SV Sarah

06 February 2014 | Vero Beach, FL
03 February 2014 | Vero Beach, FL
01 February 2014 | Vero Beach, FL
31 January 2014 | Eau Gallie, FL
29 January 2014 | Cocoa, FL
28 January 2014 | Cocoa, FL
27 January 2014 | Near New Smyrna Beach, FL
26 January 2014 | Near St. Augustine, FL
25 January 2014 | Mayport, FL
23 January 2014 | Jacksonville, FL

Arrived at the Ortega Yacht Club Marina

29 April 2014 | Jacksonville, FL
John Stevenson
We arrived at the OYCM last night just about sunset.

By early Monday morning we knew we would be arriving off the St. John River inlet at the time of max ebb current, which can be 2.5 kts. In order to avoid having to motor up the St. John against that current we planned to anchor as we did on departure in the ICW near the St. John entrance. However, when we entered the river the wind, which had been light all day, freshened out of the SE. That would have made that anchorage more iffy than it normally is. So we elected to continue up the St. John, making less than 5 kts over the bottom, to the OYCM. Our main concern was to get to the Ortega River before sunset. There really is no channel from the St. John to the Ortega, and it is shallow. You just feel your way in the first time and then follow that track after that. I'd prefer to do that in the daylight. If we arrived after dark and decided to not go into the Ortega we could always tie to one of free docks provided by Jacksonville so there was no real risk in our plans. We did arrive off the Ortega about 1/2 hour before sunset, but then I discovered I had some how removed my old track into the river from my chartplotter. I've lost a lot of brain cells in the last decade or two, but fortunately the cells that contained the memory of that track were still in place and we entered the Ortega and tied up to the OYCM without a problem.

Today our main task is to get to the Homeland Security office in JAX so that Steve can check-in from the Bahamas. Then clean up the boat.

John and Steve

Picking up the Gulf Stream

27 April 2014 | Atlantic Ocean
John Stevenson
Earlier this morning we headed west to avoid 3 freighters as we passed north of the Bahamas. We then resumed our original WNW course. Soon our speed started to drop back below 6 kts as we entered another of the those eddies. This appeared to be a Warm Eddy (clockwise circulation) because as soon as turned back to the west out speed went back up to 6.5. By mid-morning we got out of the eddy and started to get a push from the edge of the Gulf Stream and turned once again to the WNW. As we moved further into the Gulf Stream our speed reached 8 kts. We should be able to hold this speed until just south of the St. John River entrance in about 21 hours., which unfortunately is about the time the ebb current out of the river will start. One more adverse current to deal with.

Steve and John

Avoiding Freighters

27 April 2014 | Atlantic Ocean
John Stevenson
We are now heading due West to avoid to eastbound freighters and a tugboat bound for JAX. Have lost almost all affects of current and are motoring at 6.7 kts in calm seas.

Slow Going

26 April 2014 | Atlantic Ocean
John Stevenson
We are now passing just east of the northern Abaco cays, but it has been slow going. Once we cleared the reefs of Man O War Cay and headed for Jacksonville our speed started to drop. By the time we were east of Green Turtle Cay it was down to a little over 4 kts. I had not checked the currents east of the Bahamas before we left. I figured we would be passing close to the cays and would not encounter any significant current. I was very wrong. We appear to be on the west side of a cold water eddy that broke off from the Gulf Stream and has drifted down east of the Bahamas. We were able set the sails and close reach in about 5-7 kts of wind with the engine on. If not for the sails our speed would have dropped below 4kts. About a half hour ago we appear to have started to get out of this eddy. Our speed has increased to over 5kts. I hope by morning our speed will be back over 6 kts and maybe we can shut down the engine for awhile.

All is well, John & Steve

Underway for JAX

26 April 2014 | Atlantic Ocean
John Stevenson
We departed Marsh Harbor around 10:30AM and headed out the north Man O War channel. We then turned NjW for JAX.

All is well

Departing for JAX

26 April 2014 | Marsh Harbor
John Stevenson
Steve and I are ready to depart the Harbor View Marina and Marsh Harbor for Jacksonville. The plan is to depart through the North Man O War channel and then head directly for the St. John River, about 320nm. The weather forecast calls for generally pleasant weather, but not much wind for the next several days. I'm afraid it is going to be a mostly motorboat trip. We should arrive at the St. John late on Monday or early Tuesday morning. There is a front that will be approaching the Jacksonville area on Wednesday so we are not going to delay our departure to see we can get more wind (from the right direction). So we should be out of here by noon.

John & Steve
Vessel Name: Sarah
Vessel Make/Model: Pearson 424 Ketch
Hailing Port: Falls Church, VA
Sarah's Photos - Main
2014 Cruise to the Abacos
4 Photos
Created 16 February 2014