Day 180, Year 10: Fun Boat Trip to Peanut Island
Date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Weather: Beautiful Weather–Sunny, Temp in the 80’s, Winds E 10-15
Location: At Anchor in Palm Beach, Florida

Today was spent messing about on a boat. Early this morning we watched a Coast Guard boat install the Red 14 marker between our anchorage and the West Palm Beach city piers. It was interesting to watch and as soon as they were done, we pulled up the anchor in time to make the 10:15 am Flagler Memorial Bridge opening heading north. We motored the almost six miles to Peanut Island at the mouth of the Lake Worth Inlet. Evidently it was a dredging project in 1918 that created the island, the inlet, and the Port of Palm Beach. Peanuts were never grown on the island, but it was a planned peanut oil-shipping operation at the end of World War II. Thus the name. The peanut-oil project never worked out, but years later another event brought Peanut Island into the limelight. After the election of President John F. Kennedy, a bunker was built on the island to be used as a nuclear bomb shelter and control center if needed when the President spent time at his winter White House in nearby Palm Beach. Then in 2005, a $13 million renovation produced the current Peanut Island Park with camp sites, a pier, and even a manmade reef. We anchored Windbird off the east side of the island and took the dinghy into the pier. We walked all the way around the island on the very nice brick path but we didn’t get to tour the bunker as it is only open Thursday through Sunday. It was a beautiful day and great fun to be out and about in Windbird with Mark’s family. We all enjoyed the island and then returned to Palm Beach. We were in time for the 4:15 pm bridge opening, but quickly we learned that it doesn’t open at 4:15. We anchored and waited for the next opening. After anchoring we went to shore to have dinner at the Tin Fish and then took the trolley to City Place just to walk around and look at the sights. Mark and Mary Ellen ducked into a candy and ice cream parlor and had a bit of an after-dinner treat before we returned to Windbird. The Handley sweet tooth runs deep.

Tomorrow the gang will take us to Fort Lauderdale for Mark’s cancer treatment and then drop us off at the train station after his treatment for our return trip back to West Palm. Then Mark and I will up anchor and head out the Lake Worth inlet for destinations to the north. Depending on how much we are delayed by bad weather, we should be in Little River, South Carolina, no later than the end of next week . . . and hopefully sooner.

150408 Day 180 Florida, USA–Trip to Peanut Island
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