Thursday, January 13, 2011

Black Point Marina – At last we sail!

Joe Cool in Florida
Well, the winds didn’t diminish much at all but we headed south anyway. It was a clear day but the temp in the morning was at 50. With our enclosure, it’s like a greenhouse and the temp reached 80 inside. With the winds directly behind us, we hoisted the jib and let the winds push us south. We are still not seeing a lot of boats. There was only one other boat visible and it was heading north. Perhaps they are all ahead of us? In truth, it was chilly today with temperatures in the 60’s but it’s due to reach 80 by the start of next week.

The marina is located down a long passageway that’s been dredged to 10 ft but in getting there off the ICW involves shallow waters. As we made the turn to the marina, we were broadside to the 22 kt winds and waves. The closer to the channel entrance, the shallower the water became. I anxiously watched the depth sounder and saw it register 5.5, 5.2, 5.0, 4.9 – yikes! And then saw one reading at 4.7, oh no! Since we draw 5 ft I expected a crunching sound but it never came and as we entered the channel, the depth quickly went to 12 ft, whew!

We haven't seen one yet
When we stopped for fuel, the attendant pointed out the local crocodile. They can survive in salt water (alligators can’t) and he feasts on the remains of fish cleaning by the local fishermen. Once again we were advised to keep Hoolie on a short leash and for heaven’s sake, don’t let him go in the water! The marina is run by the state and the fee is only $0.94/ft with the BOAT/US discount (perhaps due to the crocodile?) We’ll use the marina as a base to explore the Everglades National Park. We are due to pick up a rental car Friday for transportation to the park and for reprovisioning and laundry (always laundry!) I treated the crew to a night out at the local restaurant and we are all stuffed. Hopefully the crocodile is well fed too.