We left Sunset Bay Marina in Stuart at 1045 this morning, 12/18/14, and entered the ICW on our way to Lake Worth. Tomorrow we’ll have our mast stepped. We had it unstepped (removed) last June so we could get under a bridge in Stuart and go inland in case of a hurricane. It will be nice to be a sailboat again, although we saved a half hour traveling time today going under some of the low bridges. We went under nine bridges today. With our mast on, the top of which is 63 feet above the water line, we have to ask for most of them to be raised and this often involves a wait if they are on a schedule. A few are 65 foot fixed bridges. Our wind generator is the highest part of the boat now and it is 22 feet above the water. The bridges have markers in the water showing their current height depending on the tide. At the first one we came to the marker read 19 feet so we asked to have the bridge raised. The tender said his bridge was at 25 feet and we could easily go under it. We did and had about 5 feet between the wind generator and the bottom of the bridge. We found that other bridge markers were also inaccurate. Obviously, the bascule bridge heights are a guess.
We are exhausted, mainly because we had to spend many, many hours during the last two weeks trying to get a “vacation waiver” for six months of our prescription medications. Almost all the people we talked with at our insurance companies didn’t have a clue what to do, even though we have done this before with the same insurance. We spent many hours on the phone, at the pharmacies and even went to our doctor’s office to get paper prescriptions when the ones they phoned in to the pharmacies were incorrect. Finally Tuesday evening we got our prescriptions filled and could get to the many other items on our “to do” list yesterday. It still took us several hours to get everything ready this morning. The weather is beautiful and the river is calm, but we’ve been rocked by a few fast boats passing us. They are usually small speed boats and maybe don’t realize when we rock, things fly off counters and shelves. No, that’s not true. They don’t care or at times even enjoy seeing us rock. I finally gave up grabbing things and put everything away like we do when we are sailing on the ocean. This boater behavior is very common on the ICW and inlets in South Florida.Sailor seems to have easily returned to his job as “first mate boat dog.” Our previous Goldendoodle Daisy, who was with us for five years on Seas the Day, never wanted to be inside when we were moving. She always settled in the cockpit under our feet at the helm and didn’t move until she realized we were stopping. Sailor, on the other hand, is starting his second cruising season on the boat and he divides his time inside and outside. He spends part of his time on his bed under the salon table where I’m usually sitting. After awhile he goes outside to be under Mark’s feet. When that gets boring he walks around as far as his tether will let him go which is just a few feet. His nose is a little dirty in the pictures because he discovered the dirt in our newly purchased patio tomato plant. Can’t blame him since he doesn’t have a yard to dig in.
Another huge difference is that Sailor “goes” on the boat and Daisy never would. He uses the trampolines which makes clean-up very easy. (We always collect the poop in bags and throw it away with the rest of our garbage on land but the urine goes nicely into the water.) Sailor still gets lots of shore walks and several daily runs on beaches, but if the weather is bad or we can’t get ashore, we appreciate that he is boat trained. Below is Sailor’s “head.”
We arrived in North Lake Worth at 1500. While going under the Parker Bridge we received a phone call from Old Port Cove Marina. We’ve been trying to get reservations there for days, but they were full. They offered us a tie up on their fuel dock for tonight, which we quickly accepted. We love this marina and it will be our last until Bimini. At $1.70 a ft in South Florida in the winter, that is very reasonable, especially at a high end marina. As an example, Tiger Woods docks his yacht here. The price is actually $2.00 a ft but they give a 15% discount if you have Boat US, which most boaters purchase for towing, kind of like AAA for cars. We even got a bottle of wine when we checked in, welcoming us to Old Port Cove, together with a card for free coffee, tea and soft drinks while we are here. An added benefit is that friends Fred and Karen (Southerly II) are here for the month and are located a dock away from us. We enjoyed a delicious dinner with them at Sandpiper’s Cove, the upscale marina restaurant, tonight. We figured we deserved a reward for all of our hard work the last few weeks. It is such a relief to have that behind us so we can be on our way to our 4th Bahamas cruise.