Wednesday, May 31, 2023

2023 Memorial Day Weekend

2023 Memorial Day Weekend Leaving the Dock

Original plan was to 'sail' down to Miami on the Ocean.  Weather forecasts this week were expecting afternoon storms. That put a bit of anxiety into the options. We finally agreed that we would go down the ditch, but there was a hiccup - The 79th Street Bridge, just North of Miami on the AICW, is undergoing maintenance,  and is basically closed from 09:300 to 15:30, opening only upon a 4 hour advance request. So basically if we go down the ditch, then we'll have to leave Port Everglades after calling the bridge to schedule an opening 4 hours later.  It's crazy! There has to be other boats that are going to request openings and it's unlikely they'll all request the same time!  Try and figure that out!

So basically it means that we have to leave PE about 3 hours before 3:30pm when the opening restriction is removed.

We left the dock around 11:45. not sure of the exact time. I would normally look back on our InReach data record online and grab the time there, however, we didn't turn the InReach on to Track until we were on the Ocean.  But I was able to find the time data on my Google account's Map Timeline.  Gotta love the technology.

We motored down to the PumpOut station on 15th Street to empty the poop tank rather than head out 3 miles off shore as that would basically take us North in the Gulfstream.  The PumpOut Station didn't work too well, it needs a new nozzle end as it leaks suction. So it's clean but the suction loss means it will take ages to empty the tank. It took over 20mins to empty a 25gallon tank.  When we approached the floating dock at the PumpOut station, there was a boat tied up but not using the PumpOut. That's a big No-No, the accepted rule is that once you're done pumping then get off the dock. But when we called to the crew, they quickly moved the boat, they were waiting use the Boat Ramp to haul out.

We finally got to leave that PO dock around 2:30 and then headed down under 17th Street Bridge, very little boat traffic. As we got to the point where we could see the Port Everglades entrance. We could see that the Ocean was like a millpond. I asked Peggy how she felt about going outside rather than down the ditch, her response:- If you helm, then we can go outside. HWHL. We headed out of the entrance and turned South on the Ocean towards Miami.  I'm really not fond of the 5 hour ride down the ditch having to either slow down or rush at max RPM to time the opening of the next bridge.  

It was an easy motor down to Miami, a few minutes of rain, didn't get wet. Unlike the ride down the ditch, sailing or motoring about 3/4 of a mile off shore is pretty boring, so we make a point of checking the weather, the clouds, if any, and what we can see on the shoreline. It's always fun to look directly into Haulover where the fixed bridge only allows power boats to risk the bumpy ride in and out of the entrance. There's even a YouTube channel that shows the seemingly endless stream of vessels that try to make it in or out of the channel during days when the Tide is ebbing and the Wind is from the East, fun.

We were passed by Affection before we arrived at the entrance to Miami - Government Cut. Jeff, on Affection, called to advise that there was at least 2 knots of current in the Cut and that he would proceed to the planned anchorage at Miami Stadium Marina. He was right! We hit 2.4 knots against our progress into the Cut.

Following the markers and keeping clear of the overhanging crane gantries of the cargo ships tied up to the docks as we passed them on our Stbd Side. Several high speed boats virtually flew past us with total disregard to ourselves and any other small craft in the local area. I guess it's a Miami thing.

It was well before dark, but as we approached the turn to port that would put us back on the ICW, there was a craft in the water that we could not distinguish, the late in the afternoon sunlight between the tall buildings seemed to make the waterline in that area appear to be much darker, one tow boat was only visible due to it's flashing lights.
Once we turned South on the ICW it seemed to lighten up, I guess that was the effect of not having the Sun low on the horizon dead ahead, it was now off to Stbd and it was magically daylight again.

The channel down to Rickenbacker causeway is well marked but very narrow, maybe just 50' in some places.  We kept in the channel almost until we were at the fenders of the underpass of the bridge, then turned to Port and followed the GPS depth markings to head East. As we approached the Rusti Pelican Restaurant, we needed to navigate around the boats that were either anchored or Sunk, yes 'Sunk' and of course the very shallow areas that are clearly marked on the chartplotter.

