Well we are still looking for that perfect window to cross, call us chicken of the sea or just overly cautious. Our buddy boat Adirondack made it across all be it with a north wind, a beam sea, and arriving in the dark – not to our liking. So we fretted for days before deciding not to go and sadly we had second thoughts even after they made it there, that we made the wrong decision, but hey if we are not comfortable so be it.
Ever find yourself wishing for a dull moment? Well it’s never a dull moment, there is always that project, anchoring issues, weather or leaks and well who knows it’s a boat.
We had the joy of new crew, Laurie, joining us for 10 days, met up with looper buddies and took in West Palm Beach ka -ching!!
I tried my hand at sealing the upper deck which seemed to go well, messy as heck, but went well.(PROJECT)
We sat in Peck Lake and Jeff and Susan on Gran Vida joined us, it was windy as all get out (weather and anchoring).
Jeff and I putted around Peck Lake looking for catch a fish or two. We did hook up with a sting ray which created some concern, conversation and a immediate shore visit to get the poor thing released, successfully.
We had to leave early the next day to get down Riviera Beach Municipal Marina to get a rental and pick up crew at the airport… woo hoo!!
The ICW (Inter-Coastal Waterway) is starting to look more and more like a canal with big houses lining it.
The traffic is all south bound and we chased and passed a few sailboats on the way down.
From here on in its very developed so there’s a lot of bridges to contend with.
We saw a cool place advertised as Dockominiums
This guy has a unique way of getting people out of his way
More beautiful homes, giant gazebos
So as luck would have it Gran Vida and Chesapeake (Joe and Connie) made it down to the same area we were in. We had chosen to anchor in the basin across from West Palm Beach but the bridge was only opening on the hour. It was and had been raining all day and we missed the bridge opening. Decision was made to go to the marina a day early but as we traveled back north we crossed paths with our looper buddies, we followed Jeff and Susan into the anchorage and hooked up for the night.
Next morning we got up early and hurried over to the marina, lots to do, food trip, car rental and laundry. We always read that anchoring close to the marina prior to the reservation allows you to get in early and the world is your oyster, yes indeed.
This marina is so close to the inlet that the water is beautiful, clean, clear and you can see a million fish. This guy was spectacular.
We picked Laurie up that evening at Ft Lauderdale Airport and immediately went for seafood dinner at a crab shack.
The waitress dresses you in these and then gives you each one of these And then delivers this
Pandemonium ensues – there was stuff flying everywhere, Cindy was really enjoying the process …which kinda sacred me, in fact she wanted to bring one of the hammers home, not sure what for, perhaps a correction device? The crab was great!!
Now back on the boat with our new crew stuffed into the forward berth, we woke to our neighbor going up his mast. If you’ve never seen this its not for the faint of heart and you need some serious upper body strength to hoist yourself up. A great reason to own a trawler as opposed to a sailboat!
Story is he had inches to spare as he went under abridge and of course got waked (where a large wake from another boat that refuses to slow rocks you) and as you can image at the top of the mast 60 some feet away makes the rocking motion magnified. Long story short he clipped the lights on the bridge with the top of his mast and creamed his wind gauges. Cripes.
Now you really need to have a lot of faith in your partner, she holds your line tight. Make sure shes happy, has had her coffee (in Cindy’s case) and that you’ve made verbal plans to treat her royally AFTER this job. In Don Kerr’s case a full emotional bank account before attempting?…. right Brenda?
Half way to the top
So what does my new friend do whilst up there? Only the coolest thing imaginable …takes a picture of our boat no less. Too Cool !!
This is a cruise ship port and they come in and out on a regular basis. Honk their horn and are best described and giant.
So if a boater has a rental car where do they go? Walmart of course , so we treated Laurie to a trip to the Super Centre, oh the thrills. Our purpose was to gather more provisions, I’m beginning to wonder of we might be getting a little obsessive in our need to provision.
Lunch was out of a chuck wagon that had BBQ, we saw it on the way into the Super Centre parking lot, actually it was in the parking lot. It smelled so good as we drove by and the parking lot was full.
This is where the smoking took place, and his job was to stoke the fire. Not being one to eat out of a van in the Walmart parking lot, it was surprisingly excellent and no one died which is a good thing.
Last night at the marina, beautiful, and another cruise ship leaving.
By this time Jeff and Susan and Joe and Connie had moved down to the basin anchorage in front of West Palm beach. Its a great anchorage but you’ve got to be careful of shoaling. The town has a free dock to dingy to and tie to during the day.
I have to say West Palm Beach is a great stop, they have no end to activities, free concerts in the park downtown, tons of bars and restaurants and a fantastic farmers market on Saturdays.
West Palm Beach by day – town dock in the background
Dingy into the town dock, Crow, Vida and Chesapeake in the background.
The farmers market was a blast.
