Since our failed autopilot cut short our Charleston to Miami passage, we’ve been getting some rest and relaxation at Harbortown Marina, nestled along the Canaveral Barge Canal. The marina has a quaint and small-town feel. From the looks and comments of passersby, I think Beatitude is the biggest vessel that’s been in here in a while. There is not a lot of maneuvering room inside for a boat with a beam of 25′. But, the people are super friendly and it has turned out to be the perfect place to spend a few days waiting for proper weather for the continuation of our voyage.
As previously mentioned, the Garmin people were super responsive to our needs and had us ready to go the same day we pulled in. But by then, the weather wasn’t ideal to continue — plus, we were dead tired. So, we rented a car for a few days and have been running errands, doing small boat tasks, and chilling. On our last overnight passage, Cindy’s iPhone was sitting out at the helm station and took on quite a bit of salt spray. So, on one day we had to take a trip to Orlando for an Apple Store visit to replace the phone (Thank God for Applecare!). We met up with good friends and family for supper afterwards. We’ve bought a few other items we might need while out of the country for a couple of years or more. This morning, we attended church at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Cocoa.
We now feel refreshed and ready to head offshore again. Hopefully, our repairs were effective and hold up. But, as Captain Ron says, “If it’s gonna happen, it’ll happen out there!” We are now thinking we will bypass Miami altogether. The plan is to leave either tomorrow morning or Tuesday morning and head down the Florida coast to around the Lake Worth area. From there, we’ll hang a 90° turn to port and cross the Gulf Stream. We’ll skirt the southwestern coast of Grand Bahama Island and head southeastward toward Great Harbor Cay in the Berry Islands. We will then decide whether to check into the Bahamas there or continue on to the eastern end of Nassau. Once in Nassau, we’ll have a short 30 nautical mile passage to the Exumas. Despite a tropical low just southeast of the Bahamas heading this way with a 70% chance for development (as of the time of my writing), the forecasted weather through at least Thursday in the area we will be traveling is expected to be very light and variable winds. We’ll take a look at the forecast in the morning and decide whether to go tomorrow or wait another day. We won’t take any crazy chances.
Below is a one-and-a-half minute video I produced of our dolphin encounters the other day. We were twice treated to 15-20 minute shows up at our bow by the visitation of two pods of dolphins swimming playfully just in front of Beatitude. Cruising on your own sailboat can be an enchanting way of life.