Showing posts with label Boating. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boating. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Back to the Water

Setting Out on a Sunny Day
Tequesta, FL
March 26, 2024

 It was a boating day, albeit short.

The winds were stiff and the water a choppy when we departed the dock about 1 PM and so we turned an expected long boating day into a short tour. It did not even make the "three-hour tour" of Gilligan's Island fame.

We had fun showing Luke around and especially passing under the US 1 bridge construction. The project seems to be on time as the first road beams were installed from the south abutment before the end of March which is right on schedule. 

The wind was definitely strong and there was a chop. We decided against some beach time, opting instead to return home and enjoy the remainder afternoon. 

I do note that the post-boating docking went very well in a stiff wind and current. The dockhand indicated that we did the best of anyone all day.

Did I say, I had fun? I almost always enjoy myself when we are on the water. I also enjoy going to beaches that are inaccessible from land. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Motoring the Intracoastal (ICW)

On the ICW Near Hobe Sound
March 15, 2024

 Taking advantage of the incredibly great weather, yesterday was a day for motoring the ICW with friends. 

During the morning hours the water was calm, but by afternoon there was a moderate chop on the St Lucie River which made the ride back to the marina a bit sporty. Fortunately, I was able to get in behind a much larger boat and enjoy the relatively calm waters in its wake. 

Chris and Carola
Jupiter Island, Stuart, FL
March 15, 2024
I took our friends on a tour of the ICW from the St Lucie River Inlet down to Jupiter Sound to look at both the natural beauty and the expensive homesteads along the waterway. After motoring for about an hour or so, we headed to my formerly favorite beach, anchoring our trusty boat along the eastern shore of Peck Lake and walking about 100 yards to the ocean on the Atlantic side of Jupiter Island. I say formerly because the beach is usually deserted, but yesterday it was actually crowded. The beach is best accessed by boat and while we were one of three boats anchored on the ICW side of the island when we arrived, by the time we departed a few hours later there must have been easily 12 boats anchored on the beach--and the ones next to me were closer than cars in a parking lot. It was a mess and I was fortunate to have some experienced help to get away from the island without incident.

Michael Preparing the Lines
Manatee Pocket, FL
March 15, 2024
As it was a beautiful day, I decided to head up the St Lucie River with a tour to the north. The wind came up as we motored north and the water developed a moderate chop, which with the wind caused some spray occasionally across the boa. The situation became worse as I headed south into the wind. This is where I was lucky to fall in behind the larger boat as we headed back to the marina.

The waters smoothed as we entered Manatee Pocket where the marina is located. About 6 hours after we set out, we returned to the dock and unloaded after a really great day on the water. Michael and Carola were a great help. 

I had been excited about taking out one of the newest boats in the fleet, Capt Crunch. I had been looking forward to motoring about in the boat since it arrived, but was a bit disappointed. The boat did not have the electronic throttle to which I have become accustomed and the throttle assembly was loose, meaning I had to keep a hand on the throttle while we were on plane and cruising. That can be really hard when crossing a wake and in the moderate chop we experienced on the St Lucie River. It is possible that we were the first members to take the boat out, which was cool. 

All-in-all, another great day on the water. Warm temperatures moderated by a pleasantly cool breeze made for a very enjoyable day.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, February 16, 2024

Along the Intracoastal (ICW)

Honey Fitz former Presidential Yacht
Jupiter, FL
February 13, 2024

 During our boat trip on Tuesday, we spied many interesting things along the ICW on our way south to Jupiter and return. 

One of them was the Honey Fitz, the former Presidential Yacht. It had moved from its previous location in Tequesta into the Jupiter inlet and was docked outside of the Pelican Club. The Pelican Club is where President Biden had his fundraising lunch about two weeks ago. Because the location was not published in advance and we could not gather outside the club to see and wish him well. 

Sea Bean coming out of the Barn
Port Salerno, FL
February 13, 2024
During our journey, Chris and I were able to point out many of the important sights along the way. The Jupiter Lighthouse, of course, was one. But we also traversed the US-1 bridge construction area which is a bit congested.


