Cat Pauses along the ICW
A 100 Miles of Openings....and Closings
Stuart, FL (Port Salerno) to Miami ~ 1/17/15 - 1/20/15
A mile away, Mystique approaches the Hobe Sound Bridge.
Day 1 ~ Pause in Plans
Delays are frequently part of any plan of departure. Some last-minute, unforeseen hold-up is almost always inevitable. No matter what the reason, I knew it always makes sense to anticipate and even plan on pauses.
When I discovered my catamaran's starboard engine not starting, I knew we were not ready to leave the Pocket. A stiff headwind and an adverse tidal current reinforced the message that raising sail and anchor was premature. I concluded Mystique would leave when she was good and ready. She would tell us when it was time. Anyone who has one knows a cat can be finicky. We had originally planned on leaving the day before, but our mechanic / electrician found other "things" that needed to be "fixed" before we disembarked on our 400-mile voyage to southern Florida and then onto the Exumas.
Initially, Ron, my lone crew member, and I had planned to motor out of Manatee Pocket by 10:00 am on January 17th and head Mystique southward to Miami traveling as far south as possible the first day. But further "delays" put our actual departure closer to 2:00 pm. While an afternoon departure wasn't ideal for making significant progress, our first day destination did not really matter. We had no real deadlines or firm schedule to keep. I had taken into account that 13 days was more than enough time. I anticipated our trip would take between 6 to 7 days. That would assure a leisurely pace and take into account some unforeseen circumstances. And I knew the weather and tide would turn more favorable late . And So we would take our time and arrive in the Bahamas eventually by Feb 2 when we planned for a crew change.
Prior to our departure, Mystique was fully-stocked with food staples and boat necessities. Our engines had been serviced and had been purring so we thought we were mere moments away from weighing anchor. But with three successive start-ups, Mystique's starboard engine told us otherwise. Then finally, after adding a back-up relay switch to the starboard Yanmar starter, we were off and running. Well, almost. We did have to get fully-fueled and to fill and top off water tanks by stopping briefly at nearby Sailfish Marina. Then surely we would be take-off on our way southward.
Cat Out of Pocket ~
Manatee Pocket to Hobe Sound
From Manatee Pocket to Hillsboro Inlet, just north of Pompano, Mystique encountered 18 bridges. If we had continued south down the ICW from Hillsboro, Florida, we would have encountered another 19 bridges on our way to Fort Lauderdale and then Miami.
Bridges are built to make travel easier. Their purpose is to provide easier access to land masses at the same time make possible for traffic to pass on and under the structure. When bridges traverse water, boat traffic usually moves easier, but that is often dependent upon their height or "headroom". Some bridges are fixed, but high enough for most boats to pass under. Others are bascule or draw; these are the ones you either wait to open or get lucky with your timing.
Types of Bridge Openings and Closings
Fixed Bridges (usually 65 feet high): open all the time.
Bascule (Drawbridges): scheduled openings:
- Opens on the top of hour and 1/2 hour,
- Opens on top of hour and every 20 minutes thereafter and before
- Opens on the 1/4 and 3/4 hour
Bascule (Drawbridges): open on demand
What is the difference between a cat and a catamaran?
- A cat purrs when it sleeps. A catamaran purrs when it is moves and when it makes a wake.
- A cat pauses before it pounces. A catamaran pauses when it bounces.
- A cat pauses at any mouse hole opening. A catamaran pauses at many a bridge closing.
Rusty Pelican Restaurant
Motor boats stacked for storage betweenMarine Stadium and Rusty Pelican
Marine Stadium in the distance
Heading south to Biscayne Bay Bridge