Sunday, November 28, 2010

At Loggerhead Marina in Stuart

We're out there somewhere - It's a beautiful marina
We had a quiet night but the wind piped up out of the northeast which is a bad direction for the Jensen Beach anchorage on the west shore. Still, not too bad and we got Hoolie in okay. Pushing off, we headed south for Loggerhead marina in Stuart, Fleetwing’s home for December while we’re up north for the holidays.

There’s a famous intersection on the ICW called the “Crossroads” which is where the inlet joins the ICW along with the exit to St Lucie River. So what I thought, big deal. Well as we approached the “Crossroads” there were two motorboats coming at me, one on either side, I guess they were going to be the goal posts and I was the football. No big deal, then three high speed racers swerved into view coming from the right, across my bow and also across the two motorboats racing towards me. Interesting. They were much faster than either me or the two motorboats pretending to be goal posts so they sped across my field of view and all I could do was hold my course.

This guy had an entire garden on the bow!
At this point, I was supposed to make a 90 degree turn into the St Lucie River where my marina was located and as I did so, I noticed that the chartplotter’s recommended route was to pass the green buoys to starboard – a real no-no since in returning to a harbor you’re supposed to pass them to port (left side). I was so discombobulated by the all the action at the crossroads that I followed the chartplotter instead of the buoys! Bad choice. However, I found 12 ft of water while passing the green buoys closely to starboard all the way to the Manatee Pocket entrance. Shortly thereafter, my senses returned and I continued on in the accepted manner by passing the greens to port and the reds to starboard the rest of the way. (whew!)

Coming into Loggerhead Marina, the directions were also confusing – they missed telling us of one or more starboard turns, not to mention at first telling us to put the fenders on the starboard side and then switching the directions to the port side. I was in a frenzy of activity while Ann guided the boat. Finally we headed for our slip with 15 kts of wind behind us and I came barreling in but put it in reverse with a enough throttle and we made it safely (second whew!)

We are now safely tied off with multiple lines, primary and backups, and Monday I’ll pick up the rental car we’ll use for the trip north. It’s quiet now…(final whew)