s/v Far Niente - Cruising Log

Spring 2015 - The Florida Keys

11 March 2015 | Marathon, FL
19 February 2015 | Marathon, FL
09 January 2015 | Vaca Key - Marathon, FL
10 December 2014 | West Palm Beach, FL
01 December 2014 | West Palm Beach
20 November 2014 | West Palm Beach, FL
05 October 2014 | Port Royal, SC
24 February 2014
17 February 2014 | South Carolina
01 June 2013 | Port Royal Landing Marina
16 May 2013 | Anchored Cocoa, FL
26 April 2013 | Marathon, FL
21 December 2012 | Harbour Cay Club, Marathon, FL
07 December 2012 | Mooring #30, St. Augustine Municipal Marina
31 August 2012 | Dataw Island Marina, SC
13 June 2012 | Conch House Marina, St. Augustine, FL
08 June 2012 | New Smyrna Beach, FL
03 June 2012 | Harbour Isle Marina, Ft. Pierce, FL, USA
29 May 2012 | Old Bahama Bay Marina at West End

New Smyrna, FL to Beaufort, SC

01 June 2013 | Port Royal Landing Marina
PHOTO ABOVE: El Galeon heading for the dock in St. Augustine. The St. Augustine mooring field where can been seen immediately behind the galleon. As this photo was taken, we were picking up the mooring pendant. El Galeon Video

Cocoa, FL to New Smyrna Beach via ICW / Indian River
Distance: 45.2 nm (motor)
Time: 7:07

A mostly uneventful leg north except for the fact that the alternator regulator died and as such the alternator is not charging the battery bank. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

The good news was it only took me about 45 minutes to figure out why the regulator was out; no power. The 12vdc power supply line comes right off the positive alternator post and through a fuse holder. The recent installation I had of a new alternator and wiring harness necessitated a new power line to the regulator. The installation wasn't very seaworthy I'd say. The wire pulled out of the fitting attached to the alternator, probably because it was not crimped properly and there was undue strain on the connection from too short a wire. I had an alternate fuse holder and I simply cut out the old one and spliced in the new one, this time with plenty of play in the wire so as not to put any strain on it. Since then all has worked as designed.

New Smyrna Beach to St. Augustine
Distance: 59.4 nm (motor)
Time: 9:48

The excitement began just as we entered the mooring field. The Bridge of Lions sits just north of the large southern mooring field and as we approached I spied 2 very tall masts on the other side. Then as the bridge open a massive Spanish galleon began to make its way through the span. It was tight! What in the world was this galleon doing here? We came to learn a bit later that the ship, named El Galeon, was a replica of the Spanish galleons that first visited St. Augustine in the late 1500's.

From the St. Augustine Record: "El Galeon’s tour is part of the celebration to commemorate Florida’s 500-year history since it was first discovered by European explorers. St. Augustine is one of four Florida port stops for the Viva Florida 500 Voyage of El Galeón as it sails a historic route similar to Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León’s 500 years ago. The ship set sail from Puerto Rico on April 1 and landed in Miami on Monday, where it will stay until April 28. El Galeón is a 170-foot, 495-ton, authentic wooden replica of a galleon that was part of Spain’s West Indies fleet. During the visit to Florida the galleon will cover more than 900 nautical miles, with 28 crew members on board maneuvering more than 9,600 square feet of sail area, the same way it was conducted in the 16th century."

History: Ponce de León sailed from Puerto Rico, when he was governor, in search of an island of riches and perhaps the fountain of youth. He spotted land April 3, 1513, and promptly named it La Florida. His arrival marked the beginning of a European presence in what is now the U.S. mainland, and Ponce de Leon is also credited with discovering the Gulf Stream, which led to development of the early trade routes between Spain and the Americas that brought galleons filled with treasures perilously close to Florida’s shores.

Once on board the size is impressive. It was really amazing to see up close the rigging of the ship which was nearly identical to the original. El Galeon does have the benefit of polyester lines, and lots of them!

St. Augustine to Port Royal, SC
Distance: 160 nm (motor sail) via Atlantic Ocean
Time: 22:18

We timed our departure from St. Augustine such that high tide occurred when we were traversing the infamous St. Augustine inlet, graveyard to many a sailboat and motor yacht. With a proper speed we would reach the offshore channel to Port Royal Sound right about the time of peak flood current. These were good combinations.

For 100 nm we motor sailed in pleasant weather with light and variable wind, though it never did move to the east and southeast as forecast. It never does. Instead we had a ENE wind that really did not do much for us. We were fortunate to pick up quite a north bound current, though it was clearly not the Gulf Stream.

