Boating… the good, the bad, and the Ugly…

January 9, 2023

View From the flybridge

Hello to all! Happy New Year and thanks for checking in on us.

THE GOOD... We have finally finished up at the boat yard, and started our journey south. We stopped to fill up with diesel , we now have 600 gallons which should hold us over for quite a while.

We are excited to actually be cruising the Intercostal Waterway again. It’s been a while. We are about to find out how much things have changed. Today we are moving about 29 miles south and will put the anchor down at Lake Worth, a popular spot for boats that are waiting for the right weather to cross the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas.

Underway running smooth.

The Intercoastal waterway (ICW) is a 3,000 mile inland waterway running from Massachusetts southward to the tip of Florida and around to Brownsville, Texas. It provides a navigable route without the many hazards of travel on the open seas. Wayne and I have traveled from Florida all the way up to Maine a few times, and really loved getting to know the East Coast.

The next morning, we were up early back on the waterway… today we are traveling to Fort Lauderdale. From Palm Beach to Ft. Lauderdale the waterway is jammed full of bridges. In a small boat, no problems. But we are 20′ tall including our antennas and lights, so we have to sometimes wait for the bridge to be opened. Trying to time our travel so we don’t have to wait too long. Most people just go outside on the ocean for this area, and as we found out probably a good idea! Besides the bridges, you have lots of day boating with boats zooming all over the place and causing bothersome wakes. Outside next time!

THE BAD and THE UGLY…. So.. All was going well, adjusting to the traffic and timing the bridges. Another thing about the bridges. We have a ICW guide that tells us about each bridge along the way. It’s height and how many feet of clearance a boat has to clear. Usually there is a water marker just in front of each bridge which shows the water line with the height, and most bridges have a sign that says 3′-4′ more clearance at center. So.. we should know when we have to stop for a bridge to open and when we can go under.

As we were approaching a bridge, our book showed 21’of clearance, and we had been under other 20′ bridges without a problem. The tide also affects bridge clearance. As we approached we noticed the sign board was reading just under 20′. I asked Wayne, “should we ask for a bridge opening?” His response… “no – I think we can make this, we have been under 20 footers”. I asked again with urgency… “I think we should ask for a bridge opening”. But by that time, we were going….

Crunch crunch, snap snap. OMG as the bridge ripped off our KVH satellite TV antenna and dome, along with 2 VHF antennas and our navigation light!

The fortunate thing is that no one was hurt. (even the bridge). We learned a big lesson and hands down – this was the worst boating mishap we have had in our many years of boating. We are not taking this lightly, just putting it out there with the good, the bad and the ugly that can happen while boating. You just never know.

We have taken a slip in a Marina, will work on getting our damages repaired, and will then start looking for the next weather window to cross the Gulf Stream!

8 thoughts on “Boating… the good, the bad, and the Ugly…”

  1. Thank you for sharing your adventure! Lessons learned….. I didn’t know the intercoastal spanned such many miles!
    Have a ball!!

  2. Uh-oh! Always lessons to be learned in life…part of the journey. So glad no one was hurt and that you will be on your way again, hopefully soon!
    The Sharona looks beautiful! I can picture having dinners there and playing Farkle!
    May you have fair winds and following seas 🥰

  3. Thanks for sharing the bad and ugly as well as the good. At least you don’t have to worry about THAT ever happening again, right? Great photos and log of your inland adventures and sights. Good luck on your crossing!

  4. Great Blog. Just a small mishap. Exciting entertainment for us reading but I’m sure you were flapping for just a minute. As you noted no human injuries so onwards and tally ho for another adventure. Love the pics so beautiful and interesting. Living the life.

  5. O my goodness…. The adventure is all about the new in life …the . Good the bad and ugly…. Living the dream you both are .

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