Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cape Canaveral

last updated Thursday 15th at 10:15am

Any comparisons of the Mosquito to the space shuttle are imaginary

Blast Off

This morning at 7:20 am Wednesday,  the Mosquito blasted off from Sebastian Inlet State Park heading north toward the Canaveral National Seashore.  Team B&B spent most of the day sailing on the ICW at 5-11 knots.

SandyBottom and SOS decided to take the inshore ICW route after scouting Sebastian inlet which was full of shoals and breaking waves. It was a difficult choice, they said, between getting through that inlet (possibly requiring a wait for higher tide and considerations of bridge clearance) or staying on the ICW route. Another consideration was that while the chop offshore makes for a wet ride,  the E-to-NE winds in the forecast made the ICW look like a good option. Tough choice, they said.

Sebastian Inlet and State Park  --on a nice day
So far, the choice doesn't seem to have hurt them any as they sailed at a good speed as comfortable as one can be when sailing a trimaran.  SB said tacking, pulling lines, and rolling from one ama to the other all day is no piece of cake, even if it might be easier than some of the alternatives.

Mosquito pre-launch

Round aft hatch,  tiller, main sheet,  trampolines,  large hatch into the grand cabin / main cockpit

Questions with Answers

When they called home this morning, I caught up on a few outstanding questions:

(1)  What sails were up during the offshore ride?    "Full mainsail and full jib."

(2)  How's the repair on the drysuit by SOS holding up?   "It's doing just fine, holding well.  Scareman's drysuit is still safely stored away as a backup."

(3)  How do you like having the SPOT mounted on the tiller?  "Early on we moved it to the boom and we like it very much there."

(4)  How was sleeping on the trampolines last night at anchor off Sebastian boat ramp?  "Good except the dew dampened our bivys and sleeping bags.  We need to dry them in the sun when the sun is higher.  A tarp would have been helpful."

(5)  How's that pesky pinhole leak?   "Better.  Only having to pump the bilge 2-3 times a day.  It's better when the waterstays tend to stay above the waterline."   (image of water stays shown below)

(6)  How does the Mosquito surf waves?   "It surfs really great.  Long skinny hulls and all..."

Waterstays connecting into main hull prevent the akas from folding up

Leaving Sebastian  

At 7:30 am this morning the wind was N or NE but soon changed to the prevailing E or NE.

Launching from the Sebastian stage point:  This is the start  of  Stage3

Scotty,  More Speed!

They made fast time sailing up the Indian River...

Sailing on the ICW

SandyBottom and SOS reported that "we were passing everyone; motorboats, sailboats, everyone".

They said one of the most difficult times of the day were when they needed to pass one of the numerous snowbird recreational live-aboard trawlers moving at 8kts with huge stern waves. Going 10kts, they would catch the trawler but then have a difficult time getting past the secondary stern wave (think of a standing wave) that was up to 2' tall. With a gust and burst of speed they would go up and over and surf down that one only to find themselves bracketed in between the primary stern wave ahead and the secondary stern wave behind. Trapped. Getting clear meant again climbing over that next wave. Or, if they slowed down they would slide up and back and down to the starting point behind the trawler. They said getting past one trawler required six tries.


SOS reported that the scariest moment yet was passing under the Bennett Causeway's double bascule bridge.
Bennet Causeway's On-Demand Bascule Bridges
Unlike other draw bridges, there was no delay between the traffic fences coming down and the lifting of the spans.  The crew had expected to have another minute to tack into position.  The bridge operator said "hey captain you're going the wrong way, you need to go north, not east."   Under pressure the crew short-changed their positioning slightly and ended up frighteningly close to pilings on the far side.  Plus the jib back-winded under the second span.  They had to paddle as hard as possible to clear the second bridge.  And they realized the operator had already closed the first span behind them while they were still under the second span. 

They collapsed in a heap after clearing the bridges.  SOS said, "But it did feel good to lie down for a minute."   


As they sailed up Indian River,  I was wondering how they would fare farther up the ICW at Haulover Canal which often has strong unfavorable currents. This end of the Indian River and the Mosquito Lagoon is an extremely popular for recreational kayaking.   It is also a well-traveled path on the ICW.  But the canal is narrow, runs NE, and can have fast currents running one way or the other for hours.   Would the Mosquito and crew be able to thread this needle?  Which direction would the current be flowing? 

By 6:30 pm Team B&B would be approaching the Haulover Canal and its on-demand bascule bridge.

Haulover Canal between the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon

MicroTom found this chart that shows that the flow can be in one direction (or the other) for several hours at a time.
Flow rates in alternating directions
 As they approached Haulover,  the SPOT tracker showed their progress... sailing at 6 kts, then 4 kts, then 2.5 kts, .... 

Paddling under the bascule bridge at Haulover Canal

They called home to say that they tied up by some sticks to lower the mast, then paddled under the bridge at 2.5 kts into an unfavorable 2.0 kt current  --so they moved forward at 0.5 kts. 

On the other side they pulled over to stop for raising the mast, having dinner, and putting on night-time warmer dry clothes.  Their day clothes were a little sweaty.   A fisherman had previously told them that the current would change direction at 7:30 pm (to the favorable direction).  

Their plan, they said, was to sail a few more miles up Mosquito Lagoon before camping for the night. 

By 8:30pm they were on the move again through Mosquito Lagoon.

Beware the Manatee

Mosquito Lagoon is the location in which at 2:00am in 2006 a formerly sleeping manatee exploded under SandyBottom's Kruger Dreamcatcher flipping her upside down in an instant.  At the time she was paddling her first 1200 mile Ultimate Florida Challenge.  All of her drybags were attached to the boat with beaners with strings; so she did not lose any gear.  The water was shallow and warm.  She reorganized on a nearby spoil island and was soon on her way.

The Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon is full of wildlife and is a popular area for kayaking and boating.

Team B&B wants to make the most of Mosquito while they can.  When they reach Ft. Clinch, they'll be switching to a Kruger Cruiser canoe and the'll be competing paddle-to-paddle with the competition coming up from behind.


Wednesday night (14th) night SandyBottom and SOS had to weave their way through wall-to-wall fishing boats clogging the ICW.  They were little boats of every imaginable size and shape with least 3 people on every boat partying and fishing.  Most had bright lights in the water underneath the boat.  SB and SOS ran aground a few times because of all the boats that perfered to anchor in the middle of the channel.


SandyBottom and SOS reached the northern extent of the Canaveral National Seashore (CNS) at 11:45 pm Wednesday night and stopped there to camp for the night at anchor on the edge of the ICW.   When they will begin sailing again on the ICW in the morning (Thursday) they will leave the CNS and enter the New Smyrna Beach metropolitan area and soon reach its inlet.  Will they go offshore?  Or will they continue up the ICW?


Meanwhile back at Sebastian stage point.....   Mosquito Magnet has rested and launched north,  while Whale and RiverSlayer arrived at about 6pm to rest there.

Meanwhile back at the starting line at Ft. DeSoto .....  careful preparations are underway at the finish line.

Ft. DeSoto is the starting line and the finish line

Meanwhile back at the ranch.....

Some are not extremely concerned about how its going for Team B&B Yacht Designs


1 comment:

SnoresLikeBuffalo said...

Awesome post. And once you two get in the Krueger, you'll probably increase the separation!!!