I changed our calendar today and was overwhelmed by guilt of not having posted any meaty stories in a long time. We have been in the US for over a month now having made our crossing from the western Abacos on May 31st. We entered into Ft. Pierce mid-day on June 1st, welcomed by at least a week of daily thunderstorms. This weather was not new to us as you will have read in the earlier post about the Abacos. We even got smart enough to start collecting the water and keeping our tanks topped off!
From Ft. Pierce, where we only spent one night, we motored up the ICW to one of our favorite spots--Vero Beach. Upon arriving in Vero we realized quickly that we were way, way behind the rest of the pack. Nearly every mooring ball was empty where normally you raft 3-deep in the high season. We were looking forward to a little social exposure but we weren't getting it there. So we took advantage of the free public bus, re-provisioned and kept on pluggin' north. From there we stopped for the night north of Melbourne, the next night in Titusville where we stayed two nights. New Symrna Beach after that, a night in the Matanza River with some extreme current before landing on a mooring ball in St. Augustine.
It was our first time in St. Augustine and we had heard such nice things about it so we were pumped! We settled Anastasia north of the Lions Bridge in the smaller mooring field and rowed ashore. The marina's facilities were quite nice with cheap laundry and clean showers. We walked the historic streets and really enjoyed our afternoon. After some beers and appetizers at a local restaurant we worked our way back to the boat to relax. The next morning we debated on whether or not to stay another night but eventually we bagged the idea and slipped our lines for another day heading north on the ICW. Before arriving in Fernandina Beach we spent one night in the Ft. George River which has crazy current and huge tides. That is where we experienced one of the most beautiful thunderstorms ever. The photos are in the preceding blog post.
Fernandina hold a special place in our hearts. Traveling up and down the East Coast so many times, we have developed a relationship with certain stops. They feel like home somewhat in their familiarity. This is one of those places. We anchored out for a few days, rowing in for the awesome Mexican restaurant, Peppers! We frequented the bar for beer and chips probably too much as they started to remember our names...
In Fernandina, the shrimp are cheap and big! We helped ourselves to a few pounds!
Also while there we left Anastasia on a mooring for a few days while we rented a car and drove to Mississippi on a fact finding mission for the future. We are doing research on the next chapter. It was a lot of fun and we both giggled one night in our hotel room saying that it was like we were on vacation.
Once back in Fernandina we were excited to have a visit from Maxwell's parents. We spent two days together with Anastasia in the marina and touring downtown Fernandina. It was great to see them and a lot of fun.
From Fernandina we opted for an offshore jump to Charleston, SC. We arrived there on a Saturday evening, just in time to meet up with Maxwell's sister and her good friends for a night out on the town. We also had a chance to meet up with some other friends we haven't seen in a while as well. We spent almost a week there, loving every minute. Charleston is somewhere we could see ourselves living very easily. It has a great vibe and tons of things to do.
From Charleston we were offshore once more, two days and two nights into Beaufort, NC where we are now. Beaufort is another one of those places with a strange familiarity. We counted that we have been through here 6 times in 3 years! It is the only place we have hit every season, coming and going. We plan to spend the 4th of July here, celebrating with our friends on Seaveyor whom we met our first season in the Bahamas.
As things are drawing to a close for our 2011-2012 season we are still living it up, loving every minute until Anastasia reaches the Chesapeake waters.