Monday, April 30, 2018

St. Augustine to Cumberland Island, GA

Just another day in the "ditch".....

We're away from big cities now, so the scenery is more natural.

Somewhere between Jacksonville and Fernandina there was a huge dock - looked commercial but this appears to be a Navy boat.

Other vessels under repair.

I believe this is the St. Johns power plant near Jacksonville.

There is a 7 foot tide in this area - lots of flats visible at low tide.

Near Amelia Island - a cargo ship being unloaded.

Around the bend was this huge plant.  I looked it up - it is a paper plant.  Funny - it didn't smell at all.

That's it for the day - I forgot to snap a sunset photo!  We'll visit the Cumberland Island National Seashore park tomorrow.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Daytona to St. Augustine and running aground

We set off in the morning with 20+ knot breezes on the nose, so the going was slow....

I am confessing to all that want to know that I ran aground.   Not a bump, ooh we're too shallow.  This was a surprise - going 7 knots one moment in 10 feet of water to a dizzy-ing stop and spin around from the momentum loss.  In my defense, you can see the hard stop and turn around on the chart plotter - it clearly shows I should have been in 15 feet of water at the point of impact!!!  The grounding was in soft sand, so no harm that we know of.  I actually had noticed in the last few seconds that our depth was rapidly diminishing and had pulled the throttles back so it could have been worse.  We were able to use the engines to back us off the sand bar.  A nice family on a power boat had watched the grounding and had come over to offer assistance.  He said "yeah, this is a sneaky sandbar"....I'm just glad we didn't have to call TowBoat US!  I will be more vigilant looking out for shallow spots in this murky water!  (Large tides and currents here account for the ebbing and flowing of uncharted sandbars....)

Lots of boaters out enjoying the sunny day.

And lots of folks/families on the shores fishing and playing.

Just lots of traffic in general.  Was really tiring to spend 10 hours rocking and rolling with passing boats.  On the bright side, we got a smile and a wave from almost all who passed.

With the 5' tides, it's a perfect environment to pull a small power boat up to a sandy shore.  

Passed the "Black Raven" while waiting for the bridge opening in St. Augustine.  Wow, there were singing pirates on that ship!

Went a few miles past St. Augustine to a lovely and secluded anchorage.

A couple more days "in the ditch" then weather will be nice offshore for a run towards Oriental.  Will be happy to be away from all the hustle and bustle of the Intercoastal Waterway!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Titusville to Daytona

Pretty sunset....

And pretty sunrise!

First of many bridges.

Interesting canal homes.

Lighthouse near New Smyrna Beach

A "riverboat" with a loudspeaker.  He tooted his horn at us.

Daytona from the waterway....busy place!

We met another Manta at Titusville - Mike on Exodus. He's moving his boat back to Brunswick for the summer - he and his wife Karen live in Washington State.

At low tide, we saw lots of small boats on sandbars exploring.  Looks like fun!

We stopped at the city marina in Daytona for fuel and water.  Very nice marina.

And on to the Daytona beach anchorage for a pleasant, almost chilly night!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Back to the boat in Titusville

We headed back to Titusville this morning after an extremely nice and lazy week at Buddy and Sharon's in Venice....

The dinghy had about 2" of water in the floor due to all the storms that passed over while we were gone.  No worries, we have a bailer that made quick work of it.

On the way out to the boat - there was an alligator in the marina!! (It looks like a floating log....riding past on the dinghy just a few inches out of the water was a little scary!!)

Thought I'd mention the Titusville Marina moorings just in case any boater is interested.  These are some of the nicest mooring "balls" that we've ever hooked up.  The line was nicely coiled inside the drum and you simply lift the nice eye out of the drum.  The fellow at the marina said that they are brand new.  Good secure way to leave the boat for a long period without worry about dragging an anchor.

Plans for the next few days will be up the intercoastal waterway.....the weather offshore is going to kick up nasty waves on Sunday/Monday.  So, we'll putter along the waterway and decide to go offshore in the next few days if it looks pleasant.  Stay tuned!

Monday, April 23, 2018


Just hanging with Sharon and Buddy.

We drove out to Snooks Haven in the afternoon....pretty little old time-y beach bar on the river.

 Listened to some live music, nice family area.

Just hanging!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Hanging in Venice

Just a relaxing land-bound day in Venice! 

We walked about a mile over to the Venice Airport for a festival that Sharon suggested - Bluegrass music and BBQ.

Beautiful day and very well attended.

There was a "chili cookoff" - with the public sampling 25 different group's chili.   You voted for your favorite.  I could only sample 1 type - a great white chili that was like a corn chowder with only chicken (no mammal meat).  But it was great!  So, I voted for them.

The had a nice stage set up and a good bluegrass band playing.  We didn't sample any BBQ because we were all full from the chili samples!   We didn't tote chairs so decided before long that it was time to walk back to their house.   Spent the rest of the day in the pool and generally being lazy!  

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Visiting in Venice

We picked up a rental car and drove 3 hours across to the west coast of Florida to visit with Buddy and Sharon for about a week.  Wow, it was culture shock driving a car for the first time since the first of February!  And it's amazing how many people fill up the highways in Florida!!!

Arrived in Venice and began what looks to be a relaxing week....

Poolside at their house -

And in the pool!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Back in Florida

I will say that I terribly miss the pretty blue water!!

Upon arrival at Fort Pierce, we didn't eve drop anchor - just kept heading north on the Intercoastal Waterway.

Lots of houses tucked away on the shoreline.

Several sad looking abandoned boats like this.  Maybe left from a recent hurricane?

I heard a rumble and looked up to see the Blue Angels streak by trailing smoke for a moment.  (Hard to see - they're just little black dots on this photo).

An big bird on a marker post - I looked it up and it's possibly an Osprey??

 The houses got fancy in places.

And just pretty scenery in other places.

A flying fish was spotted on the deck - already dried in the strong sun.

Buddy and Sharon invited us to come visit while we're in South Florida, so we'll be going to the west coast tomorrow.  Anchored at Cocoa for a calm night.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Back to the good ole' USA

The trip from the northern Abacos was in settled weather - and we fished!

First of many Barracudas -  they all get tossed back in...

But then we caught this snapper!  Yum!!  He got filleted and is in the freezer waiting a cookout.

Otherwise, just 24 hours of motoring - last Bahamian sunset for the spring.

This was the closest any big ship got to us during the night.

And before we knew it, we were in the Ft. Pierce channel.   These fishing boats were in the middle of the busy channel....buying bait from a bait boat!

Easy checkin with customs and we are on our way northbound.....first of many, many bridges.

And lots of Florida scenery!   Now for a nap....