March 8-11, 2014... Hobe Sound, FL

Waited and waited for a weather window to sail to Ft Pierce. Gave up waiting and puttered up the ICW instead, stopping in Hobe Sound. We'd been there before and remembered it being beautiful, but wow, it really is. Anchored off Jonathan Dickinson State Park, we had a manatee visitor, several dolphins, saw loads of pelicans, ospreys, herons, and at night when the boats stopped moving the water was incredibly still, and there was hardly any sound. What a change from West Palm Beach.

Adventure #1: Climbing the Mountain. From our anchorage we could see the viewing tower in the state park. We decided we needed to climb that tower, for no other reason than we hadn't done it before. And it is the highest spot in south Florida -- an astounding 86 feet! Only question, how do we get there. Using Google imagery we figured out there was a path up the hill from Hobe Sound to US1, almost near the back entrance to the park. We kayaked over, tied to a tree, found the path, crossed the road, entered the park, got lost twice, but found the tower eventually. Quite a view over the park and over Hobe Sound, Jupiter Island, and the ocean. Enjoy the photos.

Adventure #2: Kayak Marathon. We used to kayak several times a week, but had lost the practice while in WPB. Here, the natural surroundings beckoned. We were going bird watching in the mangroves, in and out of the ox-bows off Jupiter Narrows. We lost track of all the herons we saw -- great blues, little blues, yellow-crowned night herons, egrets and then, all the osprey nests! They were everywhere, several with two adults standing by. Pelicans crashed into the water, anhingas diving and fishing, and kingfishers -- incredibly fast and skittish. Dolphins swam by. We could do this all day.

We were a couple hours north and realized we needed to turn back. We hadn't noticed the sea breeze had come up; turning south we were into it big time -- wind (literally) on the nose. South of the Hobe Sound bridge, we put some muscle into it and were still 3 miles from Anhinga. With only minor whining from one crew member, we were just about back when a power boat screamed by at 30mph, creating a HUGE wake at the narrowest spot. We took one wave over the side, turned into the wake and went vertical for a moment, but came down ok. Now we were tired AND drenched. Back at Anhinga, checked the charts, saw we had covered 10 miles. Chocolate reward for the crew!

The next day we pulled up the anchor and headed for Ft. Pierce. The drive through the mangroves along Jupiter Narrows was fabulous. Notably, north of the bridge we saw 3 limpkins on a log, and an osprey on a marker, staring us down. Dolphins welcomed us to the Indian River and played alongside once we got north of the St. Lucie inlet.

Hobe Sound: 27d01.461'N 80d06.242'W

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