Image Capture from Jeff's Instant 360 Video

Once North of the Rusti Pelican, we could see Affection anchored further to the East, towards the actual Stadium. Peggy took the helm while I prepared the fenders and our new dock lines ready to pass to Affection when we got alongside.  Peggy did a great job of slowing the boat and bringing us along side and to a stop. Jeff took the Midships line and the Bow line. It's all quite hectic when coming alongside another boat, concentrating on not 'hitting' the other boat and just as important, bringing the boat to a complete stop when we are alongside. Peggy managed it perfectly. 

We all took a break to bring our stress levels down to zero. I went below and heated up my favorite dish - Sailors Pie - it's not a pie! I'll make a separate post about it.

Peggy was exhausted, it had been a pretty long day. We were up early and had been pushing the boat for about 9 hours. As the weather had promised to be pretty gnarly, that added to the stress of the day. The fact that the weather was really quite nice helped calm the crew.

We were tied up to the Stbd Side of Affection and due to the winds, facing to the North. So we could not see the view of Miami that was visible from Affection. Peggy turned in for the night and missed it. It really was a kodak moment, the sight of all of the sky scrapers lit up like christmas trees, reflecting on the water was really spectacular. Now I know why Jeff & Judy like that anchorage so much. Thanks for suggesting it Jeff!

Friday morning, we had an simple Cereal and Toast Breakfast, with Coffee, obviously. Then we discussed with Jeff & Judy about the options to move ahead down to Billy's Point. The weather today was much more certainly going to get nasty, Storms were forecast to start up over the West side of the Bay and head eastwards later in the day. We knew we were very likely to get wet but not sure how bad they would be. My conclusion was that it would be Rain storms with not much wind. Peggy anticipated the end of the world. Luckily my guess was the right one.  Of course, that didn't' stop peggy from putting our portable electronics in the oven as a Faraday Cage and ensuring we were wearing our Tethers. 

We kept an eye  out for Affection, not knowing what time they would be hauling anchor from the Stadium Marina, but knowing they could easily double our speed. Affection did not have AIS so I was unaware of their location. I shared a pic of our GPS when we were right in the middle of the rain storm. I did see a similar boat to theirs but it had something on the foredeck that I was certain was not on Affection. Turned out it was them and the thing on the foredeck was actually their fenders on the Stbd side of the foredeck. 

About an hour before we arrived at the Featherbeds, the Channel at the mid point of Biscayne Bay, I saw Summer wind - Chris & Kelli Whitlock - appear on our AIS. We couldn't see them astern of us due to the amount of water in the air, it was just a pale grey mist back there. I called Chris on VHF and we shared our weather situation.

It was a short while later when I noticed that our speed had dropped by over a knot and that we had what looked like Steam coming out of the exhaust! That's not good! We check the 'heartbeat' of the engine at least every 10 mins - that's checking the RPM, Temperature, Fuel Status and Voltage, then we check the GPS speed and compare it to the Speed through the water. That's when  I noticed the issue with the engine, every thing was good except the speed and the steamy exhaust. 

Going for the simplest things first, I checked the Engine Intake Water Strainer - a small amount of crud but definitely not blocked.  I checked the Engine Coolant, that was fine, a little low but barely. Checked the Oil which was really a waste of time as the engine had been running and so the Oil would be dispersed all over the inside and would take a while to drain down to the sump.

Peggy wondered if we had something on the Propellor! Duh! I dropped the RPM to idel ( about 400 rpm ) shifted into Neutral and then Reverse, pushed the throttle forward and watched as a bunch of seaweed spued out from under the stern. Back into forward and back to 1800 rpm, and magically our speed climbed back up to 6+ knots. Phew! Oh, and no more steamy exhaust! 

