Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bridges, bridges, bridges

But NOT over troubled waters

Flagler Memorial Bridge, Palm Beach
After a not so restful night hard aground a few nights ago (see below), we had more stressful hours, trying to time bridge arrivals. South of Lake Worth, bridges need to open every few miles, some on demand, but most on an hour and half-hour schedule. The photo shows the prettiest one so far, the Flagler Memorial Bridge in Palm Beach. Two French guys on that catamaran were language-challenged when it came to hailing bridge tenders. Listening to them on the radio got to be quite funny.

If you miss an opening, you need to circle around at snail pace, sometimes in a strong current, to wait for the next opening. So there’s a bit of self-induced pressure to get there in time. We found some mighty friendly and understanding Florida bridge tenders (probably some irate drivers on the bridges!) who kept their bridges open for the “caboose” boat which was usually us. Hunter 36s are a tad underpowered, so we’re usually the slow boat on the waterway.

After 9 bridge openings, we pulled into Delray Harbor Club Marina to relax. We decided to stay here for two nights since this marina offered shelter from the ICW wakes, clean showers, and close proximity to restaurants, movies, grocery, etc. Finally got to see “Up in the Air” and get my regular “George Clooney fix.”


A "Got Rocks" home
Now we know why most cruisers go “outside” in the Atlantic on their way south to Fort Lauderdale, Bahamas, and points south. However, in missing all these bridge openings, they miss some amazing mega-homes, mega-boats, and sights around Palm Beach, Delray, Boca Raton, Pompano, etc. Many have yard sculptures that vary from classical statues to modern bronzes of quasi-mermaids.

After a short day today (only 4 hours on the ICW, but 7 more bridge openings), we’re anchored right now in Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano. It’s a dandy little anchorage with shelter from today’s 20+ knot south winds. I think white caps on the ICW are rare, but I can’t imagine what the ocean must look like today.

Some crummy weather is coming tomorrow and wind direction will not be favorable to us going “outside” from Fort Lauderdale to Biscayne Bay south of Miami. So we plan to arrive in Fort Lauderdale tomorrow and stay for a few days, waiting for a good “weather window.” But we can’t complain since our friends and neighbors in Williamsburg are experiencing a major snow storm with up to 14 inches accumulation predicted.

1 comment:

  1. You guys must be getting good at waiting for bridges! Glad to hear you're back sailing again. We had a horrible rolly night a few days ago. I would have taken the solid 15 degree list!