We settled quickly into our ICW routine: up before the sun, coffee on, the Admiral at the wheel and the Cap'n raising the anchor. Once we get moving, I get set up for the day:
Coffee, check, Cell Phone, check, Waterway Guide, check, Water, check, Scribbled Schedule for the Week*, check, iPad for reading the newspapers, email, electronic charts checking in on Facebook, playing Sramble, Googling names of passing boats, etc. check.
* I will admit this is a picture from the trip from the Chesapeake to Charleston.
See how dark it is in the background?? Leaving at 0 dark 30 causes that......
Anyway, this week has been much like others on the ICW. Up early, long hours, ever changing landscape, bridge openings to wait for, shallow spots to negotiate, anchoring mid-to-late afternoon (more late than mid this trip) early dinner, reading or tv, then off to bed, sometimes by 9 -- because the alarm goes off about 5:30AM to do it all again.
It is really not as bad as it may sound -- dolphins swim beside us on a regular basis some offering spectacular shows of agility**, the pelicans entertain us with their awkward dives, about mid-day Tuesday just before we crossed the Georgia Florida line, we noted an increase in Palm trees along with the temperature, and today the water has turned to turquoise.
We have not seen as many boats along the waterway this year -- we are not sure if we are early or late for the migration, or maybe it's the Sandy effect. We expect a lot of boats who may have planned to head south were delayed by the storm, or may have decided not to make the trip at all. Everyday, though, we seem to fall into a rhythm with a few other boats, leading or following and exchanging radio messages along the way.
We should be at our winter slip in Stuart, Florida by late this winter afternoon: another Snow Bird winter begins.
**Dolphins swimming alongside on the Indian River, south of Melbourne, FL: