Greetings from windswept West Palm Beach! We’ve spent the past two nights holed up in a marina, as the anchorage here at “Lake Worth” is exposed to the SE. This is as far South in Florida as we go, Lake Worth Inlet is to be our departure point for West End on the island of Grand Bahama. So for now we wait for a nice mellow weather window, here’s what we’ve been up to.
After departing Palm Coast Marina we made it to New Smyrna Beach, we were passed by “Ibis” a Ruel Parker designed/built boat, which I think might be the coolest boat in the world. Second the Pearson Ariel of course.
We were also followed by a drone with a camera. We could see the guy piloting the thing on the shore, we waved, he did not acknowledge. Unsettling.
From New Smyrna we hit Titusville- as we motorsailed along we were able to see NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building in the distance…very frackin awesome.
The stretch of the ICW that meanders through the Mosquito Lagoon has been one of our favorites. It is wide open, with small mangrove islands dotted all around, with very little evidence of waterfront development. We saw our first manatee, although for such slothful creatures they avoided being photographed. We anchored just outside the mooring field in Titusville, and rowed ashore to spend some time with Ryan’s brother Christian and his girlfriend April. They drove us to Walmart and served up a delicious home cooked meal. Christian prevented his dog “Ace” from eating us…he warmed up to us eventually and Ryan gave me her “CAN WE GET A PUPPY?!?!?” face. Yes love, we can get a puppy. When we don’t live on a boat. Christian dropped us off at the marina and we had a somewhat thrilling row back to the boat involving wind, waves, flying spray, darkness, confusion as to the location of the boat, and some un-lady like but very sailorly swearing on the part of the crew. The Captain (or in this case, the lowly oar-hand) was characteristically phlegmatic. For the most part. Despite this, we had a great time in Titusville. Thanks Christian and April!
The next day took us to Cocoa, where we ran into our good friends Bill and Judy on “Whisper” again. Hey guys! “Whisper” is heading further South and crossing to Bimini, hopefully we catch up with them over yonder! We also met Kirsten and Jason on “Chickadee,” a like-minded younger couple cruising on an Alberg 30. We busted out the Firefly and traded sea-stories and life-stories. Jason and I have similar taste in boats, and similar philosophies in putting them back together. Their boat is like “Firefly’s” bigger sister. They left us in the dust and are the Florida Keys now. SUP doods!
The next day took us to Serenity Island, a small deserted “spoil” island just off the ICW. There’s a firepit, and local boats come out for the day to swim and fish. We anchored the boat, rowed ashore, did some fishing, drank some boat sodas, and hung out with the locals. We didn’t catch any feesh that day, but we were becoming hooked you might say…
From Serenity we had a long-ish day to Ft. Pierce where we met up with my Uncle Ed and Aunt Susan. Upon consulting with Ed’s family tree generator, we determined we’re actually 1st cousins once-removed, and that we share family going back all the way to the 1780s! I was intrigued. We slept in a real bed, took real showers, and were generally spoiled by Ed and Susan’s hospitality. Many, many, thanks guys! We checked out a sailboat “graveyard” with project boats in various stages of decay, and hung out at “Little Jim’s” home of Navy Seal Team 0. Ed introduced us to some folks who have done the Gulf Stream crossing to the Bahamas numerous times, who gave us some great advice and welcome encouragement. We managed to get a few boat projects done, and with Ed driving us around to all the local hotspots picked up ship’s supplies and vittles. And ate enough pizza at “Sharkey’s” to last a lifetime. Scratch that, I could go for some now. Infinite gratitude.
Phew, this is stretching on isn’t it?? Let’s move things along
Jensen Beach- ok anchorage, trains. Don’t go to “Conchy Joes.”
Peck Lake- BEACH! FISH! DINNER! INNER BEAST AWOKEN! Ryan caught the first fish of the trip, a nice bluefish, and then the second fish of the trip, a catfish, within about 20 minutes of each other.
We ate the bluefish for dinner. I was very proud of my fisher-woman. Ryan was pretty psyched. She caught said feesh using a “DOA” shrimp lure-thing…which requires patience and reeling and flicking of the rod. I caught this guy…
…by chopping off the bluefish head, sticking it on the biggest hook we have, and dropping it over the side on a clothesline. That’s just how I roll. (INNERBEASTAWOKEN)
North Palm Beach Canal- PANOPTICON! No pics, but we anchored in a basin inside an exclusive waterfront neighborhood and presumably our every move was scrutinized. Getting here required going under 5 opening bridges… each one more of a clustertruck than the last. At Jupiter Inlet the water went from ICW-brown to Caribbean-WHOA!, but then, the BRIDGE. We came around a corner, I think we were 2nd in a line of 4 sailboats, the current and wind were going pretty good, pushing us towards the bridge. The bridge tender responded quickly, said he would open right up, the gates go down, we all approach at the normal pace, and then the bridge didn’t open for what felt like an hour, was more likely 5 minutes. The first sailboat in line nearly got swept under, we were reversing hard not to run them down, the sailboat behind us started doing donuts…it was a freekin nightmare. It should be stated that “Firefly” does not like to go backwards, she is somewhat unpredictable in reverse, I can identify. The rest of the day was pretty much the same for the next 4 hours. Deep and pervasive rage.
Lake Worth- This is the staging area for boats getting ready to cross over to the Bahamas…big anchorage and convenient to a grocery store, West Marine, etc. We anchored up, caught a nice Jack for dinner …
…(INNERBEASTAWOKEN), and went to bed. The next day we met Giles and Annick on “Calista,” our first Canadian friends of the trip! These guys are awesome, they had a rental car and we tagged along filling propane, doing the Walmart (yay Spam Singles!), and indulging in some sensory overload at the Gander Mountain outlet. Fishing supplies anyone? (INNERBEASTAWOKEN) Giles and Annick spoiled us with a wonderful dinner aboard their beautiful boat, we brought some boat-sodas, cause that’s about all we’re good for these days. We traded sea-stories and life-stories until much later than bedtime.
And that dear reader brings us more or less up to date, yesterday we walked to a spear-fishing/free diving shop to procure spears and a Hawaiian sling (INNERBEASTAWOKEN), and are trying to figure out what the hey we’re gonna do for Christmas on a boat. One thing for sure, we’re gonna drink this guy…
Ryan’s dad Joe brewed this guy up…we’ve been saving the big bottle for Christmas, the 12 oz guys didn’t last that long.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Anyone recognize this boat? We were tied up next to her in Ft. Pierce. I’ll buy you a beer if you know…no googling
We picked up our mail in Ft. Pierce, Ryan’s mom Renee was kind enough to ship us some of our favorite coffee. Excited much? Thanks Renee!