Because of construction of the new bridge, the Flagler Bridge near West Palm Beach has limited opening times. The first is at 7:15 am, then because of vehicle traffic, they skip the 8:15, but at 9:15 they resume the hourly schedule. Except in the afternoons when they skip the 4:15. I think. Whatever. Anyway we started out early yesterday to make the Flagler 7:15 opening.
We made the opening with no problem, but it was a little unnerving creeping past the huge construction barges and cranes, and under the single leaf (35' wide) opening. I have attached an aerial view of the bridge conditions at the bottom of this post.
Our plan was to make the quick trip up to the Fort Worth Inlet, check the conditions, and most likely go outside for our run to St. Lucie. Things looked good when we got to Peanut Island, so we went out and although we would have liked a bit more wind, we had a nice ride up to the St. Lucie Inlet.
The tide was against us as we entered the inlet, but once we got inside, the current lessened a bit and we had a pleasant sail up to Stuart and the Sunset Bay Marina. We arrived at our assigned buoy about 3:30, and by 4:00, we had the boat tidied up and the dinghy launched.
After checking in at the marina office and getting a tour of the facilities, we bought some ice and headed back to the boat. We promptly had some cold drinks and took naps because we're old, you know, and it was a long day.
Here is a map showing our route on Tuesday (Boca Raton to West Palm Beach) and Wednesday (West Palm Beach to Stuart).
Conditions at the Flagler Bridge.