There was a fresh bread vendor, one of my many vices. OK in my defense I “intended” to purchase a healthy loaf of bread. Informed Cindy that I was going to buy a loaf, got the nod of approval, which is reassuring and I headed for a loaf of whole grain or muslix or something made with organic non gluten healthy stuff.
I had my eye on the perfect bread and then …..this guy beside me says to his buddy “jalapeno cheese bread, can’t get it many places, dude it”s soooo good” …geeze…. what comes out of my mouth?..I’ll have what he’s having. The damn loaf was heavy to carry around, I had to keep switching hands. Next morning we toasted some slices and butter wouldn’t stick to it, it just ran off. But oh it was sooo good!!
There was all sorts of food stuffs
There’s a bar for the beer
They also hold a flea market on the same day, lots of color and people. Cindy was particularly interested in the slinky bracelets for her girlfriend Julie.
We did a side trip with the other boat folks to the arts district in West Palm Beach. There is a free trolley and you know what, they have bars there, and a happy hour.
We landed in the Dos Amigos, yup a Mexican bar. We had buckets of 5 Corona for 10 bucks, which was not actually happy hour. So we had a cold beer and then did the tour. And as luck would have it we landed back at the Dos Amigos at happy hour … who would have guessed.
They had their own line of hot sauce, we grabbed a bottle!
Our bartender Sarah became our new best friend bonding with six noisy northerners. She even brought us a house special gratis …WOOT!!
We made our way back to the town centre by trolley, a little rowdier that before and found a pizza joint. You have to realize that anchorages and marinas are not built where services, grocery stores or pizza joints are located. So we ordered out and delivered back by dingy to the Crow where Jeff and Susan joined us. Excellent, even bad cold pizza is better than no pizza ….
West Palm Beach by night
In the morning a hawk or eagle? had decided that Chesapeake anchor light was a good perch.
What stop in West Palm Beach would be complete without an exotic car show?
OMG Sunday was fabulous, there were all the dealers represented, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley , Porsche, BMW ..and then there were the owned cars.. Amazing sitting on the boat listening to these cars arrive, it sounded like a formula one race.
Cindy found Brenda’s car, reportedly stolen in December, better look under the car cover Brenda. Apparently by two old hippies that started a very successful hemp store and now have expensive taste… want it back Brenda?
The worlds only Race LADA
Note the warnings
This little charmer stole the show
There was a Huey helicopter on display, it had actually taken part in Vietnam and had the bullet holes to prove it. I climbed aboard and cant believe how rudimentary the entire machine was. Hard to believe that all appendages need to be in-sync in order to fly the thing. I appear confused trying to figure out how the it worked.
We packed her in next morning, our other boater buddies moved south and we went north hanging around for the next weather window.
This yacht Anastasia crossed our path going into the Rybovich super yacht harbor, she is #44 on the list of largest yachts …wonder how many crew she has? That’s about a 20 foot tender out front.
We chose Cannonsport Marina as it was on the Palm Beach Shores side, had a pool and hot tub. It was very nice, but we were the pour cousin, most boats were sport fishers of about 85 feet. See if you can spot us.
Cindy trying to text at the pool (heated pool) oh yes it was nice !!
We had access to the public beach and took advantage of the nice day…yes day, not many nice ones unfortunately.
These guys were really amazing, how the heck do they hold their heads up with beaks like this?
So we met up with our buddy boat folks Jeff and Sally on a Monk Trawler called Adirondack. They met us for lunch and took us to the Rybovich super yacht harbor. They were staying at the north marnia and took us down to the south marina where the big boys dock. Lunch was at the on site restaurant with some of the crew members.
Some of the boats – yachts …ships?
Our not to be buddy boat folks, much braver than us Jeff and Sally
Do you notice the overcast sky’s? Well while we were having lunch everyone’s phones started alerting us to severe weather by sounding a very scary alert tone. Everyone’s phone in the restaurant was beeping, everyone suddenly quiet and looking at their phones. It was a tornado alert. Yup we did a hasty walk through and I noticed that the crews were busy stowing things. Putting out extra giant fenders, and generally looking to the sky with fretting looks. I asked one crew member if he was preparing for the storm. They can view it on the ship’s radar and he told me that there was a very severe front coming about 20 minutes away …Yikes ..end of tour back to the car. Phones continued to sound alarms and we hurried back to the boat.
This picture does not in any way do it justice.
We made it back to the marina just as the front hit, it was wild, sheets of rain howling wind and huge wave whipped up. The boat sustained some rubbing damage against the dock but nothing a little sanding and stain wont fix.The same storm brought 85 knot winds to the West End of the Bahamas…yikes!!
Another cruise ship on its way out…
This is the channel in front of the Cannonsport Marina, its like a highway as its the short cut to the outlet, very busy at the best of times but ridiculous on weekends.
