Fog and more fog


G Dock  Feb. 16, 2014. We’re back and Sable is in her new slip at Halifax Harbor, Daytona Beach, Fl.  Now I know you northeast cruisers are used to fog, but it is rare in the south and we don’t have radar, or much experience with it.

023We had crossed from Bimini to Ft. Lauderdale on Jan. 28 under nearly ideal conditions-except no wind. However, we’d rather motor with flat seas than challenge the Gulf Stream banging in to waves and wind. So motor it was. 002

Our crossing was fast and smooth and the following day we did the run up to N. Palm Beach on the outside, avoiding the ICW and some 18 bridges. The weather only got bad-rain and fog-as we got into Lake Worth.

For some reason we still think entering Lake Worth from the ocean is a good idea. The entrance is straight forward, jetties on both sides, but I actually can’t remember a good entry. Last year we entered in the dark and encountered a huge dredging operation without lights and no warning on the radio. That was a challenge. This year, it was rain and fog, making for poor visibility. The chartplotter is a wonderful help, but with all the boats at anchor around Peanut Island, you still need to be able to see.

Our real delays with fog didn’t start really until we reached Melbourne, just two days away from our home port. We woke up on Feb. 2 intending to leave at 7:00 but we had fog so dense we couldn’t see the first set of markers in the channel going out of the marina. There was no wind so the fog stayed.We finally were able to leave the dock at 9:50. Fortunately we had a short day.

Then Titusville. This would be our last day and we were eager to leave at first light so we would have time to begin to off-load the boat to start home by car early the next day. We had an email saying we needed to have our 67 Beetle in Savannah to load for his trip to Cape Town, S. Africa sometime around Feb. 17. As much as we didn’t want the sailing to end, we were excited about this next adventure. 

We woke to a bit of light fog in the distance, but no problem leaving the marina.  We threw off the lines at 7:10. it was a different story in the ICW. As soon as we cleared the marina harbor and turned north, the boats at anchor made a beautiful eerie photos in the fog. photos 313


photos 316But soon this was all we could see off the bow.

Again, the chartplotter showed the markers, but we could hardly see them until we were on top of them. No good. This stretch takes you across a wide section of the Indian River and through the Haulover canal. There are rocky jetties both entering and exiting the Haulover canal and a bridge that opens on demand in the middle of the canal. The Indian river is wide but very shallow and only a couple of spots to safely anchor on either side out of the channel. I phoned the bridge tender to see if the fog was better or worse in the canal. She told me how little viability she had and at 8:12 we dropped anchor near a small island just off the ICW where the channel turns 317

 I fixed another cup of coffee for each of us and we sat in the cockpit in silent fog, air horn in hand in case there were other over-eager boaters who had come out in this fog. Not surprising, there was no one. Finally at 9:30, we pulled up anchor. It was still foggy, but not quite so much and we needed to move on to make Daytona. By the time we hit the canal, the fog had completely lifted which was a good thing, because this is a favorite fishing spot for small  boats and even on a clear day, they do not watch for boats navigating this canal.

All’s well that ends well and we were tied up in our new slip at 3:30. We didn’t do much except go out to dinner. Fatigue from the tension of the day had set in and we both were quite willing to wait until the next morning to begin to off-load.

photos 290This ends our blogs about Bahama sailing until next season. We intend to blog our trip to Africa and of course the next steps in our writing.

Jan and Ed on Sable.


About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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2 Responses to Fog and more fog

  1. Milford says:

    Great to hear you and Sable are back safely. Have enjoyed following you this winter. Now looking forward to following you and Stewball in S. Africa.

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