As the weather improved we could see Summer Wind astern of us watching as we navigated through the Featherbeds Channel. Of course, we hardly saw any power boats near us between Miami and the Featherbeds, but it felt like very power boat on the Bay decided to pass us at high speed during our transit of the channel. As I said, it must be a Miami Thing.

Chris in his Catalina 36 followed us to the place I had set as our anchorage just West of Billy's point. I could see two boat in the distance but thought they could not be Affection and, our 3rd cruise host boat, Deli Marvi, they were not expected to be there yet, Deli Marvi was not expected until Saturday.

With Peggy at the helm, we dropped anchor but Summer Wind motored past us heading to those other two boats, Chris reported that Affection and Deli Marvi were already there and anchored. They were about 800 yds further to the SE from us. Chris advised that there was plenty of depth, about 9.6',  for our 5'7" keel. I figured we were over 18" above low tide and so could anchor much closer to the three of them. We agreed that the weather was too lumpy to raft up that evening and planned to review that on Saturday morning.

Summer Wind and Eximius at Sunset off of Billy's Point

The Crew from Affection and Summer Wind came over to Eximus for cocktails, but no sign of the crew from Deli Marvi - Christ took his dinghy over to wake them up. Turned out it was not Deli Marvi! Did I mention they were not due to arrive until Saturday! Duh - we all got a laugh out of that.

Saturday morning we were suffering from a lack of sleep, it had been a bumpy night and I was really glad that we hadn't rafted up with anyone overnight. It was still too lumpy to raft up and it was too lumpy to have the planned Dinghy race, so we all just hung out on our boats. I'm not sure if the others did the same but we made up for the rough night with a few Naps.

The major event for Saturday was the Host boat gathering at 6:30pm, The plan was for everyone to meet up at the Host boat ( Eximus ) and bring something to share. Eximius is 34' and Summer Wind is 36 and they have a BBQ ! Chris had planned to BBQ Burgers and Hot Dogs. We had prepared a big pan of Mac-n-Cheese ( far too much! but that's normal for HISC BSTS events ) So we agreed to move the party to Summer Wind. There was plenty of food and a bit more room than on Eximius.  By the middle of the afternoon, Lady Gray and Deli Marvi had joined us at the anchorage. So by 6:30 we had five boats and 12 members ready to party. Ok, so some of them started to party a little earlier - but what happens in Biscayne Bay stays in Biscayne Bay.

At the party, Chris had put together a quiz based on Memorial Day, I only guessed one answer - why is Memorial Day held in May? Because that's when the Spring flowers blossom at the Gravesites of those we remember.

Our part of the Party was a 'What's in the Bag' game. I had made up 12 bags with hidden contents from my garage and players had to try and guess what was in the bags just by feeling them. Everyone won a glow in the dark necklace and each boat won an LED bottle cork light kit. 

The food was great, the company was great and the weather was great - that's what it's all about!

We slept a little better Saturday night, not much, and had a light breakfast of Fruit & Yogurt before the Bagels and Cheese break Sunday aboard Deli Marvi around 10am. There's a lot more Room on Deli Marvy and all 12 members found somewhere to sit and join in the chit chat. Oz & Rita did an awesome job of laying the table. Jeff brought his Expresso Maker aboard and made custom coffee for all. Oh, and  Oz & Rita's Dog, Leeloo, seemed to want to be friends with everyone, especially anyone that had something to eat! I say Oz and Rita's Dog, but really she is just a woolly rug on legs. Totally Cute.

We didn't have anything else planned for Sunday, just as well as Eximius was getting hot and we had issues with the Air Conditioning. Our Batteries can provide power for AC for about an hour, so we have a Honda 2000 onboard. However, the Victron system was not happy and kept switching off the Inverter. It took us a few hours but finally got it working. ((  When I got home on Monday, I looked up the issue on the Victron Website and discovered that I should disconnect the USB Mk3 adapter from the Victron Cerbo GX when the USB is not in use! ))

Lady Gray departed the anchorage sometime Sunday afternoon. We were having breakfast Monday Morning ( Memorial Day ) when Affection pulled their Anchor to head North. We pulled ours and headed North at 0705. Summer Wind must have left before us and Deli Marvi were still at anchor after we left.

