We made the trip from St. Mary’s in just under 5 hours to St Simons. No issues.
We took Belle up to take advantage of good docks, good technical service, and good food. Dunbar Yachts was great help.
We needed to fix a few things and repair more. The head sail first, completed by the amazing admiral of the ship. Then rewired electricals for use of the inverter, fix our running, and mount our life raft to the cabin top.
Of course we had to eat at the Coastal Kitchen. Great food and a great view of our yacht out their window.
We finished the work we had planned and headed south again. Destination Daytona Beach. We had a wedding to get to in Orlando, Fl. This was the closest we could get via the boat.
The trip had its exciting moments. The sea state was out of control so we took the inside route called the Intracoastal Waterway. It’s like a freeway for boats.
The ICW traverses the east coast from Boston, Massachusettes to Brownsville, Texas. Really challenging, boring and exciting. First, the infamous to boaters Jekyll Creek going beside Jekyll Island. I did say creek, not river. As our Belle needs 5 feet of depth to make passage.
Well, we did not have that much just exiting the creek, so, we were literally stuck in the mud for 15 minutes. Luckily, we were coming off low tide and the water raised a couple inches and we were off.
Our cruise into Kings Bay , Ga was a wild one. We ran into bad storms with the unlucky chance of a tornado ripping right over us. The National Weather Service upgraded the tornado to an EF-3, 900 yards wide, measuring winds 125-144 knots. It knocked us down pushed us 50 yards off course. Luckily no damage to us, but 5 people were hurt at the docks and a lot of structures destroyed.
We stopped about 3 miles away at Cumberland Island, Ga. Dropped anchor and spent 2 days exploring the island. Cumberland has deer, raccoons, horses, armadillos and more. We saw all the above creatures but the horses, just evidence of them everywhere (poop and imprints of hooves) but no live horses. Walked the Dungeness ruins, the beach, the tree’d hammock up to the dunes, and over the dunes.
Left there on a cold brisk morning with a 9 hour trip planned. Planned to stop just south of Jacksonville, Fl. We made it, but in Belle usual excitement.
Just north of Jacksonville the river was getting shallow. Our depth gauge showing 5 to 7 feet below us. Not enough, hence traveling at 6 mph we came to a complete stop. Wow it was a ship rocking event. Luckily we must have made our own channel as we were able to power through it. Then just crossing the Saint John’s river we touched down again. We had to back up and out of the river, go back to the Saint John’s, drop anchor, make lunch and wait for the rising tides.
We made it to our anchor spot, sorta like a rest area with no facilities. But, there were already 5 boats anchored in a 4 boat spot. We were able to squeeze in between 2 boats for a nice over night sleep over.
Next morning, we leave and head down past St. Augustine to Marineland Marina, a 5 hour trip. Nice stay, walked the beach and rested.
Following morning, we planned another 4 hour trip to Daytona Beach, Florida. Halifax Harbour Marina and the city have a special place in our hearts. This is the place we’re we chartered or first sailboat.
For my birthday, Michelle arranged the charter. The yacht was a 36 foot Pearson. The day was cloudy with prediction of rain and wind.
We took her out into the atlantic and had wind, waves and water everywhere. It was a ride. But, we loved it. Made us chase the dream we are in now.
That was 5 years ago. Time has flown by. The decisions to get where we are now were unconventional to most. Moving, buying a boat, selling our house, selling our cars, moving aboard, and chasing our dreams.
We have started our travels with short term plans going to Ft.. Lauderdale (there’s another history point in our life) then Key West and onward.
I hope you follow along, because as crazy as its started it can only get better.