Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mom Said There'd Be Days Like This

Last night we anchored in Palm Beach, a common jumping off place for the Bahamas. Unfortunately, we aren't Bahamas bound but are making our way to the Miami Boat Show. In the past we've gone offshore here to avoid the many ICW bridges but the weather was too rough so we decided to go inside. There were 18 bridges we needed to go under, most required an opening and most had restricted schedules -- opening on the hour and half hour, or quarter hours.  It's a tedious process trying to time each opening.

Fortunately, with our antennas down there are several bridges we can slip under without an opening. So this morning we put them down, pulled anchor, and headed to the first bridge. Coming out of the anchorage and onto the ICW we encountered Kathleen Windridge, a large 142 foot yacht with a professional captain who was heading home to Ft. Lauderdale. He suggested we slide in behind him as he had each bridge timed from his many trips through. We did just that and spent a much less tedious day speeding up and slowing down along with Kathleen Windridge and hitting each opening perfectly.

We had picked out an new anchorage from ActiveCaptain, Sunrise Bay, which looked interesting but small so we also made a reservation for Las Olas Docks in case the anchorage didn't work out.

Kathleen Windridge turned into her homeport just before we approached our last bridge before the anchorage. We thanked the captain and headed on our way. The anchorage was empty but a bit more shallow than we thought so we decided to just go ahead to Las Olas and enjoy a night at the dock. There was one last bridge which we could pass under with the antennas down and we were there. We received our slip assignment and almost forgot to put the antennas back up which might have hit a piling or boat as they stick out somewhat when down.

As we made our approach Jeff felt the wind and current weren't right. "It just doesn't feel right," he said, "I'd rather go back to the anchorage."  Rule number one, if it doesn't feel right we don't do it. So we turned back to the anchorage. As we passed back under the Sunrise Boulevard Bridge I heard an awful noise. Jeff looked at me quizzically. What the --- was that?  Then it dawned on me. The antennas! We'd forgotten to put them back down!

We pulled into the anchorage and went up to assess the damage. The shorter one was fine while the longer one broke clean at the highest joint. Some fiberglass cleaner to get the bridge paint off the top antenna piece and Jeff's fiberglass skills on the joint and you'd never know. Now what to use to fix our damaged pride.....

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