Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ft. Matanzas – At anchor

Hoolie's beach at Ft Matanzas
The forecast was for a front coming through later in the day with severe thunderstorms and high winds. With that we left in the morning in the hopes of making our 50 mile day to Ft Matanzas. The trip was uneventful until we approached the entrance to the Ft Matanzas anchorage. The first thing I noticed was a BOAT/US towboat racing by at full speed and when I looked ahead, I saw two sailboats that were hard aground by the entrance to the anchorage. They apparently had been heading north and didn’t pay adequate attention to the three green buoys marking the shoal. There are three in a row but the middle buoy is far to the west of the other two but you still have to pass it to the west! Evidently, they did not and ran hard into the shoal marked by the buoys. Since the towboat was pulling one of the boats towards the ICW fairway with all its might, I had to wait for the outcome, there was no room to pass. Finally the boat slowly slid into deeper water. As I passed by, the BOAT/US towboat yelled to me, “Follow that boat!” – which I thought was not necessarily the best course of action since he had just ran aground but since he was now convinced of the wisdom of passing the greens to starboard (going north), a strategy I agreed with, I followed. He crept forward at about 1 kt! He was evidently concerned about another encounter with mother earth. Finally he fully cleared the entrance to the anchorage and I did a 270 and came on into the anchorage (there is only once way in, not obvious, but we knew of it).

Hoolie wanted to play with the jellyfish!
Not more than an hour after dropping the anchor, the expected front came through with its ranging winds and rain. With gusts in the 30’s, we swung around but the holding is excellent here, no problems. We did manage to get Hoolie ashore just before the line storm hit and was surprised to see hoards of jellyfish all over the beach. They had been washed ashore by the winds I guess. Their presence put a kibosh on letting Hoolie run free since he would want to “play” with them (a new ball!) Ann had to get out and walk the dog.

After the storm sunset

After dinner we had to beat the backdoor front coming through so we took Hoolie to the opposite shore and found no jellyfish, great! Finally, we had a great sunset after all the storms cleared.