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Northern Spirit
Anything's going to happen...its going to happen out there! (Captain Ron)
Wind, waves and tide
04/22/2013, Darien, Georgia

Sunday, April 21st - We left Jekyll Island at 8:45 am to take advantage of mid- tide to travel through the narrow and shallow channel behind Jekyll Island. It is quite cool and windy and it only got windier as the day went on. In the afternoon, against wind, waves and tide we could only make about 3 knots so we began looking for a place to hide for the night. As this is all marsh as far as you can see, there is nothing to stop the north-east winds off the Atlantic. Active Captain had good reviews for Darien, so we headed up the Darien River, this time with the tidal current and wind at over 7 knots to the town do Darien and their 'free dock' with power and water! We tied up with Gemini Dream, (Matt & Colleen), Loopers from New Jersey. There is also a C-Dory from Florida here - they are on day 5 of the Loop...we are on day 311! We joined Matt and Colleen for dinner at Skipper's, an awesome seafood restaurant! There is a very large shrimp boat and fishing fleet here so the shrimp and fish are as fresh as you can get!

The forecast for heavy winds and rain continues, so we'll stay a second day and head out Tuesday morning.

04/23/2013 | Shelley Graham
Hi Ron & Lynne! We just got back from our trip to the Dominican and heard about Farley. So sorry. :( He had a special place in my heart, seeing how it was all my fault you got him in the first place. Maybe when you get home, I will have to come visit again and take you to the pet place. We will miss him. We had a great trip, will have to chat soon. love you both xoxo Happy Birthday to David and Colleen. I don't have their phone #'s
04/25/2013 | bob & carol
Carol just got back from TO and says sorry for Farley. Don't head north too soon ....... had snow again this morning.
04/25/2013 | bob
More photos with you guys in......maybe manatee riding !!!
Georgia on my mind
04/20/2013, Jekyll Island, Georgia

Thursday, April 18th - We made the 8:30 bridge lift as we headed out from St. Augustine for Fernandina Beach. We are both in bathing suits today - it is hot and humid. It was another day of swamp interspersed with upscale neighbourhoods of very large homes. During the trip we passed a Beneteau 37 named Vixen, heading south. A few minutes later, they called on the radio to say they have been following our blog! What a surprise! We arrived at Fernandina Beach at 5:45 and anchored just outside the mooring field along with several other boats.

We had heavy winds through the night and today, Friday, is still very warm; warm enough for bathing suits. We waited for a rising tide and headed north again for Jekyll Island, Georgia. The rising tide gave us a nice push - we travelled at over 7 knots, arriving and docking at 4 pm. Heavy winds and thunderstorms are forecast for the next few days so we will likely stay put.

During the evening the rain and winds began and Saturday morning we awoke to 13 degrees! The rain continued throughout the morning and it remained cold all day. We actually used the fireplace today to warm up the boat! Have we started north too soon?

We had planned to tour the historic part of the island by bicycle, but it is so cold, we borrowed the courtesy car and then walked to see how the rich spent their summers in the 1920's and 30's-Goodyear, J.P. Morgan, Rockefeller and Vanderbuilt were all among those having summer homes here. Many of them have been restored. Prior to their building their summer homes, the Jekyll Island Club was the private domain of the rich. It has also been restored and is now a hotel.

04/21/2013 | Pam
Your comment "heading north too soon"; although we are anxious for you to be back in our neighbourhood, you should know we still have quite a bit of snow in our yard and we have had snow flurries past couple days...no accumulation, thank goodness. Stay warm!!
A Beautiful Historic City
04/19/2013, St. Augustine, Florida

Tuesday, April 16th - Although we had thought we would stay in Daytona for another day, the marina is about $60/night and the beach sounds a little tacky, so we've decided to move on to St. Augustine. It was a bit misty with fog rolling in from the Atlantic, but by 8 am the sun was out and it was warming up. Today was more of the same...narrow, swampy, very nice homes along with some that looked more like cottages. We didn't see as much wildlife, but still plenty of dolphins around the boat.

We spent most of the day running against the current as the tide went out, so it was a slower day. It was 5 pm by time we arrived in St. Augustine and picked up a mooring ball. The mooring field here is large, but we are lucky to be close to the marina and its washrooms and showers. We are looking forward to a couple of days here. It is very historic, so tomorrow we'll spend the day in town seeing the sites.

