Sailing South on Solitude

John, Penni & Timmy

Revisiting our Favorites

After a good night’s sleep on anchor at Daytona, John woke me at 7am with a cup of tea. I assumed it was 8am and accepted it gratefully. Timmy was reluctant to wake up so I checked the clock and realized John had been serious when he said he wanted an early start. It was light, so I had no complaints. The water was still, the air fresh and almost cool as John lifted the anchor. I headed back towards our course aiming to cut between three boats on anchor. Timmy started barking, the depth monitor was beeping and then the anchor alarm started sounding. I went from super calm to flustered in one second. As I was trying to switch off the anchor alarm, John called back ‘What are you doing?’ I looked up and saw I was way too close to one of the boats. I readjusted quickly and John pointed for me to head in the other direction. I followed his directions although I did not understand why. When he had finished putting the anchor away and back in the cockpit he told me why. Although it looks like the anchors are just in front of the boat, they may be stretching a long way forward. Even if I had kept my path between the boat, we may have gone over one of their lines. I knew this already. I just did not understand how that plays out in practice. What looked like enough distance to me, was not far enough in reality. We may be nearing the end of our first trip, but I still have a lot of the basics to learn. I went from flustered back to super calm in a second. John’ s calmness and clear explanations worked their magic as we both looked forward to the trip ahead of us. This is one of those sections of the ICW that is narrower, with marsh on one side for most of the way and homes on the other. There were hardly any other boats. A direct contrast from yesterday. The two bascule bridges opened on signal so we had no delays. Our only concern was some big black clouds that seemed to follow us all the way. We were able to keep our distance until the last 20 minutes when it suddenly started to pour. We know our drill for this. I hand John a raincoat and take Timmy down into the salon. I was happily sitting there when I heard the engine slow. I popped my head up to see what was going on. We were about at our next marina and we had to get the fenders and lines prepared. I grabbed my raincoat, ignored Timmy’s complaints, and took the helm while John prepared the boat. The rain eased as we pulled into the fuel dock and were welcomed back to Palm Coast Marina. We are here for two nights. Firstly to enjoy the nice restaurants and secondly so we can work on the long list of admin and jobs we need to do as we prepare Solitude for dry storage and ourselves for the California and England trips. Timmy is very excited that although he won’t be coming to California with us, he will be staying at the Puppy Penthouse with Jim and Ann. Today, we set off for the mile and a half walk to the UPS store to make some returns. It was a grueling must have been close to two and a half mile walk in 85 degree heat. I, being concerned only for Timmy, did not want to walk back. We adjusted plans and ate at a Mexican restaurant close by. We then picked up some essentials, which included water, from Publix. This gave us a nice excuse to legitimately call an Uber to take us back to the marina. Timmy was very grateful. Picture of John looking forward to a shave, with a bascule bridge which, despite their occasional inconvenience, I never tire of.