After our offshore run to Port Royal Sound we were pretty tired. The winds offshore had been light, less than 10 knots. The swell was 2-3' coming from the SE on a long interval. There was just enough wind that we were happy to keep a sail up to steady out the roll.
Trying to sleep underway while motor sailing is a challenge. A nearly full moon was great to help with navigating, but lit up the cabin quite a bit. So, the best we could do was take short cat naps.
Once safely at anchor we set the alarm and headed for bed. The one hour "Power Nap" refreshed us. After tending to a few misc tasks and as darkness fell we had dinner and were down for the count!
"Dawn comes early on a boat", Captain Ron says. This morning at 0642 we were underway, headed for Factory Creek. We rode the last of the incoming tide the nearly ten miles to downtown Beaufort.
We stopped at the city marina to pick up fuel. Also there were replicas of the Niña and Pinta at the marina. These museum ships go from seaport to seaport were they give tours and possibly rides.
They were underway from the marina minutes before we finished paying for our 25 gallons of diesel. We were all getting in the que for to 0900 Lady's Island Bridge opening.
We let the two ship pass ahead of us as we made a sharp right hand turn after the bridge and into Factory Creek.
After anchoring we launched the dinghy and rowed to the Lady's Island Marina. It has always been very cruiser friendly even if you are anchored. In the past we have used their docks to tie up the Trinka while doing some grocery shopping. In return we alway buy several bags of ice, it works out well.
We were skeptical about continuing this arrangement after hearing the marina had new owners. After a brief phone call with the new dock master we were pleasantly supposed to hear the this is still a very friendly marina.
After our trip to Food Lion and lunch at Rancho Grande' we met Dockmaster Steve. Another surprise!
He looked familiar and soon we found out that Steve had been the Dockmaster of the Capital Yacht Club, in Washington DC, when we were there in 2010.
We also met Steve and his wife Gloria in Key Largo when they were cruising there, in 2013. they had just left the DC area and were cruising the Florida Keys aboard their 40' Island Trader. Cruising sure makes the world smaller.
Our plan is to stay anchored in Factory creek while the most recent front blows thru. We have been here for several bouts with sever weather and it offers very good protection.
After twenty eight and a half hours we anchored at Cowen Creek, just south of Beaufort SC.
It was a great trip. However, the last four hours against a 2 knot outgoing current were the hardest as we made slow progress to our anchorage.
More on our offshore adventure later,
At 2345 we are at 31 36.845'N 080 51.213'W
All going well!
This is about 12 miles east of St. Catherine's Sound and Ossabaw Sound.
About 15 minutes after the last report the wind picked up enough to raise the Staysail which is doing fine.
Except for one small "fish killer" speedboat we have not seem anyone.
Its been a wonderful day on the water with sightings of dolphin, several large sea turtles, and millions of rays.
ETA Savannah River Entrance is 0400, our next heavy traffic area.
ETA Port Royal Inlet 0600.
More Later, US
1200 position 30 51.652'N 081 18.112'W Motor sailing with main and engine at 1600 RPM All is well. Very Little wind and 2-3' swell on 8 second interval Next update 1800 More later, US
We weathered the front well at Pine Island and stayed an extra day to allow the rain to pass. The next day we moved on and finally anchored just south of Fernandina Beach at Alligator Creek.
We are familiar with this area. Thirty years ago we ran aground close by and spend the night healed over waiting for the tide to float us free.
That said, yesterday morning after getting underway the tide pushed us unexpectedly and we stopped abruptly. Yup, we were aground!
To add a sense of déjà vu it was an outgoing tide. We spent the next several hours watching the water holding us up go away. Nothing to do now but hold on!
Luckily for us there was little wind. Also we were several hundred yards off the ICW so the wake from passing boats had little effect. Regardless, by noon we were over nearly 45 degrees.
By 1600 we were upright, floating, and underway. After a careful check of the engine room and locker stowage we headed for Cumberland Island. If we have to wait 30 more years for another grounding here that would be alright.
Today we packed lunch, water, and cameras and went ashore for a 6 hour walk. This is a beautiful National Seashore with lots to see and explore. Our favorite sights, besides the wild horses, are the monstrous live Oak Trees that sometimes look like spiders from some 1960's creature feature movie.
Tomorrow we leave heading north. Depending on the wind direction and velocity will determine if we stay on the ICW or head off shore.
After four great days in St. Augustine it was time to continue north. We are anchored in an oxbow which was once part of the ICW until a shortcut was dug many years ago. Our plan is to stay in this protected anchorage until the latest cold front with strong thunderstorms and wind passes.
Thursday evening we picked up mooring #41 after an all day run on the waterway. We left Daytona, that morning, passing through two opening bridges at 0700, before their restricted opening hours began.
Our original plan was to stop at Palm Coast Marina around mile 803. However, the tide was in our favor and we screamed past the marina at noon.
Where to now? We anticipated anchoring at the National Historic site of Ft. Matanzas. In the 1500's this was one of the southern outposts which helped protect St. Augustine. We have always wanted to anchor off the old fort but for one reason or another we keep passing it by.
From the ICW, the river leading to the fort runs SE to an inlet on the coast. A strong SE wind off the ocean drove a steep fetch into the river, were we planned to anchor. It would have made for a bumpy and sleepless night. So, we turned and re-entered the ICW heading for St. Augustine.
Pulling into the mooring field we could not help but notice the 170-foot, 495-ton, authentic wooden replica of a galleon that was part of Spain's West Indies fleet. Named El Galeón she is visiting St Augustine and three other Florida ports as part of The Viva Florida 500 Voyage.
Owned by the Nao Victoria Foundation of Sevilla, Spain El Galeón is sailing a historic route similar to that of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León's 500 years ago.
Next to Charleston, St. Augustine has to be one of our favorite stops. Like Charleston the area is steeped in history. Once off the beaten track we strolled the old residential streets with old Live Oak trees, some 6-10' in diameter.
We also were able to meet up with our oldest friends, Jim & Jean. It is always great to see them to share stories & adventures. Our 3 hour dinner tested the patience of the waitstaff but they were well rewarded for any inconvenience.
We had to resist the urge, as always, to eat our way through the city. Our new favorite is Theo's were they made a fabulous Sunday morning Greek omelet.
Our next big stop remains Cumberland Island, Ga. From there we will continue north either on the ICW, off shore, or a little of both.