Voyage 2000: Chapter 7

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Chapter 7


Toby was dying! At 0430 on our departure date from the Bahamas, Toby was spitting up red stuff. Nurse Ann determined that is was not blood but rather grenadine. Ugh!! At 0600 we departed West End. We motorsailed (all sails hauled) during the crossing. We had to cover almost 84 nm before dark (we didn't quite make it. We had the moon to our West and the sun would soon rise from the East. Toby would struggle to rise at all. Two boats left with us: S/V Unfazed, and M/V Inspiration. The Stream swells from the passing weather system exceeded 8 feet but their period exceeded 12 seconds. These conditions would be almost ideal but we were experiencing 3-5 foot wind waves from the South. We were getting sandwiched between the wave trains. It was uncomfortable but not serious.

We arrived at the Fort Pierce anchorage near the Harbortown Marina. It was very dark! Without our GPS chartplotter, we probably would have missed the anchorage and gone aground (but we didn't). We called Inspiration and Unfazed but received nothing (we later learned that our VHF had failed intermittently). The next day we headed North on the ICW headed for the south tip of Merritt Island (the Dragon). Bob picked a poor anchorage on the Eastern shore of Merritt Island. For the first time during the cruise, our anchor would not set. Reluctantly, we weighed anchor and found a new home for the night.

On Bob's birthday, we headed for Port Canaveral. The crossing from the ICW to the Canaveral Barge Canal was dicey!. The entrance to the Barge Canal had not changed. We had barely 6 inches under our keel. Plus, we had the weekend bozos on the water. As we approached the Route 3 twin bascule bridge, the bridge tender opened the bridge. We waited for a down stream sailboat to pass the bridge. As we approached the opening, a 'local' passed us, crossed our bow and stopped. The crew and the shorebound bystanders yelled at the bozo to get out of our way. At 5 knots (and 13 ton displacement) we would either have hit him or the bridge. He got out of the way. The local marine police pulled him over for a talk. There is justice!

Halfway down the canal, a sailboat came from the Harbourtown Marina channel without proper regard for the Rules. A sailboat jerk! Still in the canal, a really big barge pushes us to the limit of the navigable channel. We don't bump, but pretty close. We finally reach the barge canal lock and we screw up tying up. The lock master saved our bacon by assisting the tie up. Pretty stressful day! Soon afterwards, we tied up at Cape Marina in the only available slip. Coby and his boat had just left. Bob hurt his knee somewhere between Fort Pierce and Port Canaveral. He could hardly walk!!

Good to be back at Port Canaveral. Bob's knee finally heals. The marina staff are most accommodating A few days after our arrival, the German Training Vessel Hansa arrives at Cape Marina. Hansa arrives without auxiliary power and barely manages to secure a berth. Ann introduces us the Hansa crew (Thorstein, Antonio, Christoph, etc.). When we explained to them that we have a Mattihsen and Paulsen (German) boat, they became quite excited and request permission to board her.

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