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Thursday, 11 April 2013
FL to CT Day 9
New Smyrna Beach, FL to St. Augustine, FL
and swim... she absolutely loves the sand bar inside the inlet.... we must of spent 45 minutes walking on the beach... awesome!

After returning to the boat we cleaned up and headed out to Peter and Charlotte Behr's home to join them for dinner. Just as we left the boat in the dinghy Susan sees a couple of boats heading in to Rockhouse Creek... she says to me there is a trawler and sailboat coming in to anchor... I turn to look and I see a Mainship trawler approaching and I recognize it... it was "Turtle Trot" Arlene and Chuck Custer... fellow MTOA members and great friends... we head over on the dinghy to greet them... it was a real surprise to see them as we had no idea they were going to the MTOA rendezvous. Anyway, we said our quick hellos and we would see them in the morning... off we went to the Behr's.

We arrived to the Peter and Charlotte's home and Peter was out on the dock waiting for us and directing us where to tie up the dinghy. We spent the evening with them... had a few drinks, a lovely dinner. A true joy to visit them... we really enjoyed the evening.
We got back to "Sails" after 2200 and pretty much went right to bed... early morning planned.

We awoke about 0700 and found the majority of the boats that had joined us in the anchorage had already left... We saw Peter and Norm pass by on "Serendipity"... they told us later that they had sounded the horn as they passed but we did not hear it... anyway, by 0730 the only boats left in the anchorage were us and one sailboat that we have been crossing paths with for several days... "Isa Lei"... a beautiful ketch.

I took Beecha to land for a quick morning walk... returned to "Sails"... lifted the dinghy back to the top of the boat and pulled the anchor. We were underway by 0800 heading north on the ICW. We had a wonderful current on the stern pushing us over 7 knots almost immediately... and we never lost the boost all day... at times we were doing over 9 knots... it was awesome!

Today was the MTOA parade of boats... there must of been six to eight MTOA boats moving north all well within VHF range... I won't try to name them all because I am sure I would miss one... and besides the MTOA boats there were quite a few other boats also heading north... always nice to see the other boat traffic.

We did see one out of the ordinary thing today... just north of Daytona Beach there is a large grey tug docked behind one of the homes on the ICW... well I say docked but I think it actually sits on the bottom there... anyway, as we passed there was a woman on the back deck and she was giving a bath to what I thought was a dog.... then a took a second look... it was a miniature horse... totally not expected.

We passed through quite a few bridges today... lowered our antennas and mast and were able to clear all of them... although we were very close on one of them... the Memorial Bridge in Daytona... we need 21 feet with everything down... the bridge sign boards indicated just over 17 feet plus an additional 4 feet at the center of the span... we cleared by a couple of inches.

We had plans to stop in Palm Coast, FL as they were having a pre-MTOA rendezvous of sorts for all the boats heading to the rendezvous in Fernandina Beach. WE opted to not stop and continue on to St. Augustine... we called and reserved a mooring ball from the St. Augustine Municipal Marina. The weather forecast was not the best over the next few days and we figured we needed to get to Fernandina Beach sooner and beat the bad weather.

As we approached St. Augustine I could see another trawler ahead of us... looked like "Serendipity" that Peter Behr was aboard... but I could not see how it was possible... they had at least 45 minutes lead on us... no ay we could of caught up to them... but sure enough it was them... Peter hailed us on the VHF and asked we caught up... told him we had a tremendous speed boost hitting over 9 knots... they were continuing on to Pine Island to anchor.

We pulled in to the St. Augustine Mooring field 1545... hailed the marina to get our mooring ball assignment and were secure on mooring ball M5 at 1600. The winds had really picked up and were gusting over 25 knots as we moored "Sails".

Our location for the evening…. N29°53.345’, W081°18.442’. We traveled for 8 hours covering 56 nm averaging 7 knots.
Posted at 7:38 PM
Wednesday, 10 April 2013
FL to CT Day 8
Cocoa, FL to New Smyrna Beach, FL
We departed fairly early from Cocoa, FL at approximately 0800. “Sanctuary” had left about an hour earlier at 0700 and was headed for Daytona Beach toady. Our destination for the day is New Smyrna Beach, FL. We like to stop and visit our good friends Peter and Charlotte Behr when we stop here. They are always so welcoming and we typically only get to see them once or twice a year, so we really look forward to stopping New Smyrna Beach.

