Friday, March 16, 2012

Miami at Marine Stadium - At anchor, wonderful sail?

Relaxed, dog's at ease, good wind, fast sailing - what else do you really need?
High tide at Caesar Creek was at at 6:00 am which was before daylight. We had to take advantage of high tide to clear the shallows at the exit of the creek. We settled on leaving at 7:15 which still had 1.3 of tide instead of 1.4 at 6:00 am. I took Hoolie ashore in the dark but the ranger station dock was lit at night so I had no trouble docking.

Returning to the boat, we started to haul anchor but when I stepped on the UP switch at the anchor locker, nothing happened! We couldn't afford any debug time, the tide was dropping! Luckily I had a hand held switch which plugged into a socket by the side of the windlass and it worked, whew! Up came the anchor and off we went.

The crews were out in force, about a dozen shells were around
I watched the depth sounder as it dropped down. I need 4 ft, 9 inches and when I saw 5.0 ft appear, I was really concerned, after all, this was with a 1.3 ft tide! Fortunately, it never got lower than 5 ft and the depth gradually, slowly increased as we motored out into Biscayne Bay. Another successful escape.

The reason we like this route so much is the sailing in Biscayne Bay. It's a protected body of water, very little wave action and usually a steady east wind resulting in a broad reach. Today was such a day.We had a 20 mile, broad reach sail in 12 to 15 kt winds! The water was flat, the air was warm, the wind was steady - what a sail - you can see a sample here. We averaged 7 to 8 kts all the way for 20 miles!

On Saturday we're off to Ft Lauderdale and we're hoping for another sailing day. The winds are predicted to be 12 to 16 kts and the waves only 2 to 3 ft, we'll see. I replaced the defective anchor switch this afternoon and adjusted the rigging to be sure everything was tight. We're hoping for another day of sailing before entering the ICW where motoring is the rule.