Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Vero Beach

We'll be leaving this morning for an offshore run to Miami.  It  will be about 23 hours. 

Had a beautiful sunrise - hopefully this will be our last semi-chilly night this year!! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Vero Beach

A busy day at Vero.  

Finally found sunshine!!!  Rafted up with Dany from No Mer-sea.  Nice fellow, he is picking up some last minute perishables for me at the store today.  Cruisers are great folks.

Went ashore to the marina for wonderfully long hot showers with no need to conserve water!  The grounds are lush and green.

 Did a big load of laundry and we looked like the vagabonds that we are for a few hours. 

Then we met up with 3 other Manta owners - Scott & Tina from Sangaris,  Victor from Esmeralda and Stan & Beth from Scout.  Had a wonderful few hours visiting.  Interesting fact - Duane and Stan were in the same graduating class at East Henderson High.  Amazing that they both are sailing the same exact boat.  They haven't been in contact in 35+ years but appeared to enjoy the reunion.   We'll meet up with them again this evening before we head offshore tomorrow.

 Back to the dinghy dock the restaurant had a lighted area - hundreds of catfish were swarming....kinda eerie!!! 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Cocoa Beach to Vero Beach

Still dreary out here!!!

Lots of pretty fancy houses along the waterfront as we get further south.

Arrived at Vero Beach and rafted up with No Mer'sea a Canadian monohull.  Fueled up and topped off the water tanks.  We sipped fuel over the past couple of days because we only ran one engine.

Will meet up with some Manta folks later while we get ready for our offshore sail to Miami.  The weatherman promises sunny and 74 degrees today!!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Daytona to Cocoa Beach

We left early because we had a long day ahead.....still dreary skies as we pass the high rise condos at Daytona.

This is for those interested in bridge clearance heights.  Usually, the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) bridges have about 64+ feet of clearance under them.  These boards are on each bridge so that boaters can read the clearance height at all times as the tides change.

Many sailboats have around 64 mast heights just for this reason - to get the most performance out of the sails that is possible for the size of boat and still be able to transit the ICW.  Our mast is somewhere around 60' so we don't have to worry much about bridge clearances.   With the strong winds there are apparently abnormally high tides lately - and many sailors would be watching these boards very closely.   A boat like our old Glory Days would simply have to wait for low tide at each bridge before transiting.  Would make for  a very slow trip down the ICW!

Underway Duane got the watermaker pump installed and operational after some adjustments.

 The scenery for a good part of the journey today.  Still dreary. 

But finally found some sunshine!  Anchored at Cocoa Beach and will move to Vero Beach tomorrow.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

St. Augustine to Daytona Beach

Quite a dreary day.....we were up at dawn to taxi Ed and Cathy from their boat so they could leave their dinghy hanging on the davits for the next 3 weeks while they visit their family on land.

It was pouring rain, but warm. Looks uncomfortable, but really was not.  (Photo stolen from Cathy).

Cathy looking drenched too!  Didn't get a photo of Ed as he was pulling the car around.  We'll miss them but they'll catch up with us in the Bahamas in December hopefully!

Passing another Manta "No More Mondays 2.0" on the way back to our boat.  We'll probably see them in the Bahamas also!  Going to be a lot of Mantas this winter!!

Underway to Daytona, lots of scenery, it was just overcast.

 What the cockpit looked like during the day!

More bridges along the way....

 We needed just a bit of fuel to get us all the way to Vero Beach in a few days so, once anchored at Daytona, we dropped the dinghy and took a little ride for some cans of diesel from the nice folks at Halifax Harbour Marina.

 Back to the boat for an early evening.   On to Cocoa Beach tomorrow.

Friday, November 15, 2019

St. Augustine

We drove into town with Ed and Cathy to go to a marine consignment store.  Was a lot of fun looking thru the piles of parts  - scored some really heavy stainless hinges to replace the small ones on our refrigerator and freezer. 

St. Augustine is just such a pretty town!  Even in the dreary weather.

Huge live oaks and Spanish moss everywhere.

Since this was our last day with Ed and Cathy, we joined them at a little nearby restaurant for conversation and a nice meal.  Jim and Bentley from Salty Paws joined us also for drinks - but I forgot to get a photo.  No worries, we'll probably see them in the Bahamas in a month or two.

We'll leave St. Augustine this morning and head further south and try to escape this rainy weather!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

St. Augustine

Yesterday was one of those yucky windy rainy days.....much reading and a few chores accomplished.   It would have been very wet to have tried to leave the boat....

This evening I used the last of the sweet peppers my brother and sis-in-law gave us to make some very yummy curry.  Just right for a dreary night.  Served over a mix of wild and jasmine rice. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

St. Augustine

Settling in for the next few days at St. Augustine. 

