Tuesday, May 26, 2020

St James Marina at Southport, NC - at a dock

The restaurant is closed due to the virus
We came through Shallotte and also Lockwoods Folly today without a problem. You needed the USACE survey charts on Aqua Map to find the safest path. It has started to turn cooler and with more rain. We will be sitting out Wednesday with the prediction of rain all day long. We don't mind a little light rain but a steady downpour is not to our liking.

Nice houses in the area - but look at the next photo!
The marina here is the one where we rode out Hurricane Matthew. The harbor area is surrounded by a 12 ft high mound from the harbor dredging and on top of that, they built three-story houses. Boats on the docks are very protected from the winds, it's a real hurricane hole. When we were here during Hurricane Matthew, the eye passed right over the top of us. We went outside during the passage of the eye, very eerie!

Nestled in among all the nice looking houses was this thing... Nice or not? 
It looks like we will be here on Wednesday riding out a day of rain. We're hoping that the next day will just be some light rain that we can travel in. There are no thunderstorms predicted, just some messy misting.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Grand Dunes Marina at Myrtle Beach, SC - at a dock

You had to watch out for downed trees on the Waccamaw River north of Georgetown
We had intended staying at Osprey Marina but they were full on Memorial Day. Our next choice was to stay a little farther north at Grand Dunes Marina. We had stayed here after Hurricane Matthew when the Socastee Swing bridge was closed due to high water.


The marina personnel were in full dress for the coronavirus - masks and gloves with a window for signing you in
It's an okay marina, nothing special but it has one redeeming factor - the closeness of a Publix supermarket. We had taken advantage of the two week free delivery offer last week and we took advantage of the same offer today. Publix has an app that you can download from the app store that's made just for ordering groceries for delivery. Ann and I sat around the table and picked out what we wanted delivered. We placed the order at 2:00 and by 2:45, we had the groceries in hand! They were delivered to the parking lot and with a cart, I took the load to Fleetwing. I could get used to this. No worries about renting a car or putting gas in for the trip or finding a parking space for the rental. The groceries were delivered in less time than it would have taken me to rent a car to shop. Once again, we are fully stocked - no more groceries needed for the rest of the trip north.

Not everyone took the No Wake signs seriously with "Make More Wake Please"
We will be in St James Plantation Marina on Tuesday and maybe stay an extra day due to the forecast for rain all day on Wednesday. The forecast will govern our plans for moving north the next day. I think we are entering a rainy period but we'll move whenever we can.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Georgetown - at a dock

Lots of shrimp boats in Georgetown - unfortunately, all the fish markets are closed on a Sunday
We've been inundated with flies the last few days and today was no different. We are going north about a month later than usual and that time delay apparently makes a huge difference in fly power. We've taken to running with the enclosure all zipped up but with the screens open. It's hotter but better with fewer flies. They still get in but not as many. Now I know why I prefer April to May for transiting the ICW.

Harborwalk Marina has very nice docks, diesel was only $1.80/gallon!!
We're in Georgetown, SC for the night and you wouldn't know there's a pandemic about. No one is wearing a mask and the marina office has business as usual, no separate office window like in Titusville and points south and even when inside, there's no plexiglass between customers and the cashier for the dock. The use of a window office or plexiglass was the "de rigueur" up until we reached this far north. We stayed on the boat except to walk Hoolie and then were careful to keep the recommended 6 ft away from everyone else.

 We would have liked to stay in Osprey Marina but they are full so we're moving on to Grand Dunes a little farther along. As long as the weather holds, we'll keep moving every day.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Awendaw Creek - at anchor

Hoolie's favorite part of the trip - going ashore
It was a very long day for us on Friday so we treated ourselves to a short day on Saturday. Since it was a weekend, the Wappoo Creek bridge was on demand. It's very restrictive during the week but fine on the weekends. On the other hand, the Ben Sawyer swing bridge is restrictive on weekends (only opens on the hour) but opens on demand during the week. So you can't win if you need to pass through both bridges.

BoatUS came by later and the captain got the boat off and immediately took off
Pulling into the anchorage, we saw a powerboat up on land. We don't know the story but the anchorage is excellent but the holding is not as good as most anchorages. You really must be sure the anchor is dug in. At high tide, I had to return to the ICW at a beach that is accessible at all tides, a long ride but straight forward.

