I thought I would write this blog daily and keep up, but I don't due to usually being so tired after being on the water most of the day. So I post when we stop for more than a day. We are currently moored in Vero Beach, FL with cruiser friends from Fairfield Harbour. We are actually rafted up with Last Flight Out (Paul & Linda). Scandia (Bev & Arne) is rafted with some old friends. Silver Lining (Karl & Elaine) will raft up with us when they arrive before Thanksgiving. The Marina here at Vero Beach has a cruisers Thanksgiving meal that all of us will participate in. It is a pot luck meal. They also have a flea market prior to the meal. I am sure we will look around at the stuff for sale.
Today, Sunday, November 24, 2013 we are sitting out a front that is blowing through. We are getting 20-30 knot winds. We walked to the beach and the Atlantic was really rolling. I am glad we are moored than out on the Atlantic. It seems there are two fronts coming so I am not sure if we are heading farther south or staying put after Thanksgiving. We won't worry about that until the time comes.
Now I will review the previous dates up until this point.
November 14, 2013
We left Beaufort, SC at 6:30 am as we had to be at the bridge at 6:50 for the last opening before rush hour as the bridge closes for two hours and does not let any boat traffic through. There was a catamaran that was out before us, but they wanted us to go first as they only had one engine and they were limping along to wherever down the ICW to have it repaired. We went through the bridge with Scandia following us. Scandia then took the lead. Today, our computer decided it didn't like us and didn't want to cooperate. So we only had the chart plotter to go by. I was actually ready to throw the computer overboard. Windows 8 is the worst release. Since leaving the wildlife refuge north of Charleston, we have traveled through nothing but marsh. It has not been real exciting. We refueled in Hilton Head, SC and anchored in Big Tom Creek, SC.
November 15, 2013
After we anchored last night, Mark and I decided we didn't like where we had anchored so we went out and tried to pull the anchor only to come to the conclusion it was wrapped around the keel. We called Arne and Bev and ended up rafted to them for the night. We had chain last year and had no problems, but the chain was too heavy for the boat so we opted to have only 30 feet of chain and the rest rope. About midnight, I thought Mark had gotten up, but it was the chain on the keel making all kinds of noise. Mark got up and fixed the chain so it wouldn't rattle. We weren't supposed to leave this morning until about 9:00 but because of our anchor/chain problem we got up to work on it and get untangled and then left. We are somewhere in Georgia now. Along the way today, Scandia lost their GPS so we had to take the lead. We anchored in the Dupelin River as we could not go farther because the tides here are so drastic and the water is too shallow. The tides are 8-10 feet so some of the waters we are traversing are too shallow for our boats so we have to wait out the low tide and go either in the rising waters, high tide, or the ebbing waters. Tonight we used our grill for the first time. Mark grilled steaks and they were wonderful.
November 16, 2013
This morning was exciting. We got up and pulled anchor and left the Dupelin River only to find fog. We sat in the fog for two and half hours waiting for it to lift. Scandia anchored and we rafted to them to wait for the fog to lift. We heard another boat, Sloop John Dee, saying they were leaving from the Dupelin River. As they came out of the fog headed for us and then past us the fog lifted. It was 9:00 and the skies are now sunny. We made it through the Little Muddy River with no problem behind Sloop John Dee. Sloop John Dee stayed in Brunswick, GA and we moved on to Jekyll Creek. We were hoping to make it through Jekyll Creek with a little deeper water, but with the fog delay we didn't make it. This time we followed a 6 foot draft boat, Mandalay. We draw less than they do so we figured that if they could make it so could we. Wrong. We got stuck once and Mark was able to get us going again and the guy behind us told us to keep our RPM's up to get through it. We had a hard time mucking through the silt as they call it, but we finally made it and we were glad we did. We anchored in the Brickhill River tonight.
November 17, 2013
We were up in the middle of the night again with the anchor wrapping around the anchor. We are going to have to figure this anchor rode thing out. I should have alerted Mark at 12:15am when I heard the difference in the tide, but I didn't. The anchor alarm doesn't go off because we don't drift so it is aggravating. We didn't get up and get going until about 8:30 this morning because of the rain and fog and because of being up in the middle of the night. At midmorning, it started really raining. We made it to Fernadina, FL at about 1:30. Last Flight Out caught up to us in Fernadina. On our way in for dinner we saw both Sloop John Dee and Mandalay at the docks. We stopped and chatted with both of them on the way to the dinghy dock.
November 18, 2013
Today is Mark's 60th Birthday! We left this morning at about 6:30 the same time we leave every morning. Dawn! Our destination is St. Augustine. We traveled through some ritzy waterfronts today. Amelia Island, Palm Harbor, and Jacksonville Beach. Some pretty homes. Today's travels were uneventful. We made it to the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine at 1:31 pm. One minute too late for the bridge opening and the bridge tender won't hold it open either. If you are not right there, you have to wait for the next opening doing circles for a half hour. We were ahead of Last Flight Out and Scandia but they caught up here. In the St. Augustine mooring field we were put at the last mooring balls in the south. It makes for a long dinghy ride. We splashed ("happy hour") at Scandia and then headed back to Sea Vu Play to make our dinner. The weather kept us from going in and celebrating for Mark's birthday. Sean called and was able to help us with our computer issue. Thank goodness. Since having our computer issue I have been using the same application, Polar Navy, on my iPad. It is okay, but does not have the detail the computer program has. At least we have several back-ups. We can't have too many.
