Ship's log of Krogen 48' Classic Solveig III: A cruise down the East Coast
(Titusville, Mile 878) Serious discipline is in order. Both our televisions work off one satellite receiver, tuned from the main cabin. Last night the captain emerged all sweaty from the hot engine room, having completed the messy job of changing the oil and filters, helped the first mate cut her hair, got the satellite tracking, tuned in the Comedy channel, and was watching the 7 p.m. repeat of the Daily Show while preparing for a urgently-needed shower in the forward stateroom, and the first mate changed the channel! Right in the middle of the show! What do you think? Double watches? Flogging? Worse? I went with a hug - but before the shower.
Boy did we have some thin water today, especially around New Smyrna Beach. A fellow in an Albin 34, who had passed us a mile or so before, ran hard aground at a spot we were headed right toward, thinking we were following the recommendations in the Cruising Guide to avoid shoals on the green (left) side. We gave the red marker a little more room and squeaked by in about 5.5 feet. Since the shoal areas in North Carolina we haven't been paying that much attention to the tide tables, which aren't that predictable on the ICW anyway. Plus they've been inconvenient, with the lows coming early to mid-morning, when we want to be underway to make our 50 miles. I guess we'd better start being more attentive. It's not as if we need to be anywhere, after all - although we're entertaining hopes of connecting with Ken and Marsha in Fort Lauderdale this weekend as they board a cruise ship.
Just South of Daytona Beach we were charmed by the sight of a Pelican rookery, with every square foot occupied by those fine creatures. Then in a few minutes we were downwind of it and caught a whiff of the smell, which was particularly un-charming, to the point of making your eyes water. Like, if anyone recalls, cleaning out a chicken coop. Turns out the big birds had all been pumping out their holding tanks there.
Below New Smyrna is a stretch of water named Mosquito Lagoon - long, wide and very shallow, with a straight line for the ICW cut through it. The expected bugs didn't materialize, but there were waterfowl everywhere, and nothing but marsh and scrub for about twenty miles. A few unexpected shoal areas, but Solveig III has a helpful feature - as the water gets shallow it compresses under the hull and puts pressure on the rudder, so you can feel it in the wheel. Hard steering means throttle back.
Titusville is just across from Cape Canaveral. No space launch tomorrow, apparently. But just now, as the evening sun sinks into the horizon, the whole area started to glow pink, including all the people across from us on the spit of land fishing. Couldn't conceive of a better show than that.