There were two other sailboats in the anchorage, lots of room for more
On Sunday, we have reservations in Georgetown for the night and we hope to reach Beaufort, NC  by Thursday. The weather is nice and we want to make time northward whenever the conditions are right.

Friday, May 22, 2020

St Johns Yacht Harbor in Charleston, SC - at a dock

All of these boats don't get their feet wet while stored
Our intention was to anchor at Steamboat Creek, a relatively short ride and make a run for Awendaw Creek on Saturday, over 50 NM. The weather was so beautiful with sun and light winds, that we extended our trip today all the way to St Johns Yacht Harbor, just outside of Charleston.

Another view of the marina with the high bridge in the distance 
Now we have a short day on Saturday for our anchorage at Awendaw followed by another short day to Georgetown, SC. We tried getting a reservation at Osprey Marina after Georgetown but found that they were full! We will have to look elsewhere for Monday evening.

I published my track through Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff and Watts Creek and I will follow up with details on depths seen which were better than I expected. My genset is still in pieces and I'm having the remaining pieces shipped to Homer Smith in Beaufort, NC where I hope to arrive on Thursday and have it put back together on Friday - at least that's the plan.


Thursday, May 21, 2020

Lady's Island Marina at Beaufort, SC - at a dock

This guy hitched a ride on one of my finders at Windmill Harbour. I returned hin to his home before leaving
We didn't have far to go today. There were predictions of rain in the afternoon that never materialized but we had gone far enough for one day. It was a perfect day for traveling on the ICW with light winds and no wave action.

Don't ask me the name of the flower, Ann knows - but it's pretty
Lady's Island Marina is on the north side of the bridge so that's a big plus not having to wait for an opening. We were greeted warming although I didn't see anyone wearing a mask but several people had them at the ready around their neck. All of the restaurants offer take out service including the Fillin Station but we are sticking with our eating in routine as a double dose of protection. At this rate, we would reach Deltaville the first week of June but there very well may be more delays due to weather.

Wine on the back of the boat at 5:00, perfect!
On Friday, we are aiming for the anchorage at Steamboat Creek followed by a long day to reach the Awendaw Creek anchorage. On Sunday, our plans are to overnight at Georgetown and rest a bit. We are doing fine going north


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Windmill Harbour in Hilton Head, SC - in front of their clubhouse

Hidden Harbour is a gated community behind its own lock
The genset was still not fixed by 1:00 so we decided to leave anyway. There were seals on order that the supplier left out so Hinckley had to reorder that parts. They were supposed to come Tuesday, then Wednesday but both days came and went without the last of the parts. At least the heat exchanger was cleaned and reinstalled. It was definitely the problem, it was completely clogged but now it's clean as a whistle. All that remains is to replace some of the seals and fill it with antifreeze. That's going to be a job for someone else, not Hinckley. They will send the parts to a marina I will be at in a week or so and I'll have someone bring the genset back to life.

The South Carolina Yacht Club is a beautiful facility, best to be enjoyed inside but it's only take out for the present
It was an easy trip to Hidden Harbour, only 21 NM and a good staging area for reaching Beaufort, SC. We have a facedock here directly in front of the South Carolina Yacht Club, a beautiful facility which, unfortunately, is not open due to the virus. They do offer take out but it's not the same. Ann made turkey burgers for dinner and they were delicious.

Here we are, right in front of the Yacht Club
From here we plan on anchoring out at Steamboat Creek and then a long stretch to Awendaw Creek for another anchorage, sure wish we had the genet - oh well. We should wind up in Georgetown, SC on Sunday night.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Hinckley at Savannah - Genset parts on Wednesday

One more wine visit kby Ann Mullett
The plan now is for the genset parts to arrive Wednesday morning and for us to leave Wednesday afternoon. If the parts do not arrive on time, we told Hinckley to just put the parts that they have ina bucket and we'll take them with us. The rest of the parts, whenever they arrive, can be sent to our home in New York. We'll have them installed later, we've spent enough time in Savannah.

Looks like a nice sturdy piling to tie off to in a storm
Ann Mullett came over once again for wine at 5:30. She had the surveyor over this afternoon and the big decision is whether to total the boat or get it fixed. Ann is much in favor of getting it returned to seaworthy condition not totaled. The decision is still up in the air on that score.