Beach Road Drawbridge
Jupiter, FL
February 13, 2024
They were able to see how a boat comes out of the barn at the marina and is set in the water and prepared for us. I just think it is so cool to see my boat being transported to the water and readied. 

We were also able to show them the drawbridges along the way. During our trip we passed under three drawbridges, one of them actually was opening as we transited. Of course the US-1 bridge construction will be the fourth drawbridge once it is completed. We also showed them the rail drawbridge along side of Alternate A1A. 

It was not just a lunch cruise. And with the manatee and dolphin sightings along with numerous ospreys, there was plenty of wildlife observed as well. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

#boating #freedomboatclubsouthfl #intracoastalwaterway #honeyfitz

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Going to Lunch on the Water

Sue in the Bow
Intracoastal Waterway, Stuart, FL
February 13, 2024

 Yesterday was a more normal South Florida February day. Fortunately, I had reserved a boat and the plan for the day was to motor on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) from Port Salerno south through to Jupiter, passing under three drawbridges, and have lunch the Dive Bar in Jupiter. The idea was to show off South Florida's ICW to visitors from Maryland. 

It was a good plan, well mostly. I did not factor the time required to motor all the way to Jupiter, given that about half the trip is at low speed with minimum wake which in Sea Bean is about 6 mph. I had hoped to get in some beach time on the way back, but we had to have the boat back at 3:30 PM and we pulled into the dock precisely at 3:15, which was the time I was aiming for when we departed the restaurant in Jupiter. So, there was no beach time, sadly. 

Sea Bean Tied Up
Dive Bar, Jupiter, FL
February 13, 2024
The a five hour roundtrip was my longest boating outing.

We departed the dock with five persons and one dog. Fortunately we returned with the same compliment. 

Along the way we spied a dolphin feeding in the shallows of the ICW and as we approached the Jupiter inlet we saw 10 manatees. That was very exciting. Unfortunately, there was not a picture that could be taken. On the return trip we saw an additional 2 or 3 manatees. I had to be very careful around the manatees and both avoided them and traveled very slowly. 

Bringing the boat into a relatively narrow channel with other traffic and tying up at an unfamiliar dock was a new experience.

Yesterday was one of the best weather days we have had in a few weeks and we were lucky to be out on the water enjoying the sun and relative warmth. 

It was another great day and Sea Bean was a perfect vessel.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

#freedomboatclubsouthfl #boating #intracoastalwaterway

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Don't cut the Corner

Sea Bean Tied Up (Blue boat)
Stuart, FL
February 9, 2024
 Friday, while not a perfect Florida day was good enough for us to pile into a boat and head off on an adventure! George and Sue are visiting and Chris and I thought it would be fun to motor to Stuart, tie-up and wander around the town for the day. 

And that is what we did! 

Looking Down Osceola Street
Stuart, FL
February 9, 2024
We boarded our trusty vessel at the Freedom Boat Club marina in Port Salerno and headed off to Stuart. It is a short, about 30 minute or so, ride and even though the day was overcast and the St Lucie River was slightly choppy, it was a good ride. We successfully tied up at the city docks and walked onshore looking for adventure.

We enjoyed the day and the city. We have been there many times before, but there is something really different arriving by boat. For one thing, parking is a lot easier. We did keep an eye on the weather, however. After lunch at the Boat House, sitting on the deck overlooking the river and the docks, we decided that the wind was beginning to kick up the waves and we should probably head back to the marina. It was a good decision. While we had planned a stop at a beach, due to the cool temperatures and wind, we decided that it would not be enjoyable to be on the beach. Fortunately, we all had coats and were able to keep warm.

Tow Boat working to help Beached Boat
St Lucie River, FL
February 9, 2024

On our return trip though, we spied a boating nightmare. Apparently, a boater unfamiliar with the waters and who did not check the charts decided to cut across the turn from the St Lucie Inlet into the St Lucie River. That is an area where there is a large sandbar and it is very close to the marked channel. It was clear that the tow boat was having a problem getting the beached boat off the sandbar. Anyway, it was not a good day for the boater. We felt bad for them, it probably ruined an otherwise good day.

