Exploring West Palm Beach and Palm Beach

Lake Worth FL, ICW
Posted by Bill

The wind picked up today from out of the south, and it created a nasty chop on Lake Worth. It wasn’t enough that it bothered us on Island Bound, but when the tide opposed the wind, it was pretty rough for the dinghy. We weren’t deterred, and jumped in and motored directly into the chop and weather for about 2 miles to West Palm Beach. It was a slow, wet ride, but we made it. West Palm has some nice floating docks that are owned by the city and they are free. You just can’t dock later than midnight…no problem for us. We went ashore and walked around.

Here is our first view of West Palm Beach:
They had cool Christmas sand sculptures instead of the traditional decorations…very cool!
Right next to where we landed the dinghy is the Palm Cove Marina which easily had over 50 very large yachts. It was an impressive marina and the boats there were even more so. It made our 42 foot sailboat look like a dinghy!
Again…where does all the money come from? We saw many large yachts with Cayman Island flags and figured that documenting the vessel as a Cayman Islands home port was a way to shelter assets.

We walked around downtown, had a slice of pizza and then walked across the bridge to Palm Beach. This is the road coming in to Palm Beach:
Palm Beach
We walked down to the beach and around town a bit. Palm Beach is very nice. It was amazing to see that almost every building on the main road onto the island was a bank or financial management firm.

Back in West Palm, we hit happy hour and then had dinner. When we started back to the boat we had the tide and wind in the same direction so it was a lot calmer and we got the dinghy up on plane, making a smoother and faster ride home.

The forecast looks great for an ocean passage to Ft Lauderdale tomorrow, so that is the plan. We will try to find a slip somewhere so I can troubleshoot the latest issue related to boat systems. We have 3 batteries that compose a “house” bank that supplies power to everything except starting the engine. Then we have 1 battery that is the starting battery. The 2 banks are isolated so you don’t deplete the starting battery, and then our charging system will charge both banks as it sees the necessity. Each battery has a rated capacity of 105 amp hours, so the house bank is 315 amp hours. We use around 80 amp hours between dusk and dawn and then run the engine for an hour in the morning and the generator to top everything off in the afternoon. I try not to deplete the house bank below 75% to maintain the best battery life…50% is the absolute max that you should deplete. When I got up and made coffee this morning, the refrigerator was surging on for a few seconds and then dropping for a few seconds, and just kept repeating the cycle…not good! After reading up on it, it does that when the battery voltage is too low to run the refrigerator. We had only used about 70 amp hours so I am not sure what caused the voltage to drop in the house bank. I’ll need shore power to figure that one out.

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