Sunday, December 13, 2009

From the top to the (near) bottom

I left Jacksonville in the company of Gypsysails and headed for Ft. Pierce.  We went outside with a following strong wind and seas.  We arrived at Ft. Pierce after dark and anchored just off the main channel in the inlet.  Both Gypsy and I have to go back to “stow for sea” school, we had stuff sliding all over the cabins of both boats!


First story:  I could not get my anchor up to move the boat.  Reboot had sailed around the anchor chain during the night and wrapped the anchor rode around the keel.  After several fruitless hours of waiting for the tide and wind to change I finally called Towboat US.  (Thankfully I have Towboat insurance so it was covered.)  It only took a couple of laps around Reboot by the towboat and then I was able to raise the anchor.  Off I went to join Maury and Ginger at Harbortown Marina for the night.  We decided to take a night in a marina so that we could go to the local West Marine and the food store.  Both were a short walk.  Interesting coincidence, after I called Towboat the local coast guard RIB stopped by and asked me if I was OK.  I explained that the anchor rode was wrapped but that Towboat was on the way.  They were very friendly but during the conversation Towboat arrived so they wished me good sailing and were on their way.  The Towboat skipper told me that 90% of his calls were for the location I was in. Apparently the winds, currents, and tides tend to get a lot of boats wrapped around their anchor rodes.


Second story:  I wrote a few days ago about my wonderful experience at The Marina at Ortega Landing.  Today I was brought back to earth.  Harbortown charges the same slip fees as Ortega; since they are both in North Florida I consider them in the same market.  But the amenities and experience are like night and day.


First, the slips are serviced by narrow finger piers.  They are so short that I am climbing over the bow of my boat to get on and off and so narrow I throw things off the bow to the dock rather than trying to carry them down the pier.  Second, they did not have a slip with the proper power.  Fortunately I had the ($250) adapter I needed to hook Reboot up.  Power, of course, is an extra daily charge.  Who goes into a marina and doesn’t plug in?  Then of course there was the Internet.  That is, of course, an extra charge.  How about cable TV? Sure, but only the most basic cable – essentially the local broadcast stations and a couple of other channels.  No pool, no hot tub. 


Credit however, where due, the dockhand was most helpful getting Reboot settled in.


This will not be on my list of repeat marinas.


Third story:  Last night was the Christmas Parade of Boats.  Each boat came down the inlet to the marina and passed by the fuel dock.  The decorating on some of the boats was simply amazing.  Some people had invested many hours in lights and music.  It was great fun.


Plans:  After several days of North winds the wind has shifted to the South for the next few days.  This would be great if I wanted to go to the Bahamas.  Since I am headed for the Keys the wind is now in my face.  This is not good for sailboats.  I will most likely truck on down the Intracostal for a bit until I reach Miami.  I have to go outside at that point since someone in their great wisdom built the Julia Tuttle Causeway Bridge at only 56 feet (fixed.)  It is the only bridge with less then 65 foot clearance on the entire 1200 miles of the ICW.  Does Julia Tuttle know that every ICW sailor curses her name?



  1. Julia Tuttle was a numerate DYSLEXIC.

  2. I am sooooo slow. It took me 5 minutes to get it. LOL