, Bob decided he could take a nap, and he went and lay down for an hour. By 14:15 we were coming even with Jupiter Inlet.
At 16:00 we were off Lake Worth and the sun was going down.
Bob said to keep the boat about a mile off shore, and keep the wind at 30 to 45 deg. He had the radar set at 3 miles. (Normally in the ICW he sets it at 1/8th mile.) I would go with the wind on the port until we were in water of 30 to 40 feet, and then tack out until we were more than 1 mile from shore, and then repeat.
We had stew, and then I went below to take another nap. Apparently I only slept for about a hour and then something waked me. I came up into the cockpit and we sat there together until about 10 when I saw Bob yawn. I asked him if he couldn't sleep and he said no, but a bit later, he agreed that he was tired.
He first went into the aft cabin, but couldn't sleep there, so went up and slept in the bunk in the main saloon. We were still motor sailing with main and staysail.
All was well for awhile. Nothing frightening on the radar. Then I started hearing announcements. The USNavy was conducting hazardous surface and underwater exercises from Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale) to some place I didn't know. The CG had a zone around all passenger ships in Port Everglades and Government Cut, and pleasure craft were restricted. I didn't hear either announcement well, and we were approaching Ft. Lauderdale.
I saw a big ship and I saw the red, white and green lights. I moved out from shore a bit, but didn't want to go too far out because of the Navy stuff. Then I saw just the white and green, so I figured they were going in the inlet. Then they shut off the green light and appeared to stop. A little bit later they turned on the deck lights. I guess they anchored or picked up a mooring.
At the same time, there was a tug and tow was coming north, but he was on the other side of the ship, so I figured I didn't have to worry.
The Navy made another announcement and said to contact them on channel 88, so I tried that and didn't get an answer, and then I tried 16, and didn't get an answer there either. I was now south of Ft. Lauderdale. The Navy gave the announcement again, (I switched to the new radio) and this time when I went to call, I overshot channel 88 and discovered that there was an 88A. Called on that channel, and the Navy answered and told me that if we were in less than 100 feet of water, there was no problem.
Eventually the wind came around more east, and we were sailing pretty well. Bob woke up about 2:30, and I briefed him, and then went down and fell asleep in the aft cabin. About 4:30 am, he came down and poked me, and I came up and fixed the computer screen (the Toshiba is going bananas), and called the CG on the radio. I heard that we should call on channel 15, but it was channel 16, and I think I waked the guy up.
Finally another guy came on and said that if we went south of Dodge Island in Fisherman's Channel, we would be OK as far as the restricted zone was concerned.
Bob was very nervous and I finally said that usually I was at the wheel there and he was taking down the sails. He thought that was a wonderful idea, so he turned the helm over to me, and took the sails down. We went down the channel and under the RIckenbacker causeway, and anchored on the other side about 5:30 after 119 nm traveled at an average of 5.5 knots.
After we turned stuff off, I went below and fell asleep with my clothes on.
Bob got up about sunrise and took down the steaming cone, but did not turn off the anchor light.
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