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Lemons Way
The continuing adventures of a cruising sailor/family lawyer, his wife (also a lawyer), and their young children.
Enough Depth Under Us To Get To Sleep Tonight
Keith, nice, buggy
09/06/2008, Mosquito Lagoon Anchorage along the ICW

I wanted to make it all the way to Titusville today but that was not possible after the New Smerna outing. I'm not sure if I'd have made it before dark anyway. Skipper Bob and the chart claim there is an anchorage in the remote spot I'm in tonight along the ICW with 10 feet of depth and I think this is it (the depth meter is calibrated to show number of feet from the keel to the bottom and the keel is 4.5 feet, so the photo shows more than 10 feet of depth), but I'm pretty much anchored in the middle of the ICW channel so if any really big boats come through tonight I'm in trouble. I don't think that will happen. It's pretty deserted here. Aside from the mozzies, its just us and this cool music station we've been listening to.

Segway Training At New Smerna Beach, Florida
hot
09/06/2008

I left Daytona Beach this morning after one last long dog walk at the park. Jake and Anne were well tired after throwing the softball we found into the water and having them swim out to get it umpteen times. It was a beautiful sunny day and the cruising was fine except for a few spots where it got so shallow I soft grounded and had to back out and find another way through. As I was passing New Smerna Beach they had a fair going on and it just looked so inviting... and it was. Free docks with friendly people to secure my lines, a great produce market where I restocked my fruit and veggie supply for $6, BBQ sandwich at the fair. As usual the dogs were a complete hit. I don't typically just go up to strangers, but Anne does and young or old, they can't resist her. I've met so many people on this trip that way. We cast off the lines an hour or two later and were off southward.

Baking Up A Storm (I Can't Believe I Just Wrote That)
Keith
09/05/2008, Daytona Beach

While stuck on the boat during the first half of today I decided to fire up the oven. It worked great. It is designed to tilt in the opposite direction from the tilt of the sailboat so things come out even and not all spilled out inside the oven. Plus, the dry propane heat took away some of the tropical humidity. The smell of baking brownies on a boat in the middle of a storm is very comforting.

The View From Above
Keith, calmer, but still windy and choppy
09/05/2008, Daytona Beach

I probably freak people out when I post pictures like the one above, but a picture is worth.. well you know. Actually it has calmed down considerably in the last few hours so I'll be able to take the dogs to shore for a long walk soon... but not too soon, it still picks up from time to time. They are crashed out for the time being and hardly suffering. The wind turbine has been the star of the storm, producing enough energy to run computer, lights, refrigeration, music, tv, movies, without the need for engine charging. It would produce more amperage overall but it turns itself off at about 35 mph winds to avoid self destructing.

Weathering Hanna
very windy and gusty with intermittent heavy rain and inland waves
09/05/2008, Daytona Beach, Florida

It was dark and blowy last night. I was feeling grungy and made use of the deck shower. Amazingly the water was still hot 30 hours after turning off the engine. You can imagine how nice it was with the cool wind and warm water. I set up the boat for the storm as best I knew and settled down for a cozy evening. The storm and other weather conditions created low humidity for a while so it was windy and comfortable as we fell asleep last night. I woke up a few times to check out the open port just to make sure we weren't dragging. About 3:30 a.m. I was awoken by the intensity of the wind and motion and remained awake while the storm reached its intensity. Wow. Even 115 miles from us Hanna is creating quite a blow, the news reports gusts up to 45 mph. As it became light the rain started. Anne got uncomfortable and came into bed with me. Both dogs are sleeping comfortably as the whitecap waves blow by the sailboat. I'm sure they would like to go to shore but the conditions don't support that yet. I pulled out the emergency anchor duffel about an hour ago and I just deployed it as a precaution. The main anchor has held amazingly well, but I may be dragging a little bit. The storm is still a little to the south of us but it feels like the gusts are gradually diminishing. It may get worse before it gets better. Maybe it just seems less ominous now that its getting light. I probably should have gone into the marina but I really wanted to experience the heavy winds so that if they come when I'm in a less protected location it won't be the first time. I've learned a few things already for the next time. If the storm were much stronger, I wouldn't feel comfortable being out in it voluntarily. So far we are making it through. I'm going to make coffee and breakfast soon. Big gust just hit. Ike is now tracking towards southern Florida and by all accounts it is the biggest one yet, so I won't rush too fast to Palm Beach, the crossing point, which is about 180 nm from here.

Breakfast Worth Continuing On For
beautiful 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 Beach
sunny 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 Fort
nice cool breeze
09/02/2008

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 Run
nice
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 Fort
Keith, 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.

 

 
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