Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February 16, 2010
Lake Worth Inlet, Florida

Sunday evening the Budget Committee and I made our final final final farewells to our friends at Vero.  We became keenly aware that we were leaving a community of very good friends. 

Moving was imperative.  Either we moved or we put the boat on the hard and went home.  Neither of us is ready for planting yet.

Last night Meredith made it all the way to Peck Lake.   Enroute the stuffing box loosened up and we had rather a strong drip, nearly a steady flow of cooling water into the bilge as the shaft turned in its bed of teflon impregnated flax.

Anchoring in Peck Lake we had an interesting time finding a spot to drop the hook which would allow Meredith to swing on an adequate rode through 120 degrees.  Not actually a lake Peck Lake is really just a brief widening in the Indian River.  Your chart shows depths of about 2 feet throughout.  The goiter in the ICW is filled with encroaching shoals from North, South and East.  Sailors have found ways in and around this "lake" but we had some challenges.

Our arrival had winds at 12 knots out of the SSW.  Forecast had these winds strengthening to 20 knots and moving to the NNW by early morning.  This is the "tell" of the customary cold front.  It would require that we swing on 75 feet of rode to the north of our anchor as we arrived and then, as the wind came around, end up 75 feet south of the anchor.  So we needed 150 feet plus some wiggle room for a safe anchoring.  A lot of slow circling and two attempts to get the hook to bite paid off and had a secure anchor all night long.

In good weather Peck Lake is marvellous, separated as it is by a very thin strip of land from the open ocean.  You can dinghy to shore and climb 50 feet over a dune to find excellent swimming and diving.  In good weather.  Yesterday was not horrible weather but it bwas too cold to go swimming.

This morning (the 16th) it was too cold to move the boat first thing.  Temperatures were 38 F last night.  We sipped coffee and listened to the howl of 20 knot wind in the rigging as we waited for things to warm up.

I found a way to access the stuffing box of our boat from the engine compartment and tended to fixing the leak.  Then, bundled in shirt, sweatshirt, fleece jacket and offshore coat I scrubbed the bottom of the dinghy clear of the oil which had accumulated there as a result of a small mishap with the outboard.

By ten o'clock  the day was bearable and off we went.  A difficult leg of the ICW lay before us as we had to deal with 8 bridges in 20 miles from Peck Lake to Lake Worth Inlet.  These 8 included the 3 BIG BAD BRIDGES , the 707, Jupiter Federal and Indiantown Road bridges.

Most sailboats will report difficulty at one or another of these bridges.  We figure Florida has put all of their total ass bridgemasters in one area so as not to screw up the whole waterway with recalcitrant bridgekeepers.

Warm and fair wind and waves are all promised for Saturday and all the week after.  As if NOAA has a clue about w;hat happens tomorrow let alone a week away.  Sounds like a little newspeak to me.  "Your government tells you the weather will be better next week.  If you don't agree you will be sent for re education."

I am beginning to understand why Americans want guns to protect themselves from their government.

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