Sunset one of the nights. Almost always spectacular!
If you wonder what it looks like at night - here's the setup. We have everything dimmed so that our night vision is not affected.
We did the 3 hour watch schedule again. This seems to work well for us. We actually get 8+ hours of sleep since we each usually take a big nap during the day (at different times, obviously!) By the third day though, I was just a zombie. The weather forecast had been for 2 to 4 foot waves and 10-15 knots of wind. It turned out to be more like 4-6 foot waves and 20+ knots of wind. And the waves were hitting us broadside - so every 5-6 seconds we'd get a "slam" of a wave hitting the side of the boat. This went on for most of the middle 36 hours. We did have the sails up for the majority of the first and second days. The wind changed to on our nose on Sunday so we took the sails down and motored the rest of the way.
Did I mention what I ate during the three days? Almost nothing. I managed to get down a half bowl of Ramen noodles down the first day. That's it. And lemonade and tea. The second day I made myself half of a peanut butter and honey sandwich. I took 1 bite. Couldn't stomach it. I eventually got some raw carrots out that I had sliced up before we left. Those went down fine. The third day I made some Velveeta Shells and Cheese. I had half of it and felt a good bit better. So not alot of calories. Duane did much better.
The boat was a mess though - the tossing around kept me from doing any normal "housework". The dishes just piled up in the sinks. A few things that we hadn't secured properly hit the floor. Most notably the Kikoman's soy sauce carafe. I'd gotten it out to "flavor" my ramen noodles. I hadn't put it back in the cabinet, just left it on the counter since I'm sure I was in a hurry to get back on deck so that I could see the horizon. That night I heard a crash - the soy sauce bottle was on the floor (unbroken, thank goodness!) but the soy sauce was all over the cabinet and floor. So I had to bend down, holding on to the counter to keep my balance and mop it up. Yuck!
OK, enough whining - I think it's like childbirth - you almost immediately forget the pain when it's over!
On Sunday we heard a VHF call to Towboat US from a boat that we could see was only about a mile ahead of us on the AIS receiver. I called to him on our radio asking if there was anything we could do for him. He said, no, he was just waiting for the towboat to get to him. He didn't sound particularly happy - as you can see from the short video - he was obviously getting pitched around. As we sailed past him, we saw the towboat crashing into the waves on his way. That $169 we pay every year to Towboat US is good insurance! We were probably 20 miles offshore - the tow would cost thousands of dollars if you don't have the insurance.
We actually slowed down a bit to arrive at the St. John's River Inlet in the morning rather than speed to it during the night. We were greeted with a nice fog bank. But the entrance is wide open and we had no difficulties.
This is Mayport Naval Base as we were traveling up the St. John's River. There was a warship calling out his position behind us, but he was too far back for a good photo.
On up the river there was a big dredge working in the middle of the channel. Amazing that they scoop up sand off the bottom of such a huge space - one scoop at a time!
And that's it for today! We're anchored at Sister's Creek just off the Intercoastal Waterway. We'll travel on up the river tomorrow to meet up with friends.