11th Jan -24th Feb 2013 - Florida Part 1

Sun 24 Feb 2013 16:39
After 2 days and 203nm, we arrived in St Augustine, Florida and were relieved to feel warm air flowing all around us!  We made our way under the spectacular Bridge of Lions and then onto a designated mooring ball (no’ 20 ‘ $20 per night).
We had passed through St Augustine on our way north in 2012,  when Michael was hobbling around with a stick and in a lot of hip pain!  This time, despite some ‘bittersweet’ memories, we were able to walk around and enjoy this lovely ‘historic’ city, visiting many of the sites we had missed first time around.
Kenny and Sarah were up river in the Hunter yard, where Windward Passage was undergoing some repairs, so we made arrangements to meet up with them on most days to explore many of the sites together.
Enjoying the best pizza in St. Augustine
Kenny & Sarah, were keen to take us to this attraction in St Augustine. Don’t know why, as we didn’t feel any younger!
St. Augustine also saw our initiation into American Football.  Kenny and Bill off Windward Passage were keen New England Patriot fans and wanted to watch them play in the Superbowl playoff’s. Not really understanding the rules of the game ourselves and haven taken no real prior interest, we were keen to appreciate the game a little more.  So with Kenny and Bill’s  ‘expert’ knowledge, the rules were explained and our questions answered and it wasn’t long before we were ‘routing’ for them too!  Believe it or not, it’s a very rough game, with considerable injuries and so we can now appreciate why the players wear lots of protective gear.  It’s not because they are ‘whimps’, although you still can’t beat our ‘rufty tufty’  Rugby boys!
We eventually departed St Augustine for another 200+nm sail to West Palm Beach, which involved another overnighter, which we always try to avoid if possible, as we find it difficult to get into a ‘watch’ routine.  After a relatively uneventful sail we knew we would be nearing the entrance to West Palm Beach in the dark and were in two minds as to whether we should try and find a spot in the anchorage in the dark or ‘heave to’ outside and wait for daylight.  We eventually decided on the former and although it was a relatively easy entrance, we had a following tide and it was pitch black, so we had little chance to digest all our surroundings.  Within a few minutes of entering, we turned into wind, dropped the mainsail and then made our way into the anchorage.  We could see that it was already full and we had to be careful not to anchor in the prohibited turning circle, which the larger tankers and cruise ships use.  We eventually found a suitable spot and when Michael went to drop the anchor, the new anchor winch decided to play up and it was difficult getting the anchor chain to release.  It seemed and probably was, a couple of hours before we were finally settled in for the night.
The following morning we got up early to move to a preferred anchorage 5nm up the ICW in Lake Worth.  Once we lifted the anchor we made our way past JFK’s bunker and passed beneath the Riviera Beach Bridge, up a narrow channel and into Lake Worth.   This looked a great anchorage, but again the chain seemed to ‘stick’ and it turned out the chain links were actually 2mm smaller than they should have been and as a consequence the links ‘jumped’ and jammed about every 2 meters.  With  the chain only working 95% of the time, we could not risk continuing like this, especially if we needed to deploy it in an emergency.   We originally thought we would spend a couple of days here, but it turned out to be a couple of weeks, as we decided to renew all our anchor chain.  After a few visits to West Marine, we ordered 330ft of new chain and decided it would be prudent to spend a few nights in Old Hope Cove Marina to facilitate getting the new purchase delivered and on board.  Old Hope Cove had lovely brand new facilities and only $1.37 a foot with Boat US discount!  In the marina next to Old Port Cove, Tiger Wood’s super yacht, Privacy was moored.
We never did spot Tiger Woods on board?