Sunday, November 10, 2013
Wind and Bridges
We had a windy night at anchor. While we were protected from the worse of the chop, the wind whistled through the rigging. To make my lovely wife happy, I set a second anchor. Overkill, but what the heck.
The next morning we followed the locals through the narrow channel. Florida is full of big bays with huge shallow areas throughout. Shallow draft boats are just the thing for coastal cruising here. The dog needed a break so we stopped at a boat landing that wasn't very busy. Once the dog did her thing, we moved a short way off shore and anchored. The dog was set, but us humans needed coffee and I can't make it on a moving boat.
Traveling in the ICW, on a sailboat, requires a lot of bridge opening. Most of the time it went fine. In fact, often we'd sail through without even starting the motor. Some bridges open only on a set schedule. Those are a pain. I spent 20 minutes trying to hold position against contrary wind and current. All the while power boats are scooting under the bridge and crowding me out. Glad the wait wasn't any longer.
Conditions were a bit harsh, so we decided to spend the night at the Gulf Port Municipal Marina. That's where we are now. I'm making use of shore power to recharge everything from the computers to my electric toothbrush. We met some nice folks here and checked out some more boats. That's always fun.
On the way in we anchored off of the town beach and paddled the kayak into town. It's working out very well as a dingy for us. My lovely wife, the dog, a bunch of gear and myself all fit in. Getting in and out of the boat in choppy conditions wasn't too hard. Better yet, it wasn't too wet. The kayak tows well behind the sailboat.
If conditions are right we hope to cross Tampa Bay tomorrow. It's a open and busy stretch of water, so we will pick our time.
Still having fun.