Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Taking a little break

We've decided to take a day off and rest up a bit. It has been hectic the last few days.
We are finally out of the land of many bridges and are starting to do longer days. Yesterday, we traveled about 28 miles to "Manatee Pocket" and today we did another 22 to Ft. Pierce. As is typical, the "I have NOAA idea what the weather will be" national weather service screwed up. It was supposed to blow 10 to 15 knots; what we got was more like 20 to 25, at least in the afternoon. This morning we had a nice sail up the Indian River, but by noon it was getting hard to control the boat in the freshening breeze. We pulled in to the Ft. Pierce City Marina and were surprised to find they accept our Boat/US membership for a discount on dockage. So we are staying a day or two for R & R.
The trip up here from Miami has been, well, a trip. Cross winds, fast currents, faster power boats and tons of traffic. At least we seem to have resolved the anchoring problems we had earlier. By setting a double length of chain on the anchor we have been able to get a good set on the first try 9 out of 10 times. It does help to sleep at night knowing the anchor is well dug in.
We also see some interesting sights. Yesterday, while motoring along the ICW past Hobe Sound Wildlife preserve we got to see wild pigs grazing along the shore. I don't think I've ever seen wild pigs in the wild before.
We had quite an exciting time yesterday morning when we set out from Lake Worth. We tried to tie up at a marina to get gas and a pump out, but the current was too swift and nearly forced us into the bridge which was not scheduled to open for another 30 minutes. In such close quarters I couldn't get up enough speed to steer the boat so we had to back up nearly half a mile against the current to avoid colliding with the bridge. (The boat steers better at lower speeds in reverse. The rudder sits forward of the prop, so in reverse the prop wash is directed at the rudder. Not so in forward.) At least we now know the new engine can do it.
Speaking of the new engine, it has been such a relief to get up in the morning, turn the key and go. The new engine doesn't have quite as much thrust as the old (smaller prop) but it is far more reliable and still gives us 5 knots of speed when we need it.
Here are a few pictures of the last few days. Make sure you look for the pigs!

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