On our way from Titusville to Vero Beach
We seem to be five days and twenty minutes behind last year….our slow progress was due at first to a number of repairs/upgrades to Soli and then due to miserable weather. This cold front with strong winds and heavy rains is not very enticing to travel for long hours braving the elements.
Yesterday morning we were scheduled to head out at 0700 …at 0615, a soft knock on our hull, it was Sharon reporting on NOOA’ s weather report which was quite discouraging and a consensus was reached ….we are staying another day…We contentedly went back to sleep in our warm bunk
I am still a useless brat but David and the crew onboard Indian Summer are freezing at the helm, I try to redeem myself by making tea, hot soup etc.
Let me try and recap a little since our last entry…we had planned on making another outside passage from St. Augustine to Cape Canaveral but the coast guard who was on our dock said there was heavy fog up to 20 miles from shore, which is not very pleasant to navigate in or come into an unknown inlet and marina…so we headed down the good old ditch.
On Tuesday the 15th, we left Camachee Cove and everything was all right for a while until we reached the infamous “Matanzas Inlet” well known for its “skinny waters” or the worst place on the ICW!!! .
We knew that unfortunately since it was just one day before the new moon, when the tides have their biggest swings (as well as on full moons) that we were going to get there at a very low tide. A boat who was ahead of us tried to “get through” and just could not …in sheer disgust he went back ALL THE WAY TO ST. AUGUSTINE!!!
Anyhow when we arrived a few boats were anchored waiting for the tide to come in, we thought we would have a go at it and were told to hug the greens but we touched bottom, David was going ever so slowly and he was able to back up Soli without going aground….we went back and circled for a quite while until we felt the tide was starting to come in…..tried again “hugging the greens” and we ran out of water again…David then decided to go to the red side of the channel while all the VHFs were telling us we were doing it wrong…he inched his way cautiously watching the depth sounder and found enough, just enough water to get us through…Indian Summer was following our progress and decided to follow us and got through also.
I had made reservations in Palm Coast Marina but by the time we got through Matanzas we were traveling at night in a waterway with UNLIT buoys…our wonderful chartplotter warned us of upcoming buoys and I would flash our high power light on their reflectors to see them and David’s night vision is absolutely amazing…I guess all these years at sea are paying off now.
By the time we arrived (1915) the marina staff had gone home but had left word with wonderful boaters at the Marina and they guided us and caught our lines made us fast and welcome.
After a skipper’s meeting on Soli with the crew of IS we made absolutely no decisions but enjoyed a couple of drinks to calm down Sharon’s shattered nerves….she drives most of the time and is a STAR!!!
Wednesday the 16th we left Palm Coast at 0800 and had a good run. We went through the Ponce de Leon inlet which has been known as having skinny waters in the past but never saw less than 13 ft five hours after high tide.
The Coronado bridge which in the past had a somewhat “difficult” bridge master must have a new one as he opened the bridge for us even though we had just missed the 1330 opening…nice guy!!!
We decided to stop at Smyrna Beach (David hates the name) to explore somewhere new and also we knew we would not make Titusville before dark and our rum reserves could not stand another bout of shattered nerves calming. Just joking of course, I was reading on the internet all about Mr. Henry Flagler, whose name appears everywhere…he was quite an extraordinary gentleman, after being one of the founding members of Standard Oil (now Exxon) he had a second career…basically developed Florida by opening hotels further and further south and building a railway to take people there. This is when America was the land of milk and honey for men of vision and with lots of guts.
Thursday the 17th we had high hopes of making it to Cocoa Beach, so I made reservations with them but to be on the safe side I also kept the ones with Titusville.
We pulled out the genny and did some motor sailing on Mosquito lagoon, then took her in before the Haulover Cut.
The weather was deteriorating rapidly with nasty and very dark clouds so we made a joint decision to tuck into Titusville before all hell broke loose. Matt expertly guided and caught us and IS into our respective slips where we proceeded to hunker down to weather the front.