This is beginning to be a trip about “the bridges of the ICW” as our daughter Lauren so aptly stated to us in the beginning. We had 12 bridges to clear today before we reached Ponce Inlet, where we intend to go outside for the rest of the way down the coast of Florida. After 6 high rise bridges, two of which we had to wait on for the tide to go down, we gave up and anchored for the night right before the Sea Breeze twin bridges. It was an unpleasant anchorage, directly exposed to the winds which were blowing more than forecast. We finally got situated about 2100, but I kept an anchor watch till 2400 just to be sure. We haven’t drug anchor yet but it happens to everyone eventually, I have heard.
We rose early hoping the tide board would reveal a number we could proceed on, but it didn’t. I had called the local coast guard station the night before to ask when low tide was where I was, but the young seaman couldn’t help me. I called in the morning asking for assistance with the tides, and was told the low tide would be at 1100 at Ponce inlet, and it would be the same where I was, they thought. I disagreed. We were 11 miles away from Ponce inlet. The tides here run two directions because they dug canals for the ICW connecting north and south flowing rivers, so the current changes as you proceed. I then called the local Towboat US guy. He had the local knowledge needed, and informed me we were about 3 hours behind and would see low tide about 1300. He was right.
We then made our way un-hindered past 6 more bridges to the Lighthouse Marina at Ponce Inlet. After checking in, a guy at the marina loaned me his truck to make a provision run to the Publix, and to get some gas for the dinghy, as they didn’t sell gas. His tank was almost empty so I put some gas in for him. When I returned to the marina, I learned he had lost his license, so the gas wouldn’t help much. I will tip him some cash in the morning before we leave. Kindness cannot go un-noticed