Saturday, March 31, 2007

Indian Cove to Pine Island, FL

43.6 nm
Wind: SE 10-15 knots
Seas: moderate chop
Maximum speed: 7.8 knots (because of wake)
Average speed: 4.6 knots
Latitude: 27°43.30’N
Longitude: 080°23.93’W

It was a very eventful day. For one thing, we went more than forty miles. Karl’s complaining about sunstroke, but if we go less than that tomorrow we’ll be in St. Lucie, with the computer! Very exciting.

Our other major event was almost being boarded by a Brevard County waterborne Sheriff. He didn’t actually board us, but gave us an inspection and asked for our documentation. We passed almost everything with flying colors, except I couldn’t find our Coast Guard documentation! I had put it in a very easily accessible place when we left Marion, the top drawer, but five months of cruising later it had been shoved to the back corner and forgotten. Luckily I remembered where it was at the last minute and we were able to prove our legality. Still, it was a little nerve-wracking--our first brush with the law!

We’re having some challenges because of our lack of charts, too. We’re used to depending on our electronic charts, and we took the bargain basement route when it came to paper charts. Instead of buying the full-fledged chartkit (for a cool $150) or even the entire ICW chartbook (for $65) we wen the with the Florida Waterway Guide at $40, figuring it had enough chartlets in it to keep us on track. Well, it has a lot more gaps than expected, mainly at all the good anchorages, though every marina is dutifully mapped. So we’re at our first completely uncharted anchorage tonight. We had to sneak our way in between two trawlers, peering at the depthsounder and praying that Skipper Bob knew his stuff. Sailing without charts is freaky--like flying blind. Especially when the channel’s barely eight feet deep, four foot on either side, and there’s no tidal drop to float you free. Anyway, one more day of this, and then we’ll be back to normal. Charts! GPS! Computer! I can’t wait.

It was a beautiful day of motoring, though it was frustrating watching all these boats drift by under sail. There’s no way we can sail without charts, not to mention our missing block, and I miss it desperately. It’s great watching all the pleasureboaters out on their boats for the weekend, though some of them throw a lot of wake. Today we saw entire families of four on jetskis, sailboats with their sails still up beached on little islands with their captains casting lines into the surf, campsites set up on tiny beaches with kids running around gathering firewood. We wanted to anchor off one of the little spoil islands, so called because they’re made from the sand dredged out of the channel, but they were way too shallow. We found another deserted anchorage tonight, though, in a little cove with just those two trawlers, hidden behind a wooded island. I can just see the evening star poking through the companionway, and smell the night breeze off the water.

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