November 19, 2013
We were up early this morning, even though we didn't have to leave. We are spending 3 nights in St. Augustine due to a front that is moving through and to visit with Aunt Dot and Uncle Ron. We thought the front was going to be colder than it was and we dressed for winter. We forgot we were in Florida. We are meeting Last Flight Out and Scandia crews at 9:00 at the dinghy dock as we are shopping today. The men are going to the Sailor's Exchange and the ladies are doing the shops in the historic area. The ladies were too early and none of the shops were open so we headed north to the Dunkin' Donuts to get some donuts for tomorrow. We stopped at some antique shops along the way. The guys called and they were waiting for us at the American Legion where we were having lunch. They have a pretty good menu and it is really reasonable. After lunch we went to the little grocery store across the Bridge of Lions. It had produce and other stuff. If you really need stuff, buy it there, otherwise wait until you get somewhere that is closer to a chain grocery store. The Winn Dixie is a little far on foot. Bev and Arne's little motor on their dinghy quit and they called us to get a tow back to their boat. Then they called back and said their friends from Barefoot'n happened by and could tow them back. So we just chilled the rest of the evening and watched our NCIS shows.
November 20, 2013
Today we got up and took our laundry in to wash our winter clothes and hopefully put them away for the remainder of the trip. We met a couple, Ralph and Beverly, from San Antonio. Their boat, Fugue, had Kemah, TX on the back, so we thought they were from Kemah. They bought it in Kemah and that's where they kept it even though they were from San Antonio. They left Texas a month ahead of us and were in Marathon the same time we were. They recognized our boat. We don't remember their's as they were a row behind us. They had to dinghy by our boat is how they remembered us. We met Aunt Dot and Uncle Ron for lunch and went to a great eatery. The Café Alcazar in the Lightner Museum. It was great. They had live piano music that was wonderful. Thanks for lunch and meeting us, Ron and Dot. We enjoyed it. The weather was not as bad as predicted. It did not get nasty until about 11:45. It was a great morning for laundry and walking around St. Augustine. I am glad we were inside the rest of the afternoon after Ron and Dot dropped us off as it did get nasty then.
November 21, 2013
Just as we dropped our lines from the mooring ball this morning to head further south, Arne from Scandia called and said his alternator was not putting out. We rafted up to them and Mark tested the output. He said it was fine and we were on our way with Scandia following us. Last Flight Out left as they had plans to visit some relatives in the Melbourne area. It rained all day today. It was just a very nasty day and I stayed down below. We stopped at 2:30 at the Halifax River Yacht Club. Nice, nice yacht club for $.75/foot. The best deal on the east coast and the harbormasters are so helpful and friendly. We finally got to celebrate Mark's birthday at the yacht club restaurant. Great food too!
November 22, 2013
Again we were up and on our way at dawn. We picked up Scandia on our way out as they anchored out in the Halifax River along with 11 other boats. We were glad we chose to go to the marina. Today We saw lots of pelicans, ospreys, and dolphins. We traveled 67 nautical miles today and anchored in Honeymoon Lake. We tried out our new sentinel or kellet on the anchor line to see if it works. I will keep my fingers crossed.
November 23, 2013
We had no problems with our anchor last night. Yay! We left Honeymoon Lake at dawn this morning with Last Flight Out behind us. Scandia was staying behind to calibrate their autopilot and Honeymoon Lake was a great place for it. It was deep and wide so they could do their circles and zig zags for the calibration. Today was beautiful finally. One day out of I don't know how many that the sun shined. Hopefully we will get better weather in the Bahamas. We had trouble this morning with our engine when I switched our splitter switch over from generator to engine while we were running. It was just a hiccup along the way and Mark got it reprimed quickly with no further problems. We put the main sail out to see if we could pick up some additional speed and it got stuck in the mast, so we rolled it back in. We will have to fix the main while we are in Vero Beach. We arrived in Vero Beach at 12:15 and rafted up with Last Flight Out to weather the storms.
November 24, 2013
This morning we took a dinghy ride across the ICW to see what was over there. There were some restaurants, condos, and houses along the water. We saw an osprey that looked like he was looking in the window of a condo. At first we thought it was a decoy and then it moved so we knew it was real. We came back to the marina and docked at the dinghy dock to go exploring. There was a boat show at the Riverside Park, so we went to see if they had anything we couldn't live without and they didn't. Then we walked to the hardware store and on down to the beach. At the beach we window shopped as it was Sunday and either the shops weren't open or it was too early. It was before lunch. We got some cinnamon rolls for breakfast tomorrow and headed back to the boat for lunch. The wind had not picked up much until after lunch. Mark changed the oil, I wrote this blog, and then we went next door to watch "Captain Ron" with Paul and Linda. We had a great relaxing day.
November 25, 2013
Today we rode the bus into Vero Beach for shopping. The guys went to West Marine and Radio Shack and the girls went to TJ Max and Dollar Tree. Then we got on another bus and went to lunch and Walmart where we picked up needed items. After Walmart, we got on the bus and headed back to the boat. We were gone all day.