Sea Fever Gulf 32

Sea Fever Gulf 32

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2.26.12 Elliott Key

 SeaFever and Compass Rose decided to move on from Boca Chita of Friday 2.24, and anchored off Elliot Key, about 5 miles south (as the crow flies, but 10 miles after working our way through the channel that runs through Featherbed Banks.) You can see our course from Bakers Haulover, to Dinner Key, Boca Chita, and Elliott Key at Sea Fever's 'Spot' adventure:

I guess we are really in the Keys and I'm adjusting to th idea of being in shallow water. We are anchored in 7' (high tide) 5.5' (low tide) and I draw 5'. If you look over the side it looks like 2'.

A storm came in yesterday afternoon after we had a chance to do some snorkling.  It rained hard for about 30 minutes and then the wind blew- all night- and it is still howling off and on.  We plan to head to west of Key Largo today, but will have to see if the wind dies down first.

Friday, February 24, 2012

2.24.12- Boca Chita Key

Well, we are finally in the Keys!  We arrived at Boca Chita Key early Thurs afternoon - the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay surround this very small Key.

We had stayed in Dinner Key mooring field from Sunday through Wed. nights and while we were there took advantage of the metro system to do some 'city' exploring.  Tues. we even made it over to South Beach- interesting sites there- on the beach and with the dozens of restaurants with tables covering the sidewalks- each one with 'specials' if you will only stop there for luch or happy hour.

We wound up going to a local bar and restaurant that Linda had read about, in downtown Miami- f
when we first entered it looked like a locals bar but the bartender assured us that they were a restaurant, took our orders for the $11.99 Maine lobster Tues night special, and directed us to the patio seating area.  Turned out to be a great place and the oldest restaurant/bar in Miami- opening in 1912!  Great Dinner too- real Maine lobster!

So, after filling out fuel and water tanks and reserve jugs, we left Dinner Key about 11 Thurs morning.  May have been poor timing, because as Sea Fever and Compass Rose ran through the north channel toward Biscayne Bay, there was a lot of commotion- a helicopter, hovering over a dozen or more 'cigarrette boats' weaving all over the place- turns out, just as we made the turn to head south- they started a race- lucky for us they were long gone by the time we passed their start point.

The trip from Dinner Key yo Boca Chita ws the beginning of the wide-open waters we have all been waiting more narrow ICW.. at least for the next couple of weeks.  The waters in the Bay are generally about 8-12 feet, though we have to watch for the shallows, and we will have some narrow and shallow cuts to go through.  The entrance to Boca Chita is about 6-8' deep- if you stay in the marked channel.
HazelAnn arrived before we did and assured us there was adequate water and a nice dock- but we were surprised at how nice the area is.  The National Park Service created a nice little harbor with a circular dock that will hold about 20 good-sized vessels.  There is a light house, camping and picnic areas and areas for fishing and shelling...and...


We haven't decided where to next.  But this morning starts another beautiful Florida Keys day!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Feb. 20- Dinner Key Mooring Field

We stayed on at Bakers haulover lake until yesterday morning.  It was a great anchorage and the "Charleston Fleet" enjoyed the relative quiet, though over the day Saturday and overnight the number of local boats increased tremendously with lots of good sized boats rafting for a night of partying.  Different groups were playing different music but, luckily, none played theirs too loud. 

Sea Fever hosted dinner Saturday night and I got a chance to try out the new Magma grill that I've had 8 months and used but once.  It started up fine, but the burgers sure did flame-up- the guys kept telling me to splash water on the fire... I did.. and the burgers and dogs turned out OK. At dinner we discussed plans for the next day and decided to weigh anchor about 9-9:30 and head to Dinner Key mooring field. 
We were under way by 9:15 and were able to catch the 9:45 Broad Causeway bridge opening.
The trip down was relatively uneventful, given we were crossing thru the busy port of Miami with all the power boaters who believe the water is 'theirs'!

Dinner Key Moorings... ah- 225 moorings in relatively (read that very) shallow water.  After getting my moring ballumber over the phone and heading out to the mooring field.. number 47 is right next to the red 10 daymarker.. you can't miss it, and yes there is plenty of depth for you all around...NOT... finally saw my ball and as I rounded 45 to slide up to 47 into the wind...THUD!! hard aground!.  Luckily the marina had a courtesy water shuttle and the young guys aboard were able to quickly push me free and towed me to my mooring... now 43, not 47.  All is well.

