17 December 2014
At the end of our last blog entry, readers were given the option to elect that Sanderling go offshore through the St. Augustine inlet or stay in the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). One traumatized reader suggested that we seek shelter by going to church and addressing our Christmas cards in the pews during the pageant rehearsal.....ha! What a great idea!!!!!
As it turned out, we were planning to leave St. Augustine on Monday morning but when we awoke, the anchorage was in a rage - it had been blowing over 30+ knots all night long,and in the morning we were experiencing gusts up to 40 knots with one gust reaching 60; waves were crashing against the hull of the boat, and there were no signs of this weather letting up at all. The launch boat refused to come pick us up as it "was too dangerous" to be picking up people from their boats. We had to get Casey to shore at least twice that day so Roger told me to "pack up for the day.... We are heading to shore til 6 pm"! It was a pretty nasty dinghy ride to shore but we had our foullies on. Poor Casey was drenched by the time we got to shore but he was much happier being off the boat. The northern mooring field was a mess- rumor had it one of the dinghies had flipped and one family couldn't get back to their boat the night before and had to spend the night on the docks in someone else's boat! The streets by the marina were flooded..... It must have been a full moon last night with larger than normal tides and major winds out of the north. Crazy.....
So.... This is a long way of saying that Roger, Casey and I snuggled up in a restaurant and wrote ALL of our Christmas cards after walking 4 miles to Staples to have labels made.....that's what you do when you have a full day onshore with nothing better to do!!!
Tuesday.... Roger heard that 39 boats were leaving St. Augustine - some had to go offshore due to their mast height; the majority of the boats were heading down the ICW. Beautiful skies, nice "quiet" breezes and Chrisy was relieved that Roger was okay with heading south through the ICW. We had the current with us the entire day and passed right by Fort Mantazas, Daytona Beach and anchored in a beautiful anchorage in Rockhouse Creek, just north of New Smyrna. We had anchored here 15 years ago with the children - a happy memory as we met another boat with several children ..... This time we were anchored with one other boat. Only concern that Chrisy had was that we were right next to the Ponce de Leon inlet... One more chance for Roger to duck offshore .....
The remaining few days were beautiful IN THE ICW - the weather finally was warm with sunshine all day. We had a wonderful dinner with Denise and Paul in Cocoa Village, friends we met last year in Titusville; and a great reunion with Sharon and Greg on Dreamcatcher in Vero Beach - cruisers we met in Cape May in September and hadn't seen since the C & D Canal! And during our last night on anchor, in Fort Pierce, we were welcomed by 2 turtles, a flying sting ray and several dolphins!
Sanderling is all tucked away on brand new docks in Fort Pierce. We originally were suppose to be docked amongst all these sport fishing boats - and the docking was going to be challenging.....but just coincidentally, their new docks opened up the day we arrived and we were given the option to be the first boat to christen their new docks! No champagne but pictures were taken!
So.... This ends our blog for 2014.... It is time to head north and get blasted by cold weather- just because we haven't been cold enough this fall!! We will be back in 2015 for more Sanderling adventures! We hope you all have a wonderful holiday, shared with family and friends and a joyful and healthy new year!!!