Note to self--don't cut the turn unless you are sure of the waters' depth.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

@freedomboatclubsouthfl #freedomboatclubsouthfl

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Capt Finn the Six-Pound Captain

Capt Finn Monitoring Shore Activities
Finnegan (Finn), our six-pound Yorkie, acts like he is the captain of the vessel when he sails with us. He performs many of the duties the captain does, well, except for manning the helm! He is far too short to reach the wheel!
Finn Keeping Watch

One of his favorite activities is standing in the bow directing the activities of the boat and searching the water for obstacles. I admit, the other day he failed to recognize a manatee in the water, fortunately the human captain saw the large mammal and gave it a wide berth. It is likely that he is not aware of what a manatee actually is because Capt Finn never goes into the water.

Capt Finn with the Passengers 
Captain Finn keeps a close eye on shore activities. He monitors the crew and passengers as well as keeping a close eye upon the vessel to ensure it remains safely anchored or tied up. He does enjoy a bit of free time checking out the items on shore or at the waters edge, but he definitely does not like to get his feet wet!

Underway, Capt Finn busies himself conversing with the passengers and ensuring they are comfortable while also checking out the safety equipment. In the image to the right he is performing a life vest demonstration for the crew and passengers.

Capt Finn doing a Life Vest Demo

The passengers appreciate his calm demeanor on the vessel. He exudes an air of confidence that provides a sense of calm to all those aboard. Capt Finn is a dog, however, and he loves to get his nose into the wind and sample all of the smells lingering in the atmosphere.

Capt Finn loves to explore the boat and check out all of the equipment aboard. He is very mindful of personal belongings and does not bother the passengers's possessions.  

Capt Finn taking a nap

Other boaters wave and smile at Capt Finn when he is surveying the water from the bow of the boat. He is a humorous sight, a small six-pound dog standing at the bow acting like he is in charge of the activity. It is exhausting for Capt Finn, being everything to everyone, and nap time soon arrives and he hands his duties off to one of the humans aboard so the he can catch a nap to the gentle motion of the boat.

-- Bob & Chris Doan, Tequesta, FL

#freedomboatclub #freedomboatclubsouthfl


Thursday, February 1, 2024

Cold Boat Day

Chris and Finn on Tide Runner
Jupiter Sound, FL
January 31, 2024

 It had been since early December that Chris and I had checked out a boat and spent some time on the water and so we decided to hit the high seas yesterday. 

It was cold in the morning and so we delayed checking out or trusty boat, Tide Runner, until the afternoon. By the time we departed the dock, the temperature was about 70 degrees. The wind was still cold, but the bright sun mitigated the discomfort. 

Bridge Road Drawbridge Opening
Intracoastal Waterway, Jupiter, FL
January 31, 2024
We went out and motored around for about two hours before calling it a day and heading back to the dock. I had planned on heading out to a restaurant for lunch, but with the later departure time that plan was scrapped. The highlight of the day was seeing a manatee right about in the area where I took the image of the drawbridge. 

Tide Runner is the same make and model as my favorite boat, Sea Bean, that we take out from Port Salerno. It is convenient to take Tide Runner out because the marina is within walking distance of the house, but given the chairs and bags we take with us walking is not an option. Port Salerno is about a 20 minute ride away. I prefer the docks at Port Salerno because they do not require the 90 degree turn to enter or exit like those in Jupiter. The turn into or away from the dock is always complicated by wind and current.

It was a nice afternoon diversion on the water as we enjoyed the blue-crystal sky and the warm sun on our faces.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, December 7, 2023

It's Cold--but on the Boat

Jupiter Lighthouse
ICW, Jupiter, FL
December 6, 2023
It is Pearl Harbor Day.

Yesterday was a cold morning, but it was a boating day. Due to the expected cold temperatures, I delayed our usual 9 AM pick-up until 10 AM. Still, the temperature was in the low 60s and we were wearing coats as we motored out of the marina. 

