Dave continued with last minute preparations for the boat. I spent the morning provisioning the produce we wanted to start out with. Pete joined us at the boat for lunch one last time. We will be leaving our car at the marina. He will use it a couple days every 2-4 weeks to keep the battery charged and the tires round. We were all kind of sad about leaving each other. It has been wonderful living near him again. I had made an appointment for a massage about a month ago and kept it just in case we were still here, so we planned our departure around my massage. Rita is the BEST, thus she books out aways. After my massage, we both took showers in the bathhouse. We left the dock before the office closed at 5, so we could settle our account.
We decided to go just a few hours and get a head start vs leaving in the morning. We planned to stay on the ICW to be sure everything was working correctly before going off shore.
We had quite the night experiencing all kinds of challenges. First, it was close to low tide and it’s always tight going past Jekyll Island, but we knew they had dredged the channel since we last transited that area. Well, we ended up with 0 feet under our keel as we passed Jekyll. We just kept moving and never grounded (nice term for getting stuck). Then the fog set in about 6:00 for an hour. When we reached St Andrew Sound, between Jekyll and Cumberland Island, the breeze off the ocean cleared away the fog. But now it began to rain. It was our first test of Dave’s new bimini and dodger. We found a couple spots that would need additional finishing touches. The previous bimini had extra material around the back stays that support the mast where it went through the material. We forgot all about that. And there were a few spots there the rain collected in low spot in the zippers that would drip through on top of us. But all in all, it was great protection. The rain had stopped by the time we anchored, about 8:00pm, at Terrapin Cove on the northern end of Cumberland Island. The challenge now was anchoring in the dark. We usually use hand signals to each other with Dave at the bow and me at the helm. We managed with Dave wearing a headlamp and with lightning all around us. We had oatmeal for supper and slept like babies being rocked to sleep again at anchor. What an eventful 3 hours and welcome back to cruising.
3-9 We had our anchor up and moving by 9:00am. We moved south along Cumberland Island on the ICW. By 10:30, we passed the naval and submarine base. It’s always interesting to see their facility.
|our cousin, John Zeller, was occasionally in GA working on the two big buildings in the photo|
|degausser for submarines|
We continued south on the ICW. For a few miles, we had friends from Brunswick Landing Marina following us. They saw our boat on the AIS, automated identification system, and called us on the radio. We have know Gina and John Cupstid since 2015. We continued south past Fernandina Beach and Jacksonville, FL with St Augustine as our destination. About 5:00, we hit bottom. There was some confusion reading the charts and we were off to the side a little further than we should have been. We were able to “wiggle” our way off of the area. We have a bulb keel, the bottom is rounded with extra weight. That gives us the weight to be able to have a shorter keel, which comes in handy in more shallow water. But it also gives us a chance to rotate and back off of a sandbar. Dave calls it “laying eggs”. I guess a duck or goose waddles back and forth as it lays eggs. Another experience as we get our “feet wet” traveling with our boat again.
We ended up anchoring about 12 miles north of St Augustine at about 6:45pm at Nocatee landing along the ICW. We were making plans to meet with Gene and Colleen Schneider in St Augustine. They are friends from SD and have a condo there. I had texted them that we were anchored north of St Augustine. About 8:30, Colleen checked with me to see if they needed to pick us up somewhere to spend the night with them. Not being a sailor, I should have explained further that since we were anchored, that meant we were spending the night there. Funny how a text can make perfect sense to you and not be totally clear on the other end. Lessen learned.