Now look at the picture below on the left side of the house you will see the trawler Adirondack heading out to the Bahamas, zoomed in, normal view below. Kind of funny – we wishing we were going too but the boat in the foreground says it all – “Nervous Water|” – that’s us!!
Just left of the house zoomed in and normal view.
Well it was time to say goodbye to Laurie we had a ton of fun, relaxed and recreated. We rented another car and took her to the Palm Beach airport.
Sad to see her go
So we returned the car, and headed out. Intending to anchor in the North Palm Beach anchorage of Lake Worth. The wind came up to around 20 knots (22-25 mph) from the north and we got bounced around pretty good (anchoring and weather). We chose to move back to the West Palm Beach basin, much more protected but there’s a lot of tide current and every 6 hours you swing 180 degrees. Now this is where it gets interesting.
They say trouble comes in threes, and we can now confirm that this is true. Tide and wind makes for strange occurrences. You might be pushed by the wind but the tide will counteract to the point where your anchor isn’t actually doing anything.
Here is where it starts, there is a boat, OK yacht in the basin about 50 feet long and he and his partner appear to be living on it. We anchor between him and shore about a 100 feet away. It gets dark, the tide changes and the wind, I look out the window, he’s 30 feet away with his stern heading our way. Now he’s 20 feet away, “Grab the flashlight” Cindy says , we have one of those incineration flashlights that can melt plastic close up. I give him a blast right into his double glass doors. Apparently they eat cheerios, they were on his kitchen counter – he was that close – I could see them!!
He comes out just in time to pull his dingy out of the way and we find out he’s on 100 plus feet of anchor rope. So imagine the centre and his total swing would be 200 feet.
We agree to watch out for each other as we will have another pass in 6 hours, monitor the radio.
That was number 1
So while this was going on a sail boat about 30ish feet long comes in and anchors between us and the shore. Cool more company, he’s a respectable distance away, excellent.
Number 2 begins
We head to bed, and I hear the bilge pump working, weird. I don’t usually hear anything Cindy says um…I hear water running…Cindy can hear a bead drop at a 100 yards. OH lord out of bed and head in the bilge. Yup – we have a river running and its coming from our so called drip less seal that seals the drive shaft where it goes through the hull. OMG we are sinking (not really – but if I hadn’t found it….) I was able to jury rig a temporary fix and got it down to a drip. Not knowing exactly how they work I wasn’t sure of a cure. We agreed that I would be checking through the night and Cindy would listen for the bilge pump.
I awake about 2am and have a check, all ok, then glance out the window and the sail boat looks weird. Yup he’s hard aground, the tide went out, its about 3 plus feet that changes and he’s literally laying on his side not more than 30 feet away. Holy crap.
Not being able to do anything for the poor guy I try and snap a picture and go back to bed.
4am .. sound asleep, I mean DEEP sleep, I vaguely hear a hello in the back of my mind, then Cindy says I responded with a quiet hello … suddenly realizing the cabin is full of light ..damn we left the Wine gums out he must see them, he too has a lightning bolt flashlight and is that close. Holy crap!!! Cindy said I leap out of bed and yelled HELLO !!! in no particular direction. Ran out back and we are about to collide with this guy, he can’t move still being aground but fairly upright now, we have swung in the tide ..oh lord… what to do??…ran around front and pulled on the anchor rope and pulled us away. I can’t believe how close we were to that shoal, its a wonder we didn’t go aground ..someone is really looking out for us.
Ok, we averted disaster, called the nearest marina for a lift out and got a contractor lined up. Relief, now to travel the mile or so for the 11 am lift out. Figure we will get through the bridge that only opens on the hour bridge ..nope not this hour – don’t open on Mondays due to construction traffic -had to wait another full hour. Water has now begun to enter the boat. Bilge pump 1 is keeping up. Get through the bridge and slowly travel, it seems to reduce the water coming in. Now pump two is running, apparently #1 cant keep up. Now I’m using the emergency hand pump as well as the two pumps can’t keep up… we get her into the lift out slip early .thank you, thank you, thank you.
All we can say is thank goodness this didn’t happen on the crossing 30 miles out.
The Crow being moved to her spot for the next few days, it is now a race to get her fixed before Monday and our first really good crossing window. Prop off and being re-balanced, apparently the vibration loosened the seal. All is good now.
Moving into our temporary home
New sub that the US is testing for the Navy Seals
The yard next door
I worry about Cindy when she goes for a walk, but she sent me this picture so I’d know she was safe
When we brought the boat in I said do you smell cigarette smoke? Turns out is Molasses storage…weird.
Well its been a wild two weeks or so, Tornado’s, near sinking, free drinks at the Dos Amigos and lots of fun with old and new friends. As we speak it’s Thursday the shaft will now be pulled and checked for straightness..oh joy ..but we will try very hard to be ready for Monday crossing as we have 2 days of less than 10 knot winds predicted.
Here’s hoping, cheers for now !!!