January 20, 2020
One of the things I am good at is adjusting to unexpected situations. This is a good thing because travelling around on a boat leads to a lot of practice at adjusting.
Yesterday, with vastly improved weather, my crew mate Nick and I turned Home Free to the East at Fort Pierce and went out into the Atlantic. Moving a few miles out and into the Gulf Stream we turned North and headed for Port Canaveral. Running a big boat like Home Free is much easier in the Atlantic than along the ICW. Nothing particularly wrong with the ICW except for shoaling, twists and turns, small fishing boats, crab pots, speeding boats, slow boats and the usual operator error. But other than that you have to give the ICW kudos for the scenery. So we left the ICW, turned North and had a good run up to Port Canaveral, with modest waves, following seas, winds at our stern and not a single thing in our way the entire time.
Nick had arranged for his wife Karen to meet us in Titusville, and due to our pace being a little slower than I expected it was clear that we were going to be very late in arriving. Poor Karen was awaiting our arrival at the marina and we were still almost three hours away, so we called to let her know. She was standing in the Marina office and the Titusville marina staff overheard one side of the conversation and immediately piped up, “They can’t get into the ICW at Port Canaveral, the lock shut for maintenance a few days ago”.
Being 5pm on a Sunday I got my phone out and luckily, the first place I called (and there are only four marinas in the Port Canaveral entrance), had a spot available. I’ll take it!! It’s not as cozy and quiet as Titusville would have been, but that’s okay I can make my flight home.
As I was making that call, I had the usual lift in spirits as a couple of dolphins played off of my bow. That will always be cool!
My only other option was to run another 50nm North or go right back to where we just came from, Fort Pierce and go inside the ICW. There is no chance that I would have made my flight on Tuesday if I took either of those options. So now I am at a little marina in Port Canaveral. There are cruise ships all over the place, there are a lot of fishing boats and some sailors. It’s a nice enough place, certainly safe for me to leave the boat with no currents and strong docks.
This morning I finally put in a 125km bike ride, a decent distance to get my legs going again. Now I am well under way preparing the boat for my departure. While it was cold and windy (13C and 35kph winds), it wasn’t -12C like in Toronto, so that isn’t a complaint! I did get to see some of the coast (it’s not that pretty from the road), I rode to Titusville to thank the kind people there for arranging a spot and understanding that I couldn’t take the spot due to the closure of the Canaveral lock.
On my way North I saw another first (and it was awesome). There appear to be a lot of Peregrine falcons here, and as I was turning to go North to Titusville, I heard a falcon screaming. I found it in the sky and it had a very upset fish in it’s talons. It screamed for a while until the fish settled down then it landed in its nest to feed some chicks. It all happened over about 3-4 minutes and was a fascinating sight.
This will be the last post for a while. Thanks for reading.