|Disney Wonder idled and anchored off Port Canaveral yesterday|
1,000 feet long and holds 2,500 passengers
As we neared the entrance to the Port Canaveral ship channel late yesterday afternoon, we could see on radar and out the windshield the approach of an impressive a line of thunderstorms. We were able to barely get inside the inlet before the full force of the storm hit us. It was not terribly windy, but there was blinding rain and incredible lightening as we crept our way west on the Canaveral Barge Canal.Visibility fell to perhaps 1/4 mile several times in the canal just because the rain was so heavy. While Port Canaveral had cancelled its fireworks display, the lightening was every bit as good a show.
When we arrived at Cape Marina, it was already closed and we needed to circle near the docks several times to wait for the rain and lightening to stop. We finally docked at 6 pm after spending about an hour to go just two miles up the canal and circle around. The shore power at our slip did not work -- one outlet had no power and the other would trip its breaker no matter how much we lightened the load. So we ended up running our generator all night.
The best news was that the rain brought temperatures way down into the low seventies, allowing us to have a nice dinner on the aft deck, and to sleep more comfortably with no air conditioning in the stateroom.
We had decided last night to use the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) today to avoid a longer trip at sea around Cape Canaveral. So this morning we headed west on the canal toward the ICW and immediately had to pass through a drawbridge and then through a lock that prevents tides from affecting the canal. With a late start at 9:40, we cleared the lock at 10:10 and joined the ICW an hour later at 11:10. Sure enough, as we got within about two hours of our destination, the afternoon thunderstorms came again with heavy rain, low visibility, and amazing lightening. Fortunately, the rain let up as we docked at the New Smyrna Beach Municipal Marina at 4:45 pm.
As a result of the rain, we are again enjoying a cool evening, and will dine on board. We will head to St. Augustine tomorrow, probably at sea if the weather holds, and then on to Jacksonville Tuesday where we expect to leave the boat to get the air conditioner and a few other things repaired.
We're having fun, and still very glad to be reunited with Division Belle after her four-month quarantine in the Bahamas.