Monday, April 4, 2016

Ft Lauderdale - at a mooring

We met this guy on the way out of Government Cut
Last night the NOAA coastal forecast was for 10 to 15 kts of wind with gusts to 30, not so good. However, grib and SwellInfo disagreed, predicting winds of 5 to 10. The forecast for the rest of the week was even worse with strong winds and waves out of the north. So it looked like Monday it was it and we were going to get a beating.

This is one big ship!
When we awoke in the morning we discovered that the NOAA coastal forecast now agreed with grib but the SwellInfo forecast was still higher. We had found in the past that of the three forecasts, the grib was usually more accurate along the coast. The only place we found NOAA better was in the Chesapeake Bay. So we started out about 7:30 and I had trouble retrieving the anchor. The windlass kept tripping the breaker after stopping when hauling the anchor. That can happen when the chain hangs up and jams the chain into the opening below the windlass. The next time I anchor I have to redistribute the rode to make more room under the falling chain, so it doesn't pile up and jam the windlass.

The Ft Lauderdale Beach is deserted, unlike spring break time
After a very bad exit last year out Government Cut when the current was flooding out and 3 ft waves were coming in which resulted in very steep waves that washed over the bow, we now pay attention to the current. This morning we chose slack tide to exit and the waters were calm. Unfortunately, a huge ship saw the same opportunity and came in as we were going out, not much room. He was surrounded by three tugs that we could see, maybe more on the other side. I'm sure he wasn't pleased to see me coming at him. In fact, after we exited, the Coast Guard closed Government Cut to pleasure craft until the commercial traffic cleared. We were probably the cause of that change. I imagined the ship's captain complained about me even though I was way over by the channel's edge.

The 17th Street Bridge
We arrived in Ft Lauderdale and missed the top of the hour bridge opening at the 17th Street  Bridge. It's a 55 ft bridge but our mast is 55 ft and 4 inches. In the past we had always requested an opening. This time we were at low tide so I looked at the height board and saw 58 ft so we proceeded through. Looking upward you would swear you're going to hit! The angle is such that avoiding a collision appears impossible. But then the boards said 58 ft so we motored ahead and cleared the bridge, the boards were right.

I like the rays emanating off off the sunset
Tonight we are at the mooring field by Los Olas, there were three empty moorings when we arrived around noon but there are none now, I guess the northward migration has begun. We'll move northward on Tuesday aiming for the anchorage by the Lantana bridge and dinner with one of our long time members of the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club, Joe Mastri, at the Old Key Lime House restaurant there.


Fred Brillo said...

Welcome to my hometown. Too bad your stay will be so short. Be safe on the rest of your journey.

Fred Brillo said...


Its Tuesday, April 5, and You couldnt ask for a nicer day to go sailing...even though you will be going through BRIDGE HELL between Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach. Enjoy the cruise.. be safe.

Bob423 said...

Fred, we made every bridge, no waiting for the next opening. We've found that if you can do 7 kts then the spacing of the bridges and their opening times are staggered in such a manner that you can make them all. Such is not usually the case for Wednesday's run but we'll try.