Under the Surface
The next morning, as eight-ish becomes late-ish, we head out into the misnamed Indian River. Being four miles wide, it's more of a bay, and we're chasing along its 120-mile length when bam! The boat stops short and my head bashes into the console.
It isn't a life-threatening injury. Bill shrugs and guesses correctly: "I think we hit something." The only casualty is a flip-flop that floats away while Bill gets in knee-deep water (love those shallow jets) to free the boat from the bottom.
Back on the liquid highway, I'm giving Bill an in-depth explanation of the fine art of looking at the markers astern as well as ahead as a guide to staying in the channel.
The rest of the day is the ICW at its best. It's all mystery, beauty, and peace wrapped in perfect weather. Miles and miles of lush greens, glassy water, and sandy banks. I'm willing to pack in my life up north and cruise down here forever. It's that good! Until I start thinking about topping off the fuel tank, which is now between half and one quarter.
Not to worry, though, because Bill assured me the last time we passed a gas dock that, according to the electronic chart, there's another marina a little ways ahead. When we finally reach the marina, I'm dismayed to find that it isn't the type that sells fuel. An easy mistake, I assure my friend. Best to use the information in the Waterway Guide, which is updated annually, unlike the chartplotter's data.
The next fuel dock is only five miles away in St. Augustine. No problem. But I'm concerned when we take on 44 gallons, and it's a 50-gallon tank. Better watch that gauge.