St Augustine  Fl.  6th December 2011

When we last left you, we were dithering as to whether to continue down the I C W and brave the low water level of the Little Mud River, or go outside down the coast like real sailors.   

Let’s stop dithering and see how tomorrow looks, so we had an excellent supper at the local restaurant in Kilkenny Creek, named Marker 107, which is the marker of the ICW where you turn into the creek , great fish  and excellent prices.  Chatted with the Owner’s father and discussed the merits of wild shrimp vs farmed shrimp and agreed that there was no comparison etc etc.

Sunday morning dawned cool, but bright and sunny…. nary a cloud in sight.  The entrance to St Catherine’s Sound looked doable so the decision was made…  we are off to the wild blue sea.   Departed the dock at 08.00, and back into the I C W, a few miles further on instead of turning west to go up St Catherine’s Sound we turned east and headed for the wide blue yonder.  Except it wasn’t very blue, rather a muddy brown at this juncture!  

“Soli” started to pitch and bounce around as she started to feel the ocean but the wind was OK and we pulled out the genoa and started to motor sail.  As we left the coast and started to head almost due south down the coast the wind went astern and started to pick up, going from a benign 10/15 knots to 15/20 to 20/25 ….  well you get the picture and we bounced and rolled around but made brilliant speed.  As the wind increased so, of course, did the seas , but a comparatively benign swell    We were averaging 8.00/9.00 knots and in fact saw the fastest speed ever on our knot meter, surfing down a wave at 12.10 knots !!  Exciting stuff and the boat handled everything brilliantly.

 Turning into the Brunswick Ship Channel  reared  a new situation, for the wind was now  onto the beam and the sea and swell likewise was directly on our beam so the motion was not particularly comfortable and damp from water over the deck, but after thirty minutes or so we were into the shadow of the land and all was calm again.  We berthed at Golden Isles Marina and had a well earned shower and a restful evening.
 Enough pics of shrimp boats....but they always remind me of the movie "The perfect storm" when fishermen go out and brave the elements...without them we would not enjoy those delicious Geogia shrimps and they are so graceful like dancers holding their skirt....OMG I am loosing it!.

Next day was a short one departing at Noon in order to catch the rising tide through Jekyll Creek and then on to Fernandina Beach our first port of call in Florida.  Supper on board, and then a walk up the street for ice cream and fudge. All in all an uneventful day  and a quiet night..

Departed Fernandina at about 08.00.hrs for St Augustine again down the I C W.  No excitements during the course of the day “Solitaire 1” behaving beautifully.  We berthed  in Comachee Cove Marina around 16.30 hrs, took fuel and then prepared to meet Cindy our canvas lady.  She will do alterations to our memory foam  mattress and then tomorrow will make a few repairs and  adjustments to our new canvas,.  Unfortunately our refrigerator man is not available whilst we are here, it seems that one of the sensors for our digital thermostat is out of whack.  Through the good offices of the owner/manufacturer of our fridge system we now have a new probe and sometime tomorrow Catherine and I are going to, very gingerly , take our electronic thermostat to pieces and endeavour to replace the probe, leading the wire around and back into the digital screen.

Borrowed the Marina courtesy car (a Lexus no less) for the evening and met good friends from last year Walter and Lynn of “Iolar” for supper at Caps, a seafood restaurant.  A long and very pleasant evening catching up from last year… they are now on their way to the Keys and then back to the Bahamas, they think..
 He apparently has been a resident of Comachee Cove for many years, he seems to favour the top of the mast of this little sailboat....we are all very grateful he does not choose ours as he drops bit of fish all over the deck!
Otherwise a quiet day today with cleaning and washing salt off our floating home…we hope to leave here on Thursday or Friday  (depending on weather) for Daytona or somewhere thereabouts.  One problem is that the high tides are not at the right time of day for allowing  us to go through a couple of sections where there is severe shoaling from the ocean…. so maybe we shall go outside again and go down to Cape Canaveral, but that’s a twenty odd hour run, do we really wish to do that……???? 

More dithering…….. !!!!   Ah well, that’s cruising, nowt’s definite !  

Stay tuned.

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