It was an uneventful motor into the wind up to the Featherbeds, we reversed the prop a few times to expel a build up of Sargassum. We lost sight of Affection before we exited the Featherbeds Channel.

Our plan was to head out  through the Stiltsville channel and determine if the Ocean conditions were suitable for heading up to Port Everglades or nip back in through the Miami cut and go up the ICW. 

Jeff called us on the VHF and advised that the ocean was calm, so we elected to go 4 miles offshore to gain advantage of the Gulf Streams flow northwards.

When 4 miles off shore ( we check by putting the cursor of the Chartplotter on the location of the shoreline and the Chartplotter gives us the distance from Shore ) we planned to Pump-n-Dump the holding tank. Well, we tried! but the Macerator pump failed, probably it over heated as it failed to prime. We carry a spare onboard, that was left by the previous owner 8 years ago! I'll arrange for a PumpOut at the dock in the next few days as I don't want to be playing with the Macerator Pump when the tank is full - that's a really crappy job.

Oddly, the Gulfstream was much further offshore and there was an Southerly flowing eddy of nearly 2knots. Despite that, we made it up to Port Everglades and the 17th Street bridge by 15:06 and back to our dock by 16:04, not too shabby for a lazy Motor Sail in the Ocean.

After passing 17th Street Causeway bridge, we followed the ICW to the New River Turn off at Sand Bar park, packed! No surprise it is Memorial Day.  Turning to Port to join the New River and heading up river, we joined 3 other boats inline to navigate all of the New River bridges. This was one of better days to go up the river! The first boat, a sailboat 'Rendezvous' was the first boat inline and we each called the first bridge ( 3rd Avenue Bridge ) to request an opening, before we passed under 3rd avenue, I called Andrews Avenue for an opening, we heard the FEC Bridge was going to be open and all four boats passed nicely under all three bridges, then, all lined up, we all called and passed under 7th Avenue Bridge. We didn't have to do a single doughnut in order to slow down for any of the bridges - SWEET

11th Avenue bridge opened for us and we were on the home run. No traffic on the rest of the New River, we turned into our canal and Peggy brought us alongside like a Pro! The boat was stopped and just 2" from the dock when I stepped off. 

We turned the boat and set to unloading it. That took another hour. Locked all hatches, closed all thru-hulls and swapped the Depth transducer for the blank, checked all of the electrical switches, had a bite to eat and set off home.

We slept really well Monday Night!

Any day is better when it's on a Boat, a whole weekend is better still.

See you on the Water.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

2023 Memorial Day Weekend Sail Plan

Eximus Sailplan Memorial Day Weekend 2023

We're heading down to Billy's point for the Memorial Day Weekend 2023

Our Sailplan

Thursday May 25th 11:00 - 11:30 -- Depart our Dock on the New River Head down to Port Everglades, Turn South and head to Cape Florida Channel then up towards No Name Harbor to anchor overnight west of No Name Harbor

Friday May 26th. 0800-0900 -- Pull Anchor and head towards the ICW then South to Billy's Point (ETA 1500 )

Saturday May 27th - remain at anchor
Sunday May 28th - remain at anchor

Monday May 29th 07:00 - Pull anchor and head North - If weather is good we'll go outside, else we'll go North on the Ditch. Return to our dock by 1900

Crew: Paul & Peggy
Fuel: 35Gallons Diesel
Water: 71 Gallons
Food & Drinks for 7 days.

We'll have a cellphones and should easily be in range for cell coverage.

On the New River or ICW VHF #09

On the Ocean VHF #16

Position Tracking. 