A bit south of Tybee Island and the main shipping channel into Savannah, GA, the seas became confused. Swells shortened in period and increased in height. There was no significant wind we could use to stabilize the boat with the sails. We motored on in classic cork screw fashion. The last 60 nm of the trip was tiring and aggrivating, but there was no alternative.

Approaching the shipping channel about 5:00 am things were busy. Ships were calling for pilots and others were waiting. It can be very nerve wracking as it is extremely hard to tell speed and direction several miles away in the dark. I tried to pull up my iPhone AIS app but we were far enough offshore that the 4G signal was insufficient to pull AIS data off the web. So we used radar and monitored the VHF. We cleared the area safely and made for the sea buoy that marks the entrance to the offshore channel through shallow water and into Port Royal Sound. Once at he end of the channel we caught the flood current and zoomed down Port Royal Sound and past Paris Island on the Beaufort River at 8.5 knots. We were tied off on the face dock of Port Royal Landing Marina by 9:15 am. It was time to catch up on sleep.

We are going to keep Far Niente at the Port Royal Landing Marina for a while. Many, many maintenance items to address, repairs, and upgrades. These will likely take all summer. In the mean time there is a great boating community here at PRLM which is family owned and operated. The facility and staff are top notch.

If your vacation plans or your cruising agenda find you in Beaufort or Hilton Head, do contact us so we can get together.
Vessel Name: formerly - Far Niente
Vessel Make/Model: formerly - Island Packet 45 (#33)
Hailing Port: Beaufort, SC
Crew: Marjorie and Jeff Graham
About: CRUISERS June 2010 to May 2015.
formerly - Far Niente's Photos - Main
A collection of photos from spring in the Bahamas
6 Photos
Created 1 April 2012
4 Photos
Created 26 January 2012
A collection of photos taken along the way as we made our way from the Chesapeake to South Carolina
17 Photos
Created 9 November 2011
Pictures of the newly installed cockpit grate.
10 Photos
Created 7 July 2011
Photos of JFK's Presidential sailing yacht, Manitou
10 Photos
Created 26 June 2011
Photos of the various places we are stopping as we make our way back north for summer 2011.
3 Photos
Created 28 April 2011
A collection of photos, including some from the Turtle Hospital.
5 Photos
Created 26 March 2011
Pictures of a variety of projects underway or completed on Far Niente
3 Photos
Created 7 March 2011
Photos from the Florida Keys.
19 Photos
Created 19 February 2011
Photos from Florida 2011
10 Photos
Created 1 February 2011
First batch of pix from our stay in Beaufort and a few from our previous stop, Charleston. Maybe the 2 best stops the entire journey.
18 Photos
Created 2 December 2010
We really like Georgetown.
12 Photos
Created 10 November 2010
A couple photos taken by Tom Jones (original owner of Far Niente when it was Christiana) Tom was on a fall delivery on a Grand Banks Eastbay 38 from the Great Lakes to Annapolis. On a very windy, cool early Sunday morning 50 miles north of Annapolis, they were motoring south on the Chesapeake at 23 kts and just happened to spot us exiting the Sassafras River headed for Annapolis for the sailboat show. What are the odds? A chance but great encounter none the less.
2 Photos
Created 1 November 2010
2 Photos
Created 17 October 2010
Photos from our stop at Cape May, NJ
10 Photos
Created 27 September 2010
Photos from our stop in NY and NJ (Liberty Landing)
5 Photos
Created 14 September 2010
A selection of photos from our stay in Troy and Catskill, NY including stepping our mast.
18 Photos
Created 10 September 2010
10 Photos
Created 20 August 2010
5 Photos
Created 19 August 2010
A couple of pictures of our ongoing excellent dining experience and the Credit Village Marina we are staying at
10 Photos
Created 11 August 2010
A few photos from Port Dalhousie.
6 Photos
Created 9 August 2010
Pictures from our transit of the Welland Canal, down bound from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario
11 Photos
Created 9 August 2010
Photos from our leg from DeTour to Lake St. Clair
8 Photos
Created 27 July 2010
A couple pix from our stop at DeTour.
2 Photos
Created 24 July 2010
Photos from the Mack Island and the after regatta party
7 Photos
Created 20 July 2010
Collection of photos from June 22 to July 17 from our travels around Charlevoix, Beaver Island and Mackinaw.
17 Photos
Created 18 July 2010
A few photos of some of the things we changed/added to Far Niente in the summer of 2009.
3 Photos
Created 3 April 2010
5 Photos
Created 21 March 2010
Interior photos for friends and family who have not been aboard....YET!
18 Photos
Created 22 February 2010
Pix from the summer 2009 sailing season
8 Photos
Created 21 February 2010