US-1, Federal Highway Bridge Construction
ICW, Jupiter, FL
December 6, 2023

Despite the temperature and the wind, it was a beautiful day with a near crystal sky above and blue water beneath us as we headed south in the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). The Jupiter Lighthouse was radiant in the sunlight as we motored by on our way south, ultimately to Lake Worth.

Along the way we enjoyed looking at the boats, houses, mansions, and Christmas decorations. It would be awesome to motor the ICW at night to enjoy the lights, but my boat club does not allow nighttime boating. 

I also had the chance to check out the US-1 Federal Highway bridge construction. The work is moving along and the plan is for one lane to be open each way by next November! I certainly hope so. 

Seasons 52
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
December 6, 2023

We stopped for lunch at Seasons 52. It was my first time teeing up at a dock other than one owned by the club. We did really well getting the boat to the dock and tied up even with the stiff wind and strong current. It was a great lunch sitting outside under cover and out of the wind but watching the boat bob in the water.  

Looking to the Jupiter Inlet
ICW, Jupiter, FL
December 6, 2023
All too soon, we were off again and headed for our home marina.

I wish the good times could never end, but I am sure I would not appreciate them as much in that case. After motoring for about 45 minutes we were in the familiar waters of the ICW in Jupiter and after passing by the US-1 bridge construction we had an unobstructed view of the Jupiter Inlet and the ocean beyond. The water was very blue due to the clear sky and the rising tide which was bringing relatively clear seawater into the ICW.  We made a left turn shortly after I took this image to continue along the ICW and a short ride later and we were safely back in the marina and heading out for the remainder of our day. 

I have to admit, the wind was strong making the day seem a lot colder motoring north rather than south. Going south we had the wind to our backs and we were traveling about a fast as the wind--so it felt like there was no wind and we enjoyed the bright sunshine. But once we started back north--we felt the 60 degree wind its speed doubled by our motion across the water. 

Another great day on the water!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Plying the Inland Waters

Finn Keeping Lookout
ICW, Jupiter, FL
November 8, 2023

 Yesterday's weather was not perfect for boating, but it was very nice. 

I write that it was not perfect because we motored into a pop-up rainstorm that vexed us for about an hour in the Loxahatchee River where we got trapped when the railroad drawbridge went down for what seemed like and eternity--at least 45 minutes. I could see that the weather was clear north of us in the ICW, but could not get there, or at least I thought we were trapped in the river. With the bridge not budging, and at Chris's insistence, I decided to attempt to cross under the tracks at an alternate location and found that I had about a foot of clearance, meaning that I am no longer trapped by the railroad drawbridge when entering or leaving the Loxahatchee River from the ICW! Yay. 

Chris and Finn on a Beach Along the ICW
Tequesta, FL
November 8, 2023
Motoring back through Jupiter amid the US-1 bridge construction is always fun because I get a view that cannot be replicated from land. We are about a year away from having one lane of the bridge complete each way! It has been a long time since the bridge was closed and torn down,  but there are still months/years to go before the project is complete. 

We proceeded north in the ICW, past the Jupiter Inlet,  until we found some boat-only access beaches. I have to admit the one that I wanted to visit already had two boats with at least three dogs enjoying the day of broken clouds and occasional sunshine. But I knew that there was another stretch of accessible beaches just a bit further north. The beaches are nice because the water stays deep until just about a boat's length from the shore which makes for an easy landing. 

Small 5-armed Starfish
ICW, Tequesta, FL
November 8, 2023
The exciting part of yesterday's beach day was finding two different species of star fish. We found one moderately large 9-armed starfish and 2 very small 5-armed starfish.
9-armed Starfish 
ICW, Tequesta, FL
November 8, 2023

They were fun to discover right at the edge of the water. 

As we sat along the ICW, enjoying the day and chatting, both Chris and I noticed something. When there were no boats passing and when the waves from the boats stopped lashing the shore, it became very quiet. There was no wind, and no waves and it was so very quiet and peaceful. We have grown so accustomed to waves crashing on beaches that this newly discovered quiet was something which caused us to stop talking and sit quietly to enjoy. 

