That wasn't so bad. While we plan for a lot of things to go wrong, we try to make sure nothing happens. And in this case, almost nothing happened. Almost. It's about 100 miles. At 6 knots, that's just 16 hours. That means we can't really leave until 15:00. But check-out time is 11:00.
09:00 It's too early to leave. We'd arrive at 01:00 and have to circle for 6 hours. Folks walking down the dock see us taking up the electrical cable. "Heading out?" they ask. "Weather looks good today and tomorrow," we reply. "That was our idea, too," they say. They're headed for Boca Chita. Nothing helps to confirm a plan like total strangers having almost the same idea.
10:00 Pre-sail and off-shore checklists complete. Fire up Mr. Lehman. Getting out of a slip is always touchy. In particular, a Whitby won't back to port without the right combination of wind and current; or maybe the blessings of Poseidon. It takes a fair amount of RPM's to get her to respond in reverse, and that's scary around other people's boats. The fairway was wide enough that a little forward with the rudder hard to starboard and a little reverse with the rudder at 12-15° to port got her bow pointed the right way. Back-and-forth turning to starboard is almost as good as backing to port.
10:45 The fuel dock is in a pretty confined area of the marina. I prefer a long approach to get lined up. The tiny basin meant a quick turn and then a lot of hoping to close enough to the dock before we ran out of maneuvering room. We took on about 32 gallons of fuel to get the tank to a full 72 gallons.
11:30 Out in the river, headed for St. Lucie Inlet. Slowly. We're feeling pretty good. Until. Hit bottom at Green #3 where the inlet and the ICW cross. It's famously shallow here. But we still hit it.
13:00 Out at sea. It's choppy and the wakes from the big sport-fishing boats make it worse. The shallow entrance meant we got rolled heavily from side to side until we could get into deep-enough water. As predicted, seas were 3-4′, and the wave angle rolled us around. A lot. If we keep the speed to 5 knots, We'll be dropping the anchor at 09:00. Which means we'll be entering the government cut at about dawn. If we can keep the speed down.
16:00 CA's first watch is over. Sea state is yucky, and she's asking about ducking in to Lake Worth. I veto this because Mon28-Tue29 is a good weather window; things will improve overnight. Wed30, Thu31 is going to be bad weather. If we duck in, we're in for at least three days.
20:00 My first watch is over. It wasn't too bad. Sea flattened out to 2-3′. Wind moved dead ahead. The near-shore current is keeping the speed way up with the engine RPM's low. The wind is dead ahead. That has to count for something, right? CA's prescription meds have started to work. And the sea is flatter. So she makes a pot of rice for us to have later. And. She agrees that it was a good call to keep on in spite of the icky start.
24:00 CA's second watch is over. Wind is dropping and clocking west. Sea is flatter.
04:00 My second watch is over. It was very nice. Wind has clocked all the way to the west. The sea was 1-2'. I throttle back to try and avoid arriving pre-down. The good news is that we're past the Port Everglades circus of boats still being rescued at all hours of the morning. Those poor folks being towed in at that late hour. Circling helicopters. Scary.
07:00 CA wakes me up. Dawn is in 15 minutes. In spite of running at idle, we arrived early. She's been driving in circles for almost two hours. Of all the problems to have, I think early arrival is a good one.
08:34 We're near ICE mile 1095 in Biscayne Bay. It's Miami. It's a wow! morning.
09:17 Anchor down at 25°40.455′N 080°10.042′W.
Key Biscayne's No Name Harbor is a very handy little pocket that can hold a few boats. It's part of a park, so you're supposed to pay to use it.
We're out in the Cape Florida Channel. It's wide open. Plenty of room for boats. It's sheltered against some wind. The Wed30-Thu31 weather looks scary.
"However, the shallows of Coral Shoal to the S interfere with fetch and block ocean swell, so anchorage feels more protected than it appears."
Ah. It will blow. But. It may not heap up into colossal 6-9′ waves. That would be nice.
And we have fish.
They were in the shade, eating whatever it is that's flowing out of Biscayne Bay. In the top right you can see my shadow, looking down on them. The water is clear enough that we can see the anchor.
|Depart||Stuart Harborage marina 27°12.702′N 080°15.451′W|
|Arrive||Key Biscayne 25° 40.455′N 080°10.042′W|
|Maintenance||Take on 32.8 g. fuel|