Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ft. Lauderdale Spring Break

Progress has been slow this morning.  Winds were very light (blocked) in the IWC.  At the Sheridan Street Bridge,  Team B&B chose to lower the mast and paddle under rather than wait for the next bridge opening.  The wind was so light they chose to paddled the 1 mile to the next bridge, East Dania Blvd.  At the Dania Bridge at 11:10am,  the channel narrowed substantially and created a strong unfavorable current.  They chose to anchor and wait a few minutes for the current to slow as high tide was reached.    

Waiting for slackening tide at the East Dania Blvd Bridge
At Dania Bridge
At Dania Bridge
They took the opportunity to run over to Jimbo's Sandbar restaraunt via the sidewalk on the bridge.  They refilled their water tanks and bought a hot dog lunch to enjoy in the shade under the bridge.  SOS snapped photos of the mast-down "Mosquito" from the top of the bridge. 

He also scouted the surf and saw that the wind was ok but the waves were "as rough as any surf I've ever seen in the Tybee 500 [annual offshore catamaran races].   We do not want to go out in that."   This changed their previous plan to go out the Port Everglades inlet.   Despite its bridges and blocked wind, the ICW was their better choice.

Soon the current slowed and by 12:15pm they had paddled under the Dania Bridge and beached to make mast raising easier.  Mast up, they sailed on northward to pass through Port Everglades harbor.

At Dania Bridge from 11:10am to 12:15pm
  
Earlier at 10:15am,  they paused at the Sheridan Street Bridge to lower the mast and paddle under

Offshore winds kicking up rough surf



Local Inlets.  "Ft. Lauderdale inlet" is the Port Everglades inlet
Meanwhile, other challengers in the 1200mile Ultimate Florida Challenge were dispersed on this Spring Break Saturday.  While Team B&B were passing under the Dania bridge,  ArdieO was about 25 miles ahead in the DelRay area. He had passed the Dania bridge at 5:15pm on Saturday.  Also ahead was Mosquito Magnet,  who had passed the Dania bridge at about 9:10am today (Sunday).   Perhaps if the "Mosquito" can catch up closer to him,  his magnetic personality will pull the "Mosquito" forward.   Team B&B was ahead of RiverSlayer (just reaching Miami),  SaltyFrog (in northern Biscayne Bay), and Pelican (still in Florida Bay).

Webcam image of Port Everglades harbor at 1:30pm Sunday: 
I hoped to see Mosquito here but did not.

Update:    SB and SOS crossed the open waters of Port Everglades harbor at about 1:30pm.  Otherwise they've found the high-walled concrete canyons of the east coast crowded with boats and further challenged by strong currents, blocked wind, and strong wind gusts in the gaps.  At 2:00pm Team B&B pulled into a residential canal to reconfigure the "Mosquito" for paddling:  mast down and stowed to one side,  one trampoline pulled back to allow paddling.  

SandyBottom paddled from the front cockpit while SOS paddled from the main cockpit and managed the tiller.   They paddled north until 7:30pm when the high wind and unfavorable current slowed them to a crawl.  They pulled into a side canal to rest and wait for the conditions to improve.  They had traveled about 23 nm since sunrise.

2 comments:

SnoresLikeBuffalo said...

Great pics & post. Really good decision to stay inside! Hope the surf calms down enough to let you do some real sailing!!!

SnoresLikeBuffalo said...

Oops, you are really sailing. I meant that I hope you get to sail unrestricted by the confines of the ICW!

dAVE