Monday, November 29, 2010

Passage to St. Augustine

Saturday, Nov 27
Langs Marina East
St. Marys, GA

It’s hard to believe that this is the last Saturday in November and also the day that I pick up Katie at the airport.  We woke at 8am to a Blue sky though breezy and chilly.  It’s 50F outside and 65F inside the boat.  Since we’re at a marina with electricity, we turned on the heater.  It’s to get in the mid 60’s today.

After breakfast and cleaning up a little to make space for Katie’s gear, we went to the Nautical Flea Market in front of the cemetery.  Phil bought a chart book of Florida and I didn’t buy anything.  I saw fishing lures and a Mr. Heater Propane heater I was interested in but followed Phil’s wishes in not buying.  Christian of I-Wanda and Chuck from S/V Kiros and I were leaving early to go to West Marine in Jacksonville, FL and other places before we picked up Katie at the Airport about 1215pm.  She’s to call me when she lands so that we can coordinate.  While at West Marine, I bought a small step that goes on the side of the boat to make it easier to get on Changes from the dinghy and also rubber legs feet to cover the ends of the boarding ladder.  One had come off and both were in sad shape. 

While I was shopping, Phil had gone to the StMYC pancake breakfast on the houseboat and then started to work on seeing why the LP alarm continues to alarm.  He spent the morning checking the connections after he emptied out everything under the stove.  He couldn’t find why it was alarming, so bypassed the sensor and now we are turning off the stove at the electrical panel.  He’s pretty frustrated that he couldn’t find the problem.

Back to shopping – while we were out, I saw a Jo Ann Fabric Store – first in a long time, so bought some red fabric with 1/8” white stars to cover a couple small pillows we have and maybe enough to replace the jean fabric – we’ll see.  It turns out that Katie’s plane landed 15 min early, so we dropped Christian off at Best Buy and Chuck drove me to the airport.  I went in just as the baggage was finished and she couldn’t find hers.  I turned around and lucky for us, her bag was off the conveyor along the wall so we carried it out together to the van.  She did well keeping the weight down to 30 pounds.  We picked up Christian and went to Office Max and then Walmart.  Ken and Jean of Sail Away let us borrow a solar powdered garden stake light when we went back to the boat from their boat at night and the top of the light fell off and dropped into the water.  I got one to replace theirs and 3 more.   They work well holding it above my head for a light on the dinghy when we’re underway at night.

After lunch at Five Guys (a burger place), we went home and got Katie settled.  Then Katie and I worked together adding the food in the “L” locker of the starboard settee into the provision list since we put some of her extra cereal in that locker.  After that, Phil took Katie for a dinghy ride around the harbor at St. Marys.  By that time it was about 4pm, so we decided to go to the StMYC houseboat and have burgers and brats.  That worked good for me and gave us another chance to talk to the locals since the harbor has cleared out considerably since Thanksgiving.  We forgot to take one of the solar lights with us and after the sun set but still in twilight, we decided we better get home – good thing too as we saw an police vehicle at another boat at the beginning of the anchorage.  Katie searched and downloaded some pdf books to my Nook and made up her bed and went to sleep.  Phil and I read and were in bed by 10pm as we have an early start tomorrow morning.  It’s good to see Katie again, but we’re back to searching for a place to sit.

Sunday, Nov 28
St. Marys, GA to Pine Island
Distance Traveled:  49.5 nm
Total Distance:  1658.53 nm

We woke at 6am to clear skies and 42F outside and 58F inside the boat.  I had woken at 2am cold and put another quilt on Katie and another quilt on our bed as it was 58 inside.  Sure glad that we have the heater to turn on this morning and it warmed up the boat to 65F by 630am just before we left.  We started the engine in twilight at 640am and left the dock 5 min later.  As we were motoring down the river, S/V Sea Tramp was also leaving as we called hello and safe travels to each other.  They are going to Brunswick, GA which I told them was the wrong way J Winds are NE 10-11kts.  We ate breakfast of cold cereal while we were still on the St. Marys river and today is another day of many rivers.  We’ll be starting on the St. Mary R. to Amelia R by Fernandina Beach to Kingsley Creek, S. Amelia River to Sawpit Creek, Sisters Creek and crossing St. Johns River to Ablo Creek, Pablo Creek through the Cabbage Swamp.  Then we’ll take the Tolomato River and either anchor off this river or if we’re doing well with the currents, go on the Matanzas River to St. Augustine, Florida. 

