Mystic Star Points South

Mystic Star Sailing Adventures in Florida and the Bahamas

29 April 2021 | Rock Hall, MD
12 April 2021 | Savannah, GA
22 March 2021 | Fort Pierce, Florida
15 December 2020 | Fort Pierce, Florida
13 November 2020 | Myrtle Beach SC
02 May 2019
19 April 2019 | Georgetown, South Carolina
29 March 2019 | Hopetown
07 March 2019 | Black Point Return
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

South Carolina to Fort Pierce, Florida

15 December 2020 | Fort Pierce, Florida
Bill Zimmerman
Nov 13 - Dec 15 We did end up staying in Myrtle Beach at the marina until the following Tuesday due to the high water in the Waterway and the Waccamaw River. There is a well placed NOAA water level gauge at Socastee where a fixed bridge crosses the ICW, and there is information that correlates the water level with the bridge clearance heights so that we can know when we are able to pass under safely. That didn't happen until eight days after our arrival here. By Tuesday (Nov 17) we were ready to go early and were off the dock by first light at 0630. It was a pleasant motor south in the waterway, crossed safely under the bridges and continued south in the wider Waccamaw River to Georgetown SC which we passed by at noon. From there we continued on in Winyah Bay then to the ICW to cross the North Santee River, then detoured into the South Santee River near Brown's Island for an overnight anchorage. This is a very nice spot with plenty of room in the midst of marshland that was long ago farmed as rice fields. We purposely started late on Wednesday (Nov 18) to avoid being at the fixed bridge at Isle of Palms at high tide where overhead clearance is an issue. After crossing under that bridge at 1300 we learned that the Ben Sawyer Swing Bridge was closed at midday for maintenance. This was an annoyance since we had called two days prior to confirm with the bridge tender on duty that the bridge was not going to be closed this day. Anyway we ended up anchoring in a side creek until the opening at 1600 at which point the tide was nearing its low and we had to watch for shallow spots along the way. Once through we headed out into the wide open Charleston Harbor where we headed north to the area near Patriots Point Park. We decided to anchor just south of the large marina there and stayed there for two nights while waiting for warmer weather to head back out into the ocean again. The winds were northeasterly which made this spot just fine but would have been a little exposed to be comfortable from other wind directions. The next morning it was 40°F and pretty breezy from the north so we were glad we waited one night more until Friday (Nov 20) when it was 15° warmer and headed out for an overnight run to St. Augustine FL.
It was good sailing under full sail all day with 19-22 kn wind on the quarter. Late in the afternoon some squalls were about so we furled the main and continued downwind with genoa alone. The seas were still up and seem to be building but the wind was down to 12 kn astern by 3 AM, so we motor sailed for comfort until morning at which point we decided to head in to harbor north of St Augustine at the St Johns River entrance. We would not have arrived at the St Augustine entrance until after the tide had switched to ebb and did not want to attempt that entrance with the seas and wind from the northeast. So we made it into the wide and protected St Johns entrance by 1030 with the flooding tide and it was an easy non-eventful transit. We later heard from a boat that was tied up next to us in St Augustine that they transited the St Augustine entrance on the 20th and could not see the entrance buoys in the seas and experienced having their cockpit flooded from overtaking waves. After hearing of that we were doubly glad we waited a day and went in through the St Johns inlet. Once in the St Johns River we were pushed along by the flooding tide for an extra 1.5-2.0 kn of speed that continued as we turned south into the ICW. We motored on until we made it to a beautiful anchoring spot near mile marker 765 on a bend off of the waterway near Pine Island (30° 03.5'N, 081° 21.3'W) by 14:20. After that we had an early dinner and were happy to be in bed by 7 PM for a restful sleep.
This spot inside the Guana River Wildlife Management Area was worth the stopover and was only 12 nm north of St Augustine, which we then headed for on Sunday (Nov 22) to arrive just after 1400. We took a slip there for five days over Thanksgiving week and enjoyed walking around town, though sad not to be comfortable in dining in the many places available here due to the pandemic. Still we found a few places with outside tables and uncrowded spaces in the midafternoon on a couple of days. For Thanksgiving day, we had ready from home a traditional turkey feast complete with trimmings and made a pumpkin pie too. We were thankful to be able to do such a trip in these difficult times, but missed the usual social event with friends and/or family or with newly made friends as in past years.
