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January 28, 2003

We Enter "The Mouth of the Rat"

Had a great day motor sailing in the Atlantic from the St. Lucie inlet to the Lake Worth/Palm Beach inlet. It was a sunny with a nice 10kn North wind. A somewhat confusing wave pattern with larger ocean swells from the north and shorter chop from the southeast. No big deal. The exit at St. Lucie inlet was relatively easy but I can see how it would be a real b*&%# in the wrong conditions! The same is true for the entrance at Lake Worth. Once inside we had to backtrack north to the anchorage at the north end of Lake Worth. It is interesting that these open stretches of water we would call bays in New Jersey are called “lakes” here in Florida. It is a very protected place and we had a lot of company with other cruising boats including our Canadian friends we met in Coco aboard Tynesider. We used the next day to dinghy ashore and go to the local Publix for more provisioning (does it ever end?) and for me to get an eye exam and have my glasses repaired at Lensecrafters. Today we headed south again along an increasingly developed ICW with mega homes and high-rise apartments almost continuously lining the shore on both sides. We also encountered a lot more powerboats and many of them are very discourteous and go by at high speed leaving us rocking violently in their wake! We are now anchored in “Lake” Boca Raton (Spanish for the mouth of the rat!) and are very warm and snug. This stretch has bridges every few miles and many are on scheduled opening times so travel takes a lot longer than further north. This is why the guidebooks suggest going outside from here south. We will do that starting at Port Everglades and should be in the Miami Key Biscayne area in two days.

Posted by Dick at 09:59 PM

January 25, 2003

Jensen Beach, Stuart and Manatee Pocket

I have just realized that the log has not been updated for several weeks and all of you that are following our adventure must be wondering what has happened to us! Well, we completed our trip north the week of January 13th and it was a very successful. We accomplished all we had had to do and had nice visits with friends, family and former work associates. The boat was safe at the Pelican's Nest marina on the St. Lucie River and she was as we left her when we climbed back aboard last Sunday. We decided to stay in the marina another day or two to complete several projects that are best done when "attached to the hard". I ordered and had installed a new 12 volt DC refirgeration system to comliment the engine drive unit. This was done by Wednesday and I also had the stuffing box for the drive shaft adjusted - it was leaking more than it should. Some drips are OK since the water lubricates the bearing. We left Pelican's Nest on Thursday AM as a cold front was moving in with high winds from the west and anchored in a protected area just down river from the marina. Yesterday we moved again to Manatee Pocket which is a very sheltered cove and close to stores, etc. Went to West Marine for another provisioning trip and had dinner with Dave and Kay Lucas. The last two nights have been as cold as any we have experienced on our trip with record cold temperatures here! The wind is now calm and the sun is out so we are back to T-shirts. If weather permits, we will leave here tomorrow and go "outside" for the leg down to Palm Beach - about 20 miles. We only have 4 travel days left to get to Key Biscayne - our jump off point for the Bahamas. All very exciting.

Posted by Dick at 11:14 AM

January 03, 2003

Getting reacquainted with old friends

We stayed an extra day in St. Augustine for New Years Eve and so Sue could rest and try to shake off her sinus cold. The prescription from Dr. Daniels seems to be helping. We went out to Harry’s Seafood Restaurant on the waterfront for an early dinner and were back at the boat before 9. It started to rain and blow hard so we shut down for the night and let others celebrate the New Year without us. New Years day was clear but still somewhat clod and windy but we decided to push on towards Daytona Beach. I had picked out an anchorage in an abandoned canal but when we got there it was way too narrow for my comfort level (how would we turn around to come out?) so we skipped it and came on the Daytona and by 3PM we were anchored just off Chuck Ellenwood’s house that faces the ICW. We invited Chuck and his daughter Jena to join us for a roasted chicken dinner on board. It was good to catch up with them after such a long time. He is a rep for several artists and manufacturers of high end decorating items and sells his own line of one-of-a-kind mailboxes that look like tropical fish. They are in several catalogs like Orvis. We spent Thursday on board doing various chores and projects and went ashore to join Chuck and Jena for dinner at the local sushi bar. It was a pleasant sunny day but last night it turned cold and windy again and has remained windy all day. Late this afternoon Chuck took us with him to grocery shop and we cooked dinner at their house and learned more about the Bahamas and looked at their photo albums from their trip to the Bahamas about 10 years ago on my previous boat “The Floating Bear”. The saga of The Floating Bear is a story that is too long for this ships log!

Posted by Dick at 09:20 PM