Thursday, January 21, 2010
And we are off!!
But we do not actively steer the boat. Before departing I working out the route and programmed the computer and we use an auto pilot which steers the boat. From the Ga inlet to the Cape Canaveral inlet I had a total of 4 way points that the auto pilot used to steer to. Sometimes there is quite a distance between the points. So standing watch amounts to monitoring the course and if need to, making adjustments while monitoring all of the other instruments;a lot less tiring than actively steering. You can stand up and walk around and still keep a close eye on things in the pilot house. We have an AIS system, which broadcasts our name and navigation data ( name, course,speed type of vessel etc) via a radio frequency to other boats or ships. It has a range as any other radio would have but usually about 10nm. All commercial ships are required to have this and some pleasure boats have it, but it is optional. I like the larger ships to see me as well as being able to see them .The information is displayed on both our radar monitors and the navigation chart plotter. We use two radars one close in and one farther out to give us the best geographic coverage. Each unit is equipped with ARP that will acquire a target and give it a number and a predictor line of it's course to help keep track of traffic. During this trip we had no AIS or ARP targets once past Jacksonville and at night. Our evening was very quiet and pleasant with a very beautiful sunset. Jeannie fixed a great dinner with meatloaf and Israeli couscous,yum. We ate before it was dark so we kept our lights off to preserve our night vision.
We arrived at Cape Canaveral right on time at 10:30 am and had an uneventful entry into the canal. We saw a Navy Submarine leaving and passed a cargo ship in the canal as well. This is also a big port for the cruise ships leaving this time of year for trips to the Bahamas and other warm water destination.
Tomorrow we are off again, we will travel through the remainder of the canal, bridges and one lock to rejoin the ICW. The weather in the ocean is much worse than it was these past two days as another front comes in. We will go to Vero Beach Fla and meet up with some neighbors and then on to Stuart Fla to visit other friends for a few days before heading further south.
But the really big news is it is warm, I washed the boat wearing shorts; oh how I hate cold weather.
Posted by John and Jeannie Coyle at 6:59 AM