FL to CT Day 10
St. Augustine, FL to Fernandina Beach, FL
Set my alarm and got up at 0200 to see the lunar eclipse... stayed up watching for 30 minutes and went back to bed... figured I would see photos people that stayed up all night to watch it... I opted to sleep.
Alarm went off at 0615... the lunar eclipse watching for some reason made getting out of bed and going a little slower than normal... hit the snooze for 15 minutes or so before finally rising to a beautiful skyline just before sunrise.
Feed Beecha breakfast and off to land on the dinghy to walk Beecha. She decided this morning was the morning she wanted to dilly-dally... normal 10 minute walk turned into a half hour plus... did not get back to SAILS until after 0700... still had to do the engine checks and prep SAILS for the days cruise.... Destination for the day Fernandina Beach.
We dropped the mooring pendant at 0745 and were underway north toward the St. Augustine Inlet... a strong current against us... but this was good as soon as we crossed the inlet we would have a favorable current all the way to Fernandina Beach. In fact we had times we were doing almost 10 knots with he current pushing us... There were only a few short stretches that slowed us down... love these days.
Had one boat pass us and we passed one sailboat... other than that there was virtually no one else out on the water... could of had something to do with the approaching weather front... we were lucky and seemed to skirt through with very little rain... wind picked up a few times but for the most part the bands of rain passed in front and behind us.
We had hoped to stay at the Fernandina Harbor Marina and called them to check on availability and was told they were sold out... I know the MTOA Southern Rendezvous is taking place there now... we had planned to attend as we do every year but this year with the issues with SAILS we were not sure if we would get there in time so we canceled our plans to attend.
Anyway, we had a certificate for a free complimentary night at The Oyster Bay Yacht Club just a couple miles west of the Fernandina harbor Marina so we contacted them to verify the free night offer was still valid...
IT WAS! So we turned west out of the ICW at Fernandina Harbor Marina and were soon pulling up to the docks at The Oyster Bay Yacht Club. At approximately 1530 we were secure to the T-head of dock C at N30°39.943', W081°30.299'.
We traveled today for 7.75 hours covering 55.8 nautical miles averaging 7.2 knots.
Posted at 3:58 PM
FL to CT Day 9
New Smyrna Beach, FL to St. Augustine, FL
Last night we spent the evening with Peter and Charlotte... had a few drinks and an awesome dinner. It was great visiting with them and catching up on things... we really enjoyed the evening.
During dinner Susan and Charlotte made plans to go the grocery at 0800 in the morning before we left. Susan needed to restock a few things and Charlotte was so gracious to take Susan.
Alarm still went off at 0600 but this mornings routine was a little different which was sort of nice change of pace. Anyway we were at the docks behind the Peter and Charlotte condo at 0800 and of course Peter was there to greet us and help us tie up the dinghy. We walked up to the their condo and Charlotte and Susan were soon off to Publix. Peter and I enjoyed the morning sitting on his lanai watching the water... Coffee for Peter and TAB for me... a slow start to the day... very nice!
Soon Susan and Charlotte were back from the grocery and we all headed back to the dinghy with the groceries... We departed on the dingy back to SAILS... always sad leaving but knowing it won't be that long until we return in the fall makes it easier... We had a grief but great time with Peter and Charlotte.
Arriving back on SAILS we prepared to depart... lift the dinghy, weigh the anchor and we were underway at 1015 heading north... destination undetermined at this point.
We had an outgoing current sitting at anchor so I assumed that being on the south side of the inlet we would be faced with the same outgoing current on the north side of the inlet... nope! We got a boost of speed soon running 7.5 knots... at times we were hitting 9 knots... with this boost in speed we could easily make St. Augustine... so we made St. Augustine the destination for the day.
