We have made a successful 26 hour passage from Great Sale Cay (Bahamas) to Cape Canaveral Fla....just in time to see the shuttle go up...quite a thrill...then a second 22 hour ocean passage to St Augustine , where we are now....we arrived at 2:00 in the morning, the moon forgot to rise so it was quite a lot of fun (sic) reading lights on the water to find our way into St Augustine inlet and then tackling a narrow entrance channel with a very strong current into the harbor....David did a masterful job getting us in safely...we were leading 3 other boats from the ocean to the Camachee Cove Yacht Harbour. Not sure how many will follow us on the next leg.
The first crossing was quite awesome, we went quite a bit further North than usual. It always amazes me to realize how long it takes to get off the Bahama bank…about eight hours until the bottom fall off on our depth meter….the Gulf Stream worked nicely to help us along on our treck North with about 3 knots of current …
We had a very friendly flotilla of four boats, Sharon and Steve on Indian Summer, Dennis and Gail on MacGuffin, Bob and Connie on Wind Walker and Soli. We had met Wind Walker in Green Turtle at the beginning of the winter and then again at the end and they decided to tag along. We gave ourselves a code name on the VHF " Musqueteers, musqueteers, switch and answer17"
The entrance into Cape Canaveral inlet was pretty straight forward, this is a major port for huge cruise ships….a couple of them passed us during the night heading into port. We went through customs without any problem.
The second passage was also quite a success…we were up at 0530 to watch the launch and left shortly thereafter….
We were all congratulating ourselves for having gone outside as we kept hearing Coast guards reports of bridge closings because of heavy traffic (shuttle launch spectators) and shoals of 3 feet in the dreaded Matanzas river.
I heard Jeanette (Myosotis) on the VHF and hailed her….I think she though we were lucky to be “outside” …then it got to be quite interesting as we came in from the safety of the ocean to this maze of many light, fixed and flashing, red and white…it was a definite “whoohoo” moment when I first identified the St Augustine inlet STA Mo(A) light (a short and a long for morse code lette A)…then it was hanging over the side with a powerful spotlight in hand trying to spot the red markers which are not lit (WHY NOT!!!)while trying not to blind David at the helm…we took “8” on the wrong side as we never saw it…luckily it was high tide so we came to no harm…after making the turn North into the ICW and going under the bridge we turned into the channel to the marina, which as I said before had a very strong current.., a couple of Stephen (Indian Summer)’s friends were there to greet us and catch our lines (at 2:30 in the morning!!!) boat people are such good folks.!!!
We have since been busy, doing civilized, mundane things, such as using lots and lots of fresh water since it is FREE, doing laundry and rinsing the salt off everything.. Mike (the refrigerator guy) came and changed the valve on our compressor (again) , Bo is changing the alternator belt they put in on our way down (which we tightened again about a thousand times during the winter) , Jim will be changing the macerator pump tomorrow and David actually remembered how to drive the loaner car from the marina.and we did a little food shopping.
How does the song go ? "Sunrise sunset..." can you tell the difference?