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

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

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Day on the Water


US-1 Bridge Construction
Jupiter, FL
July 26, 2023

It was Wednesday and that meant it was our boating day aboard our trusty boat, Sea Bean. Sea Bean is a dual console 2023 Cobia 220 with a single 200 hp Yamaha outboard and electronic throttle. Sea Bean is not mine actually, but is my favorite boat to reserve from the club in which I am a member.

Yesterday was a day Chris and I decided to sojourn down to Jupiter, which is close to where we live. Even though I am newly authorized to head out into the wild Atlantic, the ocean seemed a bit rough when I was checking the weather. We decided we wanted to enjoy the ride to Jupiter and to see, from the water, the US-1 bridge construction. The bridge and roadway are gone and we are having to detour when driving around the area. The view from the water is impressive. The area looks like a crane convention. We counted 7 cranes, I don't think we could get them all in the picture. But we motored right through the middle of the construction. The smell of fresh concrete was strong.

Alternate A1A Bridge and Railroad Drawbridge
Jupiter, FL
July 26, 2023
Another goal for the day was to motor under the Alternate A1A bridge and adjacent railroad drawbridge into the Loxahatchee.

Chris and I successfully navigated the bridges and started up the Loxahatchee, but we became a bit concerned about the dark clouds forming over the ocean and decided to begin the hour-and-a-half journey back to the marina which is in Port Salerno. 

I forgot to mention, we enjoyed lunch on the Intracoastal Waterway anchored to a sandbar near Tequesta. We see boats anchored at the sandbar at low tide and we wanted to check out the sandbar for ourselves. It was a much needed stop along the way and out trusty boat has two anchors which allowed it to be secured so it would not drift onto the sandbar. 

The trip back to the marina was uneventful, but enjoyable. Along the way, during the day, we spied a green turtle and a few dolphins along with a multitude of pelicans and ospreys. 

It was our longest outing since becoming "boat" people and by taking up most of the day, we were provided with a necessary diversion from the stuff with which we have been dealing.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Advanced Boating

Green Turtle in the Ocean
Off St Lucie Inlet, FL
July 25, 2023

 I completed my off-shore boating certification yesterday and am officially dangerous!

I am certified to take a small boat out into the mighty Atlantic Ocean. The club that I am in limits me to no further than 10 miles offshore, but considering at 10 miles land is mostly out of sight, except for tall buildings, and the water may be over 1000 feet deep, I'm not sure why I would be out quite that far anyway. 

It was a short, but fun day on the ocean learning what I needed to get certified. 

Atlantic Ocean from Jupiter Island Beach
Jupiter Island, FL
July 25, 2023
I also had fun watching dolphins and one green turtle that actually swam around the boat twice while we were at idle working through our man overboard procedures and covering some radio call situations.

After I piloted the boat back into the marina, we finished the paperwork and I was certified. 

But, that was not the end of my day on and in the ocean. Chris and I headed out to the beach after the heat of the day passed. The ocean was nearly flat as sunset was preparing to occur. The breeze off the water seemed cool, yet the temperature was still in the upper 80s. 

It was our first evening beach walk in quite a while. Finnegan tagged along, but was not as excited about walking the beach as either Chris or I.

Maybe the oppressive heat is beginning to dissipate. I can only hope.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, July 21, 2023

Return to the Chesapeake

Most of the Family
Chesapeake Bay, MD
July 20. 2023
(Image from Popcorn 3, by Patrick)

 Returning to the Chesapeake yesterday in a boat, we enjoyed a family outing. We began the journey at a marina on the South River and motored down the river and into the Chesapeake. Our trusty Sea Ray boat handled the load with ease. It was rated for 12 people or 3300 pounds. We had 7 people aboard and we no where near the maximum load. 

Part of the load included Popcorn 3, Patrick's small drone. We had decided that if the weather was cooperative and the spirit moved us, we would try to fly the drone form the boat. It was risky, because the boat was drifting in the current and had there been a problem, the drone would have landed at the spot from which it went airborne and of course due to the drift the boat would no longer have been at that location. We decided on a spot along the Northside of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge out of the shipping channel, which was fairly busy with barge traffic. 

We had toured Annapolis before heading north to the Bay Bridge. The day was warm and overcast, but the bay was relatively calm with a light chop that became more noticeable north of the bridge. We had music to enjoy over the drone of the engine. 

It was a great afternoon and great fun. After boating we retired to Lures, a local restaurant, for Happy hour and dinner. 

I enjoyed being out on the water in the Chesapeake and on the South River again.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Beating the Heat

Bridge Road Drawbridge
Hobe Sound, FL
July 5, 2023

 Chris and I have discovered one almost sure-fire way to beat the oppressive heat which has been holding South Florida hostage for the past few weeks: boating!

The stress index has been running 105-112 degrees for the past few days. 

Yesterday, Finnegan has a grooming appointment and Chris and I decided that since we were going to be in the area anyway that we would check out a boat and spend time on the water. The day was perfect for boating with just a light breeze and nearly glassy smooth water. We enjoyed the intracoastal waterway (ICW) and stopped by our favorite beach for a few minutes. I noted that boating on weekdays is much preferable to weekends given that very often we are the only boat on the ICW. 