Finnegan enjoyed exploring the beach. The beach was perfect to allow him off leash because he does not like getting into the water and the beach was protected at both ends by mangroves which pushed into the water. We could walk around the mangroves by going into the water, but we had to carry Finn. He was, therefore, contained. 

It turned into a very nice boating day, even with the earlier rainstorm. It was good to be out on the water again. And Finn kept a great lookout from the bow.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL


Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Ringing in November


Looking South from North Fork Loxahatchee Bridge
Tequesta, FL
October 31, 2023
I hope everyone survived Halloween and are enjoying the first day of the penultimate month of the year. 

I closed out the month of October with a 16 mile ride. The ride took me over 200 miles for the month and October was the first month over that amount since May! It just shows the amount of travel we have been doing. Well, and our weekly boating adventures do cut into my biking days. 

I rode my usual route around Tequesta and enjoyed watching the houses under construction along with the myriad Halloween decorations. I expect the decorations will be coming down during the next few days to be soon replaced by Christmas decorations. My stop on the North Fork Loxahatchee River Bridge in Tequesta was short, but I enjoyed looking at the flat water and imagining being out on that water in a small craft. 

I am getting prepared for today's boating adventure. We will see where we end up. We are departing from Jupiter and therefore will head south probably to explore more of the Loxahatchee River. Time will tell. At least I will have my trusty deck boat back instead of the pontoon boat. Funny thing about the pontoon boats we took out the past two weeks, they both had a slide which we never used. 

Well, it is the hump of the week and Halloween is now behind us. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Off to the Beach by Boat

Setting-up The Camp
Hobe Sound National Wildlife Beach, Jupiter Island 
Hobe Sound, FL
October 23, 2023

 Yesterday was a great day for sitting on a beach. Mild temperatures and light breezes highlighted the experience. We chose to head out on a trusty pontoon boat for a few hours one of my new favorite beaches. 

Finnegan and Chris on the Beach
Hobe Sound National Wildlife Beach, Jupiter Island 
Hobe Sound, FL
October 23, 2023

The double-decker pontoon boat was the same model, but a different boat from the one we took out last week. The one last week managed a top speed of 21 mph, yesterday, the best I could get yesterday was 11 mph at 4K RPM. I think the pontoons need to be scraped to reduce the drag from barnacles on other sea junk. We used as much gas yesterday as we did last week, but only traveled about half as far. 

The ocean was relatively calm with the waves crashing on the beach, but with a steady soothing rhythm. Sadly, I did not manage any shut-eye time in a chair under an umbrella.

I enjoyed a walk along the beach and for the entire beach portion of the day Finnegan was off-leash. He stayed close and only had to be recalled on a couple of occasions from his continual desire to ensure that no birds were within his field of vision. 

Flight of Blackhawks
Hobe Sound Wildlife Preserve, Jupiter Island
Hobe Sound, FL
October 23, 2023

The excitement of the day was a flight of four Blackhawks flying just offshore. Of course we all wondered what they were doing as it is rare to see even one Blackhawk. My guess was that the Commander of USSOUTHCOM was headed somewhere. But, of course, I have no further information to substantiate that wild guess. 

After our time on the beach, we toured the ICW south to just north of Bridge Road, in Hobe Sound. That was about the spot where we turned around during our outing last week and headed back south to Jupiter. 

It was another great day of boating with friends. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, October 20, 2023

Plying the Intracoastal and Finding History

Former Presidential Yacht Honey Fitz
Jupiter Island, FL
October 19, 2023

 Chris and I took our friends out on a pontoon boat yesterday to see and enjoy the sights along the intracoastal waterway (ICW). 

We checked out a different boat for the day than my usual deck boat. It was a pontoon boat and it was perfect for the six of us, plus Finnegan, to enjoy a day on the water. 

Godfrey Pontoon Boat
October 19, 2023
As we were exploring the ICW, we came upon a piece of nautical history that has only recently arrived. We passed the former Presidential Yacht, Honey Fitz. There she was, tied up along the ICW for us to enjoy. It is funny that I recognized it immediately. Historically, Honey Fitz, which was given that name by President Kennedy, served five presidents: Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. It was recently purchased and restored making it post-restoration debut at the Palm Beach Boat Show this past March.