Here's the same piling at low tide - Oops!
Meanwhile, we're due to get the last of the parts for the genset Wednesday morning and we hope to push off north in the afternoon for Windmill Harbour. You also might want to rethink tieing off a sturdy looking piling if you don't know the condition of what lies under the water. See the two examples of a piling nearby here.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Hinckley Savannah - Wine with Ann

The two Anns having a relaxing wine party
We had Ann Mullett over again for wine this evening. It was her boat, Meherio, that hit the bridge yesterday. She needed company and we were glad to see a fellow boater along the ICW. She single-hands her boat to the Bahamas and back and routinely does overnighters. That's more than the two of us want to tackle, all the more power to her!

She had talked to the bridge tender but he was very hard to understand and she received no warning that only one leaf was up. She approached from the south and saw both leafs open but then did not see that only one leaf on the northern side was up. She ran right into the down leaf. It has to be one of the most trying experiences you can have on a sailboat, to have the mast come down.

After five hours of washing the top deck, getting rid of the ICW mustache, doing a pump out,
taking on water, storing excess gear, with Ann cleaning the cabin - we are now ready to go. 
She's tied up on Hinckley of Savannah for now and awaiting the insurance estimate of whether to fix the boat or total it. It was good to chat with her for about an hour this evening. As for us, we are still waiting for parts that are supposed to arrive Tuesday and hopefully have the genset repaired then for a Wednesday departure. You can rest assured that we will pay close attention to that bridge!!

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Hinckely at Savannah - Boat parade and dismasted sailboat

The Trump parade of boats passed by
We heard this noise passing by and looked out to see what was happening. There was a flotilla of about 100 boats slowly going by. About half of them flew flags supporting Trump for 2020. It was evidently some kind of political parade but with boats instead of marching. It was quite a sight. It was a beautiful day to be out on the water with temperatures in the 80s and no rain. The tropical storm passed Savannah way offshore so we saw no effects from the storm.

That's the mast in the water. Note the mask stub left on the boat
Later in the afternoon, we heard that a sailboat had hit the lift bridge just north of the marina. It's a double lane bridge and one of the lanes only has one side operating which narrows the opening considerably.  We talked later to the captain and she said that she entered from the south where both sides opened but the second set lanes only had one leaf up which she did not expect. She hit the one side not up. It took her mast down and the boat came into Hinckley later this afternoon.

She has a major repair job to do. She was not injured which was the first priority but now all her plans are disrupted, what to do? She came over to Fleetwing for wine around 6:30 so we offered her solace. She sat on the stool on the dock while we were in the cockpit, social distancing. We invited her over again Monday evening, she needed some wine. It has to be one of the most upsetting of experiences to hit a bridge, we feel for her. She is single handing her boat and she has been to the Bahamas.

We will see on Monday where we stand for parts. Most likely, we will be waiting until Tuesday to get the parts we need. At least that lets the tropical storm time to get well off shore but we look forward to going north again.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Hinckley Marina in Savannah - on a dock

The ICW is just off our starboard side, lots of traffic but they all showdown nicely for the bridge and us
We are awaiting parts which arrive early next week for the genset. Meanwhjile, we're enjoying the fabulous weather and it appears that the tropical storm will go out to sea, at least as it passes Georgia by. The track may take it over the outer banks of North Carolina but that's far away from us.

Love these Hinckley picnic boats, the 40 ft model goes for $1.4 million 
I spent the day putting my tracks into a table for publication on the web so boaters can access the tracks and know what to expect for depths in the shallow areas of the ICW. The depths are always changing due to the movement of sand and mud from the constant currents of the channels. Knowing that, it's always handy to have the most current information when passing through known shoaling areas, that's what my table shows along with what track to follow.

So we are content to wait out the storm and the arrival of parts for the genset at a very comfortable marina with not much traffic on the weekend since it's a service yard mostly, not just a marina, and they don't work on the weekends. On Sunday, we have two Zoom meetings; one with our kids up north and another one with friends back in Poughkeepsie, Leathem and Ann. It's nice to be able to see faces on Zoom instead of just voices, it's a great app that works on Apple, Android, and PC products.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Hinckley in Savannah - at a dock

The Hinckley yard is full of boats like this, very beautiful, good lines.
In contrast to last night, at Hinckley in Savannah, I have a 40 Mbps WiFi speed. I could not locate a signal at all in Kilkenny. Like many other marinas, Hinkley contracted with OnSpotWiFi to provide internet service. I have always found them to be spotless in getting a connection. I've found no other internet installation to be anywhere nearly as good.

