Monday, November 22, 2010

Melbourne at anchor

At anchor at the Melbourne bridge
Soon after we walked Hoolie and started to get ready to leave the marina the heavens opened up, rain poured. We really can’t complain since we’ve had so few rainy days. Looking on the NOAA radar, it was a band of rain just wide enough to catch us. We were the only ones in Florida with rain!

South we headed and eventually the rain stopped but it was cloudy the rest of the day. In this part of the ICW there are lots of places to pull over and anchor. We chose a spot on the north side of a causeway since the wind was out of the southeast. Hoolie relief can be had on the causeway embankment. We’re sitting out on the back of the boat enjoying the view of lights on the bridge and nearby towns. We saw more dolphins today but still no manatees! We see all the signs warning of manatees and requiring slow speed (under 30 kts) but not a one to be seen!

Egrets are everywhere
The ICW traffic has been very civil. In all the passes to date, there has been only one powerboat that didn’t slow down as he passed. The procedure has been to call on channel 16 to indicate which side he wished to pass on and as he approaches, I put Fleetwing into idle, the powerboat comes off plane and slowly passes. Then he resumes speed as I do and there’s very little wake. Sometimes a call on the VHF is not made but as the boat approaches from aft, I put Fleetwing into idle and the powerboat will also slow down and pass. I have no complaints about high speed passes on the ICW. To date, no sailboats have passed us and we’ve passed several dozen. We cruise at 7.3 kts at 2300 rpm, faster apparently than most sailboats. Of course, it would be better if I could say the same thing when under sail but all we’ve done so far is motoring.

Tuesday it’s on to Vero Beach and a PYC South Thanksgiving with Joe Mastri.