January 2, 2014

Under Way!

“Afoot and lighthearted I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.”
― Walt Whitman

January 1, 2014... The first day of the new year... the first day of so many things.

Everything ready.
But I couldn't sleep past 3 am... 
So I got up, rechecked the weather and got things ready for our 4:30 am departure right on time... 

Strong incoming tide made for a battle with the current to get us through the pass where we soon enjoyed a nice southeasterly wind that took us  40 miles to Jacksonville... But Getting thru the pass in pitch black darkness is always harder than you think it will be... it's so easy to lose your bearings at night... but after a bit of trial and error, and barely missing a collision with the red #12 marker, we battled the incoming tide as hard as the little Yanmar 16 horse would do untill we finally found ourself outside the island in in the open open... next step, turn the rudder south and roll on.

About 12 hours later, We found our way to a rainy anchorage along the ICW and enjoyed our New Years Day meal of black eyed peas with the lovely very healthy ham hocks ....and then crashed at 8 pm... entering the Jacksonville harbor inlet under sail was easier than I thought it would be, misty weather and a couple of freighters we met along the way.

Here's some pix before departure and along the way... 

Lots of groceries and extra water loaded below


Extra fuel fuel cans and extra water cans for later travels.

 It was pitch black when we left, but finally morning broke to two giddy boys off to who knows what.

Cool view from our anchorage that night.. misty, foggy, ethereal...

January 2, Entering St. Augustine...

Here's a nice shot Dixon took as we entered the Bridge of Lions... Funny thing, I had to rev the engine in high gear in order to make it to the 12:30 bridge opening just in time... 

But as a result of driving the engine too hard the engine alarm came on indicating an overheating engine... she wasn't used to being treated that way... But fighting a strong current we did made it thru the bridge just in the knick of time... We grabbed a mooring ball on the other side and had lunch and let the engine cool... thank God for warning alarms.

St Augustine above and below here

Cant beat a peaceful anchorage like this one.

Here's a few thing's I"ve learned in the past 3 days...

1. If you drive the engine too hard just to make a deadline, like a bridge opening, just accept that you are late and wait for the next opening...she will overheat... go easy on her

2. If your boathook gets tangled in the mooring ball pennant, there will surely be a strong current to make it even more dicey..... There's a good chance you will lose your grip and the boat hook will end up overboard and out of your reach... Thankfully, a nearby boater will recongnize your calamity and come retrieve it for you.

3.  If you don't pay attention to the orientation of your bow when you dock, there will sure be a strong west wind in the morning making it more difficult for you to depart... Thankfully, an able bodied dockhand from the marina will assist you with your departure if you are lucky.

4.  If you take your eyes off the course and the channel markers in an urban area like Daytona, you will find yourself running aground simply because the channel markers made a little deviation while you were fiddling with some distraction on board... But if you forge ahead, twist the wheel back and forth, and back and forth a few times, and say a littlle prayer, she will eventually free herself, saving you from being high and dry from the outgoing tide.

5.  Small marked channels off the main ICW seem easy enough, but that's just what they are, small.  And it is possible, and I can attest, to run aground twice in one day.  Do the twist and and shout and twist and pray thing again, and you will be freed...at least for this time. The channels are very unforgiving

6. You should always take note of which direction the wind AND the tide are moving before taking off on a 50 mile ride along the ICW... Thankfully, we had the wind AND the tide in our favor all day today, making for a joy ride at 7 knots, although I never thought to check it before departure... Sometimes, the Universe just looks out for you even when you screw up.

January 3, 2014 ....

Wow... wind, current, cold... thankfully, no rain today.. but we moved at a fine pace for over 50 miles today with the tide in our favor and the wind blowing up our arse... lots of cool scenery always along the ICW... very few boats.... Awoke to this awesome sunrise at Marineland Marina before shoving off..

Marineland Marina...

Final thought for the day...

Everything is a learning curve.

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