Chris and Finnegan Aboard our Boat
ICW near Jupiter, FL
October 19, 2023

Our vessel for the day was not nearly as elegant, but it provided reliable transportation as we explored the ICW and visited a sandbar in the Loxahatchee River before finally landing on a beach to enjoy the mid-day sunshine.

Finnegan accompanied us for the day and enjoyed being out on the water. He was a very good dog and never needed to use his live preserver. 

I found that the pontoon boat is not nearly as agile as the deck boats I usually check out, but for a group of people to be comfortable and enjoy a lazy day on the water, pontoon boats are the way to go.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL 

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Escape to the Ocean

North Fork Loxahatchee River Bridge
Tequesta, FL
October 14, 2023

 I am going to call it like it was, an escape.

That is what I did yesterday, I escaped from the flooring project and joined two friends on the ocean for a day of fishing. 

It was something I have not done for quite a number of years. 

The boat was a 30 foot Cobia a bit larger than the 22 foot Cobia that I normally get from my boat club. Being the same maker, I was pretty familiar with the layout, but this boat had something I can only long for in a boat club boat: autopilot! Wow, That really mage navigating easy and getting to some specific points on the reefs for fishing was incredibly easy. 

Railroad Drawbridge Down
Jupiter, FL
October 14, 2023
We departed from a canal behind the boat owner's home and navigated to the river. I enjoyed motoring in the canals to the river. Passing under the North Fork Loxahatchee River bridge was a really cool because it is the bridge that I have taken so many pictures from while riding my bike. I have to confess, it looks much different from the water.

Traversing under the railroad drawbridge both ways we had the opportunity to wait for trains to cross. All told, I saw three Brightline trains and one freight train cross the bridge from the river. 

The ocean had rolling waves, but was not rough. It was not smooth either. The fishing was fun and over the course of the day the three of us managed to catch enough legal-sized fish for dinner. I had the biggest disappointment of the day by letting a nice Mahi get away. I had the fish at the boat but it made one last desperation run and crossed over the bow of the boat where I forgot the anchor was exposed and the line broke as it passed over the anchor. It was a very nice looking fish and we were disappointed that I did not land it.

It was a great day on the water and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

In other news--the floor project is complete! I was not to there for it the last three hours, but Chris handled the job very well. The house looks great! I am amazed how much larger the new floor makes the living spaces seem.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Rainbows on the Day

Rainbow over the Marina
Tequesta, FL
October 4, 2023

 It was a boat day. 

And we took out a boat from a different marina, one that is very close to our home. It is less than a mile away and we would walk to it except that we take chairs, coolers, and other items with us on the boat. 

Rainbow and the Jupiter Lighthouse
Jupiter, FL
October 4, 2023
It turned out to be a great morning on the water. We were treated to rainbows as we motored the intracoastal waterway (ICW). The morning was bright, but by early afternoon the clouds thickened, the wind rose, the water got choppy and we made a timely decision to head back to the marina.

Setting up on the Beach
Jupiter, FL
October, 4, 2023
We spent our time on the water exploring areas that we had not yet visited due to the distance from our Port Salerno marina. We traveled south on the ICW all the way to the northern portion of Lake Worth. It was an enjoyable trip, most of which at slow speed, minimum wake meaning for my boat about 6 mph. It provides us a lot of time to sightsee. And there are a lot of sights--huge houses, some mansion size, fill the shores along the ICW.

We stopped for a bit at a beach along the ICW south of Jupiter. It is a park which appears to be accessible by only boat. I love finding these spots because I otherwise would not be able to enjoy these locations. The small beach is only on the ICW and it happens to be along an area of the ICW where the speed limit is 25 MPH during this time of year and so the waves can get a bit high. As the tide was also rising, we only spent about 45 minutes exploring the area and filing it away for another time. There is a nature area connected to the beach and so it is more than a "one-trick pony."

The closeness of the Jupiter marina means that we can shave about an hour off of our to-and-from travel time. Convenience is the key. Boating wise there is a huge sandbar just off shore that must be navigated once we get onto the water, but that is doable. 