On Friday (Nov 27) we departed St Augustine for several days of easy travel south in the ICW. There were a number of fixed bridges to cross under and we were again worried by reports of high water, but fortunately we made it through all unscathed. We traveled 60 nm the first day to anchor off of the waterway at New Smyrna Beach for a peaceful calm clear night. The next day (Sat, Nov 28) we continued motoring south and made it to a spot south of Melbourne, near Malabar, between some spoil islands just off the waterway. We'd been here once before and shared it with several other boats also on trips going south. Sunday (Nov 29) we were underway early for the final leg to Fort Pierce where we wanted to be situated before a predicted frontal passage and rainy weather set in. By 12:30 we were tied up at the floating docks and set ourselves up to be there for weeks to come, as we had made a multi-month reservation back in July. The total trip distance from Rock Hall was 939 nm, done over a 26 day period with several long pauses along the way.
Over the next week we got settled in to life on the waterfront here in Fort Pierce. We were pleasantly surprised to find our friends Al & Arlene on their trawler Arion tied up here in the marina for a month as well, and has been fun to catch up with them. Our friend Scott on Star Reacher from our same marina in Rock Hall arrived here later in the week too, There is a great farmer's market every Saturday just adjacent to the marina grounds. By Friday (Dec 4) we walked down US1 to a rental car office and picked up our car for a month rental. It's been nice so far to explore the parks and nature preserves along the coast here as well as visiting the beach and planning longer trips. The Round Island Beach and Riverside Parks near Vero Beach are a great place for short hikes and exploring nature, and where we saw our first manatees of this trip: https://www.ircgov.com/Departments/General_Services/Parks/Round_Island_Riverside.htm The Hawks Bluff trail near Jensen Beach: https://floridahikes.com/savannas-preserve-hawks-bluff And the Heathcote Botanical Gardens http://www.heathcotebotanicalgardens.org/ with its largest (>100) collection of bonsai trees in the U.S. are highlights of places we've visited so far.
On Friday (Dec 11) we took a drive north to Vero Beach to see our WSPS friends Don and Sue over a nice lunch outside at Mr. Manatee's Casual Grille--oysters & burgers were great. The next day we had the unique experience of visiting friends Ann & Ted on the infield at Daytona International Speedway as part of his "crew" for a track-days event. This was about a 2 hour drive north up I-95 from the marina in Fort Pierce. Ted was there with his Porsche where we watched him zip around the course at speeds up to 160 mph with 45 other cars on the track during three 30 minute time slots that day. The required safety features, track-side observers and standby rescue crews were impressive. They had a great spot on the infield where they 'camped' for several days in their new RV. This is really an event for drivers with no access to any of the grandstands or concessions, so it was easy to maintain outside-only social distancing as is our 2020 norm by now.
So we're settling in nicely to marina based life here on Florida's "Treasure Coast" and plan to continue that into the New Year. Blogs will likely be pretty sparse from here until we make another move on the water, not likely before the end of January.
Comments
Vessel Name: Mystic Star
Vessel Make/Model: Outbound 46 /2008 /Hull #37
Hailing Port: Rock Hall MD
Crew: Bill & Donna
About:
Sailing the Chesapeake for 38 years and the east coast of the US and Canada 2009 - present. We've sailed on "OPBs" to Bermuda, and to most of the Eastern Caribbean islands from the BVIs to Grenada. [...]
Extra:
2016: The first trip south in Nov 2016 involved an offshore passage direct from the Chesapeake to Georgetown, Exumas, in the Bahama Islands. Crew for this trip included experienced ocean sailors Randy, John & Richard. 2018: (Bill & Donna) We made the trip south this time with just the two [...]
Mystic Star's Photos - Main
April 12-28, 2021: Trip up the ICW from Savannah to home port Rock Hall, Second half of trip from Fort Pierce FL.
26 Photos
Created 4 May 2021
Travels from Fort Pierce to Savannah, April 1-11, 2021
29 Photos
Created 12 April 2021
Sightseeing on the Treasure Coast, Dec 2020 to March 2021
34 Photos
Created 29 March 2021
South Carolina to Fort Pierce Florida and two weeks at the marina
24 Photos
Created 15 December 2020
Mystic Star trip from Rock Hall MD to Myrtle Beach SC 11-3-2020 to 11-9-2020
7 Photos
Created 13 November 2020
Sailing & ICW to home in Rock Hall by May 1, 2019
10 Photos
Created 5 May 2019
Abacos, St Augustine FL, Georgetown SC
15 Photos
Created 20 April 2019
Bitter Guana Cay to Hopetown, Elbow Cay
18 Photos
Created 29 March 2019
Great Guana, Rudder Cut Cay, Georgetown Regatta, Conception Is, Lee Stocking Is
18 Photos
Created 9 March 2019
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