Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Thoroughfare Creek



By morning the wind dies and we are just motoring. Still had rolly seas which is now rather annoying without the sails steadying the boat. Unfortunately by the time we reach Winyah Bay, outlet of the Waccamaw River were we get back into the ICW, we have an outgoing current on our nose, greatly slowing us down. 

Blue fresh water of the Waccamaw, top, flowing into the ocean

Once we finally head up the Waccamaw River the river calms down and we anchor at Thoroughfare Creek, where we stopped in the Fall. I put down our dinghy and pick up Mark and Karen to tour the canals of what appear to be a failed development. There are a few houses with boats on the water. Most only have water access to their property.

Canals off the Creek

We are anchored next to the Sandy Island Preserve owned by the Nature Conservancy, which is part of the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge. This area was rice country before the Civil war and the fresh water river tides were used to flood the fields.
We have our last Happy Hour on Sea Vu Play. Mark and Karen are going to leave early tomorrow morning and see if they can take advantage of the good forecast and make a dash for home in New Bern, NC. They will be heading to St. James Plantation Marina for tonight. We will be taking a short trip 10 miles or so to Osprey Marina for two days to visit with Linda’s niece and son.

Monday, April 29, 2019



Leaving Jekyll

We head north on the west side of Jekyll an hour or two above low tide. There is some very shallow areas here, we bumped bottom coming south last Fall. They started dredging opporations here a couple weeks ago, but have not gotten too far. 

Dredge waiting for workers to arrive


Fishing pier we saw yesterday

Once we clear the St. Simonds Sound and get out on the ocean, we have gently rolling swells. Enough wind for fast motor-sailing. Nice relaxing day. In the afternoon I bake brownies for the overnight. We have a warm night and I was able to sleep in the cockpit while Linda steered. Linda does most of her sleeping down below.


Sunset over Georgia

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Jekyll Island, Golf Cart

We decide to stay one more day for better weather to do our over night run. We all do a few more morning chores. The marina manager has plugged in the one remaining golf cart overnight to ensure we have a full charge. We take off for a northern loop around the island with our fully charged cart. Stop by the RV park on the northern end for future reference and visit the fishing pier on the St.Simonds Sound on the north end. We have been by this pier many times, but I always thought it was a dock for barges. 


Fishing Pier

As we head back,  on the west side of the island our golf cart starts loosing its pep. It seems to have enough juice to get us back  to the Irish Pub for lunch again and that fine Guinness on Tap. We slowly take the cart back to the Marina. 

Busy afternoon, we play some cards, more cleaning, next days route planning and Happy Hour. Mark, Linda and I go back to the River House for a bowl of their very good crab stew for dinner. Karen stays on their boat cooking their overnight meals for tomorrow.

River House Resturatnt

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Jekyll Island, Irish Pub

We do have reservations for today and both boats head into the fuel dock around 9:00 am and then tie up on the face dock for our overnight stay. Karen and Linda do laundry and Mark and I have our boat maintenance projects. I change the engine oil and filters and the transmission fluid.

Marina Dock

After we all clean up, Bill stops by and we all go the Irish Pub that we had Thanksgiving dinner at last Fall. We visit a little longer with Bill back at the boat and Mark & Karen take off on one of the two golf carts that the Marina has for customers. They don’t get too far and barely make it back an hour later. After Bill leaves, we all leave on the remaining cart and it dies about a mile north at the historic village. We call the marina and tell them were we left it and have a nice walk back and swing by DQ for some ice cream.

In the evening we have dinner at the River House restaurant at the Marina, crowded with locals.

View from the River House resturant

Friday, April 26, 2019

Jekyll Island

We would like to head off shore for and overnight run north, but the weather is not cooperating, so we head north about 20 miles to Jekyll Island in the ICW. I call for reservations at Jekyll Harbar Marina, but with the lousy weather they are full, so we anchor just south of the marina. We had planned to go ashore for dinner, but the winds were still blowing over 20 knots. One gust caused our anchor to drag about 20 feet before re-setting, even though we backed down on the anchor, apparently not hard enough. So after that we decide to stay put on the boat for the evening. Around sun down the wind abruptly stops, strange.

Abandond lighthouse of little Cumberland Island A

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Cumberland Island, Tour

Last fall when we did the long bike ride to Plum Orchard, we were passed by a number of vans. I later found out that there are day tours of the island out of St Marys. We made reservations for today. Mark and Karen have never stopped at Cumberland Island. We have, many times, but have never seen the northern end. We meet the tour group at the ranger station after everyone else gets off the morning ferry.

