Hello virtual crew members and fellow adventures!
Eric here catching you up to date on the latest travels of Still Waters II. Click on this link to see the day- to-day travel log.
The crew left Ft Lauderdale on Monday and began a northbound voyage of 327 miles to Jacksonville. They anchored Monday and Tuesday in Boca Raton Lake and Peck Lake respectively. Wednesday, they stayed at Sebastian Marina. Thursday and Friday found them at anchor near Kennedy Space Center and just south of Palm Coast. Saturday they made St Augustine.
The crew managed to meet up with some old friends and had a fabulous day. They started with a brunch on the boat with Trish and Bob.
Then they shoved off and went on a four-hour cruise north and south of Ft Lauderdale.
Upon returning to the dock on the New River, the group walked over to a local restaurant and had a great diner.
The crew left Ft Lauderdale and began the trek north. They did not get very far however. They only travelled 17 miles and dropped the anchor in Boca Raton Lake. They noticed this spot on the way south and wanted to enjoy a day on the lake. They did watch the Firestone blimp fly overhead for part of the day.
The view from Boca Raton Lake.
The skipper noticed an Iguana swimming in the water. The skipper got the binoculars to keep a better eye on the swimming Iguana.
After about an hour of swimming, the little guy finally got to a piling and he latched on for dear life. When the sun went down the Iguana was still holding onto the piling. Hope he was not surprised like the crew was when a firework show broke out about 2100. What a nice surprise.
The crew weighed anchor and continued the trek north. The crew passed 21 bridges today, four of which had to be opened to continue north.
As the crew continued north they saw big mansions and big mega yachts. While waiting for the bridge to open in Del Ray, the skipper noticed that the Marina Del Ray was nearby. You might recall that George Straight sang a song about the Marina Del Ray.
When they arrived in West Palm Beach, they discovered the marina was setting up for the annual boat show. Crews were busy planting temporary pilings so that they could run temporary docks and get the mega yachts secured.
A few of the yachts to be seen during the boat show:
Navigating through Jupiter Inlet and the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse.
Upon anchoring, the Admiral heard an unusual noise. Upon further investigation, she discovered that the freshwater pump was running. That means the pump low pressure switch has triggered and is running the pump to build the pressure back up.
This also means that the crew is out of freshwater. Luckily, they have an emergency cache of water just in case the skipper ever forgets to fill the freshwater tank before leaving the dock. Turns out this is the fifth night at anchor since the tank was last filled. This is a good data point to have. The crew has anchored out four nights in a row before with no issues. Looks like four nights is also their new limit.
Had a good run today reminiscing about the first time the crew came thru these waters back in July 2015. As the Admiral stated, “We were green as a gourd back in those days.” The crew discussed the lost anchor fiasco as well as laughing at their first solo docking experience. The crew has come a long way since those initial days back in July 2015.
To go back and review the July 2015 voyage through this area click here. After reading the “Anchors Aweigh” post, click the ‘Newer Post’ button at the bottom right of the post and you can read about four other posts on the crew’s first run to St Augustine.
Look closely and you will notice the fish in the claws of this Osprey that flew over the boat.
The crew waiting their turn to pass through a bridge.
A little water hazard during the days cruise.
The skipper woke to high winds howling around the boat. He jumped up and went and looked outside to see what was happening. There were 4 foot waves on the outside of the breakwater wall and the winds were 25 mph according to the radar. Inside the marina, the water was calm. However, the wind had blown the boat about three feet from the dock. The skipper could see a thunderstorm in the distance, so he got busy and secured the boat better.
About the time the skipper had completed his storm preparations, the cell broke up and it was basically calm. A check of the radar showed a line of storms working their way south along the coast. The crew waited for the worst of the storms to pass and then shoved off from the dock and headed north.
The first of several windy stormy days on the water.
One basic rule in boating is to never have a schedule. However, the crew is breaking the rule this week. They need to get to Jacksonville, Florida by Sunday, get a rental car Monday, and get to Texas by Tuesday evening.
Because of this schedule the crew headed out into the high winds today. If no schedule, they would have sat at the marina for a few days and let this wind blow itself out.
A crab man out running his pots in this nasty weather.
As the day progressed, so did the winds. This next shot is before the winds got too bad, just a few white caps.
The last ten miles the crew was in 3-4 foot seas and 20 + mph winds. This does not make for a fun day on the water. The skipper did manage to find a place that would be somewhat protected from the wind and dropped anchor. They are on the south side of a bridge embankment and using the road to help block the northeast winds.
The “calm” anchor location.
This could be a long sleepless night for the skipper if these winds do not lay down.
Well the anchor held thru the night so the crew got an early start to try to get 15 miles north in some big water before the wind gets back up in the high teens. The early start was rewarded with 1-2 foot waves off the starboard beam. The crew was glad they got past this area before it got too bad.
The Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building in the background of yet another windy dreary day on the water.
After two hours, the crew made their way into Haulover Cut.
While transiting this narrow cut, the crew saw no less than 30 manatees. You could see the manatees thru the water and see them swimming along the bank. There was a boat ramp about half way thru the Cut with a small basin for boats. Over a dozen manatees were frolicking in the basin.
That thing that looks like a log is actually a manatee swimming under water.
This manatee actually swam towards the boat and broached right next to the boat.
As the crew continued thru the cut they even saw a raccoon out looking for an early meal.
The manatee watching was so good that it took the crew almost 45 minutes to travel the one mile cut.
After exiting the Cut, the crew headed north up the Mosquito Lagoon. The further north the crew went the narrower the Lagoon got until the crew made it to a narrow channel out of the wind.
As the crew began to encounter homes along the channel they also began to see much damage from Hurricane Matthew that ravaged the Atlantic Coast back in September 2016. Many docks and homes were still in need of repair.
There were also many boats beached on land.
After arriving in Daytona Beach, the crew decided to push further north before calling it a day. Can you spot the dolphins photo bombing the pic of the mosaic in Daytona?
They made an additional 20 miles and anchored in a narrow cut off the ICW. They were the third boat on the cut. Good news was the boat was well protected from the wind which made for a much calmer night sleeping.
The crew made another early start so they could get to St Augustine before noon. As they made the 32 miles north, the crew got overtaken by three other looper boats also headed to St Augustine.
Upon arrival at the marina, they found an additional three looper boats. Looks like the crew has found the north bound migration of fellow loopers.
After securing the boat and talking with several loopers on the dock, the crew set out on foot to find Osteen’s Seafood Restaurant. Several looper friends have recommended the restaurant so the crew decided to see for themselves. The restaurant specialty is fried shrimp and coconut cream pie. The crew decided the place was worth the one mile walk and 30-minute wait.
After eating, the crew walked back to the harbor to watch the Junior Sailboat races. It is Sail Week and a local Yacht Club is sponsoring all the races this week.
At least somebody is happy that there is a strong blow going on.
After the sailboat race, the crew went to the Governor’s House to watch the changing of the guard. The re-enactment is only done once a month and the crew wanted to watch.
The skipper did not get a pic of the boat this week, but they did see a fishing boat named:
Reminded the skipper of another favorite saying: A bad day fish’n is better than a good day at work.
The crew will make their way to Ortega Landing in Jacksonville on Sunday. They will keep the boat here until April 10th. They will then move the boat up river to Hutckins to have her hauled out and some work performed. After she splashes back in the water the crew will decide if the Bahamas are still plausible or if they need to just keep heading north.
In the meantime, the crew will take a road trip back to Texas to visit the grandkids.