Wednesday, April 17th - St. Augustine is a beautiful city, the oldest settlement in the United States. The Spanish had settled here in 1565. There are many historic buildings - too many to see them all. We spent the morning walking through the old city and in the afternoon, took the trolley ride to see many other historic areas including the Fountain of Youth and the fort 'Castillo de San Marcos' as well as the old jail, the oldest house and the fabulous old hotels built by Henry Flagler in 1887. Some of the area has become a bit too 'touristy'. We had lunch in the historic section and by time we went back to the boat, we were too tired and still to full to bother with dinner.

Moving North
04/16/2013, Banana River, Titusville & Daytona

Saturday, April 13th - After a very heavy rain that washed all the salt off the boat we headed out, stopping for an overnight anchorage in the Banana River (33.5 miles) and then on to Titusville (31.92 miles) on Sunday night. We picked up a mooring in Titusville and had very heavy wind, rain and thunderstorms all through the night. Except to register at the marina we didn't go ashore here.

Monday morning was very nice; the humidity finally lifted. That is one thing we didn't have so much in the Bahamas is humidity, but there is often high humidity in Florida. We saw lots of wildlife as we travelled through the ICW - pink flamingos, dolphins and lots of manatees. Traveling through the Haulover Canal we hit something, and since we had 16 feet of water, we think it might have been a manatee that bumped the bottom of the boat.

We travelled to Daytona, another 44.3 miles where we treated ourselves to a dock at Halifax Harbour Marina. After a visit to the on site West Marine, we showered and had dinner at the on site restaurant - excellent!

The picture is of the Ponce de Leon lighthouse, the tallest in Florida at 175 feet.

04/17/2013 | Wayne and Sue
Heading north surely will not be as exciting as the heading south trip...Are you coming back the same way? Miss you guys Wayne and Sue
04/18/2013 | pam
Hi!!I know the rest of your journey will not be the same without Farley. We will all miss him!!
As I realize it is probably hard for you guys knowing you are on the return portion of your loop but there are those of us that will be happy to see you again and look forward to boating in the North Chanel with you this summer. Still snow here but are anxious to get the boat out. xo
In memory of Farley 1999-2013
04/12/2013, Vero Beach, Florida

Wednesday, April 10th - Today we moved on to Vero Beach, only 13.6 miles north, and picked up a mooring. Vero Beach is a small town on the intercoastal waterway with a beach community on the Atlantic; it is very pretty, clean and friendly. It doesn't seem to have been hit so hard by the economic downturn that has hurt so much of Florida. Free bus service is provided both to the beach and the town. Our plan is to stay two or three days.

One of the things we planned to take care of was to get Farley to see a vet. Over the past couple of months we have watched his health deteriorate; and in the last few weeks we've seen some major changes in him. We saw the vet on Thursday and he confirmed what I think we already knew deep down; we weren't doing him any favours by keeping him going. As much as we wanted him to complete the Loop with us, it was time to let him go. At 11:45 on Thursday, April 11th, with the help of the wonderful vet and his staff in Vero Beach, we said goodbye to our faithful friend and companion of almost 14 years. Farley travelled over 4,200 miles with us over the past 11 months and was a real trooper, whether we were doing long overnight crossings, facing rough seas and high winds or going ashore where there might be alligators! We will never forget how much joy he brought to our lives; there was never a day when he didn't make us laugh! As nice as Vero Beach is, our memories will be of losing Farley here and how much we'll miss him as we complete the Loop. I have posted an album of pictures of Farley.

We stayed on at Vero Beach for one extra day and spent the time seeing the beach and the small beach-side community. It is easy to why people come here and want to stay.