Our first stop is Plum Orchard one of the "cottages" for the Carnegie children. 

Plum Orchard

 On the bookself of the ladies lounge

Kohler Then

Kohler Now

The basement tour of Plum Orchard was very interesting with all of latest the turn of the centry technology


Water powered Otis Elevator

We have a very informative guide and learn a lot about the plantation history of the island. We know a fair amount on the Carnegie’s ownership of the Island during the Gilded Age of the mega-wealthy. The Robert Stafford Plantation was one of the largest cotton plantations. Stafford was unique in his operation of his plantation. He educated his slaves to read and write, against the law in the south. His slaves essentially did piece work, once their designated tasks for the day were done, so many pounds of cotton, they were free to work their own gardens. They were encouraged to sell their excess and Stafford had a bank where he insisted they save their money. He provided hunting guns to the slaves to supplement their diet. At the end of the Civil War a number of hotels opened on the north end of the island and hired all the freed slaves. Because of their education, they were the key employees and managers of the hotels. When offered home building lots loans, they declined and boight them out right with their savings from Stafford’s bank. They were all fully employed for 35 years until the railroads expanded in Florida allowing the wealthy northerners to spend their winters further south.

We also visited the Church were JFK Jr. was married from the prying eyes of the press. Even the locals who worked on the island were oblivious to the wedding activities until it was over. 

After the tour group and the last ferry left, we all walked to the beach and have it to ourselves. Shell collecting is pretty good. We head back to boat and I make pizza for dinner.


Sand Turtle

Mark & Karen walking back from the beach


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Cumberland Island

Bridge of Lions before sunrise
Bridge of Lions

We catch the 7am opening of the Bridge of Lions and head out on the ocean for an offshore run to Cumberland Island. Got waked by sport fishing boats heading full speed out the channel, assholes!
After we clear the channel we head north to Fernandina Inlet and then on to Cumberland Island. Bill zips up on his power boat with Subs for dinner and rafts up with us. Dinner delivery at Cumberland Island! Deb is home, doing well and resting.

Dinner delivery at Cumberland Island

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

St. Augustine, Cafe Alcazar

My cousin Bill is driving down from Fernanadina to visit with us in St. Augustine and is staying at a Bed and Breakfast. Around 9:30, I get a phone call from Bill and he is on the sea wall in front of the Bed & Breakfast adjacent to our sailboat waving at us. We head ashore and the three of us head to a coffee shop near Flagler College. Later, we walk back to Bill’s B&B so he can officially check in. He had parked in front of the B&B and had to feed the parking meter. 


Linda, Manana and Bill from the porch of the B&B

After checking in he was going to move the car to their designated parking lot. When we get there the proprietors had fed the meter for him, nice. He decides to leave the car there until after lunch when the meter runs out. Very nice old Victorian home with a view of the river.

St. Augustine

We walk to Cafe Alcazar for lunch and meet Mark and Karen there. As usual we have a great lunch, but no live music today. Usually a guitar or piano player is supplying live music.  

Cafe Alcazar

Karen, Mark, Bill & Linda

After lunch we all walk over to a small shop that carries frozen chocolate covered Kermit’s “Key West Key Lime pie” on a stick. Rather unique and very good.

Mark, Bill and I head over to the B&B to move Bills car, while Karen and Linda checkout some stores. Bill gets a call from his wife Deb that was sent to the hospital for high blood pressure after visiting the doctor for a checkup. Apparently she has a blockage in her lungs and they have her on blood thinners, so Bill checks out of the B&B and gets a rain check and heads back to Fernandina. 

Mark and I meet Linda and Karen at Ancient City Brewery for their excellent Coconut Porter. As we did last fall we get the table by the window and play cards. Much less crowded than it was around the Holidays.


Santa Maria at St. Augustine

Monday, April 22, 2019

St. Augustine, Cat's Paw

Mark and Karen take their dinghy to Cat’s Paw Marina on the Sebastian River on the south side of St. Augustine which is a short walk to a number of stores, like West Marine, Verizon, Harbor Freight, etc.

Linda and I follow them about an hour later. I stop at Verizon to complain about our “unlimited” service. After “My Island WiFi” in the Bahamas we have been spoiled with true unlimited data and good service. We met them for lunch at Sonny’s a fairly good Barbecue chain. A couple of our favorite restaurants in St. Augustine that we had hoped to go to are closed on Mondays. 


Sunday, April 21, 2019

St. Augustine

Another cool morning, 58 degrees when we wake up. We are plugged in at the dock so we have heat. 