Nice docks
I docked at Hinckley to get the genset worked on. I had tried several things that didn't work in trying to get the raw water pump to draw water. Feeding water directly into the strainer and attaching a hose to the outlet of the pump, it spewed forth water just fine. That left the only possibility to be a blockage of some kind downstream of the pump. A plugged heat exchanger came to mind but that was something I didn't want to tackle.

The mechanic came aboard, wearing a face mask as did all the Hinckley mechanics and proceeded to take apart the area around the heat exchanger. He had a fiberoptic probe that he used to look inside the head exchanger before he did a removable - to be sure it was, in fact, the problem before accumulating labor hours. I looked at the probe screen and sure enough, the heat exchanger tubes were completely blocked. There was no way any coolant was going to get through that!

With confirmation by the probe, he removed the heat exchanger for cleaning. Of course, that disturbed all the seals so they had to be ordered in order to reassemble the heat exchanger unit. That will result in ordering parts which probably will not arrive until Tuesday. With that, we have several layover days.

The marina just installed new heads, showers, and a laundry room but they are all locked out due to the virus exposure.  However, they do have new docks and on the dock pumpouts valves, very nice to have. I'll use the layover to catch up on updating alerts and tracks. We just use Publix's home delivery service which was free for the first two weeks, that's enough to get us home as we continue our 'no contact" regime.   

Kilkenny Marina - at a dock

I'm still fascinated by the live oaks, huge trees with long horizontal limbs
(I had no internet last night at Kilkenny, here's yesterday's  blog)
We went through Jekyll with a 2.5 ft tide and we needed it. When I transited Jekyll last fall, I saw 6.7 MLLW but this time I only saw 4.5 MLLW. It has obviously shoaled in some. Be sure to sue some tide if you go through yourself.

Next on the list of the day's adventures was a passage through Mud River. I expected about 4.5 MLLW but saw 7 MLLW, a pleasant surprise but to get that depth one had to carefully follow SonarChart and the USACE survey in Aqua Map. There were plenty of spots off that track in the 4 to 5 MLLW range. I'll upload the track as soon as I get an internet connection again. We are at Kilkenny Marina tonight and there's no Verizon connection here.

The marina is more of a camp than a marina but it suits us fine
Kilkenny Marina is not for everyone. It's not really a marina, just a small boat facility with camp-style bathrooms and showers, not to be confused with a regular marina. However, we like it for a convenient stopover location. It's located in an old plantation area with huge live oaks, some of the biggest trees I've ever seen.

I have an appointment with Hinckley Marine in Savannah to work on the genset. Hopefully, all that is needed is to clean the heat exchanger, it could be the problem if it's plugged up with crud. Aside from that, we're concerned about the developing storm off the east coast that could develop into a tropical storm or even a hurricane. It's not projected to make land but nothing is certain when it comes to storms. We will be getting up at the crack of down to reach Hinckley by 10:00 so he had enough time to work on the genset before the weekend. We hope for the best.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Jekyll Island - at anchor

Parked at Fernandina - Somewhere to dock a ship no longer needed, I guess
We headed north and went through many shallows today at low tide but the lowest we saw was 8 MLLW. I used a combination of SonarChart, Aqua Map USACE surveys, and past experience to plot a course. I just uploaded all of my daily tracks to Bob423 ICW Tracks this afternoon. I have to still do the spreadsheet describing each day's coverage, a task for later in the week. There were many opportunities to find less water than 8 MLLW but if you're careful, you can get through.

Fernandina looked very busy! 
One of the challenges is in finding an anchor spot after you've given out all the anchoring secrets like at Jekyll Creek south of the bridge. We pulled into the anchorage about 10 minutes after another boat that anchored right on top of my recommended anchoring location! We made do with a spot farther south with not as much swing room but okay for the night. All of my special anchorages are in my guide and listed in Waterway Guide anchorages. The one at Jekyll is shown in an area that according to NOAA charts has less than 4 MLLW but it actually as 10 to 12 MLLW, such is local knowledge.

A nice end to the evening that's us in the distance to the left.
We will leave Thursday morning and go through Jekyll at near low tide but that is no problem anymore since it was dredged last fall. We plan on winding up at the Crescent River anchorage, another one of our favorites with shore relief for Hoolie, a must. We are also keeping an eye out on the developing tropical depression in the Atlantic which we are hoping will go out to sea, we'll see.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Jacksonville Free Docks on Sisters Creek - at a dock

It's a full house at the Jacksonville free docks off Sisters Creek
We just had a short run today. Terri was good enough to receive my new raw water pump and brought it to our dock. That entailed a three hour installation routine but when I turn the genset on, it still did not pump water. The last time I fed water directly into the strainer to eliminate the seacock intake as a possible cause but it still did not pump water. The water in the strainer just sat there, unmoved.