Just before Palm Coast we were running along 12 feet of water and 7.6 knots... BAM! the boat lifted up on the port side... we had hit something... I quickly throttled back to idle and checked the depth sounder and we were still in 12 feet of water and dead center of the channel... we were actually between a red and green day marker one to port and one to starboard... not sure what we hit but it sure startled both of us... I checked behind us and could see nothing in the water... I checked the bilges to be sure that whatever we hit had not punctured the hull... All good... I brought SAILS slowly back up to speed... no vibrations... All was good other than we hit something... Susan thinks it was a manatee or more than one manatee... seemed to solid to me and don't think a manatee could jar the boat the way this had... it's a mystery we will probably never solve.
After this this the rest of the trip went smoothly and we arrived to St. Augustine at approximately 1800. We hailed the marina and they gave us our mooring ball assignment... M5... the same ball we had used last time we stopped here... always a pain finding the mooring ball... numbers always facing the wrong way... but knew exactly where this one was... at 1815 we were secure on the mooring ball.
Our location for the evening…. N29°53.345’, W081°18.442’. We traveled for 8 hours covering 57.6 nm averaging 7.2 knots.
Posted at 7:56 PM
FL to CT Day 8
Cocoa, FL to New Smyrna Beach, FL
We had a first time experience while at the docks in Cocoa. Shortly after going to bed at approximately 2230 we had a man knocking on our hull and yelling... "Steel hull... yep... steel hull" We yelled to him that there was people aboard and to please stop knocking on our hull. That just fired him up and he walked up and down the side SAILS rapping on the hull. I asked again to him to stop and he continued. I went to the side deck where he was now standing knocking on the hull and asked him to stop... he continued and yelled to me... so what are you going to do about it... Well, I replied this... I started blasting him with the water hose... he charged at me and jumped onto the side deck... well should better phrase that he stumbled and fell onto the side deck blocking the stream of water from the hose as best he could with his hands... once he got back to his feet.. he started up the steps toward me... I continued to blast him with the hose. He then asked that I stop and quit f...ing with him... I told him I would stop ponce he got off the boat... which he did and I stopped the water... he then marched away saying he was going to call the police... I said please do call them. He hung around for while but in 15-20 minutes he left and we never heard from him or the police that night.
Of course this did make for a very unsettled night... neither of us slept very well and every little noise woke us up... was very interesting though.
Alarm went off at 0600... way to early after an night like this and we went through the morning routine which basically revolves around feeding and walking Beecha. We departed the docks at 0730 bound for New Smyrna Beach. We had plans to meet Peter and Charlotte Behr there and spend what I sure will be a much better evening than our night at Cocoa.
You could tell it was still the weekend with the number of small pleasure boaters out on the water... and a fair amount of cruisers that you could tell were moving north or south on their boats.
Had to deal with three bridges today... NASA Causeway Bridge, Haulover Canal Bridge and the George Musson Bridge. The first two gave us the third dgree when we hailed and asked for an opening... asking what our air draft was... and if that was with the antennas down... and other similar questions but both finally agreed that we needed an opening. The George Musson Bridge we just arrived at the right time with it already open and passed through with no delay.
We normally go to either the free docks just as you arrive to New Smyrna from the south or anchor in Rockhouse Creek. The free docks were loaded with people fishing, swimming, kayaking, etc... after last night's experience we opted to continue on to Rockhouse Creek. Susan made a phone call to Peter and Charlotte to let them know we had arrived and that we were going to anchor in Rockhouse Creek. Peter informed her that it was full of boats... Peter and Charlotte can see the creek from their lanai... so, plan needed to change...
I had seen an anchorage on Active Captain just across from the US Coast Guard station... which happens to also be directly adjacent to Peter and Charlottes home... we decided to give it a try... strong current but good holding were the reviews I read.
We anchored at approximately 1430 at N29°03.691', W080°55.002' just west and outside of the channel. It's a "No Wake" zone so the boat traffic should not be an issue.
We traveled today for 7 hours covering 47.8 nautical miles averaging 6.8 knots.
Posted at 2:21 PM