I am not one to plan my travels based on favorable currents, although I do try to avoid shallow areas at low tide. With currents, I figure I will go slower or faster because of currents in about a 50-50 ratio, and life will work out as it does. But today we got lucky and had helpful currents the entire way. We covered 50 nautical miles in six hours, averaging about 8.3 knots speed over ground, even though our best speed through the water was 8 knots, and we slowed many times for traffic, bridges, no-wake zones, and shallow areas. We celebrated by stopping at 3 pm in Daytona Beach and took a walk through the old downtown area. It was a spectacularly beautiful day.
We finally got away from the Lamb's Yacht Center boatyard yesterday morning. We had planned on departing Thursday, but our stern thruster batteries failed while moving the boat Wednesday afternoon (the batteries not only were both dead, but one of them blew a hole in its side, smoking and dripping battery acid inside its box). The service guys at Lamb's were great: they located batteries locally Thursday morning and had them installed that afternoon. Not an easy job removing and replacing 150-pound batteries in the cramped lazarette area under the aft deck. Departing at around 8 am yesterday, we made it to St. Augustine and on to Daytona Beach today.
We've been watching the ocean, Seas are finally coming down to four feet in our area tomorrow, but we couldn't leave from Ponce De Leon inlet tomorrow without committing to an overnight passage around Cape Canaveral, and neither of us are interested in doing that without a third hand on board. Our next option will be Monday to exit into the ocean at Cape Canaveral and go direct to Fort Pierce. Seas in that area Monday are expected to be very calm, so we will consider tomorrow turning off the ICW to head over to Port Canaveral and making an outside run Monday. We'll see how the schedule goes tomorrow, and we note there is a rocket launch scheduled for Monday morning at 9:49 am from Cape Canaveral. We will enjoy seeing it, but we need to find out if any areas of the inlet or the ocean will be blocked to marine traffic. Wherever we end up Monday night, the lovely Laura Lee needs to head back home Tuesday, probably by rental car. If there is a chance I can get a weather window to cross to the Bahamas soon, and a crew member to help. I'll stay with the boat and plan a crossing. If the weather looks bad for a crossing soon, I will probably return home with LL and await the next opportunity.
While all of this is up in the air, we really don't care where we get when, and we are having a delightful cruise. We are snug tonight at Halifax Harbor Marina with LL cooking up a delightful dinner. On the back deck, I can hear the sounds of the Rolex 24-hour race at Daytona International Speedway just three miles away. It started this afternoon and will last, well, 24 hours.
We'll post updates as we go.