2011.04.15 Fernandina Beach FL

Here is in no specific order my ramblings since the last post!

2011.04.09 0300 Crossing the Gulf Stream
AND having a horrible cup of coffee…yuk! David is a great coffee maker but he is otherwise engaged (driving the boat) so I made it…not about to repeat that mistake any time soon.

We have said goodbye to the Bahamas for another season…sad to leave but looking very much forward to seeing all our loved ones soon…well the ones on this side of the Atlantic anyway….we’ll have to wait a little longer for the others.

We had a 9 hour trip from Green Turtle Cay to the anchorage a Great Sale Cay (uninhabited, you can buy it for 9 millions) with Connie and Bob (Windwalker) , there were 17 boats anchored in the bight, it is a favourite spot for cruisers to make “the jump” to different destinations…another gorgeous sunset…still no green flash .

Yesterday was David’s birthday and I did not have a thing for him…not even a card…thank goodness Val arrived on Thursday morning before we left Green Turtle  with a beautifully packaged present decorated with lovely flowers ….not to be opened until his birthday. I tried to do something nice like baking him special birthday brownies…the mix only required to add 3 ingredients, but wanting to make it more special, I got creative and added walnuts, cranberries, candied ginger….just about anything that came to hand and popped the whole thing it in the oven…and immediately remembered I had forgotten one important required ingredient…the egg….needless to say it was a complete disaster and got tossed out rapidly (took a pic first though!).

David still did something great on his birthday….how many seventy year olds get to sail across the Gulf Steam on an overnight passage …Happy birthday Skipper!

Nothing much of note to report since our last post….more of the same, beach walks but also some snorkeling….this is the first year the water has been warm enough, for us, to swim. We went to Bita Beach on the Atlantic side of Green Turtle Cay where there is a reef…we did not really expect much so were pleasantly surprised by the gorgeous reef fish of brilliant colours…they were just as curious about us as we were about them…so we had a staring contest…very funny, it almost looked like they expected us to feed them and maybe they did…will have to come back with bread! Then something really wonderful and fun happened, Reg was snorkeling next to me and indicated this little fish that was swimming all around him and in front of his mask ….we figured he was a pilot fish, the kind that swim with big fish and exchange grooming services for protection… when Reg came out of the water, the little pilot fish adopted me and swan everywhere I did, mostly in front of my mask but also all around me…I could actually touch him….not sure why we deserved such attention, … but is was wonderful….next year I will get an underwater camera!
We went to Genevieve for our favourite....lobster and grits...she told us that she had been the model for one of the statues in the memorial garden many years ago...she has not changed much...still beautiful!

Racing over to White sound for lunch..last one there picks up the tab!!!
AHHHHH La Dolce Vita!
Val, Anne and the paparazzi
what best friends do...walk on the beach and chat.
This magnificent drift wood is too big to bring home

It is now 0445 and we have another 3 hours until we make land fall in Cape Canaveral…there are huge cruise ships all around us heading for port (it is Saturday) where they will disgorge their current load of passengers, clean,  provision the ship and greet the new happy load on aboard…they do a “turn around” in no time at all…probably will sail out again this afternoon..
Bye...see you next year!!!

After a “last supper” with Val, Reg, Anne and Rick , we left Green Turtle early early Thursday morning…I had gone to the office to settle our bill, say last goodbyes to Val and other friends, rushed to Soli as everyone was telling me David was going without me…and in all the commotion, after we pulled out of the harbour and waved one last time to all our friends on the dock…”David…I don’t have my credit card…Eddie forgot to give it back to me”,  so we send out an SOS, Bruce went back to the office as we circled around Black Sound and then ….bliss…Reg came charging toward Soli in his dink, brandishing a little gold card in his hand! Good thing I realized before we got to Florida.

This post is all over the place…quite incoherent (more so than usual?), could be because we’ve been up for 23 hours and I am typing away at 3AM to keep me from falling asleep…it’s working too!