While Tide Runner, the boat we had yesterday, is the same year and model as my favorite boat, Sea Bean, they "cheaped" out a bit on the outfitting. Tide Runner does not have trim tabs and the GPS is a very basic position only model. I was happy that I had my own chart program running on my phone because the northern end of Lake Worth is a bit confusing for someone who has not been there before. 

All-in-all, another fantastic day on the water. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Before the Storms

Chris in the Bow
Manatee Pocket, Port Salerno, FL
September 29, 2023
Storms have filled the afternoons and evening every day this past week. Most days have been gray and overcast, but we got lucky yesterday because the morning was more Florida-like: the sky was blue and the sun was hot. 

Chris and I were lucky because I had reserved a boat after cancelling our usual Wednesday reservation due to storms. We decided that, based upon the best weather forecasting available, we would be able to enjoy some boating in the morning if we returned to the marina by about 2 PM.

It was a beautiful day as we boarded Sea Bean, our 21 foot Cobra dual console deck-boat, and headed out. We were introduced to the effects of the King Tides--the dock was about 2 inches underwater. A King Tide is an exceptionally high tide--and this one definitely was and we were heading out right about high tide. The downside? Well, one of the beaches that I enjoy most was underwater and there was nowhere to beach the boat. So we spent some time looking for an entry, but another boater had placed their boat blocking the walking path to the ocean from the intracoastal waterway and there was not a spot to anchor and be able to carry our chairs and beach items to walk the 100 or so feet to the ocean. There was no beach!

We decided to head out towards the St Lucie Inlet and anchor on one of the beaches there. The sandbar, we figured, was likely totally submerged. We enjoyed a short time on the beach, but the small flies were overpowering and we decided to go exploring and traveled up the St Lucie River and into the North Fork. I had planned on exploring some of the smaller parts of the river, but we began to see bad weather building and decided to return the boat to the marina earlier than planned. 

It was, however, a great morning and we were able to salvage outdoors activity during what turned out to be the best part of the day. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Racing the Tide

Chris at the Helm of Sea Bean
ICW off Jupiter Island
September 13, 2023

Boating upon the open water, that was the calling yesterday. The ocean was too rough, but the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) was fabulous. Although our club has a new location very close to the house, I have not been able to get a boat out of there yet, and so we continue to use our Port Salerno location, which has my favorite vessel, Sea Bean, a 22 foot Cobia dual console. 

Fish in the Waves
Jupiter Island, FL
September 13, 2023
We were able to accomplish multiple things in the same out and back trip. Finnegan had a grooming appointment in Hobe Sound, which is on the way to the marina in Port Salerno. We dropped Finn off and continued to the marina to board Sea Bean and then spent a few hours on the water and at a great beach until we were called that he was ready. I kept us within about 30 minutes of the marina so that we could retrieve Finn within the groomers allowed time slot.

Fish in the Waves 2
Jupiter Island, FL
September 13, 2023
We headed for one of my favorite accessible by boat beaches to enjoy some morning sun. I would also have enjoyed one of the local sand bars, but with the fairly recent high tide, they were mostly submerged. It was a great day for watching the waves because the tide was high, but going out, and there were schools of fish visible in the waves. I spent some time trying to capture the scene and got a few usable, but not great, images. We were told, by the one other person we met on the beach, that a large, probable shark, had been seen in the surf, but we did not see it, sadly. I have seen sharks off this beach before.  

It was a great day on the water and the beach. I am believing that because the ocean was so rough, most of the fishing boast did not head out. And because school is back in session, the ICW was also nearly devoid of boating traffic. We had the water and the beach pretty much to ourselves. 

All too soon we received the call from the groomer to retrieve Finnegan. I was just about to propose motoring up to Stuart for lunch, but alas, that was not to be. We will save that for our next boating adventure. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Around the Island

St Lucie Nuclear Power Plant
From Atlantic Ocean
August 9, 2023

 One way to escape the oppressive heat is to be on the water where there is a breeze and, if underway, the breeze can be very strong.