We have our favorite boat now, Sea Bean, which is a Cobia 220 dual console. Sea Bean is new. It only had 15 hours on the engine when we departed the Marina yesterday and we put about 3 of those hours on it last week. 

When the groomer called that Finnegan was complete, we were about an hour away from the marina. They agreed to kennel Finn for a couple hours and we were able to spend some time on a northern Jupiter Island Atlantic Ocean beach which is part of the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Preserve. 

I was a bit sad when we arrived back at the marina earlier than planned, but we had an enjoyable 3 hours escaping the heat of the day while enjoying the water.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Beating the Heat on the Water

Trusty Boat Sea Bean
Jupiter Island, FL
June 28, 2023

 Chris and I have discovered a sure-fire way to beat the oppressive heat: boating!

And we are not the only South Floridians with that idea! Yesterday was a great boating day. We explored parts of the Saint Lucie River as far north as Stuart. After the exploration we headed south to the narrowest part of Jupiter Island along the shores of Peck Lake and enjoyed some of the afternoon both in the ocean and along the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW).

Boys Beating the Heat
Peck Lake, FL
June 28, 2023
We reserved a Cobia 220 dual console boat named Sea Bean for our excursion yesterday. Sea Bean is a great boat and I have already made additional reservations to motor in it again. The boat is one of the nicest handling boats that I have enjoyed since joining the boat club.  

While we were lounging along the shores of Peck Lake, a large group of boys arrived in a boat and on jet skis. They were most interested in jumping into the water from the tower that is just a few yards offshore. They were fun to watch. We remarked, how lucky these boys were to live in Florida and have access to a boat and know where to go to have fun.

The skies were mostly clear and the day was just that much more enjoyable being on the water with a constant breeze. 

And that is how to beat the unrelenting heat!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, June 28, 2023


 When is hot too hot?

Chris and I discovered too hot yesterday during our shortened 13 mile ride. We started out planning for a 17 mile ride, but as the heat grew more oppressive we shortened it to 13 miles by cutting out a portion of our route. It is not just the thermometer temperature, but the stress index as well that affected us.

We both survived, but decided that we need to begin our rides earlier, like in the 7 AM hour rather than at about 9:40 AM.

Today, we are planning to be smarter. We are headed out onto the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) boating again. Being on the water with a breeze should make the day less oppressive. I still require four boating trips before I can apply to take the open ocean safety course and be allowed out on the Mighty Atlantic. Then I will be truly dangerous.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, June 23, 2023

On the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW)

On the ICW
Jupiter Island, FL
June c22, 2023

 Yesterday was a boating day. 

The thunderstorms held off long enough for Chris and I and two friends to get in a great boating day on the ICW. We actually enjoyed hot sun while sitting on an ocean beach accessible only by boat from the ICW. We motored past some the high end homes on Jupiter Island and we enjoyed looking longingly at the private gold course situated along the ICW upon which we will never swing a club. 

It is fun looking at how the uber-rich live. Some of them have very big boats! Wait, they are so big they might be ships.

It was a great day and it felt good to be back on the water. There are many more places that we are planning to explore including the St Lucie River and the ICW towards Ft Pearce. After four more trips, I can apply for training to allow me to go out on the open Atlantic Ocean! I am looking forward to doing that. 

There is just something great about being out on the water in a boat. We had a 21 foot Hurricane yesterday. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, June 2, 2023

Motoring on the Chesapeake

Thomas Point Shoal Light
Chesapeake Bay
June 1, 2023

 It was an absolutely beautiful day for boating the Chesapeake. Chris and I procured a boat for the afternoon intending to share the experience with the family, but as life happened when the time came it was Chris, me, and Finnegan who got to enjoy an almost perfect boating day. 

The bay was almost flat and we were able to motor down the South River, from Liberty Marina, into the Bay and enjoyed a nice ride to Annapolis and then onward to the Bay Bridge. We motored up the river to the downtown Annapolis area, but decided not to tie up and walk the city. We saw the sights and maybe next time we will tie up at Pusser's for a meal. 

Chesapeake Bay Bridge
Chesapeake Bay
June 1, 2023
We discovered a couple of things on our trip. First, it is really hard to take pictures from a moving boat. Even when I cut the engine to idle, the undulating motion of the Bay really makes taking images tough. We also noted that I need to take an extra battery or a cable for my iPhone to support my navigation app.

One thing that we discovered yesterday was that the haze from the Canadian fires raging in Nova Scotia made it difficult to identify landmarks on the shoreline. It also made the multitude of freighters and tankers riding at anchor in the bay seem like a ghost fleet as they appeared out of the haze once we transitioned form South River into the Bay. 

Finn on the Bow in His Lifejacket
Chesapeake Bay
June 1, 2023
But as can be seen, aside from the haze, it was a nearly perfect boating day. I was able to use my nautical chart app on my iPhone to navigate to the places we wanted to visit. Even the bay bridge was invisible when we first motored into the bay, only later appearing out of the haze. It is so large that it seemed close when we first sighted it, yet still took a long time to actually pass under the spans.

Finnegan at times seemed to enjoy the trip, but he definitely did not like motoring through the wakes of other vessels. I admit, I sometimes didn't slow enough to minimize the crashing of the boat as we crossed the wakes because they did not seem as large as they actually were.

All-in-all, we had a great afternoon and successfully returned the boat to the marina without a scratch!

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

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