Our InReach tracker and Victron World Locator will be on for the entire weekend.

Our AIS will be on unless we are anchor. 

We're looking forward to a fun sail to Biscayne Bay. 

See you on the Water. 







Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Storage Area Restraints

Restraining the Storage boxes beneath the cabin seats.

The previous owner raised the cabin seating around the table, that created a huge amount of storage. However, the when we're out on the water, all of the boxes that are stored beneath the raised seats come flying out when we heel during heavy weather. My solution: Add two levels of webbing between the seat supports and just buckle them up before heading out. Quick and easy to release them in order to gain access to the boxes which can barely move when strapped in.  We're going to refer to them as Seatbelts! 

I purchased the belts from Amazon, it was cheaper than making them myself from my webbing supplies. 

The picture shows Orange Straps, but the set I purchased were all black 1" wide & 60" long.

All I needed to do was cut them into two pieces and put loops on the cut ends. Then mount Footman Straps to the ends. Wrap the webbing end around the inner leg supports and thread the long end through those loops. All done. The buckles are positioned so that they are easily reached without having to climb under the table. 

I can see a lot more Seatbelts in our future. :)

The Noodles fit nicely :) Peggy was illuminating the area with a flashlight, otherwise it's pretty dark down there. 

This pic shows the storage area lit from above. I can see some LED strip lights under the high level seats in the near future.  With the two levels of strapping, I can store two boxes on on top of the other and neither will slide out when heeled.

This has not only worked out great for securing for Sea, but it also encourages being a bit more tidy.
As we don't have to worry about gear falling out in a seaway, all of the boxes ( mostly tools & spares ) are no longer in the Aft berth - we were actually able to have Crew stay overnight during the Palm Beach Regatta.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

2023 Palm Beach Regatta

Hillsboro Inlet to Lake Worth Regatta

We have sailed in the Palm Beach Regatta for the past few years and it's always a lot of fun even if it did include some not so fun periods on the water.

This year we left our dock at 0920 just after High Tide and the New River bridges all opening after the Rush hour Traffic lockdown in Fort Lauderdale ( 07:30-0900 ) and had an easy navigation down the river and out of Port Everglades on pretty calm waters. We headed offshore to the 3mile line for a pump out and then headed up to Hillsboro Inlet.

Our arrival at the Inlet was about 2hours before low tide, but we still managed to carve a groove in the sand near the edge of the inlet, we should have gone even closer to the Green markers. It was probably the tides during the Flower Full Moon that reduced the water depth.

There were 4knots of water flowing out of the Inlet Bridge, but we pushed through without any issues and headed North on the ICW towards Hillsboro Blvd Bridge, our destination was Lake Boca where the Skippers meeting was being held in a condo picnic facility.

We were going to be racing on Saturday the 6th, that was also King Charles III Coronation in the UK. As a 25 Year Veteran of the British Royal Navy, the same Navy that, then Prince Charles, flew helicopters in 1974, I respect the British Monarchy, in particular Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the 2nd. I was certain that the queen would not abdicate her position and that she would die upon the throne, that was her commitment to the British people when she became queen.  I saw a picture of King Charles holding the Royal Orb while sat on the throne in Westminster Abbey, some thought he was tired, but I am certain he was looking at that Orb and considering the implication of it's history, and previous Monarchs sitting in that same seat holding that same Orb over the past 362 years and the Scepter of the same period have significant meaning, even today when the Royal Family is much less in a position of power. I'm certain that if asked, King Charles would mention the history and symbolism of those historic pieces of Royal jewelry . 

As we would not be able to watch the Coronation, I researched and found that the Official Dish of the Coronation was to be the 'Coronation Quiche', now that is something I could make. I made two. One for the 'Bring something to share' dish for the Skippers party on Friday and the other to be our dinner on Sunday night after our return from Palm Beach.  Must admit, not my favorite Quiche ever.

I couldn't find 'Broad Beans' locally, so I used Lima Beans. It was a bit heavy for me.