Dinner Key Sunset

Dinner Key moorings, at sunrise 2.20.12

Wind howled all last night so being on the mooring was a good thing!
We plan to stay here at least one more night and will have to start making plans for cruising the Keys.
Mindfulness rejoined us here at Dinner Key and Sea Fever will likely travel with her in the Keys.  We both draw 5+ feet while Compass Rose and Hazel Ann draw about 4- so they can easily take the ICW course north of the Keys, while we "deep draft" vessels will be 'safer' taking the more offshore route south and east of the islands.  Guess we'll figure that all out soon.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bakers Haulover 2.17.12

Since I last updated, we left Lake Boca Raton for a 2-day stay on Lake Sylvia, just north of the 17th Street bridge. This was a great anchorage had had much better depth than the charts and waterway guides indicate-presumably it has recently been dredged.  While there, I was able to get my dinghy outboard fixed. Tom and Sara towed me to Lauderdale marina and while they worked on replacing the starter rope and cleaning the carborator, we all headed to lunch and to a couple of marine stores- have to hit those whenever we can. I missed an opportunity to get a chartbook of the Keys, thinking I already had them in the chartbook I've been using the entire trip. However, when I got back to the boat (in my own dinghy, since they were able to fix the O/B the same day), I discovered that my book coverage ends not far south of Miami. I'll have to rely on my chartplotter and my electronic NOAA charts.

We left Lake Sylvia and arrived in Bakers haulover early afternoon yesterday, after filling our fuel and water tanks and puming out in Lauderdale Marina (cost $20-CASH for the water even though I only need about 15 gal.). Bakers haulover is another one of the spots where cruisers wait for a weather window to head to the Bahamas- it is easily accessible, is very roomy, and has good depths of 10-14', at least.
Lake Sylvia Sunrise 2.15

One of the cruise ships we passed at Port Everglades

2.17 Bakers haulover pre-sunrise

We plan to stay over again tonight, but haven't decided beyond that- with the Miami boatshow starting yesterday we aren't sure what the waterways will be like between here and biscayne bay.

See our course at spot adventures:
for Vero beach to Manatee Pocket- 2.7.- 2.9
and for Lake Worth to Bakers haulover 2/10-2/16

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday Feb 13, 2012- Lake Boca Raton

Well, it is now Monday 2.13- and we are at a nice little anchorage called Lake Boca Raton.  Its a relatively small pocket just off the ICW with a few homes/condo buildings and some "big" local boats.  Sea Fever and Compass Rose arrived here about 2:30, Hazel Ann was here last night and moved on to a marina in Ft Lauderdale today.

Now- for the last few days...
 We left manatee pocket on the 10th for Lake Worth and had a nice stay there- got some shopping done, and waited out part of a storm and high winds on friday-Saturday, but we opted to move a short distance- to Riviera beach, on Sunday the 12th.  This was a good idea since they had a very convenient luandry and a great tiki bar, just across the ICW from Peanut Island and the Lake Worth Inlet.  HOWEVER... the winds had not let up when we decided to pull the anchors and while I was taking a break from bringing up half of Sea fevers chain, she broke what?  Can't just slam into the boat beside me... power up- drag that 75' of chain and anchor until I'm clear... then... run forward and PULL that chain in... phew... got it all up and back into the cockpit without any impacts... then proceeded to down a full bottle of water while Compass Rose casually finished pulling in their anchor, rounded the anchorage and took the lead to Riviera Beach.
Lake worth anchorage:

But my day was not done.   Thought I was in a good spot - a bit shallow- but reasonable.  Sea Fever sat fine while we got our laundry done and and 'tried out' the tiki bar.  Back on board, dinner.,, a fine night- until the tide changed and I found myself literally transom to transom with a large trimaran which had anchors out in all directions-- she doesn't swing with the tide, and I do!  Now what.. as I drift closer and closer- my hero calls... "hey, Annie, you look ok from here, but if you'd like I can come over and help you set a second anchor to keep you away from that boat" , says Tom.  "Well, I'm not sure- looked ok a minute ago"...NOT... "Hey Tom, I think I'd like to take you uup on that offer"  Anyway, about 8:30 last night Tom dinghied over, and while fighting the wind, current and the ugly anchor lines of that old tub, got me free and a second anchor out to keep me that way.  YES... Tom!
The culprit, and what I did not want to happen to sea Fever:

This morning was a bit of a task to get both anchors in... but nothing like his task trying to get them set.