The day went smoothly with nothing really exciting happened… weather could have been a little better… a bit windy and overcast... would of liked to have had sunshine all day but at least it did not rain.

Was not a lot of boat traffic either… we have started to join in with some boats that are heading north... hear the same names on the VHF and several of the same boats that have passed are passing us again… or we are passing them.

Biggest highlight off the day was when we left Mosquito Lagoon… we started picking up a boost of speed from current on our stern and we rode with this boost all the way to New Smyrna Beach… hitting a top speed of 8.4 knots… the boost lasted for last 10 nm of the day… short lived but what a way to end the day.

We arrived to New Smyrna Beach about 1445 and had plans to dock at the free city docks… didn’t happen this trip… they had several boats on al the docks… two MTOA trawlers… won’t mention any names.. … and two or three sailboats. There was just not enough room for us… so we continued on to Rockhouse Creek and anchored. The anchorage was almost empty with only one other trawler anchored. It’s still early… 1515 so there is time for us to get some additional neighbors.

The sun has decided to come out and it’s quite nice now… we’ll take Beecha to the beach for a few minutes to play and swim… she loves the beach area here adjacent to the anchorage. Later we will dinghy over to visit Peter and Charlotte which always a great time.

Our location for the evening…. N29°03.713’, W080°55.862’. We traveled for 7.25 hours covering 48.6 nm averaging 6.7 knots.
Posted at 3:38 PM
Tuesday, 9 April 2013
FL to CT Day 7
Vero Beach, FL to Cocoa, FL
We took our time getting ready to leave this morning… “Sanctuary” was leaving from Fort Pierce 2 hours behind us and we were planning on meeting at Cocoa, FL for the night… so a little later start would allow them to catch up and maybe cruise with us.

The forecast was partly sunny skies and ESE winds under 10-15 knots… it was a little choppy but nothing that really had any effect. Watched boat and boat leave from Vero Beach as we took our time getting ready… watched TowBoatUS come in and tow away a sailboat adjacent to us… took Beecha to land in the dinghy and we went for a nice long walk… returned to “Sails”… lifted the dinghy back to the top of boat and we were ready to get underway. Susan graciously volunteered to handle the mooring ball lines and at approximately 0830 we were headed out of the harbor and back into the ICW.

I received a text from “Sanctuary” as we entered the ICW informing me that their ETA to Vero Beach was 0845-0900 so our late departure worked out as intended. I ran a slower than normal to allow for them to catch up… once I could see them I came back to cruising RPM and we were able to cruise relatively close to each other all day.

We planned to go to the Cocoa City Docks but they are small… maybe room for 2-3 boats depending on length of the boats… late afternoon as we approached I could see that the docks were empty… not a single boat so we would have no problem with space. I docked as far forward as I could on the east end of the dock… there was a gentlemen there fishing and he became a little upset when he saw us docking… thinking we were going to dock directly in front of him… I yelled and assured him we would not block his fishing area… he was happy after that. “Sanctuary” docked on the far west end of the dock where the dock is lower and allows easier egress on and off the boat. That left approximately 50-55 feet of space between us.

Once we were both settled I noticed another boat sitting off the dock eyeing the space between “Sails” and “Sanctuary”… and he appeared to 42-45 feet in length. I signaled to him to bring his boat in and we would assist him getting docked. It went surprisingly well from the thoughts I was having about it crashing into the stern of us or crashing into “Sanctuary”… he slipped right in… gentleman on the bow tossed me a line… I wrapped it around a piling and ran it back as a spring to a cleat mid ship… this stopped him from sliding backwards from the wind and also stopped his forward momentum.

Our location for the evening…. N28°21.297’, W080°43.324’. We traveled for 7 hours covering 47.12 nm averaging 6.73 knots.

Tonight we would have dinner at Ryan’s Village Pizza… one of my favorite places to eat as we travel north.
Posted at 4:18 PM
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