After the Skippers Party, Mike Megarity joined us on Eximius as Crew for the Regatta. We had made up the Aft Berth, prior to that it was barely somewhere to crawl in, let alone Sleep comfortably. Mike said it was quite comfy. :)

We set the Alarm for 5:30am in order to have breakfast and hoist the anchor to get to the Camino Real Bridge for 07:20, Then it was back down the ICW past the Hillsboro Inlet Bridge and out of the Hillsboro Inlet, this time at High Tide. We turned out to the East and hoisted the sails, taking the time to roll down the sail bag and stow the Lazy Jacks in order to get the most from our sails.

Our plans came together really well and we crossed the Start line at 10:05:40, less than 40 seconds after the 10:05 Start signal from Lady Gray which was acting as the Start Committee Boat. For us that was HUGE! Last year, Barry on Lady Gray had pulled the start line up and headed North before we even got to the start line, probably 20 minutes after our actual start. So less than 40 seconds was HUGE!

Once over the start line we headed East as best we could hoping to get to the North Flowing Gulf Stream. Our lack of experience in sail handling hit right away and we lost severa; minutes sorting out jammed running rigging when we shook out the single reef that was in place prior to the start.

We put the 1st reef back in later in the morning and screwed that up also. Here's what we did and what we should have done.

To put the reef in, we lowered the main in order to allow us to pull down on the 1st reef Downhaul and the 1st reef Outhaul.  We should have tensioned the Topping lift first. Because we did not, the boom fell down to below the top of the Dodger/Spray hood. so now we could not pull down on the reefing lines. Also the topping lift line dissappeared out of the back of the Line Stopper/Clutch so we could not just put the topping lift line on the winch and hence raise the boom to allow reefing. I had to go forward to the mast and pull on the topping lift while Mike raised the end of the boom, according to the timeline on the Inreach map, it probably took only a couple of minutes, but it felt like about 10 minutes.  Our speed dropped to almost zero except that the gulf stream was taking us North at around 2knots.

Despite our failures/ challenges with the running rigging, we did eventually get towards the finish line. That's when we had a run in with an upset dive boat captain, no names no pack drill as we used to say in the Navy. 
The situation was that while I was at the helm, I spotted a dive boat about a half mile ahead, off our port bow, and turned the boat to make sure we would comply with the 300' minimum closing distance. We were probably 500' and heading well away from the dive boat. That's when the  dive boat started to move towards us, quite quickly. The captain, I presume as she was at the helm of the dive boat, started ranting loudly out of the boat's stbd cabin window, using a variety of very salty language, she demanded that we move away from her divers. Luckily I had Mike with me, he's very fluent in Dive instructors language and requirements. The dive boat captain demanded that we turn to Port which was really weird as the dive boat was originally off to our Port side and if there were divers in the water they would have been well off of our port side also, so turning the boat to port would have taken us directly to where she claimed the divers to be located. I turned further to starboard once we confirmed by looking in that direction that there were no divers float flags off of our starboard bow. She continued to scream at us, announcing that we didn't know who we were messing with. Then she got on the VHF Radio #16 and continued the onslaught of crazy accusations. We continued on our way leaving the dive boat and her crazy skipper well astern.  Later that evening I was advised that some of the other club members that were listening out on #16 heard everything that the crazy lady screamed over the VHF.

We looked up the dive company the next evening and found that some of her prior dive clients had similar experiences of her going ballistic on the boat.   

With the dive boat incident far behind us we continued for about another hour or so towards the Green #3 Marker at the Lake Worth Inlet.

About 10 minutes before we approached the marker, Peggy got my phone ready to take a picture of the mark when we passed it and Mike got his phone ready to take a picture of our Chart Plotter. We counted down the minutes and made sure we were all ready to take that vital shot so that we could report our finish time to Eduardo the Regatta Scoring committee chair.

We were doing really good as we approached the mark.

