Saturday, May 31, 2014

May 26, 2014 Boca Raton to West Palm Beach

I can usually sleep through anything, but Dave hears noises or gets chunks of sleep.  So I usually let him sleep in.  I prepared a breakfast we could eat on the go.  Hard boiled eggs, bagels and apple sauce and coffee.  But once in the cockpit, we decided to eat before we left the anchorage.  So at 10:00, we pulled up the anchor, circled around and entered the ICW again.  When we rounded the first corner, there was our first bridge.  It only opened on the half hour, so we just missed the 10:00 opening.  Should have eaten on the go-or checked that ahead of time.  Lesson learned. 

Our day consisted of rushing to the next bridge, then looking up the next one and rushing again.  Or waiting for a bridge to open for us.  There were 11 total today.  The one at Ocean Ave in Boynton Beach was beautiful.  One bridge tender held the gate open a little longer for us to make it through.  Then there was one that our guide said only opened once an hour at 15 minutes past the hour.  So we were working our way towards it about 30 minutes early and all of a sudden it opened at 2:45 instead of 3:15.  So we tried calling the bridge tender to see if they would hold it for us.  He didn’t answer us right away.  Not sure if he was busy with the bridge, or didn’t hear our transmission.  We were going to make it, so we kept calling asking for them to acknowledge us.  Finally, at the bridge, he scolded us because we didn't call him 5 minutes before the opening.  Well we just apologized and let him know we had never heard that rule before.  We didn’t go into the fact that we didn’t think he was opening for another 30 minutes or that we had been calling him with no response.  There have been several bridge tenders that would reply letting us know that the next opening was in X minutes, which was less than 5 with no problem. 

So we learned 1) you must announce our intention to pass under the bridge with the name of your boat for their records 2) at least 5 minutes before their scheduled opening.  But that sure isn’t standardized.  There are lots of different personalities for the bridge tenders. 3) Being at the helm all day in traffic instead of using the autopilot can make you weary. 

We were approaching the opening to the ocean from the ICW at West Palm Beach.  We were tired of the ICW and the bridges, but we weren’t sure we could make it to the next inlet to anchor for the night before sunset.  So we decided to anchor early, just south of the inlet to go outside in the morning.  And we made sure there were no more bridges to wait for either. 

We spent some time working on our boat insurance paperwork, looking up hurricane preparation information (insurance company needs to see our plan), and just resting.  It is more stressful rushing through these canals than it is on the open water.  And some of Dave’s road rage starts to appear when a bridge tender is moody or he thinks their schedule is stupid.  Or when jet skis come close enough to splash us or cut close in front of us.  We can’t stop our boat if they lost someone off of the jet ski.  And large boats cause big wakes making us rock and roll.  He’s much more mellow when we are out on the sea alone.  He DID correct me.  It’s not road rage, it’s TDS-Traffic Dave Syndrome.  If you say it right, it explains how he views traffic- TeDiouS.

We anchored in Lake Worth in West Pam Beach.  Across the ICW was the Rycovich Marina.  There are some big boats in that marina.  I checked out their website, but it didn’t list their fees for docking there.  They did have a “crew campus” which listed the facilities for the crew of the boats, something I hadn’t thought of before.  We were in the cockpit shortly after sunset and I noticed some of the huge sailboats in that marina had red lights on the top of their masts.  When you anchor you have to have a white light on all night.  After thinking about it, I think they had the red lights because they were so tall.  It was to warn aircraft.  See something new everyday. 

We had a very peaceful evening and a great dinner of sautéed shrimp and rice pilaf made aboard our boat.  Team effort.

Prettiest bridge of the day
Rycovich Marina on Lake Worth at West Palm Beach.  The splashing on the left are jet skis beside the boats

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