Underway to Palm Beach, Florida

December 5th-7th, 2020

We decided to make the run from St. Augustine to Palm Beach in 2 hops.  We left Saturday the 5th, on a chilly morning, with a light wind out of the north.  As the sun rose it warmed up nicely but still little wind, so we motor sailed to try to get to Cape Canaveral with time to get some sleep.  A Sandwich Tern landed on Renegade just as the sun set and he stayed with us through out the night and left us a little something to reflect how he thought of our cruise service.

The plan was to tie up to the fuel dock at Ocean Club marina late at night, sleep there, and then get fuel and leave first thing in the AM.  We know Port Canaveral and the Ocean Club marina well from keeping Renegade there for the 2018-19 winter.  I was anxious about docking late at night with nobody to catch lines on the dock, but I knew the dock well and I planned all my moves ahead of time, getting fenders out, rehearsing lassoing a cleat, etc.  Then, when we finally get there, there was a 100 foot motor boat taking up the whole dock!  Arggh!  We had to search for another place to go and found a fuel dock at another marina with space, but of course, this dock is cross wise to the current, and all the lines and fenders need to be on the opposite side!  So much for being well prepared.  Luckily, Jeff is great at maneuvering Renegade, and he tucked us right in there, so I was able to jump down on the dock and get the stern tied off.  He then bow-thrustered the nose in, giving him time to pop out of the cockpit and tie off the bow.  We looked like professionals,  I’m sure, and I wish I had video of that.  First time I ever wished I was a YouTuber, lol.  However, it was 2AM and the fuel dock opens at 7am, so not much time for sleeping.  I was excited to get going again, so I was up early all eager running around filling water tanks.  Jeff got up and we worked together on the diesel, but he was NOT HAPPY with me.  A) I was too cheerful, and B) the fuel guy was very slow to take care of us and Jeff thought he could easily have slept another hour and no one would have cared.  I guess he was right…

It was nice and warm and sunny on Sunday leaving Port Canaveral, but the wind had absolutely given up the ghost.  We didn’t even bother to put out the sails.    Neither of us were thrilled about being a motor boat, but at least we were able to just go in a straight line and not zig zag back and forth.  We did have 4-5 dolphin join us for a few minutes which was great.  Any day with dolphins is a great day no matter what else happens!

We got to Palm Beach a little earlier than expected and came in the Lake Worth inlet at the top of Palm Beach Island at about midnight.  It’s a big shipping channel which is dredged very deep, so we weren’t worried about coming in in the dark, especially because it was slack tide.  The tide can be VERY strong in the all these Florida inlets, so you should never take it for granted.  We had been dodging showers successfully most of the night, but as soon as we turned in the sprinkles started.  We were worried about visibility, but there was so much light reflecting off the clouds, it was almost like day light. 

Zach, the guy who got us a mooring, had given us GPS coordinates and good directions on how to stay out of the shallow areas of Lake Worth, so we found the ball easily, and it had good solid ground tackle.  As I went out to the bow to tie us up, the skies opened up.  I had my foulie jacket on, but I was wishing we’d gotten in 10 min earlier!  It was warm rain though, and cleaned the salt (and some lingering St. Augustine pelican poo!) off the boat.  We were both elated to be here in Palm Beach, in the warmth, waiting for family to arrive for Christmas.  We slept quite well starting at about 1AM Monday morning.