Tuesday, October 27, 2020

May 20-22, 2020 Cumberland Island

 Wednesday, May 20-After a lazy morning, Dave and I took the dingy to Cumberland Island.  You can only access the island by boat.  Usually, there is a ferry that brings people from St Mary’s, GA every day.  They aren’t running the ferry because of the pandemic.  So there were very few people on the island.  There are 2 docks on the west side on the ICW.  We went to the southern dock.  There are ruins at this end and fewer hiking trails.  The final section of the trail to the beach was on a road through the sand dunes.  We saw a couple dozen wild horses grazing, deer and armadillos.  The beach was deserted, which was also great.

love the trees in the south
we had to cross the sand dunes to reach the ocean
kind of a road to follow
finally, the ocean
rare to have a beach like this to yourself



wild armadillo

 There is a feral heard of horses on Cumberland island.  The numbers range from 120-150.  They are not supported by humans.  With fewer visitors this year, we saw quite a few at the southern end of the island.


There are ruins on the island.  These are of the Dungeness mansion.  This area had several prominent residents.  James Ogelthorpe first built a hunting lodge in this area in 1736 and named it after Dungeness, Endland.  The remains in the photos were from a mansion built by Thomas Carnegie completed in 1886.  The Carnegies owned 90% of the island and built other estates for their children.  They moved out in 1925, and the mansion was destroyed by fire in 1959.  It is now part of the National Park Service. 


this magnolia tree blossom was about the size of my palm

Thursday, May 21- we loved being at anchor again.  It had been almost a year since we arrived at the marina in Brunswick, GA.  So we decided to open another night.  Today, Dave, Pete and I hiked Cumberland Island.  We went to the northern dock where the ferry usually lands.  There was a ranger station and more hiking trails with campsites.  We took the Sea Camp trail to the beach.  The last section had boardwalks to cross the dunes.  Again, there were very few people at the beach. 

another armadillo
beautiful trail

horseshoe crab


Friday, May 22- We headed back to Brunswick on the ICW today.  We were going to pass Jekyll Island at low tide and it gets very shallow in that area.  So we anchored in St Andrews Sound on the south end of Jekyll Island to wait for the tide to rise. We made it back to the marina with no troubles.  

Monday, October 26, 2020

May 17-19, 2020 St Augustine adventures

Sunday May 17-Dave spent some time in the aft starboard lazerette searching for a source of the water leak.  He noticed that the 2 hose clamps on the engine exhaust hose were wimpy.   Dave replaced that through hull in 2018, before we went up the East Coast to Maine, which is when we first started taking on water, interesting!  At the time, the hose clamps looked fine, so he used the old ones.  He felt moisture there, but never saw a track of water from that source.  Fuel, oil grease and hot water have to flow through this large, stiff hose.  He decided to get new hose clamps, ones that you can really crank down on with a ratchet wrench to tighten the hose clamps.  He’ll check at the Sailor’s Exchange tomorrow.

We took advantage of the shower house at the marina and had long hot showers on shore.  We had a late lunch at Harry’s on the waterfront.  There is always a waiting line to get a table there.  I stood in line while Dave and Pete took the shower bags back to the boat.  Their timing was perfect.  This is a New Orleans style restaurant with AWESOME food.  

After dinner, I walked to the Basilica for their 5:00pm mass.  This was the first weekend they were open for mass during the COVID 19 pandemic.  Everyone had to wear masks.  The pews were marked to make sure people were spread apart for social distancing.  I try to make it to mass when we are here.  And it’s a beautiful church.

dolphin in our anchorage

Monday May 18-We walked to George’s diner for breakfast/lunch.  It’s a Greek diner on the way to the Sailor’s Exchange.  Great food.  

At the Sailor’s Exchange, we bought 17 feet of the used engine raw water exhaust hose.  Dave measured by extending his arms within the boat and thought we needed 12 feet.  He didn’t think the owner wanted to cut it to length, because no one would need the short piece left.  One end was damaged, so he charged us for 15 feet.  Dave also found the hose clamps he wanted for the engine exhaust hose.  He didn’t think to measure that hose, so took a guess on the size he needed (which he later found out were too small).

We headed down the street back to the boat with all three of us carrying a chunk of the hose.  It reminded me of a group of little kids walking and holding onto a rope to keep them in line and together.  The joys of not having a car.

fun tiki hut on the water

Tuesday, May 19-  After hot showers on shore again, we headed south.  It was a much nicer day, so we went out the St Augustine inlet onto the ocean.  It took us 9 hours to exit St Augustine, sail south, enter St Mary’s inlet and anchor near Cumberland Island.  Probably takes an hour by car.

May 16, 2020 St Augustine and JB video

 We decided to go to St Augustine for a little vacation before returning to the marina in Brunswick, GA.  Another reason to go there was to find a raw water exhaust hose.  While Dave was working on the through hulls, he noticed that our exhaust hose was worn.  One of those accidental discoveries that will save us from a water leak in the future.  He had called all the West Marine stores in the area, and no one had hose on hand.  We called the Sailor’s Exchange in St Augustine, and they had a used hose in the diameter and length that we needed.  They close at noon on Saturday, so we’ll go there on Monday.

