FROM: The Captain –
Conditions: Sunny and hot. Winds calm then SSE 10-15 mph.
Distance traveled: 33.7 nautical miles
Time underway: 4 hours 30 minutes
Average Speed: 7.3 knots
Max Speed: 17.2 knots
Fuel used: 27 gallons
OK. It’s the last time I’ll say it finally feels like we’re in Florida. But today was really THE day. We awoke to a sunny and hot Florida morning with some light dew on the deck (so much better than snow) and it even smelled like Florida (in the best possible way). We wanted our departure from Vero Beach to be as leisurely as possible as our short run to Stuart would have us arriving at dead-low tide if we left by around 8am. As 8:30 was approaching we were informed that some boats needed to come in for fuel and since we were taking up nearly the entire fuel dock we quickly did our departure routine and were off the docks at 8:40.
Once we were away we just took it easy, barely breaking 10 knots for most of the ride, not complaining at all when we had to slow down for sailboats and the occasional dumbass on a tiny boat anchored and fishing right in the channel (please don’t do that).
We arrived at “The Crossroads” about an hour after dead-low tide. It is so named because this is one of the rare spots on the waterway where you are presented with several choices of great impact. In this case, you can continue south on the ICW to the Palm Beaches, Miami and beyond, head east to exit the St. Lucie Inlet – next stop the Bahamas, or turn to the west to head towards Lake Okeechobee and Florida’s Gulf Coast. We turned west as at long last we were able to schedule the installation of our new davit at a terrific service yard in Stuart.
Rules Of The Road: When two power driven boats are approaching at right angles or nearly so, and risk of collision exists, the boat on the right is the stand-on vessel and must hold its course and speed. The other boat, the give-way vessel, shall maneuver to keep clear of the stand-on vessel and shall pass it by its stern. As the approaching Hatteras clearly disregarded this rule and did not respond to my VHF radio hail seeking to learn their intentions, I took appropriate measures to avoid a collision as that is the ultimate responsibility of a Captain regardless of who is right or wrong. As the other Captain proved, just because someone is behind the helm of a big boat doesn’t mean they have any idea what they’re doing (or just don’t care).
This is a real boating center and every kind of service is available. Fortunately, the yard’s schedule worked perfectly with our arrival to the area so we will hole up here while that job and a few other projects get knocked out. Plus we get to catch up on life and finally use our dinghy to do some warm weather exploring, sure to include the requisite evaluation of several waterfront tiki bars and restaurants.
We’ll be back on the move soon enough – see you out there!
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