Once past the mark, we turned into wind in order to drop the main and roll up the Genoa.

Peggy was at the helm as Mike and I went up to the mast, unrolled the Cradle Cover and then, with Mike back in the cockpit, we lowered the main into the bag. Main down, I returned to the cockpit and we furled in the genoa. Then it was back to Peggy to turn us back towards the inlet. It's important to keep an eye out for the buoys guiding the way into the deeper part of the inlet and then the turn into the ICW going South towards the Palm Beach Sailing Club mooring field and the local anchorage. There's a lot of boats there! But we've been there before and know that there are decent spaces available for anchoring between all of the moored vessels.

Time for a break! Mike & I stayed in the cockpit and closed up the cabin entrance to give Peggy some privacy in order she get ready for our dinghy ride to the club house.

The Palm Beach Sailing Club does a great job hosting the Awards party, probably over 50 people were there, some drove up to the party but most were from the racers boats.  Alisa managed the Bar and kept us all in order quickly serving our drinks. The Dinner was substantial, Chicken, Pork, Pasta, and all the bits to go with them. Desserts were awesome! Wish I had gotten a photo but to be honest, I was exhausted and ready to just enjoy the dinner, a couple of drinks and enjoy the music by the live trio. And of course the chats with the other sailors.

Eventually it was RESULTS RESULTS RESULTS! Alex, Commodore of the PBSC and Eduardo, Vice Commodore of the HISC as well as being the racing chair both did a great job of announcing the results. Here's a link. Please note! Eximius came 2nd, Ok, that was 2nd in our class. Oh All Right, it was second out of two in our class. Ok OK OK - we were last! But we still got a trophy for coming in 2nd in our class. I'll take that. Should have the engraved trophy in the next few weeks, I'll put it here

Pic of Trophy goes here

Pic of Trophy goes here

Pic of Trophy goes here

Pic of Trophy goes here

Pic of Trophy goes here

Pic of Trophy goes here

Pic of Trophy goes here

Pic of Trophy goes here

After the party we got a ride back to the boat, Eduardo and Eva were in the same dink and the weather had picked up significantly, those towards the front of the boat were soaked from the wave action.

Back aboard Eximius, Peggy was ready to turn in while Mike & I discussed club business and shared sailing stories, he has plenty about Spruce Goose and his trip with the boat from Amelia Island years ago.

Eventually, the long day won out and we all headed below with the plan to wake up early for the trip back in the morning down the ditch.

I think we all slept well, breakfast was Fried Eggs, Canadian Bacon and Tomatoes along with Skillet Toast with Peanut Butter and Strawberry jam. 

I really like my coffee, especially on the boat. In the past I would make coffee and add creamer, plain and simple, easy and no fancy equipment when on the boat, but at home I would rather have coffee with frothy creamer of oat milk, oh yes! I really like my coffee.
Recently I purchased a Milk Frother that is Rechargeable via a USB connector. It works really well. I have even used it to whisk up eggs for fluffy omelets. It does a great job of frothing oat milk creamer. 

We're growing our list of USB rechargeable gadgets. This goes well with the USB Blender that was the 2022 HISC Cruise Hosts award. 

Ok, after breakfast, we pulled the anchor and turned towards the ICW which was just about 100yds to the west of our anchored position directly east of the PBSC club house.

Oh! nearly forgot. When we returned to the boat on Saturday night, I had left my credit card at the Bar. I reached out to Alex and he was able to retrieve it then bring it to Eximius. Apparently I was not the only one, he delivered another to one of the crew on the Sharyn Leigh. Then we pulled anchor.

Once on the ICW we knew there were a couple of club member boats ahead of us, Cookie Monster, Contrails and Lady Gray. they were close enough to the first bridge to sneak through when the bridge opened early for a towed boat, so they were about a half hour ahead of us.

