Hello, I'm Henry.  

Welcome aboard my blog's home. 

If you come along with me, you'll become acquainted with my motley mates and faithful crew:

Experiences, Sightings, Observations, Impressions, Ideas, Reflections, Remembrances, Insights and Commentary.

They, after all, have accompanied me for as long as I can recall. Their tenure has helped me turn my tiller, fill my sails, and transport me over seas to distant lands. Maybe if you take the time to get to know them, a few will do the same for you.

Click this way and scroll along if you please...Enjoy your stay.   

Cat Pauses along the ICW

Cat Pauses along the ICW

Hobe Sound Bridge opening.

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.

Finally underway, Mystique heads northward out of Manatee Pocket.

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.


At first it felt as if my cat, Mystique, was trying to tell us something before motoring out of Manatee Pocket. Sometimes taking time to pause opens one to possibilities.

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.

Official Bridge Symbol

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.

Day 1: Stuart to Hobe Sound ~ 10 miles
Day 2: Hobe Sound to Lantana, Florida - 35 miles

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.
West Palm Beach near Peanut Island on right
Lake Worth / Palm Beach tour boat
Anchored at Lantana; Ron goes kayaking ashore.
Dinner onboard near Lantana, FL.
Day 3 ~ Lantana to Miami - 65 miles
Hillsboro Inlet ~ Lantana to Pompano Beach
The causeway at Hillsboro Inlet leaving the ICW for the 50 miles bypassing the Fort Lauderdale bridges to Miami Harbor.
Coastal Wing and Wing ~ Pompano Beach to Miami - 50 miles
Ron on watch
Miami in the distance near dusk
Miami's Night Lights ~ 

Rusty Pelican Restaurant 

Motor boats stacked for storage betweenMarine Stadium and Rusty Pelican

Marine Stadium in the distance

Stopping for gas delivery truck...$1.79 per gallon as compared to more than $3.00 at marina.

Heading south to Biscayne Bay Bridge

Nearing No Name Harbor and Key Biscayne.
Asking for Help

Asking for Help

Asking For Trouble

Asking For Trouble