Early morning at Halifax Yacht Club

We have a cool breeze and get to motor-sail part of the day. Upon reaching St. Augustine both boats head into the fuel dock to get diesel, a pump out and mooring assignment. Linda and I get mooring #1, the closest mooring to the dinghy dock and Sea Vu Play gets a mooring at the far end of the mooring field. Karen understandably is not happy, especially since she made the reservations. Their keel is too deep for mooring #1. 

The Black Raven, Pirate Ship

The downside of being so close to the dock is having to listen to the performing pirates on The Black Raven.

Later we all head into town for dinner at the Floridian, recommended by some local people when we were here last Fall. Excellent dinner.

Saturday, April 20, 2019


We leave the dock shortly after 7:00 AM. Mark and Karen as usual are way ahead of us. By 10:00 AM the temperature is up to 69F, not use to these temperatures. By mid-morning Mark radios a heads up on a group of manatees ahead. They are still there when we pass the same point. Some youngsters with adults playing in the middle of the ICW, oblivious to us passing.

We have reservations at the Halifax Yacht Club in Daytona in their only two available transient spots. Linda and I stayed here in December. They have an excellent restaurant. Today they supposedly have a limited menu since they are preparing for Easter Dinner tomorrow. Doesn’t seem to limited to us and we have another great dinner here.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Titusville, Donuts


Mark and I go for an early walk to “Donuts 4U”, that has been highly recommended. It is a family run shop in what looks to be and old Dunkin Donuts store. Many of their selections look like some of the popular Dunkin Donuts offerings or at least Dunkin Donuts of 30 years ago. 
We both get a half dozen to go. 

While Mark and I go for our long donut walk Linda is cleaning our stainless Steel rails back on the boat. The Thunderstorms that we came here to avoid are crossing the state and by afternoon they start reaching the east coast of Florida. Friends in Fort Myers complain about damage they have at their house a few hours before. 


The coming Front

Fortunately for us, the worst passes just to the south and we only get wind and rain, no lightning. The skies clear just before sunset.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Titusville, Playalinda

Another short day of motor-sailing to Titusville Municipal Marina. 
Sea Vu Play

There are a couple days of potential Thunderstorms forecast and we will hide out here. We arrive at noontime with Sea Vu Play. We are in opposite ends of the marina. 

Only in Titusville do the live aboards have motorcycles on the boat

We both spend the afternoon cleaning our boats. It’s our first time in months with unlimited free fresh water. For dinner we walk into town to Brew Pub "Playalinda". It had opened last fall when we were here with limited food selection and beer. Now they have a great selection of beer and food. Mark gets a flight of 5 Porters. I just get a full glass one of the porters that looked interesting. We head back to the marina and play cards at the boaters lounge.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019


We had planned to stay another day, but the No-see-ems have been driving us nuts, so we decide to leave for Melbourne around noontime. While Linda and Karen are doing laundry I take the dinghy across the ICW and tie up at Mr Manatees, now closed for a fairly short walk to West Marine to buy a replacement air pump for our dinghy. I take our folding cart and stop by Publix for a couple sleeves of soda.

We have a nice afternoon motor-sailing to Melbourne and anchor in front of Squid Lips one of our favorite Florida restaurants.

Squid Lips from the water side

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Vero Beach

Before we take the free bus to town for some food shopping, we walk to the Post Office to mail back our “My Island WiFi” hotspot devices for a credit. 
Live Oak lined streets of Vero Beach

We stop at West Marina and return to "Too Jays" a very good New York deli for lunch. After shopping at Publix, we head back to the boat. After 4 months in the Bahamas with limited food markets and high prices, we are like kids in a candy shop. Fortunately we have to carry what we are buying which keeps it self limiting. If we had a car, we probably would of filled the boat.

At 5 PM we dinghy over to Belladventure and pick up Robert and Karen and head to the nearby Riverside restaurant. 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Vero Beach

We plan to leave at 7:00 am to get to Vero Beach early. It starts raining again, but looks like it will only last an hour or so on the weather radar so we delay leaving until 8:30. We get to Vero Beach by 2:15. Belladventure is there. They have been preparing their boat for summer storage at a marina in Stuart.
The Nina and Pinta at Vero Beach Municipal Marina

Mark with the "Mr. Manatee"

Since it is Monday we go to Hamburger night at Mr. Manatees, with the Seven Seas Association.

Mark gets the "Mr. Manatee" Hamburger, if you eat the whole thing you get a Mr. Manatee T-shirt. He leaves with just the shirt he came in with and leftovers.

