Cruisin' The Loop Aboard Kibon
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Saturday, December 6, 2003
Pearce was up before the sun this morning, had untied his "stability" line from the pole, and was pulling up the anchor as the first streaks began to show in the east.  A sailboat had come in last night just before dark, and it was already heading out the creek before us.  He must have turned into the ICW a bit too wide, because as we came around the corner he was aground.  Pearce had told Kay to stay in bed until the heater warmed up the cabin, but now she had to grab some warm clothes and go out into that 40 degree weather.  She caught the sailboat's line and secured it to the bow.  Pearce started to back up, and whing! the line broke.  So now Kay has to retrieve a wet, cold line and throw it back to the sailboat.  He came off neatly, they said thank you, and Kay went inside to warm up and make a hot breakfast.  The sun was never warm enough today, or maybe the wind was too cool.  Pearce said he thought his toes were frostbitten.  Anyway, it was a day for hot coffee, hot cereal, hot chocolate, hot soup, and finally, a glass of wine when we got to the anchorage.  We talked to New York friends.  They were toasty inside while the first half of the blizzard had dumped 6 inches of snow on the streets.  Kay tried to call daughters Caryl and Cynthia who had tickets for themselves and all the children for Christmas Carol in the city.  Pearce talked to them this evening.  Caryl tried to take the train in from Shirley this morning, but nothing was running east of Babylon, so she and the kids drove there to take the train to the city.  She hopes the new storm won't bring too much snow to impede her trip home this evening.  Cynthia and clan had taken the train down from Orange County.  Everyone had enjoyed the show, and they were all on their way back home when we talked to them.

There are quite a few boats out.  Some are coming from the north and are headed south like us, but many are local boats out having fun.  Everyone is bundled up, but they looked like they were enjoying their fishing and cruising.  We came past Daytona Beach and all the other coastline towns, including the beautiful lighthouse at Ponce de Leon Inlet.  This inlet was originally called Mosquito Inlet, after the lake of the same name, but the Chamber of Commerce thought another name would be more conducive to attracting tourists.  Kibon is anchored a few miles south of Canaveral.  We could see the huge buildings and launch site for miles before we got there.  The waterway must be busy when a launch is scheduled.  Pearce is out fishing again.  He caught one cat fish so far.  That's a start on dinner.

Sunday, December 7, 2003
We were up bright and early this morning and left at first light.  I asked Pearce how he could see the markers because they all aren't lit.  He said Hal shows him the way.  I couldn't see out of the cabin windows because they were all steamed up.  It was 55 degrees in the cabin when we woke up (before we turned on the heat), so it must have been somewhere in the 40s outside.  The cabin heated up nicely, but the windows steamed up, so I couldn't check on our progress.  After many miles of marshes and spoil islands, we began to pass fancy homes.  We noticed flags at half mast at the marinas we passed, and it took awhile to realize that today is the 61st anniversary of Pearl Harbor.  We haven't been connected to TV since St. Augustine, and our radio reception leaves much to be desired, so we weren't sure what day it was or what was going on in the world.

We had slowed to go under a bridge when a manatee surfaced 20 feet in front of us.  We came to a full stop while we waited to see where he/she was going.  He slowly crossed the channel and lazed around the bridge pilings.  Kay tried to take some pictures, but the image was too far away.  Pearce finally showed her how to increase the telephoto shots...too late!  The dolphins played around us all day.  At one point there were several pods frolicking all around.  We traveled 96 miles today -- the longest since the overnight from Jones Inlet to Cape May.

Monday, December 8, 2003
We're really getting anxious.  Pearce was warming up the engines at 6:15, and we were underway within 10 minutes.  It was a full moon last night, and it was huge and orange as it set in the west this morning.  Half an hour later the sun equaled it in size and color as it rose in the east.  The batteries in our camera were charging -- of all times!  Pearce was concerned about reaching the Palm Beach bridges during the afternoon rush hour, so he wanted to get an early start.  We made great time down through Stuart and past the gorgeous homes of Hobe Sound.  We saw quite a few boats that were decorated for one of the upcoming boat parades.  Kay had brought all the extra tree lights and the Santa Claus suit because she hoped to decorate the boat.  We just haven't had the time or the inclination.  Maybe later.

We made such great time that we approached the first Palm Beach bridge just in time to miss the 10 am opening.  Not to worry, we can wait half an hour.  But, at 10:20 the gates went down and one half of the bridge opened.  Workers were on the bridge and needed to get somewhere, so the bridge tender raised one side.  The tender replied "Yes" when a boat captain asked if he could proceed through.  The next bridge had already announced that workers would have their barge in the channel of the new span, so she would not open until noon.  We joined about 25 other boats that were anchored and waiting.  The first bridge remained open until 11:45, so many more boats joined us.  Can't you image the frustration of the cars stuck on that bridge since 10:20?  The workers on the barge decided to go to lunch, the workers on the first bridge decided to do the same, so the first bridge closed and the second bridge opened.  There was a tow with two sand barges waiting to go through, too.  When the tow captain announced, "I'm starting into the channel, so all you pleasure boats might like to back off a bit to give me room," he was greeted by an anonymous captain.  "You have no priority.  There are more of us and we travel faster, so I think you should give us room."  I wonder if this is the first time in his life that he had to give way to a pleasure boat?  We all made quite a procession going through the bridge.

We arrived at our slip at the Boynton Inlet at 1:30 -- ahead of schedule, but very, very happy to be home.  We called a cab and were back at the condo by 3.  Now we have days of unloading and unpacking.  Kibon was not only our mode of travel, she was also our moving van.  We look forward to some quiet months. 

After a loop-and-a-half, we're ready to settle down for a while. Maybe there's a trip down to the Keys this winter in the plans -- or even over to  the Bahamas (if we can figure out some way to get Kay across the dreaded "stream" without rocking). Whichever, we've stopped reporting until there's something to say. We've enjoyed keeping this log and hope you've enjoyed reading it. If you've missed any parts (or want to review) click back to the Log Index and browse about a bit. Thanks for looking in... love to all. Pearce & Kay

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