On the offshore leg 2 days ago Duane tested the water maker for the first time this year.  We test it offshore because the water is clean there.  (You don't want to suck in harbour water to make fresh water - all kinds of nasty stuff is in harbour water!!)

Unfortunately, the water pump bearings had frozen over the summer of after some troubleshooting Duane decided the best course of action is to get a new pump.  We're having that shipped to Ed and Cathy's PO box just a 1/2 hour away.

This is where the pump is mounted - the board is kindof yucky with stains and rust......

Nothing a little white paint won't fix!

Normal chores - washing all the "long pants" we'd worn this last week.  I took them in to the marina laundromat.  It's cheaper to pay the $4.00 per load than run the diesel generator on the boat.  Plus we're in water-conserve mode until we get in clear water again.

At the marina was a cool boat.  It's called Eagle - and it has a huge vertical wing exactly like an airplane wing.   You can read about it here.

Looks like a wild ride and it can reach speeds of 25-35 knots! 

After the laundry was done I schlepped it back to the dinghy dock....waiting on me there was this huge heron.   You'll note in the background if you look close,  another white heron.  They seem unconcerned about us humans, just moving a short way away to perch at another spot.  Don't know why they stand around on the docks as it doesn't look like anyone feeds them.

And the end of the day was at the White Lion for a cruisers happy hour.  Lots of folks we already knew from last year's Bahamas.  Most everyone is headed back again this year so we'll probably run into most of them at some point.

The 3 Manta couples - Sojourn, Now & Zen and What If.

And this morning - this is the view in the anchorage.  Lots of wave action and wind - effects of the cold front that has the rest of the country in an icebox.  We are still in shorts but the  highs today will be in the 60's.  Probably a stay-on-the-boat day today since a dinghy ride would be wet and chilly!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Charleston, SC to St. Augustine, FL

Up at sunrise for departure.


 Underway for the 30+ hours was uneventful.  Just a few interesting things appeared.

This big cargo ship came pretty close!  997 feet long and 121 feet wide.  Amazing.

 Marked "Navy Platform" on the chart.  30 or 40 miles offshore in 85 feet of water.  It's unlighted - luckily it shows up on our onboard radar so we would have visibility to it at night.

This was our view of calm seas and What If in front of us at sunrise on day 2.

Another lovely sunrise.  Can't get enough of those!  Plus we're striping off the layers of clothes and putting shorts and tee shirts on now!

Coming in the inlet at St. Augustine was a bit "lumpy".  Outgoing tide so we got pitched around a bit.

Picked up a mooring at the St. Augustine marina.  Lots of big catamarans here.  Sojourn in the middle.

 Our view from the boat is of the Castillo de San Marcos fort - the oldest and largest masonry fort in the country.

 Got settled and had some lunch onboard.   Then in to the marina to check in and register.  Met up with Ed and Cathy to go into Jacksonville and retrieve their truck from storage at Jacksonville Naval Air Station. 

 Went to the commissary with them - what fun!  I'd never been to one before.

Then we drove over to Ortega landing to meet up with Now & Zen.   So the 3 cruising couples were finally together again but I didn't take a photo!  We were all pretty exhausted from the overnight and called it an early night.  We meet up with them again this evening for happy hour - I'll try to remember a photo.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Georgetown to Charleston, SC

Uneventful day on the waterway.

Lots of pretty scenery, not a lot of civilization.

I think this is what they call the "low country" for good reason!

Stopped at Isle of Palms marina approaching Charleston for fuel and water fill up.  Easy in-and-out.

Anchored close to the Charleston inlet for early morning departure to St. Augustine tomorrow morning.    Lima beans over rice and turnips for dinner.  Perfect for the chilly evening.  Should get to put the shorts back on tomorrow when we arrive in Florida!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Calabash, SC to Georgetown, SC

We were up early to get started on the day's travel.  Chilly, rainy and a bit windy.

Approaching Myrtle Beach, SC we see the "casino boats".  We'd heard of them but never have seen them.

The Intercoastal Waterway is pretty interesting - lots of little marinas and houses.

Pat knew were were in the area and he arranged to "meet" us to wave as we went by.   He chose this golf course (Myrtlewood) right on the waterway.

Sojourn and What If approaching.

We went out for a wave and a quick hello shouted from the boat.

What If a few yards behind us.

And a long distance shot of Pat waving us Bon Voyage!  Nice to see him!

The remainder of the day was just motoring along - just a bit of pretty fall color left in the trees.

A few bridges had to open for us, but uneventful.

Our destination is the small town of Georgetown, SC.  Crowed anchorage right along the city waterfront.

So, we rafted up with What If again.

Then we dinghied ashore for a little leg-stretching walk.  Cool old house from the late 1700's.

Saw some guys fishing along the boardwalk....he caught a nice red drum!

After a quick tour of the town museum, it was back to the boats for chili.  Appropriate for this chilly day!!  Must.Get.South!!