Monday, November 6, 2017

Titusville at last! - at a dock

Yeah, we made it!
We had two major shallow spots to get through today, both at the Ponce de Leon inlet:: The R2 and R2A buoys pair and the R18 and R18A pair. We made it through the R2 and R2A with 7.8 MLW and the second pair with 4.5 MLW which means that most boats will have to wait for a high enough tide to get through the last pair. In both cases you hug the red buoys for best water. I feel sorry for all the boats going outside, they miss all the fun.

Typical damage - ran forward into the pier
Another big if was whether the NASA Railway Bridge would be closed or not. They had issued an advisory that the bridge would only be open before 8:00 am, at noon and after 4:00 pm. So we were quite concerned that we could find ourselves waiting for several hours for the 4:00 pm opening. However, they had not yet started work on the bridge itself (they are redoing the entire railway over the next five years) and so it was up all day. We cheered as we passed through the last obstacle to our trip south. I mean, there was Jose spinning around in the Atlantic for over a week, blocking all traffic southbound, then came Irma to back up the blocking tactic when Jose finally started to fade. That was followed by cold, windy weather for another week or so. Just to add to the sense of not being wanted, the Marines had live firing exercises at Camp Lejeune, closing off the ICW for hours on end. Then, of course, there was the Surf City swing bridge which was being worked on and promised to be closed for hours on end. Oh, and don't forget the Alligator River Bridge which was projected to be closed during daylight hours during the height of the southern migration.  Finally the weather settled down when we reached Beaufort, NC but it was still cold. It didn't get warm until we reached Fernandina.

It was tough getting all the lines tight enough, then tend to stretch under strong winds
When we arrived at Titusville, we found the marina to be full for the first time since I've been coming down here over the past eight years. I had reservations I had made over a year ago so I had a dock waiting. Many of the docks were filled with boats that had no other home after Irma barreled through Florida. The marina itself did fine, it is very sturdily constructed but some of the boats did not do so well. According to one resident, the winds from Irma topped out at 120 mph and the water level rose to a level to flood the parking lot. Many of the boats did not have adequate leeway in the slip - too tight - and that led to damage from banging into the pier and/or pilings.

We will be here for about a week before leaving for our Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years vacation up north with our kids and grandkids. Until then, we have to get ready for the trip. We'll rent a car from Enterprise and drive home for the holidays.


jack cothren said...

congrats ... sorry to miss you but y'all make great time once you got going ... enjoy the week off !

Steve s/v Escapaide said...

Glad you made it. We are about a week behind you. We are headed for Harbour Town at Hilton Head so we still have the dreaded Georgia shallows ahead of us. Thanks for all your info, any new routes for trouble spots ahead of us?
Thanks again,
S/V Escapaide

Bob423 said...

Jack, we definitely want to meet up on our way back in the spring.

Steven, the areas of concern: Hell Gate at 4.0 MLW, Little Mud River at 4.6 MLW, Buttermilk Sound by R208 and 218, Jekyll Island at 3.7 MLW. I made entries in Active Captain for all of these shallow spots, just follow the entry and use tide to pass through. At Fernandina, be sure to load the GPX route or manually enter the waypoints for 8.5 MLW. There’s also a GPX route for Hell Gate and Fernandina. Have fun, why go outside when you can have so much fun inside?