We’ve spent nearly a month at the Vero Beach City Marina Docks, (We needed the access to AC power for air conditioning.) and so now we feel ready to head out. We’ve not been traveling by boat for five months. We’re anxious to begin traveling once again. September in south Florida can be pretty hot and humid. In fact, this is the rainiest month down here. Then, of course, September is the peak of hurricane season also. In spite of all that, we’re ready to move.
We’ve provisioned as much as we need for a relatively short trip (about 225 miles at 7 mph). We’ve also completed a few boat repairs including bimini repair, VHF radio rewiring, and moving the fluxgate compass to a better position so our auto pilot might function better. Sandra has made a few pillows and added other touches to the interior. Of course she also has been busy making baskets as well as knitting an afghan for one the grandchildren. Meanwhile I’ve added spare parts we may need along the way.
Sandra’s latest creation
Because we find that so many of the aspects of travel by boat are easily forgotten after several months, we decided to run the boat down to Ft. Pierce and back. We could check on many of the systems while also reminding ourselves of a few of the aspects important to safe travel.
We learned the value of such an effort the hard way a couple of years ago. Let me begin with a bit background info for those reading this who are not boaters. The Coast Guard puts out navigational aids to define the boundaries of channels. They are red or green. If you are coming in from the ocean, the reds will be on the right and the greens on the left. The markers defining the channel coming in to this Marina follow that arrangement. However, the markers on the ICW do not follow the same system. When heading south, the reds are on the right and the greens are on the left. So when one leaves the marina and turns onto the ICW, the markers switch sides.
These are examples of the navigational markers.
Now to my story. Two years ago I left the marina, having been off the boat for months, and didn’t give thought to this change. At the first red marker on the ICW, I kept it on my left as I had in the marina channel and steered out of the channel and went hard aground.
So now we both review as much as possible before heading out to help us avoid issues early in our travel.
The run down to Ft. Pierce and back provided us with the chance to get our heads back into proper thinking for boat travel. We didn’t run aground or do anything else as foolish. The boat’s systems worked well.
As I write this we are heading out. This will be a short day due to the possible daily thunderstorms and weekend traffic on the ICW. (It’s really a bit crazy on the water in south Florida on the weekends.). So my next entry should be a progress report of our travel. Until then…
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