Category Archives: 2008

Reunion — St Augustine

Luau Shirt weather–YES!

Reunion with MaryMac, an important secretary from two decades ago and her daughter, Heather. Lunch at Harry’s was nice. The tram tour of St Augustine was, well, touristy, but what does one expect?

Got back to marina early enough they could head back to Tampa rather than staying an extra night. Played Scrabble on the new boat-friendly Christmas present. Gotta watch it, Janet is a new threat with this new set…

Long Time Friends, Good Times — St Augustine

Breezy, raining.

Had Christmas aboard. A first. Had Christmas lunch with a long time friends and new folks and two poodles. A very, very nice glitz-free day.

Christmas Near the Caribbean — OCM

Cloudy, 65º, breezy.

Cleaned, cleaned, cleaned…

Followed by creative laziness

Picture shows why you never completely trust a chart plotter. The red line is our track THROUGH several of the docks to reach our slip.

St Augustine — Twixt Jax Beach and Oyster Creek Marina

38º departure — 63º arrival.

Pulled out of Beach Marine on another dead low tide, but this time with less (0) consequence. We had a low stress trip down to St Augustine with two small exceptions involving badly operated boats. The welcome we received at Oyster Creek Marina topped them all. It was like a family welcome home. We are bunking down here for the better part of a week and will spend Christmas with a very good friend from sailing days at Patrick AFB. Boxing Day. We will spend with a former secretary of mine from 1989 who is about to celebrate her 90th birthday. The boats about us are bedecked in Christmas lights, and we have had our own lighted mini-tree on the table since Charleston. Since we signed in here for a week, we did only the essentials before kicking back for the evening.

Hit Snooze Several Times — Twixt Fernandina and Jacksonville Beach

Bright, clear, windy, cold.

Anchor watch and bouncing made for a night of naps. Had we not had Christmas plans in St Augustine, I think we would have repositioned the boat and stayed the day.

As it was, we left the Bells River on a dead low tide to reach the St John’s river at the right time for a slack water crossing. This meant we saw as little as 5.8 feet in the waterway main channel in several places where turning right and left just gave us less. (We draw 5.5 with all tanks full and the larder stocked.)

After a couple of hours that improved. It was windy, but we were sheltered by the narrowness of the waterway. This was one of those crystal clear days after a front passes. So beautiful.

We reached the Sisters Creek Bridge at the St John’s river 2 minutes after predicted slack water and found the flood arrived early. After arranging a safe passing with a northbound tug we crabbed our way across the river and again found thin water where the waterway telegraph had said the preferred channel was.

On a strong flood, we reached Beach Marine shortly thereafter and slipped without a current for the first time in weeks. After that, laundry. The otherwise great dock crew took our cart while we were doing laundry and locked it up. NOT appreciated.

Even so we will likely come here again as it is completely unaffected by the strong currents in the ICW and the entrance channel is maybe two boat lengths long.

Picture shows our big ship timing was better here than in Savannah

Entering Florida — Twixt Jekyll and Fernandina

Squall line bearing down.

Winter Solstice arrived with a fast moving squall line across the lower reaches of Jekyll Sound. It was a good place for one. Lots of room and deep water. Wind gusted to 35+ for a while, but we turned into the Cumberland River before the wind against tide wave action built up. Would not have wanted to be on the marina face dock–no way.

Moving south through the Cumberland Sound, you could tell it was Sunday — nothing was going on (except an occasional shotgun blast). We’d planned to anchor here behind lower Cumberland Island, but the strong NW wind made that untenable.

Instead we crossed over to Florida, and anchored in the Bells River. Sadly, the margins of this river have several masts sticking from the water where boats were lost to a hurricane.

This was a bouncy place through the night as wind against tide (2200-0400) kicked up a chop and the boat sat abeam the wind as it was held in the grip of an incoming current.

We did hourly anchor watches through the night since it had taken two tries to get the Delta to set (first time it just skidded across a dead oyster bar.

Picture was taken at roughly 1230.