04/12/2013 | Meandering
We are so sorry to hear about Farley's passing Ron & Lynne. You guy's must be heartbroken. Maggie sends her condolences. She will sure miss their visits together. Northern Spirit won't be the same without the deckhand.
04/12/2013 | Alex C
So sorry Lynne and Ron to learn of Farley's passing. What a beautiful post you have written about him.
04/12/2013 | Pat & Dianne
We are so sorry to hear about Farley. Our thoughts are with you.
04/12/2013 | Colin
There is a dog 4 houses down that has spent it's entire life (some 10 years) in a dog house at the end of their driveway attached to 8 feet of chain. He always jumps up and down when they get home but they walk right past him. The fact is they don't live as long as us so you should be proud of the great life you gave him.
04/13/2013 | Frank& Eleanor Langley
Ron & Lynn, so sorry to read about Farley. We remember him as a frisky puppy at 50 Point.
You gave him a wonderful life & an amazing adventure the past year.
Safe travels as you continue your journey.
04/13/2013 | Bob and Carol
Sorry about Farley. Luv Bob and Carol
04/14/2013 | Chuck and Shirley
our condolences on this very sad time..
04/14/2013 | Muray & Catherine
Sorry to read about the loss of Farley. I can only imagine how hard it must be on you. It won't be the same seeing you and not having him there.
04/14/2013 | Wayne and Sue
Sorry to hear about Farley. He was a real trooper to make it that far wih you. Be safe on your journey home. Wayne and Sue
04/15/2013 | Marty Maynard
My sincere condolances for the loss of Farley
Anyone who has ever had a dog knows that they are not pets but a member of the family.
I am sure he had the happiest time of his life being around both of you during this voyage
Have a safe trip home God Bless
04/16/2013 | Donnie MacLeod
Hi Guys, Sad to hear about your companion and friend. Being a dog lover and owner of 5, I know what you guys are going through and I know he will be truly missed although you cannot take away memories. Have a safe trip home.
04/16/2013 | Carole
Ron and Lynne I am so sorry to hear about Farley. Maggie and Farley were about the same age. You will miss him terribly.Think of you often. Be safe!
04/16/2013 | Paul & Joanne
So sorry to hear the sad news. Farley was a very gentle dog with a wonderful personality.
We're thinking of you both, have a safe trip home.
P&J
04/27/2013 | Pat & Jim on ARiverDerci
So sorry to hear about Farley. We are not far behind you. We are currently in Vero Beach on a mooring. Miss you dearly, and wish we could catch up, but will probably be putting the boat on the hard near Jacksonville to go home for the summer months. Son is getting married in July and want to miss out on Hurricane season. So sorry to hear about Farley. It must leave a big hole in your heart not to have him aboard! Best of travels to you! Jim & Pat
Back in the USA
04/08/2013, Fort Pierce, Florida

After a rolly night anchored at West End, Grand Bahama Island, we were up and away at 6 am. It was a beautiful warm day, only a little wind, and rather big ocean swells. We travelled 84 miles, about half under sail, and 13 hours later we tied up at the Fort Pierce Marina safe and sound! We were within sight of Eagles Wings and in radio contact for most of the crossing - nice to have company! They are heading north faster than we are, but we hope to meet up, if not along the way, then when we get home.

While we will miss the laid back, friendly atmosphere of the Bahamas, some things are nice about being back in Florida. Docking is cheaper, it includes the price of water, laundry is half the price, wifi and phones actually work, there is a great restaurant on site that is open later than 9 pm and easy access to grocery stores...no more $8 boxes of crackers! We will stay two nights here before moving on to Vero Beach, just 15 miles north. Vero Beach is often referred to as Velcro Beach...people come and don't want to leave. The plan is to stay just two or three days but I guess we'll see once we get there! Farley is having some health issues, mostly with eye sight so we will seek out a vet...something we were unable to do in the Bahamas and he also desparately needs a haircut! We are determined that he will finish the trip with us! He will be 14 this summer.

04/08/2013 | Pat & Dianne
Glad to hear that you made it safe and sound. We really enjoyed the days that we spent together at Treasure Cay and Green Turtle Cay.
Cheers
04/09/2013 | Meandering
Way to go guys. The next leg begins. Hope the ice clears here soon, less than 3 weeks til launch. Looking forward to more pics. Be safe, K&K
04/09/2013 | pam
Hi!! Tried to send you easter greetings from St. Martin but for some reason the connection was not allowing us to get onto the comment section.
Enjoying your blog and pictures as always and Thanks for the picture for Paul!!Looking forward to a great "face to face" visit when you get back this way. Hard to believe it's coming up a year soon.
We had a great vacation in St. Martin but still came home to snow. We were hoping it was going to be gone but no such luck!
Love you guys! Give Farley a pat.
04/10/2013 | Carole
Glad to hear you are safe!I had a wonderfull trip to Portugal, Africa,Spain and Gibralter.Happy to be home.
04/11/2013 | Chuck and Shirley
Great to hear you enjoyed the island hopping and are back on the mainland safe and sound, winter is starting again here and spring has been delayed for another month. the rose garden still under 2 feet of snow ,Happy sailing C/S
04/11/2013 | marty maynard
Welcome back
What a great adventure. We have a feezing rain warning today and much of Ontario is under a winter storm watch- Very envious of your great trip
04/12/2013 | Pam
So sorry to hear about Farley. :(
04/12/2013 | nancy mullins
From the shores of Gitche Gumme to the shining Big-Sea-Water....I was sad today to read that this was Farley's last sailing. What a courageous "old salt" and a loving soul. My thoughts are with you as I know how much you'll miss him. And with massively great fondness I'll be the one to say it....."sucky dog". "Semper Fi" Farley, Godspeed!

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