Stone crab claws
Mike and Kathy
11/26/2007, St. Mary's, GA
Saturday...St. Mary's - November 24
Although we were planning on leaving here today and heading over to Fernandina Beach, which is about 9 miles away, it was cloudy and windy and not a day for moving. I took a bag of garbage over to the park and was shocked at the height of the tide. With a full moon approaching and easterly winds all night, the tide was about 3 feet higher that normal, covering parking lots near the water.
One of my items on the "to do list" is to get the oil changed soon. In fact, I began the process the other day only to find that there were no oil filters on Sapphire. Since there was a group going to Jacksonville today, I ask our neighbor Lenny to pick me up a couple. Then while listening to the Turkey Net, I found that Ken ( a local nice guy) was meeting a couple of guys to make a run to Walmart so I returned to the dinghy dock and rode along to pick up a couple of filters.
Meanwhile, Kathy was working on sewing up covers for our new jerry cans. When I returned from NAPA, we were off to town again to go to the Farmers Market... except that there was no farm produce. What they did have however were fresh shrimp, fish, and crabs. We replenished our stock of shrimp and purchased some stone crab claws which were highly recommended.
Returning to Sapphire, we ran into Helen and Doug from Morning Glory and were reminded of happy hour at five. Kathy spent the afternoon finishing the covers and I spent an hour talking to Mike on Valkyrie. Mike is from Maine and was kind enough to share some of his favorite anchorages.
Back on Sapphire we put together some small ham and cheese sandwiches to take to Happy Hour and headed to town. We had a nice time talking to folks. There are very few novices here and most of the people know each other . Although they are nice, it's a little weird constantly meeting new folks.
The wind was blowing and howling when we returned to the boat, but was down considerably before we went to bed.
Mike and Kathy
11/25/2007, St. Mary's, GA
St Mary's Thanksgiving day...
Thanksgiving dawned rainy. It was the first bad weather we have seen in weeks. I made breakfast and we called our families with holiday greetings. There was an oyster roast scheduled for 11:30 so we put our salad together, gathered up our utensils and donned our rain gear to make the trip to town in a steady rain.
The Seagle Hotel is on the order of the Winter Inn but with more dining rooms. Although I'm not exactly sure, I think that there were seven dining areas not including the patio in the rear. As we entered the main dining area from the street Jim from Solitaire flagged down Kathy, pointing to the best table in the house. He had been on the set up crew in the morning and had reserved us the corner table facing the River.
The oyster roast was held in an open area next to the patio in back. Burlap bags of oysters were hauled in and then scrubbed with a brush and hose. They were then transferred to a grill and cooked....There was a large table in the center of the area lined with oyster shucking knives where the roasted oysters were placed. Then is was shuck , add a little cocktail sauce and eat. The oysters are steamed in their own juices and were amazing.
About that time the rain stopped and the sun came out. We were asked to form a line in the street to enter the room where the buffet was set up. Given the number (there was seating for 282) we all made it through the line without much trouble. As you can imagine, the variety of food was amazing. Everyone whipped up their favorite recipes.
It was windy in the afternoon and there was a little excitement when a boat dragged anchor and was headed for the dinghy dock. We had a wonderful meal with Nancy and Jim and returned to the boat sometime after 3pm.
For about 2 hours the tide and the wind were at odds which made the boats in our neighborhood swing without a pattern On top of that people were crammed in here and had anchored way too close to each other. In normal situations that in not a problem because the boats swing in unison.... however, in this case boats were out of sync and narrowly missing each other. Everyone was on deck watching and a few boats had to move to avoid collisions.
Kathy here- Speaking of the strange tidal/current thing, I have noticed that when at anchor, we are not necessarily out of the wind, as we would be in Michigan. I like to sit outside, be it on the porch or in the cockpit. Sometimes when it is a little chilly as it has been lately at times, I think I can sit in the cockpit and be warm in the sun out of the wind. Wrong! I can sit in the sun, but the wind may be blowing right at me (brrr). Just another observation . . .
Today we learned that there were 96 boats at anchor, 11 in the marina and 325 (Mike and I are having a little dispute about this number, but there were A LOT ) people were fed. Everything went very smoothly and the food was delicious.
11/25/2007, St. Mary's, GA
St. Mary's ...Monday - November19
We worked on projects this morning ...Kathy finished the generator cover and I continued to wax and clean stainless ... we went for a walk in the afternoon but really didn't find anything worth reporting. We arranged for a car tomorrow to do some shopping and then went back to shore for happy hour. There we no-see-ums in the park but we had a nice time meeting people anyway.
We got back to the boat and listened to MSU almost give away a basketball game to Missouri. It may be a little to soon in the season to play UCLA tonight.
The anchorage is filling up here ... there are about 40 boats now with more to come in the next couple of days.
St. Mary's ...Tuesday
Although it was a little early for Kathy to be up and around, we were at the dinghy dock a little before 8am to be picked up by Enterprise. At 8:20 I called and found out that Jamie, the new girl, had reserved a car for us on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. At about 8:50 they showed up and by 9:30 we were driving....to Walmart. Along with lots of food, we purchased some jerry cans to carry reserve diesel and gasoline for our engines, as well as two for extra water. All of the serious cruisers install a board between two stanchions and then lash their jerry cans to the board. The captain and crew of Sapphire have resisted as long as possible... (It really isn't very attractive), but as we get further in our adventure, wefind that there is some wisdom in carrying a reserve and there really isn't a better place to stow flammable liquids.
After returning to the boat and refrigerating those items that need it, we were on the road again to find some diesel additive and an 8 foot oak board. We stopped at 3 car parts stores before finding the additive but in the process found a propane filling station. Lowes provided us the oak board, but a stop at Kmart for a large plastic salad bowl was a waste of time. We did however learn from an employee there that Dollar General had just what we needed. Radio Shack was our next stop and since there was a salon next door, Kathy got a hair cut (not a great haircut, but it hasn't been cut since June 26th) while I picked up some ethernet cable and an adaptor for out Ipod.
Then is was off to the post office to mail Kurt's maps back to Michigan. Kurt is a friend from our old marina who graciously let us sort through his dad's maps and guide books, borrowing what we needed... probably saving us $500. (Plus, I got to read about the history of the Hudson River, aloud, as Mike drove the boat!)
On our way back to the boat to unload again we noticed that is was 3pm and we hadn't eaten. So we pulled in to a bar across from the dinghy dock and the waitress talked us into an order of nachos ... which were excellent. After dropping Kathy off at the boat with another load of stuff (to try to find room for all the groceries we bought in the morning), I drove back to town to get the propane tank filled and three jerry cans of diesel. On my way back to the boat I was met by about 10 dinghies heading for the 5pm mandatory happy hour who all found it necessary to point out the fact that I was going the wrong direction.
I unloaded the fuel while Kathy finished our snack to pass ...and then we were off again.
The party was fun. It was held in the lounge area of a nice hotel. Our group spilled over into about three rooms. My guess is that there were probably about 150 people there at one time or another. Later in the evening people got out their instruments and played some music.... Guitars, fiddle, flute, bass ...
We returned to the boat about 8:30 to listen to the basketball game but I couldn't tune it in... maybe this game wasn't broadcast. (It may have been on too late for us.)
We took the car back, making one more stop at Walmart for some things we forgot. We worked on the boat-it was nice and warm. We made our snack for the for tonight's happy hour and had another fun time meeting more new people. We were back on the boat early and read for a while.