'Melinda Kay' left their dock shortly after us and so, I guess we're going to lead today. We had all planned to anchor south of Daytona Beach at Rockhouse Creek. This is suppose to be a very scenic anchorage with a view of the Ponce de Leon lighthouse and the ocean.....when the winds are calm and not blowing out of the NE. Well guess what? The winds were to pick up and blow...yes...out of the NE. So, half way to our destination, Barb called to suggest we anchor instead at the Memorial Bridge anchorage.
|Live Aboard-Pink Panther|
Along our way
Before we knew it, we were passing under the bridge and the anchorage was immediately to port. Where Doug was attempting to get to the anchorage, there was 6 feet of water...he draws 5.5 ft. I quickly read the Active Captain reviews and they were warning that the water depths on the approach were less than what was on the charts. I called and suggested we continue about 3 more hours, since it was only noon, to the New Smyrna Beach anchorage. The protection was suppose to be 'all around' and good holding. We were just hoping the weather would hold for the next 16+ miles.
Then as we approached the George Musson Bridge or Coronado Bridge to some boaters, the winds were slamming into us! This bridge opens on the hour, 20 minutes and 40 minutes after the hour. The bridge tender didn't answer to either Barb or me when we tried to hail her on channel 9. We really needed to get an opening because we weren't in a very good situation. The water was narrow and the wind and currents were pushing us toward the closed bridge. Barb than tried the tender on channel 13, while I tried her on 16. No response. My next effort was to call her on the phone. She was a bit sharp with me and said that there was nothing wrong with her VHF radio...go figure...for all times for a tender not to hear us! Surely she could see us! We needed that bridge opened so we could pass through instead of turning circles in 25 mph winds!
It finally started to open and we both motored toward it, only to suddenly realize that the slow rise of bascule bridge wasn't high enough yet for our masts! :(( So Doug quickly pulled away and circled back and then Chuck quickly had to do the same. Then, we finally made our way through the bridge. Good, we would be at our anchorage another 1.7 miles down the ICW...which was to have protection from all sides except to the SE....they lied!!!
I motored into the anchorage while Chuck dropped the anchor. We anchored next to G45
and a derelict sailboat. Once we were settled, Doug found their spot and anchored. After 50.1 miles, we were settle in at 2:30. Just in time for the winds to continue to pick up speed. We were beginning to thing that we should have called for a dock at one of the marinas at New Smyrna Beach. We were holding, so it was safer to stay where we were than to attempt to move into a dock. Soon, 2 catamarans pulled up behind us and a sailboat. Another sailboat, Calypso, dropped their anchor in front of sv/Melinda Kay. It looks like we are all in for a wild and crazy night!!