Yesterday's adventure on the water included motoring around Hutchinson Island. We motored out to the ocean and headed north. It was my first time one the ocean since receiving my offshore certification. Fortunately, the day was calm, calmer than the forecast. I had hoped that we might see dolphins or turtles in the water--but sadly it was not to be. 

The trip from St Lucie Inlet to the Ft Pearce Inlet on the ocean was uneventful. We stopped to enjoy the view of the nuclear power plant. It is along a lonely stretch of road, but it can be seen from both the Atlantic and Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) sides of the island. 

Entering the ICW through the Ft Pearce Inlet, the water got a bit rough as there were storm clouds in sight. Chris was concerned about the possibility of getting caught in a storm, but we had little we could do about it. In the end we did not blunder into a storm and as we motored south towards our home marina, the weather cleared and we stopped at a small uninhabited island for lunch and some relaxing downtime. 

Small Island, Indian River, FL
August 9, 2023

Anchoring just offshore we decided to enjoy lunch and rehydrate. We heard a low screech and saw an osprey sitting on a dead tree surveying its domain. I decided to get an image of the bird as it remained there for most of the time we were anchored.

We managed to be in the area as the tide changed and I learned a valuable lesson about ensuring the anchors are set well. The stern anchor, which was keeping us off the beach, gave way and I wound up pushing the boat off the sand into deep enough water to start the engine and allow the propeller to get enough water to get us away form the island. It was a good learning experience. 

All during the day, we enjoyed being outdoors because of the breeze and shade on the boat. The heat index hit 115 degrees yesterday, it was reported, but we were still able to enjoy being outside and not cooped up in air conditioned comfort. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, August 4, 2023

They Grow Them Big


Chris with Sea Bean
Indian River Lagoon, FL
August 2, 2023
Sometimes it is a matter of perspective. How big something is depends upon how close it is to you. I like the cartoon that I have seen in the past where the tyrannosaurus is reflected in the outside mirror on a car and the words at the bottom of the mirror remind us that objects in the mirror are closer than they appear. 
Large Jellyfish with a Crab
 Indian River Lagoon, FL
August 2, 2023

We encountered a strange situation the other day as we were boating and anchored on a sandbar in the Indian River Lagoon which was mostly underwater. There were huge jellyfish. And by huge I mean 12-18 inches across, or more, in the water. I am not used to seeing jellyfish this large. They were also strangely beautiful as they drifted in the current. One jellyfish drifted by with a small crab riding aboard. I could not believe it. I actually got an image of it. The crab is about 3 inches, I would guess. I'm not sure if this was a frog and scorpion thing or not. The jellyfish were easy to see and avoid as we waded in the water, but we needed to remain vigilant as the current was swift with the tide going out and they were moving rather quickly.

It was all part of our fun boating Wednesday. We continue to find more fun and enjoyment at every turn.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL 

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Learning to Tow a Skier

Fran Skiing the River
North Fork Saint Lucie River, FL
August 2, 2023

 Our Wednesday boating day turned into a fun day of exploration and learning how to tow a waterskier. 

We headed off to the marina fairly early and were in our boat headed off to the North Fork of the Saint Lucie River about 9:30 AM. The day was beautiful. A bit hot, but mostly blue skies and white puffy clouds. The river was almost flat and our boat, Sea Bean, was purring along smoothly. 

I was very trepidatious about pulling a waterskier. Having never done it before and knowing how easily fun can turn to tragedy, I really wanted to understand what was expected of me and the boat before letting him jump off into the murky river and try to stand up behind my speeding craft. We went over the signs and after a couple miscues on the start, he successfully rose up on plane and skied! It was fun watching him, but I mostly kept my eyes forward. Fortunately, the area of the river recommended to us by the marina staff is not heavily traveled and we did not encounter any other watercraft during the time he was skiing. 

Chris served as the spotter and also took some images and a quick video.

The video is a bit choppy, but it was taken from a moving boat at about 22 mph. 

We also spent time exploring the North Fork of the river and then checked out a new sandbar, where we saw huge jellyfish. They were all around and were easy to avoid--but we had to remain vigilant. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

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