Monday, December 28, 2015

December 23, 2015 ICW bridges to Lake Workth, FL

We only had about 25 miles to go today but this is where the bridges only open on a set schedule.  And if you miss that opening, you are waiting for a half hour in a narrow channel with other boats, trying to stay out of each others way.  So we wanted to be well rested and didn't leave until about 10:00.  We passed a lot of beautiful homes on the water.  They just get bigger as you go south from here. 

The traffic really picks up when you get to Jupiter.  They had the light house decorated with bows.  We have great memories of being in this area last year in November by car and again in March by boat.  South of Jupiter, just as we approached the Donald Ross bridge for it’s 1:00 opening, they announced that there had been an auto accident which backed up traffic on the bridge.  So the bridge would remain closed until further notice!  Well, we had been in a parade with about 6 boats going from bridge to bridge.  So now we all had to do the Shriner parade dance with all of them in the narrow channel.  They only dredge the center of the canal, so it’s pretty shallow right outside of the channel.  There is typically about 100 ft between the channel markers.
Jupiter Lighthouse with Christmas bows

I went below and made toffee for the first time.  It is one of Dave’s favorites and we had an easy recipe to try.  Of course, I had to move a lot of things to dig out a container of rarely used utensils to find our candy thermometer.  Not sure how that made the cut to keep on the boat.  In case you were wondering, the other utensils were a back up can opener, a couple unique graters, oyster shucking knives, crab utensils and gloves for cleaning crab. 

The bridge was closed for an hour and 15 minutes.  This bridge usually opens on the hour and the half hour, but they were given special permission to open and let our parade through at 2:15.  The PGA Bridge also opened on the hour and half hour, so we were too late for the 2:30 and waited with the others again for the 3:00 opening.  Then the last bridge before Lake Worth is close and opens 15 minutes and 45 minutes past the hour.  So we all paraded through at 3:15. 
our parade of boats heading through the draw bridge
another view of our parade before the Parker bridge-last one today

I have been following the posts on Facebook of others sailors we met this summer in Brunswick, GA as they move south.  One was complaining about the bridge openings.  She was even considering naming her next boat “F… You”, so she could say that when the bridge tender asked for your boat name.  Another came back with surprise that there were so many negative comments out there.  This lady had been living aboard her sailboat for about 20 years and had spent many years outside of the US.  She reminded everyone that this is the sailing life, kick back and enjoy the ride.  I am always going to think of Gloria when we are in a hurry for some reason.  She was a grand lady and I always enjoyed hearing her stories.  I hope our paths cross again. 

Santa having some fun on the ICW before the big day

We turned off to the right as soon as we passed under the bridge to get fuel at North Palm Beach Marina.  They remembered us from last March when we spent about a week there with Dave’s mom and preparing to cross to the Bahamas.  We asked them if they would have a slip available Christmas Eve.  If the weather turned for the worst, it would be nice to be able to get to church from a dock instead of by dinghy.  They said all their slips were full, but they could but on the fuel dock and to call by noon on Christmas Eve.  It felt good to come across previous connections. 

After fueling, we went to the north end of Lake Worth to anchor for a few days.  It was now after 4:00.   Whew!  We’re one step closer to leaving for the Bahamas. 
our view from  our anchorage on Lake Worth

We had friends that we met in Brunswick, GA this summer that were staying at the Old Port Cove marina.  So we anchored near that marina with plans to connect with them tomorrow.  We contacted Bob and Olivia, and Olivia and I went outside on our decks and waved to each other.  We’ll connect tomorrow. 

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