When we got to Fernandina River, we saw some of the boats that had been at St. Marys for Thanksgiving, some of which are Sail Away, Mandate, and Glen Lyon.  We were able to catch Ken’s attention and waved to each other.  We chatted a couple minutes on the radio so know they were going to leave a little later after getting showers.

My first watch started at 845am just after going through the Kingsley Creek RR Bridge at MM 720.7.  It was up to 55F outside and winds are N 6 knots.  Katie continued to sleep this morning while it was cold and she woke about 930am.  Phil resumed his watch at 1045am and we let out the head sail getting a .5 knots pick up in speed. We had some turns, so there were frequent adjustments to the sail, but that was ok.  After awhile I went down below to make apple crisp and Phil rolled in the head sail before going through another bridge.  While it was in the oven I decided now that we had the saltwater pump, to wash the baskets in the refrigerator as there is still some fishy smell.  I really like the pump so I had plenty of the outside water to wash and it makes washing dishes so much easier.  After that, I fixed sandwiches for lunch. 

Katie took her 1st watch after we explained the GPS and the finer points of steering on the ICW.  She is doing well.  Glen Lyon is now behind us and passed us at 217pm.  It’s 73F outside, Winds are NE 2-4 knot with gusts to 8-9 knots.  We are now in the part of the ICW that have very nice houses – looks to be $1-2 million with huge 2 story screened rooms. Interspersed with ranch houses with docks on the east side.  The West side of the ICW is all vegetation.

My friend of HWR called and it was decided that we’ll anchor a little before St. Augustine so that she can go out to dinner with her sister and new friends.  We’ll be able to get together tomorrow evening after work.  We are looking to anchor at MM 765 just south of Booth landing and 13 miles before St. Augustine. 

We anchored at MM 765, ICW G25 at 335pm.  The water in the Sun Shower felt warm, so Lorraine took a shower.  Turns out that the water wasn’t warm.  Phil shaved and then we were invited for wine on S/V Glen Lyon anchored behind us.  We went to Rodney and Sue’s boat at about 415pm and had chardonnay box wine and brie cheese and crackers.  They have a dog, Muffy – a Havenese and a black cat named Cat.  Both pets are very friendly.  Cat was next to Phil for petting and he let Phil know with a tap of his paw –to continue petting him.  The dog does his business on the deck.  They made reservations on a mooring ball in St. Augustine for tomorrow. For $20 plus tax so Phil called and made a reservation for a mooring ball for us also.  Will give us piece of mind as the current is to be strong there.  It cost $10/day to be able to use the dinghy dock so $10 more wasn’t too much for our budget.  Rodney rushed us home after the sun set as we had rowed over and he wanted to make sure he could find us if he had to go after us as we were rowing against the current and the wind.  Turns out that we made it home with strong rowing with Rodney and Sue cheering us on.  I’m sure that we’ll see them again over the next couple days.  They are such nice people and we had a wonderful time.  BTW, Katie stayed home to take a shower and when we got back she said “the water was cold!”  We know!  I told her and offered to warm up water in the morning.  But her hair is washed and hopefully the showers will be good with the mooring ball.

I made spaghetti for supper and had the apple crisp that I had baked this afternoon for dessert.  For some reason the oven isn’t cooking right.  Phil thinks that it’s the stainless cookware being too thick that’s the problem.  I’ll have to get some thinner pans for baking.  When I used the thin foil disposable pans, the dish cooked in the proper time so maybe he’s right.

We spent the evening reading and I went to bed at 830am.  Don’t know why I was tired, but there you go.

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