03 December 2018
IC 12/01 – It’s been a while since I was able to post progress. I am in Cocoa Florida at Cocoa Village Marina. Great place with good facilities (showers, laundry, shopping and restaurants).
Since my last post here is what I can remember:
IC 11/17 – Walburg Creek -
The trip to Walburg Creek was done outside. We left the Intra Costal and went off shore as the conditions were perfect. Slight wind off shore and almost flat seas. The course I planned was closer to shore than all the rest of the rally members. They thought the water may have been too shallow in some places. With only a 4 foot draft on the Sea Ghost there was no problem. I was first to the anchorage and thought I might be in the wrong place. Then one by one the rest arrived. My boat is the second slowest of the group and this was my only time to watch the rest arrive after me. I just sat and watched from my cockpit.
IC 11/18 - Jekyll Island –
Yesterday I was the first to arrive, today I’m almost the last to leave. This was a long distance but we had helping current most of the way. Not enough slips at the marina so we had to raft up at the dock. Tonight we had a group happy hour with enough appetizers for a meal. Finished the night off with a roaring fire in a fire pit.
IC 11/20 - Cumberland Island –
Getting to this island was a short hop. We arrived early and anchored out. Finally got a chance to use the dinghy. The launch system that I found on the internet worked perfectly. Got the outboard and gas on board and crossed my fingers that the motor would start. Three pulls and it started and ran great. Planned to tow it for a few days but the weather didn’t look promising so we loaded it back on the boat. This island has wild horses, armadillos and some very interesting history. National Park there so we decided to explore. Long and short trails, by camp sites, ruins and a great beach. The trail we took was over 4 miles long across the island through dunes and over wooden walkways. Made it back just before dark. Very short ride tomorrow o Saint Mary’s (two hours). Time to celebrate Thanksgiving.
IC 11/21 – Saint Mary’s –
Made it over from Cumberland Island (two hour trip) anchored in Saint Mary’s river and went ashore. Nice quaint village with Navy base nearby. Wednesday night they had steamed oysters. All you could eat, however you had to shuck your own. The next morning helped set up tables and chairs for Thanksgiving dinner. Received a panic call from the boat that we were swinging wildly and close to other boats. Apparently with increasing wind and opposing river current all the boats were dancing every which way. I decided to pull the anchor and find another spot. My new spot was even worse. Not close to boats but scary swinging. Anchor was stuck under the keel with a very strong current. Starting the engine may have wrapped the line around the prop. Had to call Sea Tow. A little over an hour wait with others trying to help was frustrating. Sea Tow arrived moved my boat so I could recover the anchor and we looked for another spot. Too shallow in some areas, too deep in others and too much current other places. Finally found a great spot 40 yards from my original place, dropped anchor and all was well. Thanksgiving dinner was all over with nothing left. A boat from our rally dropped off a small dish with a little turkey and side dish for us. Exhausting day, but a memorable Thanksgiving.
IC 11/24 – Fernandina Beach –
Another short ride (two hours) and we tied to an anchor ball. So much easier than dropping and setting an anchor. What a great place shop, restaurants and sights close to us. They had a bus that took you around the island for $1. Did grocery shopping and visited the beach. Fernandina is on Amelia Island, it’s the northernmost city on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Found a great bar down an alley with awesome food cooked to order and some good beer (unusual for some of these places). The anchorage area was very quiet with no wind and little current. Wind picked up and current shifted, the mooring ball started hitting the hull, sounded like we were inside a drum. What a way to wake up at 2 o’clock in the morning. The following night less wind so knocking was gentler.
IC 11/26 – Little Sisters Creek –
Had thunderstorms race through in the morning so a few of us waited for them to pass. Other boats were on their way and said the lightning was close, thunder loud and had torrential rain with limited visibility. It was only a four hour trip and as we arrived to raft up the skies doused us with rain showers. After securing the boat and getting foul weather gear off it was time to call it a night. On to Saint Augustine and civilization tomorrow.
IC 11/27 – Saint Augustine –
Another easy run (six hours) and we were in Saint Augustine. On a mooring ball again. Due to my shallow draft, I was close to the shore with a great view of the fort and the Christmas city lights. This is a place I know a little bit about, those golf trips do come in handy for something. The next day I met Jack McDormand who grew up with Bob for a little lunch and to walk around a bit. That evening had a free dinner supplied by friends of the Sailnet community. Unfortunately had to leave the next day just as Bob and Sis were making their way down the highway to Boca Raton.
IC 11/29 – New Smyrna –
A very long run (fifty nine nautical miles) to an anchorage fighting current some of the way and not getting much help when it changed directions. Needless to say we never made it to the designated anchorage. Found a great spot just adjacent to the Intra Costal Waterway as the sun was setting. Dropped the anchor, set quickly and we were done for the day. Found out the next day we could have been in a very large anchorage in about two tenths of a mile further down the IC. We were not bothered there were no other boats to contend with and it was very quiet with little current and wind. Tomorrow on to Cocoa and a slip.