Saturday, May 31, 2014

May 28, 2014 to Palm Shores

We had a later start this morning because Dave was working on our autopilot.  Right when we turned off the ICW yesterday, our autopilot malfunctioned.  The screen showed a message about the compass being off and it was making a beeping noise.  So we shut it off to concentrate on anchoring.  As an afterthought, I should have taken a picture of the screen, then we would have remembered what it said.  So he went through the re-calibrations he could do at anchor.

We were able to grab a weak, slow wifi, so I spent some time posting one entry for my blog.  I hope to get caught up this weekend.  I guess if you are reading this, I did. 

Did I mention that we have been using powdered eggs for breakfast?  They have been fine scrambled with whatever meat and veggies we have leftover and some cheese.  Not sure they would make  a pretty omelette.  Dave’s comment “everything tastes great in paradise.” 

We had to finish the calibrations for the autopilot while underway, so we decided to stay inside the ICW, just incase it wouldn’t work.  We had to wait until we were in a long straight stretch to keep it on one compass heading.  Everything seemed to work fine.  But we didn’t use it very long today.  On the ICW, you have to change directions slightly to stay in the channel, so we actually spent the day steering the boat.  On the ocean, you can pick one heading and stay there for several hours. 

This part of the ICW is actually a wide body of water.  But the channel is dredged to 11 feet in a section only about 50 feet wide.  Just outside of the channel, it can get to 2 feet real quick.  And there are some areas where the channel markers are far apart.  We would steer towards one and scan the horizon for the next one.  They are on the radar screen, but I like to have a visual to reinforce what I am seeing on the screen.  Going from marker to marker reminded us of skiing in the Swiss Alps in a blizzard in our early 20’s.  There were signs in the gondola that said “stay close to the orange poles to avoid crevices in the glacier.”  It was snowing so hard, that we would ski to one orange pole, stop until we could see the next one, then take off again.  This was after learning to downhill ski in MN and skiing once at Terry Peak in SD.  I think that 2 year honeymoon in Germany, compliments of the US Air Force, sparked our sense of adventure. 

There was only one draw bridge today.  The rest were fixed bridges that had 65 foot clearances.  So they didn’t slow us down.  And there wasn’t as much traffic.  So we made good time, even though you have to meander a little, like a river.  Actually, we were on the Indian River all day. 

We saw dolphins today for the first time since we left the Florida Keys.  About 3:00, there was a thunderstorm with rain off to the west of us.  I always get concerned about lightening hitting us, but we escaped that another day. 

We anchored near Palm Shores just south of Cape Canaveral.  The next launch isn’t for 2 weeks.  That would have been pretty cool to see from our boat.  Just outside of here is Cocoa Beach.  If we had a car, we could have gone to look for a Genie bottle (you have to be at least 50 to get that one). 

Every night, I have been logging how many miles we go by boat.  We have been averaging 50 miles a day since we left Marathon, Fl.  You have to remember we only go 5-6 mph.  So we have gone about 300 miles this week.  BUT, we have gone about 1000 miles since leaving Mobile Bay last December.  When you ask people how long they have been cruising, they tell you the years, but many also say how  many miles they have gone.  So I decided to start logging that about 500 miles ago.  At first I used some distance charts for estimates.  But now I have learned how to do it with an app on my phone.  We have so much information at our fingertips with technology today compared to sailors even 30 years ago. 

I spent the evening researching hurricane preparedness.  Our insurance company wants to know our plan.  I hope I don’t have nightmares.

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