Mystic Star Points South

Mystic Star Sailing Adventures in the Bahamas

11 February 2019 | Little Bay - Great Guana Cay
22 January 2019 | Rock Sound, Eleuthera
12 January 2019 | Spanish Wells
30 December 2018 | Key Biscayne, Outside Noname Harbor
23 November 2018 | Isle of Palms Marina
09 May 2017 | Rock Hall Harbor
02 May 2017
17 April 2017 | Cumberland Island
05 April 2017 | White Sound, Green Turtle Cay
17 March 2017 | Royal Island
05 March 2017 | Davis Harbour Marina, Eleuthera
21 February 2017 | Salt Pond, Long Island
03 February 2017 | Georgetown, Great Exuma
23 January 2017 | Emerald Bay Marina
05 January 2017 | Pipe Cay
20 December 2016 | Wardrick Wells
12 December 2016 | Big Majors
07 December 2016 | Little Farmers Cay
29 November 2016 | Red Shanks
21 November 2016 | Sand Dollar Beach. Elizabeth Harbour

St Augustine to Cumberland Is

17 April 2017 | Cumberland Island
April 6 - 16: We enjoyed our time at Green Turtle Cay with dinghy rides as well as rental golf cart rides to New Plymouth on several occasions as well as walks to the beautiful ocean beach. The wind was up from the northwest so moving in a westerly direction was not going to be a good idea. The anchorage got pretty crowded, and folks trying to anchor in the grassy bottom were having trouble staying put. At one point a power catamaran near us was dragging anchor with no one aboard so I and several others got in their dinghies and maneuvered the boat out of harm's way using dinghy power with me at the helm. We were unable to start the engines or operate the windlass so had to be maneuvered with dinghies and hands to the chain for the anchor rode. Fortunately the owner showed up just as we were getting it settled, and chose to leave the area. Anyway, by Saturday (8th) the wind had settled in to its more normal northeasterly pattern and we and many others headed out for a day's run to Great Sale Cay and beyond. We arrived there and anchored around 1600 and relaxed a bit with dinner and increasingly calm conditions. Our original plan was to depart for Northern Florida at daybreak, but weather predictions were calling for increasing easterlies with rougher seas, so we decided to depart later that evening at 2300 in the full moonlight to start our 250 nm passage to St. Augustine in order to experience the Gulf Stream crossing in daylight hours. It was kind of nice to spend our last brief anchorage at an uninhabited cay before hitting the reality of the mass of population we were to experience in Florida. Our track took us westerly through the remaining banks and their shallow depths (15-20 ft) until 0800 on Sunday when we saw our last of the beautiful turquoise waters, then we angled towards the Gulf Stream in order to get that speed boost for our trip north. By noon we were in the Stream with an increasing speed over the ground and warmer water temperature. For the rest of the afternoon we were flying along on a broad reach under full sail and a push from the current to see speeds of 10 to 11.5 knots. The seas were mostly at right angle to the current so it was a comfortable ride. By sunset it was time to angle out of the Gulf Stream and head towards the coast of northern Florida which we figured to be the easiest part of the trip...but not so. At this point a small area of squalls plagued us from the east, but we had just reefed down for the night so we were ready for them. But once well west of the stream we experienced a strong southerly countercurrent that slowed our progress and also made the sea state much less comfortable. So we spent a choppy jerky night on the final leg to St. Augustine and we were glad to arrive there safely in the morning on Monday (10th) to pick up our reserved mooring in the favored north field just off of the historic fort and downtown area. We stayed here for three nights in order to see the sights, tour the various museums and the fort and enjoy the many varied dining options. We were glad to have spent the time to visit here.
Friday (14th) we headed out at sunrise for our first trip up the ICW (intracoastal waterway) on this winter's expedition. Armed with the handy up-to-date notations from "Active Captain" we made our way north through the waterway for the 50 nm trip to Fernandina Beach without incident. This leg involved transiting under eight fixed highway bridges with stated clearances of 65 ft. Our mast height is 63.5 ft above the water, so we had to watch carefully the tide levels at each bridge. On only one did we just touch the VHF antenna so thankfully we made it through the densely populated Jacksonville area without problems or even having to slow down. We made it to the harbor at Fernandina Beach by 1530, which is the northernmost town on the Florida coast. It's an interesting place with two huge paper mills north and south of the quaint old town on the Amelia River. The marina there had suffered some major damage from hurricane Matthew and not yet fully operational, but the mooring field was recently upgraded with new gear and was a fine place to stay. We enjoyed touring the town on foot seeing the many old restored houses and dining at one of the many restaurants. On Sunday (Easter, the 16th) we headed out for the short trip north to Cumberland Island where we arrived by 0830. Cumberland Island is a National Seashore/Park and is a real treasure. It is on the southernmost coast of Georgia and had been settled and occupied hundreds of years ago, but has mostly reverted to its natural state at this point. From the inshore coast out to the sand dunes, the land is covered with the majestic southern live oak trees with their hanging Spanish moss that form a high shady canopy over low lying saw palmettos. We rented bikes at the Ranger station there to get around on the trails and visit the ruins of a huge mansion known as "Dungeness" built by the Carnegies in the late 1800's. It was a really great place to enjoy and we're thankful that our friends Ann and Joe recommended it to us as one of their favorite spots. On Monday (17th) we plan to set out for an overnight passage to Beaufort, South Carolina, taking advantage of the fair weather we're now experiencing.
Comments
Vessel Name: Mystic Star
Vessel Make/Model: Outbound 46
Hailing Port: Rock Hall MD
Crew: Bill & Donna
About:
Sailing the Chesapeake for 33 years and the east coast of the US and Canada for the last 7 years. We've sailed on "OPBs" to Bermuda, and to most of the Eastern Caribbean islands from the BVIs to Grenada. [...]
Extra:
2016: The planned trip south in Nov 2016 will involve an offshore passage direct from the Chesapeake to a port of entry in the Bahama Islands. Crew for this trip includes experienced ocean sailors Randy, John & Richard. 2018: We are making the trip south this time with just the two of us so [...]
Mystic Star's Photos - Main
Northern Exumas - Shroud Cay, Warderick Wells, Cambridge Cay
15 Photos
Created 11 February 2019
Alabaster Bay to Rock Sound
11 Photos
Created 22 January 2019
11 Photos
Created 13 January 2019
Trip from Charleston SC to Miami FL, Dec 11 to Dec 30. ICW and offshore legs
10 Photos
Created 30 December 2018
Trip South from Rock Hall MD to Florida 2018
3 Photos
Created 1 December 2018
ICW in South Carolina and on to North Carolina
11 Photos
Created 31 May 2017
Arrival in St Augustine and trip to Fernandina Beach & Cumberland Island Georgia
10 Photos
Created 31 May 2017
Last of the trip through Virginia & Maryland
3 Photos
Created 9 May 2017
Touring the Abacos by boat, car, bike, golf cart and on foot
30 Photos
Created 5 April 2017
Eleuthera touring by car & boat, then Spanish Wells and Harbor Island by fast ferry.
30 Photos
Created 28 March 2017
Touring Cat Island, on the beach at Little San Salvador aka Half Moon Cay, Marina at Davis Harbour, Eleuthera
17 Photos
Created 5 March 2017
Photos from our stay at Monument Beach, Georgetown then car tour of Long Island
18 Photos
Created 22 February 2017
Photos of places we visited in the Exumas, Dec 2016 - Jan 2017
8 Photos
Created 23 January 2017
Georgetown Bahamas area, Nov 2016
7 Photos
Created 27 November 2016