We were anxious to go off shore to see if we had taken care of the water leak(s).  We headed out the St Mary’s Inlet on the border of GA and FL realizing we didn’t have our usual offshore equipment, EBIRB, ditch bag, inflatable life jackets.  After about an hour of rough weather, we turned back and headed to the ICW.

From here, we had to travel past Jacksonville, FL.  WELL, there had been a boater Trump rally there.  So north and south of Jacksonville, we shared the ICW  with hundreds of power boaters racing by our boat.  It was a rough ride.  But that’s what we needed to test for our leaks, WHICH WE STILL HAD!!

We got into St Augustine in time to get a mooring ball and go into town for dinner.  We’ll deal with the leak tomorrow.  Not all the restaurants were open.  Several were just opening again after the COVID 19 shut down.  We ended up with burgers at the Mill Top Restaurant.  I was one of those annoying people that stared at their telephone during dinner.  There was another replay of a Jimmy Buffet concert.  Tonight they played the video that Pete and I just sent in from the beach on Mother’s Day. 


MaY 10-15, 2020 St Marys Boatservices week 3

Sunday, May 10, Mother’s Day- Pete and I took a road trip to Fenandina Beach, FL for the day.  We took a walk on the beach and made a new video for the Jimmy Buffett concerts that were shown online.  We had a nice late lunch/early dinner before heading back.



Dave worked on mounting the macerator in the aft head and fitting the hoses.  It was a challenge to fit into the space available.

Monday May 11-On our way to the boatyard this morning, we had to stop at a hardware store for pipe fittings. 

The new hoses for the heads were made in Turkey and cost $15foot.  It had a 1/5 inch inside diameter.  And Dave was very pleased at how smooth the inside was.  It was easy to fit the hose barbs. 


Everything had to dry 24 hours and later go back and tighten.   So always tasks to finish.  Pete cleaned the excess caulk from the through hulls on the hull side.  Dave cleaned out the raw water intake for the water maker.  That water had been sitting in there for quite some time and was really stinky.

Tuesday, May 12-We finished attaching all the fittings for the through hulls.  The Galley and the aft head were done.  We can live aboard again with those two areas completed.  I assisted Pete with placing gel coat in areas of fiberglass repair for the useless well on the stern.  And Pete filled the old screw holes with epoxy.  Then we re-drilled them for screws. 

Wednesday, May 13-Dave worked on the forward head.  He had to figure out how to install a larger macerator in the small space available.  He removed the AC box and the DC junction box to get them out of the way.  And later replaced them in almost the same spot.  The air conditioning duct to the v-berth ran under this area.  Dave had to drill a 4 inch hole in the wall to relocate the air conditioner duct hose.  He loved his new baby SawsAll for jobs like this.  Since everything was open, we decided to replace all of the air conditioner duct hoses.  We have always wondered if that would help get rid of the “boat smell” that showed up when we used the air conditioner.  He ordered the duct work from Defender and that will be done once we’re back at Brunswick Landing Marina.

Dave hooked up the forward head sink and shower and raw water intake for the toilet.  The new through hull scoop for the engine arrived late on Monday, so Dave installed that today.  Pete finished cleaning the 4200 off of the through hulls on the hull side. 

Thursday, May 14- Pete had another Dr’s appointment in Brunswick with his surgeon.
I spent some time cleaning under the galley sink while it was wide open and under the stove and worked on the stove top.  I’m ready to move back into my “kitchen”.  

We were ready to launch our boat tomorrow.  The boatyard owner asked if we had checked for leaks.  Good idea.   We have a tool that looked like a plunger with a water hose hooked to it.  I stood under the boat and pushed it up against the hull over each through hull.  I squeezed a pistol grip to run water into the through hull.   Dave was on the inside watching for any leaks.  Of course, I had to wear a raincoat since I was under the through hulls on the outside.  You had to have a strong sturdy grip to hold the plunger end against the hull.  Of course, the water would leak around the edge and shower me.  This tool can also be used to check your engine.  It can run water into the engine when you are out of the water.  We were good to go!!

Friday, May 15-Almost 3 weeks into our one week plan of being in the boatyard.  Luckily, the airbnb house we were staying at was available for us to stay the extra days.  We checked out that morning and then went out for breakfast at the Cedar Oak cafe in St Mary’s.  It was one of our favorite places back in 2016.
We unloaded our suitcases and the food from the airbnb onto the boat.  Then I drove to Brunswick to leave Pete’s car there.  Friends were heading to Florida and brought me back to St Marys. 

Dave and Pete did some finishing touches of gel coat on the stern useless well.  Dave drilled through the epoxy to replace the door on the useless stern well.

I returned just in time to launch our boat at 4:30.  


We motored for about 90 minutes and anchored by Cumberland Island for the night.  It’s always great to be back on the water.