We covered about 28 nm today, including passages thru 12 low bridges!
Here are some of the sites from today: both classic and overboard...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

2.11- Lake Worth

Sea Fever and Compass Rose wound up staying in Manatee Pocket a second day, while HazelAnn moved on to Peck lake, an area off the ICW about 6 miles south of St. Lucie inlet.  After Hazel Ann moved, Tom helped me move Sea Fever to their old spot- in about 6' of water and no swinging into the channel!
Sea Fever in manatee Pocket 2.9.12

We left Manatee Pocket with off and on rain on Friday 2.10, headed to Lake Worth. This leg had a couple of milestones- first we cross statute mile 1000 on the ICW!, and... the day was the "day of 7 bridges'!  Yes, between St. Lucie Inlet and Lake Worth we had to go through 7 raising bridges.  Amazingly, Sea Fever and Compass Rose had very little wait time at any of them. 

PGA Bridge- had to wait a few minutes while they tried to get the gates to stop cars' crossing fixed.

Classic yacht tied up near the PGA bridge 2.10.12

We haven't decided yet, how long we will stay in Lake Worth, but it is a nice, large area and they are predicting heavy winds and rains the next few days, so this may be a good place to wait out the weather.  It is also known as the jumping-off point for many crossing to the Bahamas, where you can wait for a good 'weather window'.  We may come back here before we make the crossing next month, or may head over from a further-south point.

Lake Worth Sunset- 2.10.12

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Manatee Pocket 2.9.12

On Tues 2.7 we finally left the mooring field in Vero beach for Ft Pierce and then Manatee Pocket.  Vero was a great place and we took full advantage of the free bus to shopping and enjoyed the protection of the trees surrounding the anchorage.  We anchored in Ft Pierce,  just off the inlet leading to harbor Towne marina and dinghied in to... the 'tiki' bar.  Also got a pix of Silver Girl the 40' Bennetau I crewed on last spring. 

The anchorage overnight got a bit rough with winds and rain, but had no problems holding.  On Wed. morning we weighed anchor and headed to Manatee Pocket.  This area had a reputation for not much draft and... it is true.  while the channel leading all the way to the southern end of the 'pocket' has been dredged to 10' or so, the anchorage itself is shallow.  HazelAnn and Compass Rose had little trouble with their 3.5' but it took Sea Fever 3 tries, and the help of Tom on board to find a spot that would handle Sea Fever's 5'.  I was a bit close to my 'neighbor' but it turned out fine- nothing went 'bump in the night', and this morning has started a bit breezy but sunny and bright.
Haven't made plans for today yet.  We will see what the day brings!

You can see the places we've been the last few days by going to my 'spot adventure link, at:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Vero Beach- 2.7.12

Well, we are still in Vero Beach, since Friday the 3rd, but plan to head south to Fort Pierce later this morning.  We stayed on here a couple of extra days because they were forecasting some heavy rain and thunderstorms. 

It rained pretty heavily off and on the last 2 days- lots of grey to black skies, and Sea Fever even got the boom tent back up to help keep the cockpit dry.  Sea Fever and Mindfulness have been rafting on the mooring ball since the harbor was about full when they arrived.  They will be heading to Manatee Pocket today while Compass Rose, HazelAnn and Sea Fever take a shorter day to Ft Pierce.

Compass Rose got this shot of Sea Fever while we were motor sailing from Melbourne to Vero Beach on the 3rd.  Yes, we are getting in some sailing, al beit only with our gennys at this point.  The ICW is too narrow to run with the Main!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Vero Beach- 2.4.12

 Sea Fever, Compass Rose and HazelAnn arrived in Vero Beach yesterday afternoon and have picked up mooring balls, and Mindfulness was able to join us today after getting their sick kitty back from the vet in Melbourne.  They are rafted to Sea Fever now- the marina info says "expect to be rafted" and we decided we'd rather be with friends than strangers.

This is  nice facility with all the amenities- hot showers and laundry!
Check out the course we followed here on my spot adventure:

Also, I have officially declared that we are in sunny and warm FL- and have removed the boom tent and enclosure from Sea Fever- finally- a sailboat again, with freedom and fresh air.  However, I have been spoiled by the thought of not having to move all the cushions, etc. from the cockpit each night in case it rains- so I've put together a temporary clear vinyl enclosure that will attach to the bimini and dodger... just in case...

Found another tiki-ish bar on the water just south of the bridge from the mooring fiels and, of course, tried it out.  Dingied back to the boat with the crew from Compass Rose.
Also- lots of wildlife here:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2.1.2012- We are in Cocoa today

Arrived in Cocoa from Titusville today. Check out my Spot Adventure for where we've been the last few days.
Tomorrow we plan to head on to Melbourne.

A view from the ICW of the Space Center
Tom and Sara during our 'tour' of Cocoa Village