Jacksonville, FL to Vero Beach FL : Day 2 : Timing Bridges Openings

Day break of second day on leg 2- Jacksonville to Vero Beach

Leg 2, Day 2
Jacksonville, FL to Vero Beach, FL : Timing Bridge Openings

Another uneventful day! Dy didn't even pee in her panties! Wahoo!

The big challenge today was “timing” a bridge. There are many bridges along the ICW and a large number of them open up when you ask them to. Other bridges, however, only open up on a schedule. Today we hit our first scheduled bridge. The bridge only opens up on the hour and the half hour, except for during rush hour and lunch.

Using the advanced skills I picked up while earning my Physics degree in college, I computed the speed we would need to travel to arrive within 5 minutes of the bridge opening. I didn't want to arrive too soon and try to linger around in position waiting for an opening, my prowess to hold the boat in a position for a long period has much to be desired. Much to our surprise, we actually did get within 5 minutes of the opening time.

Next issue was the etiquette for such a bridge. Our we supposed to let the bridge tender know that we would be going through? We put on VHF Channel 9 (the bridge station) to listen in to see if others were doing any such thing. It was completely silent, although we could see boats queuing up on both sides. Okay, so nothing needs to be said. But how do the boats all know who goes first, whose next, etc.? We would find out very quickly.

Within 3 minutes of arriving at the bridge, we could see the arms that stop traffic from crossing the bridge come down. This is it, the moment of truth!

As soon as the bridge started going up, it was like a mad dash, all the boats on both sides raced towards the center. It was like at a pig farm when the farmer opens the piggy gate and all the pigs squish through, but in this case the piggies were coming from both sides!

I told everyone to hold on and I throttled up to barrel through just like everyone else. I did have the tide running in my favor, which allowed me to pick up some extra speed. By the grace of the bridge gods I interleaved other boats, some coming from the opposite direction, and we wove out way through! Wahoo!!

We were now passing an absolutely beautiful port town, St. Augstine. It looked like it had been lifted right out of Europe.

Continuing South down the ICW, we saw many beautiful homes. Some of the docks of the homes were spectacular in themselves. One dock, however, made us all laugh as the owner of the dock decided a toilet out in the open would be a good move.
Commode on a dock on the ICW
After what felt like a very long day (and it was, especially given the 8h40m of yesterday), we finally came up to the little creek we would be staying at for the night. On the creek is one of the Sea Ray plants (a boat manufacturer). We turned in to find another boat exactly in the spot we wanted to anchor in for the night. Oh well, first come first serve. We stayed in the creek but anchored a little bit closer to the entrance to the ICW than we had planned.

View from our anchorage out to the ICW
Today we boated for 7 hours and 30 minutes, covering about 40 miles. It helped that we rode the ebbs and flows of the tides.
See the Octopus and Alligator?
Ever stare up at the clouds and play the game of “Do you see?” We do that game a lot, but with tree stumps. Tonight we spotted an interesting tree stump duo along the banks, an Octopus and an Alligator leaving the creek.

Tomorrow we head to Daytona Beach!