December 31, 2014 11:04 UTC 6:04 AM EST
Melbourne, FL “The Space Coast” - Intracostal Waterway
N 28 07.635 W 080 36.793 - At anchor
With the long nights and the short days I tend to go to bed early and wake up early. Yesterday was a long motor up the Intracostal from Ft. Pierce to Melbourne. About half the trip was twists and turns in a sheltered channel. The rest was across open sounds. With the wind hitting 20 knots in my face in the sounds it wasn’t much fun. At least the channel was blissfully deep and there was only one bridge opening (in Ft Pierce) along the way. There were quite a few dolphins. But none as spectacular as the two who did the “dolphin show jump” 10 feet out of the water on my way into Ft. Pierce. Usually one sees their backs as they sound.
This section of the ICW was new to me. I passed some beautiful homes in the Vero Beach section. I also saw the blight of the land: a couple of hundred McMansions. The homes are beautiful. If they razed 9 out of 10 of them and restored the land around them they would be impressive. As it is I think they look stupid. Who wants to pay millions for a home and listen to your neighbor flush the toilet?
Along the sounds there are numerous islands. They seemed a great place to explore and so they were. I saw many small powerboats pulled up along their shorelines and people sunning or having a cookout on the islands. One might expect bugs to be a problem. The vegetation is quite dense. With yesterdays wind and the open beaches I am sure people found places to be without being eaten alive.
I had to deal with lots of boat traffic today. Unlike further up the ICW this was mostly local traffic. There were a lot of sport fishing boats buzzing around. Also groups of people on large pontoon boats. There were a few “gin palaces” and four sailboats passed me heading south - and international community: US,. UK, German and French! What also set this section apart is no one slows down. There is no “can I make a slow pass on your port side?” They just come by at speed and wake the heck out of you. XO was annoyed. So was I.
After I set the anchor (in mud, tomorrow morning is going to be messy) I went down to make dinner. I heard a heavy engine and went up into the cockpit. A tug was pushing a large barge up the ICW. I wondered where he was going and where he came from. More interesting, I wondered if he waited until after dark so that he would not have to contend with all the small boats even though he would have the absolute right of way..
I am back in cell phone range. That is a good thing. I am so close to my land based radio support people that I can’t contact them by radio. I had a long talk with Ed (Hooligan.) We were originally to head for Panama at the same time. It turns out that he had as miserable a month as me. He changed his fuel filters 6 times and still had the engine quit at a vital moment. He spend 2 hours aground with the boat pounding. He will haul in a week or so to find any damage.
Fair winds and following seas J
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