Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Vero Beach to Lake Worth - 2017

--Blogpost written by Bob

This blogpost covers our last day in Vero Beach, the two days of travel to Lake Worth, and our time in Lake Worth waiting for our weather window for crossing the gulf stream.

Vero Beach

Today is Saturday (February 18) and you would think it would be a relaxing day.  However, to start the day I had three problems I had to address: (1) the inverter doesn't work, (2) our composting toilet isn't working correctly, and (3) our outboard motor on the dinghy has occasional temper tantrums.

Fixing the inverter was relatively easy.  When I replaced the batteries recently, the positive feed line for the inverter slipped down behind the battery and I missed connecting it.  Once I connected the positive feed from the battery, the inverter worked fine.  (The inverter creates 110 volts AC, normal household current, from our 12-volt batteries.  This allows us to run a handheld blender to mix drinks.  We also use it to charge some batteries for which we don't have 12-volt chargers.)

I made a correction to our composting toilet by trying to circulate more air.  To do this, I took the spare little fan that we carry as a replacement and hooked it up in the air exhaust line in series with the existing one, essentially doubling the air flow.  We'll have to see if this makes a difference.  At least, I can feel some air coming out of the exhaust vent now.  (Since I had to work on this while in the cramped starboard cockpit locker, it took about 2 hours.)

As far as the dinghy's outboard goes, after it sat a while (while I was fixing the first two problems) it started right up for Maggie.  So, I'm not sure what this problem was all about yet.

This is the free bus in Vero Beach.  We took this bus from the
marina to Publix and then back to the marina.

Before lunch, we took the free bus to the Publix grocery store to pick up a few small items we missed yesterday.  We also stopped at the liquor store for some last minute supplies.

When we returned to the marina with our last-minute supplies, the dinghy started up just fine--it started on the first pull.

February 18 Gulf Stream Crossing Update:  Tuesday night/Wednesday morning currently seems like the best window for crossing the gulf stream.  Winds forecasted for Tuesday are 14 mph out of the southeast and for Wednesday, 16 mph out of the southeast.  Rain is still in the forecast for Wednesday.  (The next available weather window would be the following Monday, unless the forecast changes.)

Vero Beach to Jensen Beach

We left around 10:30 after topping off our water tanks at the fuel dock.  In some ways it was difficult to get back in the swing of traveling on the ICW--in other ways, it was a welcomed change.  The salt air smelled great, particularly as we neared the inlet at Fort Pierce and the water changed color to a beautiful emerald green.

Almost everyday on the ICW in Florida, dolphins play in our wake,
usually right next to our boat's cockpit.  This one
followed us for about 15 minutes.

This was a sailboat race near Hutchison Island.  There must
have been 150 small sailboats participating in the race.

We arrived at our chosen anchorage just south of the Jensen Beach Causeway.  We anchored in only 7 feet of water with about 45 feet of chain out.  When we arrived at our anchorage the wind was blowing about 15 mph out of the northeast but soon after we anchored the wind died down to a modest 5 to 10 mph.  Today we only traveled 26 miles--it was an easy day.

February 19 Gulf Stream Crossing Update: Tuesday night/Wednesday morning still looks good.  The wind on Tuesday will be at 13 mph out of the east--so the gulf stream should be relatively calm.  Tuesday night the forecast is for winds from the southeast at 5 to 10 mph.

Jensen Beach to Lake Worth

Today is President's Day holiday (February 20) and we left our anchorage at 7:30 AM, getting an early start for the day.  We traveled 37 miles on the ICW today.

The clouds on the horizon made a spectacular sunrise today .

This bridge is closing behind us.  It was one of 7 bridges
that had to open for us today.  We also
traveled under 2 fixed bridges.

A fabulous home along the ICW near Jupiter.
Note how the shore of the
ICW is sandy here.

This is Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse.  This was a hectic
area with a number of opening bridges
within 1/2-mile of each other.

When we arrived (about 1:30 PM) at the place where we expected to anchor for the night (on the west side of Peanut Island) there were a lot of local boats visiting Peanut Island.  We anchored in about 8 feet of water relatively close to the Lake Worth Inlet.  We could see the bottom in 8 feet of water!  I actually watched the anchor as it dug into the sand.

The Palm Beach area has really developed in the 25 years since I was last here--particularly the expansion of the shipyards and the marinas.

While we were anchored near Lake Worth inlet, a
large container ship came in the inlet.

February 20 Gulf Stream Crossing Update:  The forecast as of tonight still looks good for our early Wednesday morning departure.  We will be leaving at 2 AM based on the wind direction (ESE) and velocity (8 to 10 mph).  Some forecast the wind at 5 to 10 mph.  

Lake Worth

On Tuesday morning (February 21), the sky was overcast and the wind was out of the north at about 10 mph.  The anchorage was rolling last night from a swell that was coming in the inlet--it was tough to get a good sleep.  (It was a mistake anchoring so close to the Lake Worth inlet--we won't do that again!)  Consequently, we moved to the opposite side of the inlet (south side) where it is better protected from the swell and the wind.

Rainy Days is anchored in Lake Worth with all the
waterfront industry in the background.

This mature pelican stood on the dock next to me
and looked directly into my iPhone
for this photograph.

Our next blogpost will be from the Bahamas!  Thanks for following our blog!

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