R and D
02 December 2010 | N30° 43.091 W081° 33.048
St. Mary's, Georgia Nov.24th to Dec. ?
We spent a couple of pleasant days in Jacksonville Beach and found West Marine and the charts we need; and a grocery store where a nice lady offered us a ride back to Lunar Sea in her Cadillac. Headed back to Georgia and were instantly greeted by a Canadian boat and told of the nightly Cruisers happy hour where we all bring a share plate and on our arrival night, Seagles Bar provided all you can eat Oysters, gratis! Wow, the array of goodies and creativity was impressive! Our Dinghy motor would not start, even with Daves tenacity, observed by Steve and Judy anchored nearby, who came and picked us up. We made fast friends with a few other Canadians; Windsor, Halifax, Hamilton and a couple that sailed from Ireland with their 4, that's FOUR children in a 39 ft. s/v. Next day was Thanksgiving lunch with the boaters bringing a dish and the townspeople cooked up Turkeys and Hams. What a feast! There were about 100 boats anchored here and 300 boaters and locals attended. Hooked up with Dean and Susan who had told us about this event back in August in Hop-O-Nose Catskill NY.
Once we had re anchored after what seemed like a dragging, we settled into this very friendly community to boaters and we were loaned a vehicle and made a run into the nearest Wal-Mart to reprovision and pick up some Lucas oil treatment at an auto parts supply store. In fact we have borrowed it a few times now. We dinghy over and had breakfast Saturday morning on the St. Mary's Yacht Club Houseboat. It was blowing like stink and still over 35 showed up. Some concerns over the lack of power from our 2 HP Evinrude and the size of the Hinterhoeller 8 ft dinghy against some of the currents and conditions that we have run into, lead us to go on the search for something a little more substantial. We walked to a local park where a boater's flea market was set up and found a 9 foot inflatable with a 6 hp Mercury on a trailer. We talked with the owner for some time and explained that we were interested but didn't need the trailer, but another fellow there was interested in the trailer only. So that could work. Back to the boat we went to mull over the situation; on route we stopped by Autumn Borne and talked to Dean and discussed the pending deal. He mentioned an ad on the local bulletin board about a 10ft Zodiac inflatable with a 9.9 Merc on it. To the board we went and read the ad. The pic was beautiful and both dinghy and motor are only 2 years old and lightly used. We both instantly said "that's the one" A couple of phone calls later the package was delivered put together and out for sea trials we went. Shortly after that, the paper work was all done, the cheque written and we are now the proud owners of a dinghy that's just right for us. We now have 2 dinghies and 2 motors so it looks like the little one will go on the foredeck and the new one that Renée has named Zoey, will go up in the davits after some changes to the lift points. In the meanwhile we will have to tow it behind. Yesterday, we heard an approaching motor, then a rap on the hull and went out to be greeted by the young fellow from Halifax that had seen the hard-shell go drifting by. He took their dinghy and retrieved our errant little Moonbeam Hinterhoeller and brought it home, the painter had split. I guess it has feelings and decided to leave us since it felt displaced!
Renée went to a ladies only tea party on the 100 ft steel schooner Steel Away and when I picked her up in Zoey, we went ashore and had dinner and watched the official Christmas light ceremony that the town was having to start the Christmas season. We took a pass on yet another "painkiller" party and headed back to Lunar Sea after dark.
Things started to get pretty wild after a while as the winds kept increasing. Several position checks later we decided to go to bed. At 3 AM (when else) we heard a loud bump, one that was different from the dinghy bumping against the hull and the fenders between. Suddenly a shout and a rap on the hull! Out we flew to see a vessel up against our bow!! Apparently they thought WE had dragged, but closer inspection showed that, in fact, it was their vessel (from Vancouver) that had dragged onto us. Away they went, and spent the next half hour trying to reset in some pretty wild conditions. It was at this point that we saw 2 other vessels moving about apparently doing the same thing. Do we ever love our Delta plow; it seems to screw itself right down into the seabed and hangs on for dear life. We got up this AM to the same conditions and our position is still unchanged. Weather reports indicate that this front will hang on through today and tomorrow, bringing cold weather with it. According to WX radio there are frost warnings through most of Florida, so we will just sit tight and wait it out. We intend to head to St. Augustine next; founded in 1565 as a Spanish military outpost. They have re-enactments ...the people dress up as Indians, Prussians, British red-coats, etc.... and shoot at each other with muskets! (Beer and Rum are involved; go figure!).