Monday, January 27, 2020

Fort Pierce

We spent last night in Cocoa, Florida, to be distinguished from Cocoa Beach, which is across the bridge on the barrier island. Yesterday we travelled 58 nautical miles in the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) in eight hours. We averaged only 7.25 knots because the current was against us a part of the day, and because we traversed several long areas where we slowed because depths were only seven to eight feet, close to dragging the bottom in our six-foot-draft boat. 

We were in sight much of yesterday afternoon of Elon Musk's SPACEX Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral, poised for the launch of  Starlink's third mission to fill the heavens with little satellite hotspots designed to bring the internet to the whole world from space. The launch was scheduled for 9:49 am this morning, but was postponed until tomorrow morning. We were at the perfect vantage point, but we shall miss the view now.

We are underway and due into Fort Pierce in about an hour and a half. I have been hoping to get the boat within striking distance of Fort Lauderdale and await a weather window to cross over to the Bahamas. Alas, as of now, the weather is not cooperating. For a day to cross to the Bahamas, I need two things. First, there must be no northerly component to the winds. Winds from the north run into the Gulfstream current and make the waves stand up in a very uncomfortable way. Second, I need fairly calm seas and winds under 15 knots. Neither of these conditions seem on the forecast for a full day or night in the next week. We've had a series of frontal passages the just won't quit. I have heard stories of fishing boats moved to the Bahamas that have not been able to go out since mid December.

In addition to correct winds and seas, I need somebody to accompany me. So the plan today was to leave the boat in Fort Pierce for a few weeks and head home. Calling around today I had no luck finding dockage for the next few weeks, and barely found a slip just for tonight. LL will head home tomorrow and I'll keep checking for dockage further south, perhaps in Stuart.

We found good chile at a local joint last night, but there were no other real choices on a Sunday night in Cocoa. Tonight we will be dining in.

Whatever the weather or final outcome tomorrow for docking, this has been a great week on the boat. While I prefer going outside in the ocean, I have enjoyed having the Lovely Laura Lee along and just spending time on the water. We'll report back next steps in the next day or two.

Update: We arrived safely in Fort Pierce. The Lovely Laura Lee has a car reserved tomorrow to return home. I found dockage in Stuart, Florida, just a few hours to the south. I will spend a few days with boat projects and then come home to regroup and plan to head out to the Bahamas.


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