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We finally left Vero Beach – an easy place to stay, but we wanted to get south and be ready to cross.   Our first day out was 40 miles – to Peck Lake.  In a driving rain with gusts over 20 mph almost on the nose.  Not fun.

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The rain was like pinpricks on my face.  Everything was wet.  But Sunday was a great drying day.   Sunny and windy.

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We decided to relax at Peck Lake and enjoy the beach.

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Miles of beach – it’s the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge.   Just over the dune from our anchorage.

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Not much good shelling here.  We could see waves breaking on a bit of reef just offshore.

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But lots of burrowing sand crabs, a/k/a ghost crabs.   A pile of sand and crab tracks marks their homes.

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Their eyes are supported on stalks, giving them an ET appearance.  And they are perfectly camouflaged in the sand.

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Also birds.

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And more birds.

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And Portuguese man-of-war – mostly just pieces of them.  The “sail” on top helps them move through the water.  But they have venomous tentacles that can deliver a painful sting.

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The first time I saw one, we were crossing from the Bahamas to the US – twenty years ago.  It was the middle of the night but there was a huge, bright moon.  The moonlight reflected on these creatures and I first thought they were mylar balloons.   Wrong!

Peck Lake has picturesque palm trees where we pull the dinghy up to walk to the beach.

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This one angles out over the water.

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We continued down the Waterway on Tuesday, leaving early and getting the anchor down in Lake Worth before noon – only 25 miles or so, but seven bridges.  Some are on request and some (four) open at specific times.  We missed one bridge by about 3 minutes, but were right on for the others.  Yeah!  Here is the lighthouse near three difficult bridges:

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I say difficult because it is so impossible to predict when the bridge tender will actually open for us.  One says:  “I’ll open as soon as possible;” and another says:  “Bring it on down.”  And neither has the bridge open when we approach.  And one bridge, the one we had to wait 27 minutes for, malfunctioned – only one of its two spans lifted.  The bridge tender had to lower and start over.  So, fighting current and wind, we made circles, trying not to run aground, while we waited.

One minor almost-incident:  I saw a barge full of huge rocks next to the shore, but didn’t realize it had started moving – up the Waterway towards us.  I almost hit it.  Yikes!

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We’re now at anchor in Lake Worth, on the north side of West Palm, our exit point.  Ready to go – weather permitting.

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2 thoughts on “Beach Days

  1. looks so warm and sunshiny! I hope it stays that way for you guys! I am looking forward to showing my kids your post, I think they will enjoy all the pictures!

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