Monday’s forecast bode fairly well for a day of ICW sailing: ENE 10-20. Add to that the fact of NO opening bridges until just south of Titusville, 67 miles north, and the sailing option was lookin’ good. First couple hours with main and jib were iffy as the wind could not decide on a direction and we kept altering course to boot. Around 10 we raised the screacher to take advantage of 90 degrees on a starboard tack and moved along with little sail adjustment, averaging 6.5 kts but seeing an occasional 8kts-plus. Guess we are ahead of peak northbound snowbirds as we didn’t see more than a half-dozen boats headed north, and we passed two.
When you’re enjoying a good sail… keep going! We made such good time, that we scratched our planned stop and picked a spot off the ICW farther up which would take us thru the bridge that would need to open for us. My mistake- didn’t notice that it would be closed from 3:30- 5pm and we’d arrive by 4:15! Slow down maneuvers were employed- took down screecher and main, jib sailing at 3kts to kill time. Tacked around near the bridge until 5pm when it nicely opened on time. Yes, I called first- always a good idea.
We continue to marvel at the great weather we have had for our entire trip. Very few days contained any rain at all and I can’t recall more than one “rainy day”. Windy at times, yes. Fog a few times and oh that squall when we left Miami, but that’s it. 163 days of excellent weather. Ended our day with the GPS trip odometer at 3,300 miles (since leaving Deep River Oct 10). Today was 76 miles in nearly 11 hours, 8 spent in fuel saver mode!
Tuesday took us through Mosquito Lagoon, a bucolic stretch east of the Indian River (of grapefruit fame). What didn’t we see? Boats, of all shapes and sizes, waterside RV parks, wading birds, Roseate Spoonbills (only saw them once before), dolphins (yawn), manatees, etc. Very much an “old Florida” feel. I did catch one dolphin swimming at the bow of a cabin cruiser headed south; was a neat sight since I was in the galley and saw it from water level. How’s the view from your galley?
The downside was that we were motoring with the jib, wind too light to sail and the ICW was changing direction way too often. Sunny and 78 by the time we got to Daytona Beach area around 4pm. A lovely and easy travel day. But wait until you see where we spent the night… another day where we went further than expected. This time we had to.