Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Peck Lake - Our Own Deserted Paradise

See us!  The little blue boat!
N27°06.896', W080°08.568'

We spent three nights plugged in at the Soverel Marina in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.  We stopped over to visit with some friends from home who moved here and they were VERY gracious host/hostess to the point of leaving us their truck to use as our own for the entire time!  Getting into the marina was a tricky business...  This was not mentioned in the planning stages of this little side trip adventure.

We zigzagged our way in between rows of sport fishers with their marly anchors sticking out at us with malice...

Luckily there was no wind and we were able to get in the slip stern to with about a three point turn on a dime... Good practice for me.  Once tied up, we went to enjoying ourselves on land with trips to many stores and to a fabulous dinner in the home of our friends Steve and Ann.  We also met another couple of Cruisers, Fred and Iris from Windwalker, who keep their boat in this marina and lived in Texas for some time years ago.  Good food and great friends!

Wandering Star and Victory
We enjoyed our time being "hooked up", but we are beginning to realize how much more we appreciate being un-hooked, when we arrived at our next destination.  Peck Lake.

Leaving Soverel, we fell in behind two other sailboats who had just come through the PGA Bridge as we rejoined the ICW.

We stuck together as a trio through the first two bridge openings which were restricted to the hour and half hour.  We barely made the second one but slid in just in time as Victory arrived early and held the door for us!

The ICW begins to change along the way, from wall to wall development to long stretches of mangrove and islands with a mix of palm and some pine trees beginning to appear.  It was a refreshing change from the masses.  Some birds would be nice...

There are so many of the beautiful Royal Poinciana trees, or Flamboyant as they're known in Mexico, along the ICW.   They are in full bloom and we count ourselves lucky each time we pass one as we were told that they only bloom here in June.

The brown waters of the ICW began to give way to the telltale clear blue green waters that are indicative that we're nearing an inlet.  We rounded a sharp bend and found the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse standing guard over the inlet of the same name.

Again we marveled at the beauty of the area where the water is so clear and clean...

We followed Wandering Star through the 707 Bascule Bridge,  and responded to their hail on VHF that they wished to slow down.  They moved aside and allowed us to pass.  Victory, the lead boat at the beginning of our day's journey was long gone.  I guess they have a schedule to keep.

Once we were through with bridges on a restricted opening schedule, Bruce and I took advantage of the next long unobstructed stretch of ICW and shook out the jib.  The winds were light but we were able to reduce throttle on the engine and at least pretend we were a sailboat for a while.

We enjoyed the miles of faux sailing until it was time to prepare for our next (and last) bascule bridge. We rolled the jib and hailed the Hobe Sound bridge to request an opening for ourselves and for Wandering Star.  Our passing them hadn't done us much good once we put up our sail and slowed down.  They had fallen back only slightly but quickly closed the gap when we offered to wait until they arrived for our bridge opening.  It was kind of nice having them there...

Very soon thereafter, we arrived at our destination.  We had only traveled about 18 miles today and it was early in the afternoon.  Wandering Star followed us into the anchorage and dropped their hook a good distance away.  They're turning out to be great boat neighbors!

While Bruce was doing his post transit duties, I was busying myself with marking our anchor spot and documenting our short journey... I heard the sharp intake of breath from just over my right shoulder...

Nope, it wasn't Bruce having difficulties... It was an enormous turtle!  He came up three times and did the usual turtle inhale-exhale-inhale thing they seem to do before diving again.

Did I say he was enormous?  I meant gigantic!!!  His head was every bit as big as my own.  I cursed the murky brown water that kept me from being able to see his body.

We continued to hear the turtle breaths throughout our stay here.

What were YOU doing on Monday?...
We took the dinghy to shore, glad that we still had the whole afternoon to play.  There was a cute little crescent of sand running the perimeter the mangrove and palm lined anchorage.

There was rumored to be a trail leading to the Atlantic side and a beach for us to explore.  We went in search of it and found it well marked in typical Florida style...

I would say that it's difficult to pretend that you're shipwrecked on a deserted island with all of these signs... but I would be wrong in this instance.  We followed the sandy path to the beach and stepped out onto our own true deserted island.

Perhaps I overuse the word "breathtaking"... but it is the only word that I find fitting to describe this place.  We walked down to the water's edge and could see one couple walking our way hand in hand.  It was Wandering Star.  We had a short Meet & Greet in which I admitted to stalking them on the internet.  They seem very nice and are celebrating their ten year Cruisiversary today.  I want to be them when I grow up...

We played in the water for a while, although it wasn't a hot day, the water seems warmer here than it has at our previous stops.  We waded out past the breakers and enjoyed the swells in the clear clean water.  There was hardly any seaweed, for which I was particularly thankful.  It's just creepy when the stuff wraps around your ankle while swimming...  None of that here!

Whooooooaaaahhhh!  Riding the Swells!
We left the water and took off down the beach for a hand-in-hand stroll on our now completely deserted beach.  We looked North... and decided to go South.  There were marked stakes to our South above the high water mark and we wanted to check them out...

We suspected turtle nests, and sure enough... there were tracks leading to each of the roped off areas, and tracks leading back to the water...  We wondered at what time of the night this happens and thought how awesome it would be to see the turtles come...

There were RV tracks running the length of the beach and leading up to each turtle hatchery.  We assume that they belonged to the turtle spotters who had marked these nests.  What a wonderful job that must be!  Maybe I'll do THAT when we retire from Cruising...

We returned to the path leading back to our side of the world... and headed for the boat.

It was getting to be happy hour and we didn't want to be late!  We spent the evening listening to turtles and watching the very active pelican community dive for their supper.

I couldn't help but think about the vast differences between my life here today, and the one I had left behind just one year ago.  One year ago, I left my job at Obstetrical & Gynecological Associates of Corpus Christi.  I had been there for sixteen years and could hardly imagine a life without it.  It WAS my life.  But now this is... and the peace in my heart and in my mind is unimaginably profound in contrast.  I thank my Doctors there for making this possible for Bruce and I.  What a perfect one year anniversary it is for me.

Jezabelle begged us not to go on this impromptu adventure...
The night was quiet.  No city sounds, only those of the critters that inhabit this place could be heard as we slept soundly and awoke early.  Yippee! It was not yet dawn.  There's time to take our coffee and go for a sunrise walk on the beach.  Maybe we would catch some of those nesting turtles in the act!

The dinghy landing was dark

The super moon we had missed because of rainclouds days before...

There it is...  Dawn.  Just us, the osprey and the coconuts...

Enjoy some miscellaneous awesomeness from our beach walk...

What's a sunrise without a selfie?

Little crab was busy last night...

New shells o the beach

Turtle tracks!

Sea Oats and the Moon

Coconut Garden
And the turtles we went out searching for?  We found no turtles... but we found LOTS of new turtle tracks and nests.

Mama needs a manicure perhaps?

Washed away

Back into the waves she went...

Words can't express the beauty of this morning.  We are just so thrilled to be out here, experiencing these moments as they come.  Each one a surprise and an unexpected treat.  We just never know what our day will bring, but mostly, its a good thing.  This deserted beach at Peck Lake is an unspoiled treasure.  No crowds, no trash.  Just us and nature.  The way it's supposed to be.  

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pictures ... congrats on an amazing first year of retirement!