Day 12 - Cape Canaveral Florida
Phil, Di and Annelise
Wed 22 Feb 2017 18:50
A windy night it was - but both anchors held well. However, dawn broke with "a-gusto" - literally. Strong winds and dark clouds - this was going to be a wet day! Discussion over a cup of tea whether to motor on south through Sebastian and risk running aground, not being able to see the navigation bouys in the rain or head swiftly back up the ICW for some shelter? With the forecast for stronger winds and rain tomorrow as well, staying put didn't seem like an option. North we went, back along our previous days route in a channel we knew had some depth - and a good job as well - the clouds got darker, then rain whipped across the decks horizontally and winds blew over 25 knots (in the ICW) - thankfully only small waves to contend with, but at times near zero visibility. Our empty hot chocolate cups left out on the cockpit table were half full of rain water within a couple of hours - it poured down! We got soaked!
It wasn't long before we were back at Cocoa Village - engine idling running under bare poles we had made a good 4-5 knots north! A call to the marina - yes they could squeeze us in - just a short channel to the marina and the thought of drying out...but, aground, not once but twice - we couldn't get to the last channel marker - the marina was only 50ft away, the dockhands we watching and offering helpful advice, but not good we couldn't make it in and no chance to turn round - so, a swift reverse all the way back out and carry on north and back through the lock to Cape Canaveral. No doubt now - we would be sailing to Fort Pierce out at sea!!
A highlight of the day - in the relative calm of the Merritt Island canal - we spotted a Roseate Spoonbill (initially mistaken as a Pink Flamingo as it flew in to land but then clearly identified as a Spoonbill once landed). Unfortunately, not quick enough to snap a picture but one to tick on the bird-spotting guide of "Everglades Wildlife"!
Given the Cocoa Village dockhands comments that "the water level was particularly low in the ICW at present (!!)" we doubt we would have ever made it through Sebastian anyway...! So a tired and very wet crew on board Magic Friday gratefully tied up in Cape Marina (they gave us an end "T-dock" tie to simplify coming in due to the winds and visibility) we started to dry out!
Whilst we enjoyed the Canaveral canal, the trip down to Melbourne and meeting friends in Cocoa Village - we had had enough of the ICW shallow depths and 65ft bridge clearances for one season!!
Phil and Di