For our second trip
our crew had diminished from the original five down to
an intrepid two - myself and Cheryl. With Capt. Mike
at the helm we once again left the marina and made our
way through the Titusville drawbridge.
The Titusville bridge with the
VAB in the distance.
Pelicans lounged comfortably on the bridge pilings
as we motored through. It
was a lovely, gentle day and groups of people were
camping on some of the spoil islands.
A Brown Pelican on the bridge piling.
<<< Sidenote: Spoil
islands are nothing more than the piles of dirt
created when the channel was dredged, now covered
with vegetation.>>> Campers on one of
the spoil islands.
After the wild weather
we had experienced on our first
trip we were happy to see that winds were light and
no bad weather was expected. At
least, you would think this would be a good thing, but
we found out that Capt. Mike is somehow able to turn
each trip into a special sailing lesson.
Being blissfully ignorant
of what was in store for our day, we headed south.
The calm waters were reassuring
after the rough waves of our first trip.
Cormorrants on channel marker
Once clear of the
bridge we cut off the engine and raised sail. Since
there was barely a breath of wind Capt. Mike drilled
the crew in sailing terminology, chart reading, navigation
on the Intercoastal, and naming the sail lines and their
We followed the channel
markers south as we reviewed what we had learned so far.
Channel markers on the Intercoastal not only indicate where
the narrow channel runs and show your location on the charts,
they also make handy perches for the various waterfowl
on the river. These Cormorrants look like they are standing
guard on their selected marker post.
We saw a few dolphin
(too far away to get a photo), a variety of birds, and
an even greater variety of boats. Unlike the St. Johns
river the water is so broad that you don't get to see much
in the way of scenery, but sailing keeps us pretty well
The next bridge south - a
different kind of drawbridge from the Titusville bridge.
We continued down
the channel nearly to the next drawbridge before deciding
to turn around. This is where things started to go
Think about it - we're on a sailboat
on a day with practically no breeze at all. I'll bet you
can see where this is going...
...yep. The motor wouldn't start.
We decided to sail as best we could to get as close to
the marina as possible before calling for a tow. So we
eased slowly northward.
As we approached
the Titusville drawbridge Capt. Mike radioed ahead to
request a bridge opening and notify them we were without
power. I could see he was becoming more and more tense
as we approached, but did not fully understand his concern
until we were in the middle of the bridge. The bridge
blocked what little breeze we had, and we watched our
sails go completely limp. Eeek!
We squeeked through the bridge without
drifting into the pilings and made it to just outside the
marina before calling for a tow to get us to our dock.
Capt. Mike kept apologizing for the mechanical difficulties,
but Cheryl and I agreed that it was still a good day and
we had had fun. So long as our captain keeps bringing us
safely back to port we are happy to be his crew!
The sun set as we finally docked
the boat and secured it for the night.