West Palm Beach


April 24th

Back out early again, figured I can get to Miami a week earlier than planned and have Hiam come stay. So now I have motivation to not dawdle. While leaving the Amelia River I had a call and thought who would be calling me that early? Checked it while I was in the inlet and it was Carl, Doh! We talked but it was just too late to be getting together at that point.

Winds were westerly for both the day and night, I think I covered 125 NM that day. I even reefed at night. No more bouncy nights for me anymore. Reef early!

April 25th

Weather forecast for the day said light winds and changeable. They were right. A miserable day chasing wind. Wind dropped right in front of Cape Canaveral and the shoals there. I abandoned my pan to sail through them and went around. A much longer route but but better than being a cork bobbing over shoals. Still the nights sailing was great, westerlies again. During a wind change these back flies would descend on the boat in the scores. Its like they were knackered and just wanted a place to stay. During one lull a small bird land in the crook of my arm. It was blue over black and it stayed for 5 minutes then moved up me to stand on my shoulder. After that it took up residence in the cabin, flying around and perching on the fishing pole, the dirty dishes, basically like he owned the place. Even flew back into the cockpit to land on my knee at one point. I never did see it leave.

Also saw a shark in the water by Cape Canaveral, he was just swimming lazily beside the boat while it went nowhere.

April 26th

The lying bastards at NOAA got it wrong again late in the day today, "southwest winds at 15-20 knots", no problem! "oh our bad we meant southeast". Took me forever getting the last 18 miles to Palm Beach done. Got the anchor down a little after 6. Didn't see the point in chasing marinas at that time of day. Ate the 2nd tuna steak with broccoli and a glass of wine. A good day in the neighborhood. A neighborhood which boasts some swanky waterfront houses with literally immense boats sitting out front, one looked rather like a destroyer. The houses are quite pretty but they look out over the water to the port and power station. Well at least the power plant has a nice view.

I did see flying fish for the first time. Those little suckers really do fly. They just all broke from the water and went 20 yards away from the boat like a flock of birds.

April 27th

Moved to Riviera Beach marina. Nice people. I got cleaned up, did laundry but before I got my clothes dried. It rained, and rained real hard. Spent the next hour in the boat, reading and killing time. Then it slacked off and I filled water tanks and went to fetch my clean and dry clothes. And then it rained, rained hard, and rained some more. So there I sat, at the laundry, no glasses, no phone, no money, while it rained and rained a torrential rain. Much later that evening when it eased up I made my first journey to Home Depot (I was installing the drinking water filter and faucet). Got my hoses, and connectors I'm good to go.

April 28th

Made my second trip to home depot, followed shortly afterwards by my 3rd when I cut the main faucet hose only to discover it was half inch pipe not the 5/8" I'd worked on the day before (deck wash connections). Still, managed to get it all connected OK. Shame there's no actual filter part since the housing didn't come with one and the 4 spares I had didn't fit this particular housing. Shit! Well at least its not leaking.

Got my first chance to eat out tonight. Had a couple of Guinness on tap and portabello mushroom burger with sweet potato fries (yes!) at the bar at the marina. Service absolutely sucked but I've cooked and done the dishes afterwards for every meal since Wilmington so it made me quite giddily happy.



The hitch-hiker

A ready made perch

Lunch the next day

That damn hitchhiker again