Breakfast Worth Continuing On Forbeautiful and breezy
09/04/2008, Daytona Beach, Florida
Some of my family members and close friends know that I've been thinking about throwing in the towel in another month or so after coming 1000 miles down the Chesapeake and ICW and then sailing the Bahamas. I've had a lot of mixed feeling about whether I can really cruise a sailboat by myself with two golden retrievers indefinitely. Technically, I can, but in certain other respects, I'm not sure it is something I want to do for a year or more straight. 3 months cruising alone is one thing, a year or more is another thing. Having an end date for the cruise really helps me mentally at this point even if that date is not very cemented. Maybe it would be better to cruise with a mate. On that note, word on the street is that somebody has bought a ticket to West Palm in a little over a week and will be joining me for almost three weeks of Florida and Bahamas cruising. More about that later. As for my long term plans, I don't know. Maybe I will get off the boat after sailing in the Bahamas and maybe we'll continue on. Time will tell. Even when we stop sailing, we'll have to rent a car and get back to Oriental, North Carolina, where the motorhome is stored. Then we might as well do some road touring, perhaps through the Rocky Mountains if its not too late in the season. Who knows? Thankfully we are cruising now and I wouldn't want to be doing anything else right now and the mornings are getting cooler and the sun is setting earlier and I think we are all enjoying ourselves (and eating well) here on Tropical Dreamer.
Morning Dingy To the Beachsunny with building wind
09/04/2008, presently we are in Daytona Beach, Florida
Well it looks like hurricane Hanna is going to pass us a couple of hundred miles to the east so I can think about moving onwards instead of hunkering down here. As a naturalist cruising destination, Daytona is about as sucky as it gets. Nothing beautiful that I could find - only commercialism and not even much of that near the City Marina - probably more shops closer to the Atlantic beach. I don't even like shops, except grocery and ABC stores, but I thought it would be fun to browse. There is, however, a nice park close to the anchorage where I've taken the dogs and where I can let them run around supervised with leashes off. I also dingied by myself to shore to get a few things from West Marine like a Quarantine flag and a Bahamas courtesy flag. I canceled my marina reservation and I'm going to head on to an anchorage within walking distance of the beach later this afternoon. There is another cane coming our way next week, but there's little I can do about that now. The wind turbine is loving this weather and the breeze feels nice. Tomorrow is supposed to be the bad day when the hurricane is directly opposite us at sea so I'll likely be holed up in the cabin for that.
Dinner At A Secluded Anchorage Near The Spansh Fortnice cool breeze
After taking the dogs to the beach and returning in near darkness in the dingy at full speed with an incredible view of the first sliver of moon, I made the nice dinner you see here. This was one of those cruising evenings that makes it all worthwhile. Dessert of Rollos. Nice.
Dusk Beach Runnice
09/02/2008, Fort Matanzas Inlet
By the way, "Matanzas" means slaughter. One happened here when some French tried to come through the inlet. Hopefully nothing like that tonight. However, in a few days hurricane Hanna will be coming north along the Florida coast. It is supposed to hit land just north of here (ironically) but the reports today predicted very heavy winds Thursday and Friday for my area. I've decided that I'm not coming off the water - not just yet at least. Instead I reserved space at a nice marina in Daytona Beach for the duration of the storm. We will ride it out at the dock in air conditioned comfort. I see lightening in the distance tonight - hopefully it won't come our way. I only have a medium amount of chain out as this is rather narrow channel and we are closer to shore than I would like. The change of tide takes us pretty close to shore near the fort and another one is coming in the middle of the night. I think I'm ok, but it will be low tide on that change and when I swing the other direction it is possible that I will ground - I think I'll be ok. On that note, I kind of hit an ICW marker while down below for a minute making a sandwich. It was on the way from St. Augustine to here and I checked before left the helm but I must not have seen this one after so many hundreds of the blessed things. Amazingly, the Catalina 36 pretty much just bounced off without problem. I'm certain one of the two signs on the marker fell into the water...so I'm sorry about that and will be even more careful when letting the boat steer itself in inland waters.
Another Spanish FortKeith, nice
09/02/2008, Matanzas Inlet Between St. Augustine And Daytona Beach
I'm anchored in a really cool place tonight. As you may know, Spain controlled Florida and other parts of what is now southern United States from the time Columbus "discovered" the new world in 15th century until the British and then the US took possession. The forts that the Spanish built are huge - European in their massiveness. In addition to the large fort in St. Augustine,there is a smaller stone fort along the side of this short river leading to a small inlet. The fort was constructed to prevent back-door sea access to St. Augustine. Crews and supplies from the main fort there were dispatched here to guard this inlet. There is a really nice beach on the inland waterway side (rare) that I dingied to with the dogs around dusk. This place is just dripping with history and we are docked less than 100 yards from the fort. People have been camping out in this otherwise isolated inlet for literally hundreds of years. Tonight it is just Jake and Anne and myself.
Keith After Living On A Sailboat For Coming On Two Months09/02/2008, St. Augustine
As The Morning Grew, I Caught This09/02/2008, St. Augusting
Daybreak In St. Augustine, Floridafine
09/02/2008, St. Augustine
I woke and when it got light out I was treated to this sight. Cleaned up the boat. Cleared out the rear cabin and checked the raw water strainer and packing gland, both of which appeared fine. Took the dogs for a long walk. Motored to the marina and filled up with diesel and water. Headed south. Traveled about 15 miles to this short river inlet where I'm presently anchored and getting ready to take the dogs to the beach. Met a nice guy last night (who I helped get his no-motor dingy to another boat). He called me over to his boat around sunset for a beer. This guy was living on a boat that I wouldn't spend a single night on. No electricity, bathroom, no anything. Just a place to sleep on the water. Yet he had me over for a beer for helping him get up-current to another boat. It really made me appreciate the absolute luxury I live in while on Tropical Dreamer. Aside from the cush interior, I have electricity, a working head, refrigeration, navionics, cleanliness, storage, full kitchen, fuel and water supplies for a week or two, so much more. I am so fortunate and I forgot how lucky I am to be traveling this way.
The Center Of The FortificationsKeith, warm and humid, but bearable because its a bit windy
09/01/2008, St. Augustine, Florida
We are spending the day hanging out in St. Augustine and figuring out whether to continue on or not. It appears that tropical storm Hanna's wind and rain will arrive here Thursday or Friday and will be mild to worse. If I head south I just head into it. Yet I really don't want to hang around five days waiting for a storm like I did in Hilton Head (though this is not a particularly bad place to wait it out). Again, if there is a time to take a break it is now. I just don't know whether doing so is smart or stupid since I am so close to the Bahamas, whatever that means.
Sleeping Quarters In The Spanish Forthot and humid, but I'm used to it
I really enjoyed touring the Spanish Fortress, now a Unites States National Monument. They really knew how to build things back in mid-evil times.
Singer Family Adventures
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