We were getting antsy in Stuart, FL as the boat had been there since Dec. 1. We both enjoy being on the go yet it was a productive and fun time seeing friends while in Stuart. We left Sunset Bay Tuesday, Jan. 22 amidst fairly strong winds. We dropped anchor in Lake Worth which was quite crowded with sailboats. We were much closer to other boats than we like to be. The following day we felt fairly comfortable that our anchor would hold since it had made it through the night and the winds were still significant.
“On the hook” is a phrase meaning the boat is anchored rather than docked and we love being “on the hook.” After a great stay in Stuart we were anxious to hit the road, well, hit the water, and cruised south to Lake Worth. It was rather crowded and we were closer than we like to the other boats but felt fairly comfortable that our anchor would hold after the first night there with strong winds.
I love sleeping with the windows open. I love to hear the splash of the water against the hull, the sounds of fish flopping and dolphins breathing. I love to hear the close sound of a boat’s air horn blasting a warning at 1:30 a.m…..WHAT??? That’s a nightmare!!! I jumped out of bed faster than you can say “boat crash!” Sure enough, a sailboat’s anchor had drug and was floating right by us. Winds were howling at 33 mph. Luckily the crew on the loose boat was taking control and managed to re-anchor a safe distance from us. We had only been dozing off and on prior to the warning blast due to worries about this exact crisis. Then we didn’t sleep well the rest of the night.
When we awoke the final morning and started to the bring up the anchor it was us that was almost on top of another boat. The chain was knotted in a rope which prevented our boat from rotating with the winds which brought us perilously close to a sailboat. Scott had to dig out the gargantuan multi-purpose giant razor blade on a pole intended to cut lines loose from props. This man is prepared for everything!
Being anchored can be like a snow day, especially in the windy, cool, rainy conditions that we have had. You can’t run errands and going to shore is a bit of work since the dinghy has to be lowered and raised. Typically we do not get TV channels at anchor, therefore, we do yoga, catch up on projects and then PLAY GAMES in the evenings! We have been on an AZUL kick. Azul, a Christmas present, was game of the year in 2018 and we are addicted. Somehow we can play all evening, focus and strategize and still have fun and relax.
After 3 nights on the hook at Lake Worth we traveled 39.6 mi to Lake Santa Barbara anchorage in about 6.5 hours. This extremely slow pace was due to the excessive number of bridges under which we traveled. Most of the bridges had to opened as our air draft (height with the antennas lowered) is 27′. Sometimes they open on “demand” but usually they were timed, ex. on the hour and half hour. Usually we had to mark time waiting for each bridge to open which can be quite difficult. Keeping a boat in one place when wind and currents are pushing it around takes some practice, Scott calls it, “Dancing.” Too bad the bridges can’t be lined up to time in coordination like stop lights on a busy road!
The quantity of bridges, mega-yachts, and McMansions create an unusual segment of the Intra-Coastal Waterway from around Jupiter to Miami. Some of the ginormous homes are on tiny lots and are only about 5′ from the seawalls. Once I was busy admiring a spectacular home and Scott saw a flying sting ray! Dang, was I ever mad at myself for not paying attention to the water!!!
Lake Santa Barbara was a small anchorage in Pompano Beach. It was a nice stay for 2 nights with more beautiful homes providing protection from 3 directions. Yet again, another challenge… the final morning, after the winds had clocked 180* (winds changed in a clock-wise direction) we realized that OUR anchor had drug about 27′.
Luckily, we are “Happy Hookers” as we plan to be mostly “on the hook” in the Bahamas. This will provide us peace, quiet, nature, beautiful views and a few surprises and challenges. Next up…New River Downtown Marina in Ft. Lauderdale.
I am amazed of your bravery and so happy you love these difficult and great adventures! I am so afraid of water and truly appreciate your love of the water and your faith in Scott’s ability and knowledge. You seem to understand all of what is going on and I truly admire you. So happy you are together and are having such great adventures! I love reading what you are doing and where you are! Keep sharing!
Thanks, Rebecca. Actually, I am also somewhat afraid of the water but I do have faith in Scott’s abilities and trust that he will do everything to keep us safe. He is extremely cautious. Everyday is a learning experience for me!
Melissa, i have been loving your blog posts! You keep a great cheerfulness going and yet you also relate all the aspects of how things are. Since I’ve been down that stretch of waterway to Ft Lauderdale (many years ago now), I know what you and Scott mean about having to “dance” around waiting for bridges to open. It is all quite an adventure and not nearly as easy and luxurious as some would think. Very worth doing however!
Keep your wonderful posts coming!!
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