Sunday, September 10, 2006

Well, we made it to Sherry's dock in Satellite Beach.

The weather for the trip was pretty good, though the winds were too light for much sailing. We stopped the first night behind Rodriguez Key (off southern Key Largo). The auto pilot was acting up again and Dave wanted to rig his wind vane/tiller pilot arrangement.

We finally got away about 11am on Wednesday 9/6, and planned to go all the way to Port Canaveral.

It was a mostly uneventful trip... motorsailing the whole way in mostly mild conditions. There was a nice full moon for most of the night (except for Sherry's watch, in which she spent the whole watch with the radar on dodging thunderstorms). The Gulfstream gave us a 2-3 knot boost... giving us many hours of 9-10kt ground speed, according to the GPS.

By early Thursday morning we were off Ft. Pierce still doing about 9.5 kts. Sherry was on watch with a beautiful sunrise, with thunderstorms out on the Gulfstream.

As soon as we turned NW for Port Canaveral (at Ft. Pierce) we lost the current and our speed dropped down to 5-6 Kt.

We finally made the outer bouy at Port Canaveral at 3:30pm on Thursday. We were eagerly anticipating anchor down soon after, but then remembered that the 401 Highway bridge into the Banana River was closed from 3:30 to 5:15 (due to evening rush hour traffic). So we stopped at Cape Marina to top off fuel and so Dave could get a look at the haulout facility there.

We were able to get quickly thru the bridge and the lock and get our anchor down finally at about 6pm, with a huge big black thundercloud looming to the west. We set the anchor firmly in anticipation of high winds, and were 'rewarded' when 10 minutes later we were blasted with gusts to 40 knots. (the anchor held fine, and we had a nice shower, dinner, and off to bed).

On Friday, Jim and Nancy came up to meet us in Jim's ski boat, to make the trip down the river and under the bridges. We managed to get Soggy Paws under all 3 bridges... with about 12" to spare on the lowest bridge.

The final step was to get Soggy Paws alongside Sherry's dock behind her condo. It was no problem up to the last 5 feet... we already knew it was a little too shallow to get SP alongside. For now we have put a ladder across as a temporary gangplank--we'll work out a better solution soon.

Today was spent watching the Space Shuttle launch, exploring Patrick Air Force Base facilities, retrieving the cats from the cat sitter (Thanks Rochelle!) and a little grocery shopping.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Sitting in Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, in the Keys watching it rain.

Actually we are doing boat chores and planning our departure for tomorrow. We needed this day to finish up all the stuff Dave didn't get done last week when hiding out from Ernesto.

Weather has been abominable the last 2 days... has been drizzling on and off. We tried to take friends out snorkling yesterday but ended up aborting the trip due to rain and strong winds (forecast was 10 kts East, we had 20 kts South).

None of the 'weather guessers' seem to know what's up... they have only been forecasting 'scattered showers'.

Working on wifi from Boot Key Harbor! 'Only' costs $8.95 for 24 hrs or $39/mo. But sure easier to get weather reports over the internet vs. HF.