This is home for the boat for the next year
06 April 2017 | Reynolds Park Yacht Center - Green Cove Springs
now that we are in the US, under the terms of our cruising permit we are required to make a telephone call in to Customs and Border Protection for a "Coastwise Movement" notification each time we move. For our run up the Intracoastal Waterway this has been an almost daily occurrence. travelling up through Stuart and Fort Pierce where we got fuel and stopped for the annual Oyster Festival in the park on the waters edge. we continued on up to Melbourne and pulled off into an anchorage. in the morning when pulling up the anchor we were surprised to find we had a second anchor on the tip of ours. I hooked it up with the boat hook and cleaned it up. it looked reasonably new with about 10 feet of anchor chain and the remnants of a knotted rope on the end of the chain. a little small for our boat but we may find a use for it one day.
We had planned to try and fit in a side trip to the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral and we arrived in the town of Coco on Merritt Island on Sunday afternoon to pick up some groceries and stay overnight with the intention of sailing a little further to Titusville to get some info on the NASA tours. while on the dock tying up the dinghy we met a retired couple who were living on their boat in the bay where we had anchored. Larry and Rosie had lived in the area for the last 30 years and had sold up and moved onto the boat. They had 5 kids with one living in the area and had the use of a car (actually it was their sons F250 with a 450HP V8 which Larry wasn't afraid to use) they offered to give us a lift to the supermarket to pick up some groceries as it was a mile or so away. we got to talking about wanting to visit the space center and they said it had been years since they had been out to the cape and we arranged to have breakfast in the morning together and then they would take us out to the visitor center. so breakfast it was in a great little diner that they were regulars at and we felt quite at home. Larry was a retired airline pilot and had flown boeing and Airbus aircraft until the airline went under and they took early retirement. Rosie was in education but had also learnt to fly and held commercial tickets as well. They were the nicest, friendliest most generous people that we have met on our travels so far. After breakfast Larry fessed up that when we had made the days arrangements the previous day he had forgotten he had promised to take an elderly friend out for lunch and that they would not be able to come with us. rather than cancel they drove us out to the visitor center and dropped us of with instructions to spend as much time as we wanted to and ring Larry with half an hours notice and they would pick us up.
We had an incredible experience at the Space Center and in all honesty we really needed 2 days there to see it all. we did as much as we could including meeting an astronaut - Bob Springer who flew 2 missions on the shuttle Atlantis and was previously a a Navy Pilot with over 100 carrier landings who had also spent time at Mirramar for those who are Top Gun fans. We were a day too late getting to Cape Canaveral as they had launched rocket the previous day. Larry said they had retrieved the external fuel cell on a barge 200 miles out into the North Atlantic. apparently they calculate where it will land and had the barge there waiting. The GPS takes over and the tank landed on the barge. truly amazing stuff.
As the day came to a close we were back at the docks in good time and we bid farewell to Larry and Rosie, thanked them for their generosity and headed north for a couple of hours putting another 15 miles behind us for the day and spent the night.
After a day on the cape we decided to put in a couple of big days and and covered around 70 miles on the first day and around 50 on the second. both were quite leisurely with us just plodding along. by the second day we had arrived in St Augustine leaving only around 80 miles to go. we kept going until we entered the St Johns River at Jacksonville leaving only 20 miles to our destination. we had a day of heavy rains and electrical storms with lots of lightning which is quite un-nerving with big lightning rod sticking up above us as we sailed along.
As we got closer to the end we started dismantling the boat in preparation for storing it. with the rain we had the sails had a good wash and late in the afternoon yesterday after a good sail in warm sunshine we dropped them and they are now stored for the next 9 months.
In the US there are 10 weather channels on the VHF Radio and there were alerts going out all night for thunderstorms with Hail and 60mph winds in our area. we saw some more torrential rain and lightning all around us but no hail. Thank goodness we stripped the sails earlier. Today we motored the last 20 or so miles up the river to Green Cove Springs where we are now. It looks like we can get the boat hauled out on Monday and we will spend the next few days preparing her for a long stay without us. we have to clean everything down and prep the motors including the outboard for storage. the Mast has to come down as well and I have to disconnect everything inside it in the morning in preparation.
We have hired a car for a week and will use that to do what we have to here and then drive down to Miami next friday dropping it off at the airport when we leave.
Until next time :-)