Saturday, April 20, 2013

Northbound Again

On April 18th our autopilot finally arrived. In no time at all, our old VHF which was murdered by our failing batteries was replaced, and our autopilot installed. Daryll from Harborside was excellent, didn't waste anytime, and gave us great advice. At 1 in the afternoon we took off and motored until 6:30 when we lay anchor at Coconut Point.

The next day we left at 7:55, hoping to get to Rockhouse by the Ponce Inlet, but I think we were fooling ourselves from the get-go. The winds from the south sent us merrily on our way, increasing from 11 to a solid 20 gusting 27 as we entered the Haulover Canal. I love and am scared to death of this place, a very narrow passage lined with rocks, entered through a bascule bridge that you don't even know is there heading South for the first time until you turn a corner and OMG, the current is running fast and there's this bridge you need to open and you hope the bridgetender is not snotty, and he isn't. Anyhow, I digress. Heading North there is no problem, and a bird I thought was a flamingo flew over us (it was either Lorrie Turner or a spoonbill according to Gerry and Harriet, FB friends), and the surrounding trees dropped the wind to 9 knots for 10 minutes or so as we passed through. A manatee slapped its tail at us as we exited, and we found our 25 knots of southerly breeze again and threatening dark clouds filled the horizon. So, despite the fact that the anchorage here on Mosquito Lagoon is unprotected except from westerlies, we dropped the hook in a spot suggested by Active Captain. It was lovely! The storm came by with winds piping up to 30, and we experienced very little fetch. The captain enjoyed a short nap while the rain came down.

Today we planned a short run to New Smyrna to connect with friends, but once there, changed our minds, not loving the scenery and depths, so we continued on to Rockhouse by the Ponce Inlet where we stayed while heading South. Rounding the junction buoy before it, I ran hard aground out of stupidity, but fortunately got right off. We decided to pass this by, as we were making decent time and while it was raining on and off, it did not appear that wind would build beyond the 20's in the somewhat protected portion of the ICW. Again relying on Active Captain, we decided to continue to Daytona, where the reviews mentioned the charts were wrong on the depths but we could find 8 feet. Well, one of the other boats here must have found that spot, the field now has numerous mooring balls, and little other depth. We are now sitting in water that will leave 6 inches below us at low tide, but heh, as long as we float. At least we have 38 cable TV channels to choose from.

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