Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Finally in Florida

     We left Port Royal on Election Day and traveled all the way to the Herb River, Laura and Graeme went to Turner’s Creek.  They wanted to see Savannah and we thought we would wait to visit this city on our way back north.  From the Herb we went to the Wahoo River.  Great place for a Cleveland Indians fan, eh?  We received news that our nephew’s daughter was born and a good friend’s mother had died on the same day.  Funny how the world works, one life ends and another begins.  Spent a nice evening with two other boats and in the morning made our way to the mouth of the Fredrica River which is close to Brunswick, GA.  We have been here on other occasions and always have an enjoyable anchorage.  On the way to here we saw many dolphins and a Bald Eagle that was perched on top of a dead tree.
Natalie Elizabeth Brenner headed home from the hospital

     Next morning we motored through an area called Jekyll Island Cut which is noted for being very shallow.  We needed to catch it at high tide and we did.  We stopped for fuel, water and a trash dump at the Jekyll Island Harbor Marina and were greeted by the most pleasant people on the dock we have encountered so far on this trip.  We went about 10 miles south and dropped the hook right off the channel for a calm night.  In the morning we awoke to our boat covered by bird poop including undigested fish parts.  Not my favorite sight with my morning coffee.
     On Saturday, 11/10, we went to Cumberland Island to meet up with Sweet Chariot and their friends Jack and Donna on Kathrian.  Happy Hour was on board our boat and lasted too late for us to make a proper dinner.  We had an easy box dinner instead.  On Sunday we took the dinghy to shore and went to the Ranger Station.  Lynn sat and enjoyed the peace and quiet and I took off for a half mile walk through the woods to the beach.   On the way over and back I saw many campers but none of the wild horses that make this island famous.  We had a great dinner that night on board Sweet Chariot along with Jack and Donna. 
Lynn and Graeme with the Park Ranger on Cumberland Island

     Monday we arrived at Fernandina Beach, finally made it to Florida after leaving home 34 days before.  There we met up with our friends Bill and Terri Ellis from s/v Second Option.  They belong to the same sailing club as we do from the Annapolis area.  We went ashore later in the day for a fantastic dinner at the Marina Seafood Restaurant.  The wait staff are all sisters and they were a hoot!!!!!  I recommend this place to anyone while in this area.  On Tuesday we had a small flotilla of 4 boats making our way towards St. Augustine.  The current was so strong that at one time going under a bridge we were only making 1.9 knots at almost full throttle.  We stopped for the night at Pine Island, a small creek, with 11 other sail and power boats.  The winds kicked up and howled through the rigging all night.  Not the best evening we've spent to say the least.
     We are now on a mooring ball in the harbor at St. Augustine and the rain and winds have not stopped since we arrived 6 hours ago.  Winds are a steady 20-25K with higher gusts.  The dinghy was full of water as I forgot to pull the drain plug when I lifted it up on the davits.  We had plans to go into town but have decided to stay on the boat until tomorrow with hopes of better weather.  We will meet other friends from our sailing club for lunch and socializing sometime in the early afternoon.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Charleston and South

     We spent 2 nights at Dewees Creek and rode out steady winds of about 17 Knots with gusts of around 20-22.  But we really never had the feeling that they were that high.  The anchor was stuck well and I put out 170 feet of chain as there was a lot of room to swing.  But swing we didn't.  We stayed pointed west into the wind the whole time.  We left on Wednesday, 31 Oct., and went into the Charleston Maritime Marina for a 2 night visit.  It's really hard to pass up a fantastic town like Charleston when you're on a trip south.  Our entry into our slip was not one for the record books, swift current and a mean cross wind.  No damage, no foul.

Our boat anchored in Dewees Creek

     We spent the afternoon cleaning the boat a bit, going to the drugstore and just enjoying the activity in the marina.  There is a water taxi service and a tour boat that make regular stops and departures with interesting people on board.  Great place to "people watch".  We took a PediCab ( rickshaw ) into town to meet Laura and Graeme at an Irish pub, Tommy Condons.  Had a great dinner of fish and chips and washed it down with Smithwicks.  Back to the boat with the same PediCab peddler and slept in calm winds.  The next day we went grocery shopping, twice, to pick up some essentials.  The winds kicked up again so we decided to stay put and not venture back into town, too cold and too windy for us to enjoy walking around.  More puttering on the boat and happy hour on board with Laura and Graeme.

PediCab in Charleston with Annie, our peddler

     The next morning we left as soon as the sun was up and we could see to steer.  Heading south we had to wait for one bridge to open along with an additional four boats.  Clearing the bridge we spent the next 4 hours traveling through winding paths of saw grass to arrive at a pleasant anchorage called Steamboat Landing.  Yep, an area where "back in the day" steamboats used to stop to load and unload.  The water was calm with almost no winds.  Laura and Graeme came over for a "Weenie Roast" and we talked of future plans.  Decided to go to Port Royal for three days and see a bit of Beaufort, SC.
     We left Steamboat Landing early in the morning and made it to Port Royal around 2 pm.  Mostly a rather boring trip with no winds and not much to see along the way.  Our first night there we had a great dinner of Sweet and Sour Chicken over rice on Sweet Chariot, Laura and Graeme's boat.  The next day, Sunday, my brother Ric and his wife Donna drove up from Augusta, GA to see us.  He took us to the PX on Parris Island Marine Base as we needed to replace our coffee pot that broke.  We couldn't find a coffee pot there but I did walk out with a great US Navy T shirt.  After a successful trip to Wally World for the coffee pot, we went back to the marina and ate a great lunch.  Later that evening Laura and Graeme came over and we watched some football on the TV since the marina has a cable hookup.

Ric and Donna at The Back Porch Grill

     On our last day at Port Royal we did a bit of grocery shopping using the free courtesy car provided by the marina and went into the town of Beaufort for a late lunch at Luther's.  Luther's is an old drugstore which has been turned into a nice pub.  Fantastic burgers and wraps with lots of different beers to sample.  Back to the boat for a quiet night of relaxing and reading.  Tuesday morning will find us on our way towards Savannah, GA as long as the weather co-operates.