We are secure, second from the end. We will back out tomorrow. 
That's enough for me, no more working on the genset cooling system. I'll let a professional try their hand at it but not until we reach Stingray Point Boatworks in Deltaville, Virginia. They can have all summer to try and fix it. I guess there is some blockage downstream from the pump but that's beyond me.

Meanwhile, we're at the Jacksonville free dock off Sisters Creek and the dock is full! We have six boats here. One more could fit on the inside at the end but that space was not taken. The repairs on the dock walkway to shore are done so there's easy access to shore once again.  We arrived at 1:00 and was the second boat here.

We are headed for the Jekyll anchorage Wednesday night and then it's on to the Crescent River anchorage. We are making good time northward and taking advantage of the good weather so far.

Monday, May 11, 2020

St Augustine - at a dock

A red and a green buoy close together, which one to honor?
We continued our trek north today to wind up at St Augustine. Ft Matanzas is no longer a threat after the dredging last fall but it still presented problems to solve. We saw this photo above as we approached the northern exit of the Ft Matanzas passage, two buoys close together, one green and one red. How would you pass the buoys? To port or to starboard? One of the two is obviously off station but which one? If you have Aqua Map Master, it's an easy decision. Looking at the latest USACE survey, it's the red buoy that has drifted east and so should be ignored. Pass the couple off your starboard side when headed north. It's one more reason to have Aqua Map Master on board as a ready reference.

Boats coming in all sizes and shapes, he was enjoying the view and ride
We arrived in St Augustine around 3:00 and the marina is fully open for dockage, fuel, and pump out. We took advantage of all three services and added the refilling of our water tanks too. We are ready for an extended trip north now. We may want fresh veggies along with milk and eggs perhaps but we're secure in all other items until we reach Stingray Point Boat Works in Deltaville, Virginia.

They were having a territorial dispute and the little guy was winning!
The weather has turned outstanding for moving north and we'll be moving daily from here on out. Time to get home.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Halifax Harbor Marina - a genset day, unsuccessfully so

You can tell I'm fond of fenders when coming into a dock
It was a lost day.  I had great plans but the genset had other ideas. We had ran it after several tried at Vero Beach but noticed the substandard cooling and intermittent starting. I bought a new starter battery there but it did not improve the situation. After some trial and error, I noticed a bad connection to the main input to the genset. Still, it was running too hot with poor water output.

We had a layover day here so I tackled the genset around 10:00. I topped off the antifreeze in hopes that would help with the overheading and I found a corroded cable to the genset starter that needed attention. I replaced the impeller but the pump refused to draw water out of the strainer. I fed water directly to the strainer to eliminate the supply water from the seacock as a problem. it still didn't draw water. On Monday I plan on connecting the output of the raw water pump to a bucket at the same height as the highest part of the genset so see if that setup draws water out of the strainer. Maybe the pump is just weak. The last test should eliminate any blockage in the genset engine as the culprit.

I did a bunch of other stuff but finally called it quits around 4:45: One wonders where the time went! I plan on ordering a new raw water pump on Monday morning and just pull the old one and replace it. I'd like to get it working for the cold mornings going north.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

lHalifax Harbor Marina in Daytona -at a dock

Halifax Harbor Marina is a huge marina! This is only one fairway, there are many more
Normally we would anchor at Bethune Park on our way north through Daytona but since rain was predicted all day Sunday starting in the morning, we decided we would rather spend the time in a marina and Halifax Harbor Marina was the closest one that was open. They had just reopend for business yesterday so we were one of their first guests.

Bethune Park finally has the dinghy docks replaced that were damaged by Hurricane Matthew
We were met by two dockhands on the way in and I noticed a more relaxed attention to virus protection. I walking Hoolie twice so far today, I didn't see a single person wearing a facemask.  I wore mine so I guess I stood out. When passing Bethune Park, I saw that the dinghy dock has finally been fixed, after three years! There's always lots of room to anchor there and it wouldn't have been bad today but in the predicted rain, I would rather be in a marina when getting Hoolie ashore. 