The Beauty and the Beast...you can decide which is which for you!!!

We are now comfortably docked at Cape Marina in Cape Canaveral, the crossing was done in 24 hours from Great Sale Cay to CC…pretty good since we were did not push Miss Beckie, she and James (auto pilot) behaved flawlessly….the drift (current) was up to 4.2 knots at the apex of the Gulf Stream and pretty much due North which explains why the GS can be so very rough  when you have this strong current clashing against Northerly winds…this was not the case we had nice South Easterlies and it all went well.
*Note for landlubbers, winds are called after the direction from which they blow and currents after the direction in which they flow so as crazy as it sounds a Northerly wind and Northerly current will clash are they are going heads on…and if your little boat happens to be in the middle it might be very uncomfortable and even dangerous. We have all seen lately the force of mother nature’s powers when unleashed.

We had a very painless clearing into the US and replaced our yellow (quarantine) flag by our US pennant we then came back to Soli and after a quick lunch both had well needed naps.

2011.04.14 Fernandina beach FL

It was reopened just in time for our visit!
This other vessel transited the locks with us
A couple of fine specimens of Heinz's "dead fighter pilots souls "

Just a very quick update…we left Cape Canaveral  on the 10th ….after a wonderful night sleep, some 10 hours and we were bright eyed and bushy tailed. We decided to stay inside as we had never done the Cape Canaveral barge canal. 

We thought we would break the trip and stop in New Smyrna Beach, where we had a nice sea food dinner while overlooking the harbour and the dolphins clowning around….we are very happy to have made that stop otherwise we would not have met Terry and Charlotte (Zephyr)… I went to buy a few fresh items….which turned out to be white bread YUK, milk and no bananas and for this miserly food I had to walk quite a long way in this humid heat…I fortunately met this nice former New Yorker, who gave me a lift back to the marina for which I was most grateful!
On the 11th we cast off NSBM at 0900 and had no problems going through Ponce de Leon inlet and arrived at the Palm Coast Marina shortly after Zephyr….just in time for happy hour.
Following Zephyr through "skinny" waters!

On the 12th, we again travelled with Zephyr….quite closely this time as Terry did a masterful job of leading us and Windwalker through Matanzas inlet ….thanks Terry, it was a refreshing change not to be in the lead ! 

Zephyr and Windwalker stopped and picked up moorings at the municipal marina in St. Augustine, while we 
Making the "Bridge of Lions " opening

continued on to Camachee Cove where we were to meet Mike to pull our fridge compressor out!!!! While there we had Bo and Michael go over Miss Beckie and give her an acid bath!!!  She certainly needed it and I hope she enjoyed it!
We had a gorgeous meal at the local fish resto where I had my new favourite food in the whole world…fresh tuna!
On the 14th we made it to Fernandina Beach FL without Terry’s wonderful deep water sniffing…it was a bit more stressful as we came across a half dozen really “skinny” places ….I was below decks, (as I have started the procedure of cleaning up the boat with vinegar/water to have her ready for her summer lay up…we are not going to have much time in Thunderbolt) and every time I head the engine throttle down I would look at the depth meter repeater and cross  my fingers as the depth was showing as low as 5’9 (we draw 5’)…but David took it very slow and found the deeper path and we did not go aground!!!! .

That brings us up to date, in Fernandina Beach, we are headed for St Simons Island and Marvellous Melissa at the Morningstar marina today….not leaving until noon to be able to make it through Jekkyl creek without going aground!
Tony...these smell delicious...can't remember the name...they grow in bushes even trees.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back! Sounds like you had a good crossing. We're home in Baltimore--getting Skip ready for his ocean journey on Lady of Lorien. I can't believe he's getting back on a boat again!! I love being home--so much space and so quiet... Let us know if you pass through the Baltimore/Annapolis area!

Anonymous said...


I've enjoyed following your blog. My wife and i sail out of Hudson Yacht Club and in the market for a 402. Would like to talk to you about your experiences with your 402


Allan Gray

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