Much different than last December, when it was starting to get dark shortly after we got there at 5:00 PM. Now it is still light near 8:00 PM.

Since we are sharing a mooring with Sea Vu Play, we walk over to their boat for an evening card game, “Hand and Foot”

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Peck Lake

We get up early to catch the opening of the first bridge north just off Lake Worth which opens on the ¼ and ¾ hour. 

Shortly after that we catch the next bridge on the hour, 15 minutes later. These bridges are well timed for sailboat and trawler cruising speeds. Our goal is to get to Peck Lake before the forecast afternoon thunderstorms. 

Our namesake just north of Lake Worth

Sea Vu Play waiting Jupiter Federal Bridge, Jupiter Lighthouse

Shortly after we anchor at 11:45 am it starts raining and continues for the rest of the day and into the evening. We avoid any close thunderstorms, the worst of the weather passes to the south. We wind up binge watching a series on Amazon for the afternoon. I had hoped to dinghy ashore and walk across to the ocean. We can hear the surf and waves breaking all afternoon.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Lake Worth, West Palm Beach

Leaving Old Bahama Bay Marina

Another long day ahead and we leave by 7:00am. We have more wind and bigger swells than forecast. Again with following seas and swells I have to hand steer most of the crossing. The swells are closely spaced at times making them rather steep, sometimes breaking on our stern sending water into our cockpit from our open walk-off stern. Did not have this problem on our last two trips, but did on both crossings on this trip. With 9 second or more between swells this is not a problem, even with very large swells, but once they get to be 7 seconds or less and following seas it becomes an annoyance. We pick up another boat called Cracker Jack (not the other Crack Jack we know) who joins us on this crossing. 

Approaching West Palm Beach, still lots of Sargasso seaweed

We arrive at Lake Worth around 4:00pm and anchor on the north end by 4:30pm. Nice to have this day behind us. Unfortunately, with high winds out of the north we will not be able to head back out off shore tomorrow to head north to the next inlet. To go north tomorrow we are going to be in the protected confines of the ICW.


Friday, April 12, 2019

Grand Bahama, West End

We leave at 7am for Old Bahama Bay Marina at the West End. This is a popular marina for boat crossing the Gulf Stream to and from Florida. It is a day sail across. Normally we do and over night sail from Great Sale to Cape Canaveral, but have never been to Grand Bahama. So now we can cross it off our list of Bahamian islands. We have a rolly motor sail with following seas and arrive at 3:30pm.

Sea Vu Play

We have dinner at the Westside Grill at the Marina with Mark and Karen to celebrate Karen’s Birthday. The marina has been recently sold and had been closed for a couple weeks. Everything seems to be fine now. A very nice facility with condos, beaches and swimming pools. Wish we had more time to enjoy it. 


A minute later I was treated to the Green Flash

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Great Sale Cay

We check out at 8:00am with Mark and Karen. Not a lot of wind and we motor-sail with both sails up. After a long day we drop anchor at Great Sale Cay. No one lives on Great Sale, currently. NASA had a tracking station in the early space program, but only foundations remain. There are about 12 other boats here using Great Sail as a way point on coming and going to Florida. To night SpaceX is scheduled to launch their heavy lift rocket. I can just barely get a cell signal and try to track the launch delays figuring we can see it. I tell Mark and Karen what direction to watch and keep texting the delay times. I get busy cooking dinner on the grill and miss seeing anything, but Mark and Karin do see the rocket high in the sky. Well, at least I did not burn the steaks.
SpaceX Heavy Lift, Karen's picture

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Green Turtle, Rain Day

We have a rainy morning and we work in the boat. Linda does lots of cleaning and I work on the computer. In the afternoon we have Dan & Tina over for Happy Hour. We first met Dan & Tina in Solomons on the Chesapeake last October where we waited out the remains of Hurrcane Michael.  We have stayed in email contact and we both have been tracking each others where abouts on Marine Traffic.com from our AIS Transponders. They stopped by our boat the other day when they saw us come into the Marina.  It was fun catching up with them and hearing more about their first trip south.  They plan to leave their Catalina 44 in Florida for one more season before they take it back to Toronto on Lake Ontario.

Tina & Dan

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Green Turtle, Golf Cart

Mark rents a golf cart and we spend much of the day touring around the island and New Plymouth the town on the south end of the island.
We have lunch in town. I bought 2 pounds of frozen conch as I have done on the last two trips to bring back to Vermont.

Entering New Plymouth

The Streets of New Plymouth