Sailing South on Solitude

John, Penni & Timmy

Perhaps the adventure is over

We had a smooth trip yesterday through Jacksonville to Green Cove Springs. We had one last bascule bridge to negotiate which was exciting for two reasons. The first reason was I had checked the Waterway Guide and told John there were no bascule bridges. So it was a surprise for him when he approached and thought that perhaps we would not fit under. The second reason was that it lifted in a completely different way. It had two tall towers and the bridge raised towards the top of the towers staying horizontal the whole time. When we got through Jacksonville we put the genoa out to get some benefit from the little wind there was. Before too long black clouds began to form to our port. The wind got up as a result and pushed us along nicely. We accepted the help knowing that we would get a soaking before too long. However the clouds remained a little aloof so it was like having our own personal wind fan following us. We needed it as the weather was stifling hot. Timmy needed a cool facecloth over him and accepted the pampering gracefully. As we neared Green Cove Springs it was still windy. We glanced at a possible anchorage and looked ahead at our marina that looks very industrial. We came up to some city docks that are $20 a night including electricity (bargain). However, with the wind pushing us on to the dock, John would have to rely on me jumping off and getting the spring line around the first cleat. I was not sure about it. The slip was tight, the waves were choppy and the winds was unpredictable. We came away and considered our options. We did not want to risk bumping Solitude, but John was feeling confident. We decided to give it a go, and back away if it was too risky. John judged it perfectly of course and I did not let him down. We are rewarded with a town with a beautiful park with freshwater spring, swimming pool and park benches. There is a coffee shop and two restaurants close by. We have tried all three. We started working through our jobs today- clean and fold sails, rinse and pack bimini, wash interior cushion covers, organize and so on. The day ended eating Mexican food on the boat while thunderstorms surrounded us. Timmy started to get nervous as lightning struck close and Solitude rocked as hard as she could given how well she is tied to the dock. We distracted him with games and he fell asleep while John and I, for the first time in four months, watched a program on the I phone- The Platinum Jubilee celebrations (thanks for sharing Jayne)


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