Continuing down the ICW, we easily made all of the bridges with Eximius hitting 8.45knots at times through the water at 2,250RPM. We reached Lake Park bridge along with Duet, Contrails and a non club member's boat. Each of calling the bridge to request an opening as it is an Opens on Demand bridge. However, the bridge's radio was out of action at that time and it took over 25 mins to reach the tender and he complete the recording of each vessels info including our boat's Height, Length and Beam. That put us another half hour behind Cookie Monster and Lady Gray.

No good deed etc. As Cookie Monster and Lady gray arrived for the opening of the Spanish River Blvd Bridge, the bridge broke in the down position and a gaggle of sailboats were hanging just North of the bridge while we were about an hour away and catching up. The news from the bridge was not good, it had already been locked down for an hour and they were not sure when it would open. Duet was pushing ahead unaware of the issue. We hung back as I really didn't want to be trying to hold station with a dozen other boats by the bridge for goodness knows how long. I advised Duet and Lady gray of my plans and, of course, in 20 more minutes the bridge opened to let a bunch of boat through. 
At that time I figured to arrive at the bridge at it's next 30min opening and we continued at a leisurely pace and the bridge did open on time although only partially. The bridge tender did ask us to confirm that we were ok going through the bridge with the north side spans only partially open. We were good and they opened the South Side spans as we approached. 

It was now a short trip down to the Palmetto Park Blvd Bridge and then into Lake Boca.

By the time we got to the lake, Mike had his gear prepared for going ashore. My plan was to nudge the bow of Eximius into an empty slip, Mike climb onto the dock and then I would back Eximius out between the pilings. 

That's almost what we did. It turned out there was a strong southerly current near the slips. I got the boat bow into the slip without a problem but Mike couldn't get a line to the dock, so not close enough. Eventually we pushed off from the adjacent dock and got the bow to the dock on our port side. 

Mike said his goodbyes and, with Peggy on the bow ready to catch the dock line from Mike, I backed the boat out and the current and wind turned the bow to starboard, Luckily I was able to reverse the boat between the pilings on our port side and once the bow was past those pilings, skoot the boat around to starboard and exit the dock area. All good.

Peggy was able to move us to our planned anchoring spot and I put down 75' of chain near the North East corner of the lake.

Of course, a floating condo with at least 3 floors dropped anchor putting his boat over our anchor. It's not unusual in Lake Boca, we're used to it.

Dinner of salad and Coronation Quiche and we were ready to turn in. I spent a little time clearing my emails then set the alarm for a 5:45 wakey  wakey so that we could get the 7am Camino Real bridge opening which would allow us to get the Hillsboro Blvd 7:30 opening.

The Hillsboro bridge had it's problems and only the East Span would open, that was not the last of the bridge problems.  Another bridge further south had a problem too. The bridge tender advised that there was a RED FLAG Warning  - turned out that the bridge was opening really really, really! slowly, but nothing more than that.

We made all of the bridges except the Sunrise bridge on time. So we dawdled from Oakland Park Bridge down to Sunrise. The rest of the trip was uneventful. Well unless you think that having to do a couple of doughnuts just downstream of Andrews Ave bridge as they had a few minutes delay. This has happened before and I wonder if the bridge tender just wants to watch as we turn our boat in the narrow part of the river dealing with the flow of the river and the wind doing what it does.  But we have done this so often it's a non-event.

Back at the dock, Peggy got us alongside easily and we set too prepping the boat for a couple of days at the dock before we go back down and wash her down.  We got to the dock at 11:08 and were on the road home by 1:45 and that included taking a few minutes for some lunch.

Home, exhausted, unloaded, showered and a quick nap! Then at 5pm I ordered Curry from Jasmine Thai. We watched a few of the youtubers we follow and then the sack called us, I don't remember my head hitting the pillow.

Great weekend, Great Crew, Great Sailing, Great Company, Ready to do it again next year, but maybe stay up there a couple of extra days.

Next trip - Memorial Day Cruise to Biscayne Bay. 

See you on the water.