Saturday, May 29, 2021

Memorial Day Weekend Cruise to West Palm Beach Pt. 1

 HISC Memorial Day Weekend Cruise to West Palm Beach.

After spending Thursday night on Lake Boca tied up with Affection (Jeff's Boat ! ) we pulled anchor at 07:30 in order to get the 07:40 Camino Real Bridge opening while Affection motored out of Boca Inlet, his draft is just 3' ours is nearly 6' and Boca Inlet is too stressful for us.

07:43 we passed Camino Real Bridge and motored the 20 minutes to Hillsboro Blvd Bridge, then it was a long slog of 60 minutes against the current down to the Hillsboro Inlet Bridge, by the time we were ready to pass the bridge, Eximius was pretty well dressed for the Day, Sails & Sheets ready, fenders all inboard, Lines secured, ready to hoist the sails. 

Just as expected, the wind was very light as we navigated carefully out of the inlet and avoided the shallow area on the North side of the Inlet and 'gonna get you' shoals on the South side of the inlet.

We turned to 045º with the intent of trying to reach the Gulf Stream under motor while the wind was so light. We did raise the sails but they pretty much just hung there. By the time we were a mile and a half off of the shore, we were feeling the Stream pushing un north. Engine given a rest and we trimmed the sails. With less than 5 knots of wind, we were barely moving through the water, just 2knots. But the Gulf Stream was dragging us North an additional 4 knots! Expecting the wind to pick up before lunch time, we stayed on course.

Soon the wind picked up to around 7 knots, and our GPS speed was 9.5knots WooHoo! The Sea was very steady and it was an easy sail. The Autopilot managed just fine once we had some speed through the water.

The only issue was that the course that I imported from had some issues. Last night I had reviewed the route on and switched the Start and Finish over so that we could see what the return trip would be like on Monday. Totally forgot that I had switched the Start an Finished and proceeded to export the route. Once it was on a chip, we imported it on our chartplotter then set the GPS to follow the route. 

Sounds ok, except that I had not remembered the switch over. So initally the chartplotter reported that we would reach our destination by noon. That was great, a bit unrealistic, but great. As we proceeded, the arrival time got later and later.


Once I realized the problem, I simply deleted the route and set a route to arrive at Lake Worth Inlet. 

All of a sudden, our late night arrival was now around 2pm.

By 13:15, the wind had dropped back to less than 5 Knots after spending a hour or so above 8 knots. It also veered to 180º and was no fun. So time to wake up the engine and motor for the next few hours to get to our destination.

We arrived in time to get the 3:15 Flagler Memorial Bridge opening and followed a big barge through the turbid waters at the bridge. Once through, we could see Alebrije and Affection anchored on the East side of the ICW almost directly East of the new Public City Dock. A quick call to Hector and we had an agreed plan to join them in a 3 boat raft up.

Plan was to motor ahead of their anchored location leaving them to Port. Drop our anchor about 100' South of them, dig it in and then back down with the current till we were due west of them both, and finally, Toss a line to them to close the gap and tie up alongside Affection.

We were a bit more than 100' ahead of them when I dropped the anchor. Of  course, it dug in right away. I eased out the 100' of chain and another 80' of 1" rode line. Once we had a line over to Affection, we, the crews of Alebrije and Affection, were able to close the gap, setup a bunch of fenders and take a well earned break.

All of us agreed on a 5:30 happy hour. Peggy & I took a bottle of wine and a bag of Chocolate Pretzels, of course we also took a bottle of Black Magic Rum and our own wine/rum glasses.

It's a beautiful view across the waterway this evening.

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