We're just knocking' 'em down now... After several days (weeks?) of daily thunder boomers in the afternoons, we've decided that "taking it slow" is not working for us so well anymore. We're ready to get outta Florida in hopes of avoiding any further such developments...
We left Melbourne earlier than originally planned so that we could knock a day off of our route and get to our NEXT-next destination early enough in the afternoon to be settled before the storming hour. The hope of actually SAILING our boat fell flat on a river of glass.
|These guys were cleaning the meter board!
|I love a good old -fashioned water tower!
But we were strong! We were thinking that we would stop over at Titusville and find a way to get to the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral.
Bruce being a retired History Teacher, I thought this would be right up his alley, and we've neither been to KSC before, so it seemed like the living-on-vacation kind of thing to do.
Launch Schedule for the facility as we drew near. I had heard that the Falcon 9 was due to launch and had been delayed by the weather, among other things. The next planned attempt was TOMORROW afternoon!!!
We could actually SEE a rocket on what we thought must be a lunch pad just right THERE!!! Hastily, I consulted Active Captain to see where that anchorage touting "front row seats" for launches was exactly...
|Our Own Private Island
This, our first glimpse of the anchorage settled any lingering misgivings about ditching our "plan" again as we realized that we would be spending two nights alone at our Own Private Island.
Once we got anchored as near to the island as I dared in about 7-8 ft. depths, we could almost see the bottom. Bruce "suggested" we delay dashing over to explore OPI for a bit so that he could do some maintenance on the boat. It's been a while since he checked the zincs and the visibility here would make the job an easy one. In the end it was a good thing because although they hadn't yet fallen off, they would have soon.
Cooling our heels while this towering cloud had it's way with us was not on my agenda! I was excited to get a look at our Island, even if it was only a brief one. Bruce indulged my wishes and we splashed the dinghy. It would probably be better to have it off the davits during the storm anyway...
The freakishly cool winds hit suddenly. We rolled down the remaining enclosure panels as the cats disappeared below.
I had some concerns about our position near the island. We are situated in depths just about as shallow as I'm comfortable with as it is... When we suddenly reversed position to face the approaching storm, our depth dipped more towards the 7 ft mark than the 8 ft... Although we are gaining confidence in our anchor, you just never know when it might fail and doing so with the shallow waters of the island, now directly behind us... Well, lets just say that we're glad we have that Towboat US plan handy!
|Our personal record. Forty SIX knots!
The engine was running as usual, only this time I actually used it. The winds went from zero to the high 30s in what seemed like seconds.
The waves appeared out of nowhere, whipped to a frenzy by the sudden winds. Here we are again in a wide open anchorage in what looked like four foot fetch, oh, with the exception of OPI looming up on our stern.
I'm 98% sure that we didn't drag. But our chain was straightened out making the vague shadow of the island seem uncomfortably close... When the winds increased to the 40s, my mind rebelled and rejected this entire event.
I engaged the engine to try to keep our nose to the wind as we were straining wildly against our anchor. This was a learning process as I realized we were actually making way incrementally, causing us to slack the chain. When I disengaged the engine, we would fall back allowing the gusts to hit us broadside and heel the boat ominously. I decided that this was not doing us any good and discontinued using the engine to keep us from swinging. It seemed better to just keep an eye on the island and do nothing at this point as I watched the wind indicator and hoped for a speedy end to this madness.
Finally after what seemed like an hour, we began to see the winds drop to back to the 20s and then the teens... and then to single digits. We were magically pointed back towards the island again, having somehow done a 180° swing when we weren't looking... It's over.
|Yes that's JETSAM sitting on my lap. She does NOT lap sit!
The rain became a gentle apology for the earlier frenzy. We had our dinner and relaxed in the cockpit and talked over our latest storm experience...
|Our meager sunset.
|Looking East toward Cape Canaveral
We packed our beach chairs and our snorkel gear into the dinghy and set off! We've spent so much time in anchorages surrounded by other boats which restricts our dinghy speed, I suggested that we zip around for a while to blow out the cobwebs from our little 8hp motor.
|Bruce stood to get a better angle to see the shallows and the FISH!
|There was a fire ring, but I'm thinking all the wood is wet...
|Brave lizards darted everywhere!
|Loving my new neoprene booties found at the Goodwill store!
It was just me and the reptiles until Bruce realized that I was having more fun than he was...
Upon our return to the boat, we had some lunch and relaxed in the cockpit while I did some investigation into the offerings of the Kennedy Space Center.
So I'm looking over the website and reading it off to Bruce when he tells me that he isn't really all that excited about visiting the Space Center.... and would be just as happy skipping it. So, we settled in for the afternoon with the intention of heading out in the morning towards Cocoa Beach.
Oh, and the promised rocket launch? What happened to that. Evidently it has been postponed yet again, and our front row seat was for naught.
But we were rewarded with sweet soft skies as we slipped between storms to our north and south.
Having our Own Private Island for a day was fun. But it was also a learning experience. Once again we confirmed that like Cruising... it isn't always fruity drinks in the shade. There are rewards and there are trials. But for us, the rewards continue to far outweigh the difficult times, and we will continue our search for that perfect private island.