We made it to Florida and on Sava and have been living aboard for 2 days and nights. The adventure has already begun! Here is what it’s been like in our first days on board our new-to-us 46 foot sailboat.
Learning The ICW
We’ve been driving Sava through the ICW, Inter Coastal Waterway, which is predominantly narrow. As a result, we have been under power the whole time. The ICW is too narrow and there are too many boats for sailing, especially with our low levels of experience with our new boat.
In addition to being narrow, the ICW also has bridges. On a sailboat with a 70′ height, we need those bridges to rise for us. We boarded Sava and left the slip without a lot of prep. We don’t have a guide to the ICW. I was lucky enough to find a website that has served us well, with a list of all the bridges north to south and their schedules. Some bridges open on a regular 30 minute schedule, some open on demand. Either way, we’ve learned how to call from the VHF radio. “Sailboat Sava, calling…”. It took a man on another boat yelling across to us to learn which channel to use, but we’re getting there.
Getting Through the ICW
Overall, we’ve had it pretty easy with the bridges. The schedule of the bridges lines up so that as you make one you should make the next. We just had a problem yesterday because one of the bridges, Southern, is under construction and can’t go up higher than 65 feet. We had to turn back and retrace our whole day because we couldn’t fit under the bridge.
Life On Board Sava
We’ve already had a lot of fun, learned a lot, and enjoyed some beautiful weather and sleeping spots. The first night, we anchored in Lake Boca. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a dinghy to get to shore, nor did we have any food or cooking implements. We made due with some Belizean rum we’d stowed on the boat last month, paired with a bag of pretzels and some Kind bars. I’m not saying that was enough food for 24 hours, but we made it work.
Back at a Dock
Last night, we were lucky to dock at the Boynton Harbor Marina. We had a little trouble on the approach, which was exceedingly shallow thanks to our perfect timing at low tide. Yes, we grounded. We had some help from a man in a small power boat and one on a jet ski, who pulled our halyard and got Sava out of the dirt. Our hull is 7′ deep. Not a lot of room sometimes for our big boat.
We really needed to be at a dock
Today? Today we’re getting that dinghy, the ICW guide, and other essential supplies. Like a kettle so we can make coffee. I’ve got a list. Provisioning begins today. One more night without a dinghy and we might have started eating cat food. Or swam to shore. Fortunately we didn’t come to that, but maybe we will as we have a lot of work left to do.
Domino on the Boat
And Domino? She was amazing on our marathon travel day! Sure, she pooped in the Uber to the airport but we were prepared for that, with little diaper pads all over her bag. She was super mellow on the plane, the train and the taxi to the boat. Since moving on board, she’s found tons of places to lie down and get comfy, in the salon and the main stateroom. She’s definitely more mobile when the boat isn’t moving. We think she likes it. We’re glad we brought her. She’s so soft and cuddly, and she’s funny, and a good distraction when we get stressed. She seems happy too.
We’ve made some mistakes, and we’ll make more. We’re happy though. When two manatees swam by us in the ICW yesterday, it reminded me of why I’m doing this. To be outside, alongside the sea life, enjoying the scenery. Two days flew by really fast.