In Brunswick for now
10 April 2011 | Brunswick, GA
WELL, we HAD planned on moving on but as is a constant with this life our plans changed. We are still in Brunswick, GA and will be for most of if not all of the summer and fall. We may wander up the coast as far as Southport, NC later but we will see. We were going to go to Mayport, FL and spend a month and then go on to St. Augustine for a month but ….
We were all set to take off a couple of Monday's ago. Poor Bill. He woke up that Monday thinking we were heading out to Mayport. I had awakened at 0400 and laid/lain(?) there thinking about what our objectives were and how we could best meet them and Brunswick Landing Marina just came out on top. Bill had to do a real hard reboot to get the change of plans in his head and get to where I was on which was the best locale. We have certainly made plan changes before and that hasn't been a major problem but we have never made this major of a change the very morning we were heading out. But he did get his head around my reasoning and we are both comfortable with the change.
I looked more into Morningside Marina at Mayport and talked to them some more about their amenities and they just seemed kind of shy for a month's stay. They are working on getting the place upgraded but they just aren't there yet. For instance, no laundry (although they did say they had a loaner car we could occasionally use for something like that), no showers, no pump out, and no head other than the one in the ship's store which is available only during normal hours. There is considerable current running there and the cross river ferry docks every half hour right by where we would have been - think noise and wake from the big engines. They are far from Jacksonville but close to the ocean and it is a shorter trip than from here to the ocean. The days are getting longer though and there are no current issues here so we can spend the time getting out to either the sound or the ocean and have some nice day sails and still have time to return before dark.
I also need to get more practice at maneuvering Eos at the docks and this is a very quiet place with no current. I used to handle our smaller boats during all of the dockings and I need to get comfortable with this much bigger thing. The environs at Morningside need to be tackled later after I have had more practice.
And as far as St. Augustine is concerned we know that shoaling is a major issue at the inlet this year. In fact, we talked to the local TowBoat US guys there and they suggested with our 7' plus draft that we would do best to just call them when we got there and they would lead us in. And then there is the opening bridge we have to go through to get to the marina. It opens on a published schedule not on demand so that has to be considered. Those two things made it just not the right place for us to get in and out of lots of times.
This is just a better place to do the boat work and get out for some day sailing as well as make some trips down to Cumberland Island for some anchoring time away from the dock. The staff is great, we know the area, the Enterprise rental folks know us by name, and the local boaters are friendly and have a get together every Wednesday for drinks and munchies.
We are busy getting more things done which will make living and cruising in the tropics more comfortable. We now have some wonderful shade tents that cover most of the boat and certainly make a difference. Bill has polished stainless like mad. I have done some deep cleaning – even getting some residual construction goop off cupboard joints and such with Soft Scrub, razor blades and dental picks. We have replaced the original screen material for our port holes with a finer no-seeum material and made screens for all of the deck hatches. (There are sand gnats here and we really, really need those screens and the AVON Skin-So-Soft that everyone recommends.) Bill has worked on various rope splices, and replacing some lights which didn’t last as long as we had hoped. And Bill has started looking into the watermaker. We have one mounted in the boat but we need to run the hoses to the tanks and the wiring to the electrical panel. At 50 cents a gallon for water in some places in the Caribbean having the water maker will be a boon.
Spanker was at the Vet's (Coastal Cat Clinic specializing in cat care, no less) for a couple of days. She would regurgitate about every other time after eating. The food went down and came right back up with no time to digest any of it. We were concerned that there might have been a blockage or something so they did x-rays and kept her a couple of days. The first thing Dr. Ryan said when she called was "I think this little girl has a behavioral problem." Wow, if our cat has a behavioral problem just think what could have happened if we had had kids!! It seems she just wolfs down her food, gets air pockets in her stomach and up everything comes. It probably goes back to being born at the shelter and having to go at it fast and furious to get her share. So now she gets Fancy Feast (takes her longer to eat) and when I put down kibble I also put 2 golf balls in the bowl (she has to move them around to get to the kibble and that slows her down). Bill told me I had give the rest of the golf balls to my great nephew Blane in Atlanta when we see him so they don’t start ending up in Bill’s soup. Spanker was more than glad to get back to the boat and we were glad it wasn't anything really serious.
While we had the car to tote Spanker back and forth we took a trip to the West Marine Flagship Store in Jacksonville and spent money, of course. Can any boater go into a West Marine and just look around? I doubt it. And, of course, we wandered over to St. Simon’s Island and Jekyll Island but forgot the camera. We will have to get pics next time. We also took in a couple of movies which was great fun. We were about 20 minutes into Lincoln Lawyer and I said to Bill “My gosh, I’ve read this book. I just can’t remember how it ends!” Not remembering the plot is just a result of reading so many books these last few months. Pleasure reading and technical and cruising reading. Guess my mind just closes off the memory bank when it comes to some of the pleasure reading. It must need a break from all of that stuff that needs to be remembered.
Renee and Bob who are on our dock came over for pizza one evening. They were busy redoing the counter in their galley and I just couldn’t see her having to try to cook around all of that mess so we ordered pizza. That’s the first time we have done that since we have been aboard and it will happen again. I had forgotten how nice it is to not have to make a pizza. Renee and Bob will be here several more weeks and then they will be heading up to Maine where Bob is from. They are US citizens but residents of Panama and have lived aboard there and in Mexico for many years. They flew back to Panama for two weeks to get some dental work done. It was cheaper for them to fly there and have the work done than to do it here in the states. Wow!!
We just met another couple on our dock who arrived last week. Sam and Mae are from Scotland with lovely Scots accents. They are late getting here this year but will be here a couple of months. We are looking forward to getting to know them better after they have had time to get their boat shipshape again. I could never have imagined before we started this life that we would meet a couple in Brunswick, Ga who live in Scotland and keep their boat here. People have such fascinating life-styles sometimes.
Patti and Wayne on Mirthin will be working their way from Marathon, FL to Oriental, NC while Jean-Denis and Louise on Nemea will be crossing back from the Bahamas and going up the coast to Canada. We are hoping that we will see them for at least a quick stop over here in Brunswick. John and Joan our Newfoundland friends on Changing Lanes are back in the states and are working their way down the ICW to here. We are so looking forward to spending some time with them before they return to Canada in May. Joan says she is trying to find the warm weather. It just kept getting colder the further south they went last fall and it snowed in Deltaville, VA a couple of weeks ago while they were readying the boat. She won’t have to worry about warmth down here. The warm stuff has arrived. It has been in the 80s and hit 91 yesterday. We certainly lucked out getting the shades when we did!! Now we will have to see if the shades, six deck scopes and lots of opening potholes and hatches as well as 11 fans will be enough to keep us from melting in the heat of a southern Georgia summer. We have already talked about a hatch air conditioner being a possibility in the future. We’ll have to see how bad it gets.
I have posted a few pics on the blog. My nephew, Randy, wanted to me to explain to him our litterless kitty box so I have included pictures of that. We will let you know what is happening with us every few weeks. It will be about living aboard rather than cruising for a while.