After hanging out at Old Port Cove marina in Palm Beach Gardens for several more days, we finally got the important repairs completed and decided to head back to our marina on February 4th. Palm Beach is lovely, but we were anxious to get back to our home base.
After checking the weather and planning the route, we decided to do a one day run “on the outside” – in the open Atlantic, skirting the Gulf Stream up the coast. Winds were with us (Southeast) and the current runs north, we estimated we could make the trip in less than 10 hours.
We got up early, and left before 7:00, just after sunrise. The journey to Lake Worth inlet was quiet and beautiful.
Exiting the inlet was “exciting” as Kathleen “missed” the AIS target for a freighter being towed into the inlet by a tug boat (It seems impossible to miss these behemoths, but this is the second time at this inlet that somehow a large freighter was missed – need to get better at this!). Neil handled our boat well, and the pilot boat captain gave us the go ahead to cruise out as the freighter was coming in. Once out on the open water, the water was smooth – very light winds, very little waves.
We cruised up the coast, traveling between 8-10 knots. Dolphins came to swim with us, and we saw tarpons, large, slim fish about three feet long, jumping and spinning in the waters. There were lots of folks out fishing, as the day was beautiful.
Other than a leaking watermaker raw water strainer in the engine room (another repair project opportunity for Neil) the trip was uneventful.
We came in through the Ft. Pierce inlet, navigating bridge opening requests and passes with increasing comfort. We cruised our way up the ICW to our home marina, arriving an hour ahead of time. Slip neighbors came out to greet us and help us tie up. Although we still had some items to attend to for the boat (i.e. an elusive new swim ladder for one), it was very good to be back.