Monday, April 16, 2007

On The Move Again

En Route to Fort Pierce
N 27 16 36 W 80 13 54

The morning started badly. NW winds from 25 to 30 knots and the temperature only 50 degrees. We hate motoring on the waterway against strong winds. With the old engine, 30 knots of headwind was the limit. More than that and we couldn't hold Tarwathie's nose into the wind. Even with the new engine, progress approaches zero with head winds more than 30. However, by 0900 the wind began to slack so off we set.

As we passed the Palm Beach turning basin another sailboat, the Elizabeth Ann, came out of a marina and passed us. She was making more than 6 knots into the wind against our 4.5. Soon though I saw her stopped dead at the north end of the lake. She hadn't checked on the drawbridge schedule and had to wait a half hour for the bridge to open.

As the morning went on, the temperature warmed to 75 degrees and the winds slacked to 10-15. It is a fine day for motoring on the waterway.

As we passed the Jupiter Inlet I looked out to sea from inside the inlet. There were lots of breaking waves blocking the way. Obviously, that inlet is nowhere near deep enough for sailboats. Elizabeth Ann was following close behind us. Just as we made the left turn away from the inlet to the ICW northward, our depth alarm sounded. I looked at it and it said 5.8 feet. Very shallow for the waterway. I looked behind just in time to seen Elizabeth Ann run aground right behind us. With the ebb tide
at full flow, she was heeled way over because of the current.

From radio chatter I learned that Elizabeth Ann draws 6 feet rather than our 5.5. I also know that she was approximately on the center line of the ICW, not off course. The lesson is that the rule is boaters beware on the ICW. Being in the marked channel is no guarantee that you won't run aground.

I called to a nearby motorboat to go to Elizabeth Ann's aid. I also heard a bridge tender adviser her to deploy her Genoa to heel enough to get off the bottom. We continued on.

After Jupiter Inlet we go through Hobe Sound. I love that. The houses there are the most beautiful anywhere we've seen on the east coast. They are obviously very expensive homes, but it is not the opulence that is so impressive but rather the natural and architectural beauty. The rich people who own then must be rich people with good taste.

Great news. Our friend Pete called and confirmed that he is coming this Thursday to sail with us for 5 days up as far as Jacksonville. Hooray! We'll have fun. Libby and I both like Pete. Depending on weather, we may go on the outside or stay on the inside.

Tonight we should reach Fort Pierce by sunset. We'll be in Vero Beach before noon tomorrow. Then we can buy provisions and I can check email. We ran out of spaghetti on board! Oh no!!! That the first time that ever happened. Spaghetti is our staple food.

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