We went to bed assuming the next day would be a lay day as the forecast was for thunderstorms. Not my favorite. But when I checked weather at 6 am, the worst forecast I could find was for 25% chance of showers. That’s about as good as it gets for the central Florida coast, so we launched. As it turned out, the weather was beautiful for the entire trip. How we go from a forecast only 24 hours old calling for a 90% chance of thunderstorms to clear and dry I have no idea.
The trip was easy, no shoals, just a few bridges and initially, not too much traffic. But by mid-day, it became more and more of a zoo as we got near Jupiter Beach. Anyone and everyone who owned a fast runabout was buzzing around us, surely paying little attention to other boats around them, and probably drunk. I dont think they realize how long it takes to stop or turn an 80,000 lb vessel.
We have a rule that we never travel on the ICW on the weekend. We will add the Friday after thanksgiving to that lay day rule.
North Palm Beach is our designated re-provisioning and Bahamas jump-off spot. The marina is great and we are surrounded by good stores and restaurants. I have a fair amount of deferred maintenance to deal with and the John Deere folks need to come by and trade out yet another set of leaking raw water pumps. Very exasperating.
From here we have a few choices of routes to the Exumas. An overnight would get us to Shroud Cay or thereabouts. Or a long day plus a few hours could get us to a spot on the banks to anchor and get some sleep. If crossing the stream does not look good, we will move south to Miami, either in the ICW (yuck, 22 bridges) or outside along the coast (much nicer if the seas accommodate)