I've got to replace the impeller on the genset and fix a bad connection preventing it to start. Normally, replacing an impeller is easy except for on this particular genset.  All sane raw water pumps have a fluted shaft that mates to an impeller when slipping on. For my version, the shaft has a slot where a loose key goes - which has a propensity to dislodge itself and fall into the guts of the genset whenever you try to slide on a new impeller. Such is the fun in replacing impellers. lI guess Kohler saved a few cents with such a design.

We will sit out the rain and wind here in our marina on Sunday and then venture out again on Monday for St Augustine at a dock. Onward north we go.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Titusville - at a facedock


A common sight along the ICW
Once the strong north winds subsided late Thursday, it was a nice day to go north on Friday. What wind there were came out of the south so it was easy motoring towards home. Titusville has one facedock they are using for transients. It's B dock with the cement face which suits us fine since it's an easy in and out. We put out our 17 inch ball fenders and we're safe from the occasional wake from the ICW.  You pay for your slip at the main office but only through a window, you can't go in the store.

It's against a concrete bulkhead but it's secure and fine with our 17-inch ball fenders
There is a front coming through on Sunday with lots of rain forecasted so we decided to hole up in Daytona at Halifax Marina which started accepting transients only just today. We will be there two days waiting for good weather once again which is predicted for the week after Sunday. The father north we go on the ICW, the less attention we're seeing to wearing facemasks. There are still many that do, just not everyone.

Hoolie is happy to get to land his usual three times a day and I'm happy not to have to take a dinghy ride to shore.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Vero Beach - on a mooring, genset working

I am fascinated by Live Oaks. I never see trees up north with such horizontal branches
We ordered again from Winn Dixie's home delivery service. We were lying in bed and scrolled through the list of Winn Dixie's stock at their nearest store and picking out what we wanted delivered.  They have their entire inventory online so it was easy. As usual, the shopper that picked up our order texted us on items that didn't exactly match what we requested as she walked through the store. We got the order delivered to the dinghy dock here at Vero Beach and our provisioning was done for the week, easy!

Their branches just see to wander all over the place
While that was going on, threw in a wash too so we're all set for the rest of the trip north! I would say that about 1 in 5 of the people here wear masks. We wore ours but not everyone wore theirs. In the laundry room, most wore masks but not everyone. I think the people in Key West were more tuned in to having to wear masks, not so much farther north.

Today was out layover day due to high winds out of the north that blew all day long. They are supposed to die off tonight for a good day on Friday for reaching Titusville. In the meantime, I worked on getting our genset working again. I found a corroded connection that needed attention and the genset got too hot when running so I'm guessing it requires an impeller replacement, always a fun job. I'll save that entertainment for a later date. We're looking forward to a cool night for sleeping on fresh sheets, a big change. We plan on leaving at first light on Friday.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Vero Beach - At the last mooring

The Peck Lake anchorage this morning, I hope they all enjoy close company
We prefer our anchorage at Hobe Sound over the one at Peck Lake due to less crowding. As we went by, I counted 12 boats crowded in the anchorage. I like more room for swinging plus the beach is off-limits to dogs. If you don't have a dog and like to walk the nearby beach and don't mind being close to your neighbor at night, you could like it I guess.

At Vero, it was one boat to a mooring unless the other boat was unoccupied
We were making good time until we came to the North Ft Pierce bridge which now opens only on the hour and 1/2 hour. It used to be on demand. We missed the opening by 5 minutes. To add insult to injury, the bridge tender's watch was 3 minutes fast. I had an outside chance to make the opening but no chance at all when he opened 3 minutes early. If only his watch was 3 minutes slow!

Have you ever seen the dinghy dock so empty? You must show a blue plastic tie handed out
by the office to prove you have a mooring or paid for the dinghy dock use.
After losing 1/2 hour doing circles at the bridge, we were on our way again and called ahead to Vero to see what was available. There was one mooring left and another boat was coming too. Oh well, we could always anchor I guess. We trudged on and found that the mooring was still unclaimed so we had a mooring for the next two days. Vero has a mandatory pump out you must do before going to your mooring. I think it has something to do with the local residents who fervently believe that all boaters without exception just dump overboard, all the time, every time.

High winds tomorrow!
A front is coming through tonight and the winds tomorrow are out of the north in the 15 to 20 kt range. That would put the winds on the nose for us in moving north so we're going to make tomorrow a layover day and leave for Titusville on Friday. We will continue to move every day as weather permits.