Sunday, February 17, 2008

02/08/2008 ICW to St Augustine


Open tool boxes and hatches all indicate that as Bob said
"It's not always beer and sunsets."

But before we get to that, there's more interesting things to share.

We left our anchorage in Amelia River and entered Kingsley Creek
soon approaching our next swing bridge

then on into South Amelia River
Somebody gets to really enjoy the water at this dock.

This flock of birds are white pelicans

We're always partial to the smaller, older style homes along the waterway. I think it's because we can imagine that we actually could own one this size. They also seem to just blend into the surroundings as if they belonged.

With an eye on the current
We make a short jaunt into Nassau Sound to enter the ICW - Sawpit Creek - Gunnison Cut - Sisters Creek and across St Johns River past a very busy port.
We enter another section of the ICW starting with number 1.

There's a lot of white sand in this bank.

There's always bridges to navigate with the common issue of current and height
yet each has its' own unique issues.
Works being done on this bridge

Make sure you don't hit the house when passing under this one.

Fit your boat through the slots without hitting the barge.

We enter a long section of waterway near Jacksonville Beach called Palm Valley Cut. One side is developed and the other is pretty much untouched. Our heads swiveled trying to see everything on the left and right.
Excuse me...port & starboard.

On the left, notice this house has a dead tree
The Ospreys seem to appreciate it.
Now look to the right.


Left & Left Again


Until we enter the Tolomato River
and anchor for the night at Pine Island
The fishing must be very good here because there was a constant stream of small fishing boats trying their luck. The next morning was a gorgeous day with more fisherman showing up and we began wondering if we shouldn't stay a little longer and enjoy.

No....we need to be on our way to St. Augustine. Bob hauls the anchors, and we begin to motor out of the anchorage. We hear the belt on the engine squealing, so Bob tightens it up.

We start the engine, the belt smells & smokes a little then flap - it's broken. Not a problem since we have spares. We're thankful it's a quick repair, and we're on our way to join the other sailboats on the ICW. Not Quite!

The shaft seems to be shaking, so once more we turn around and Bob climbs on top of the engine to have a look. The shaft has slipped, need to tighten set screws...can do!

This time we slowly venture out again, easy, not too much speed, seems good - 'NOT .' As we increase speed the shaft begins to vibrate more than ever, and the engine is just about jumping off it's mounts. Not good! We need to get to a marina where Bob can really check her out, so we put the motor on the dinghy to push her along. We've done that with our 27' wooden sailboat that didn't have an engine,

but wait

We have Tow Boat US

And soon we are on our way down the ICW.

Somehow we feel everyone is looking at us.

Very quickly it seems we are about to go through
The Bridge of Lions.

The briidge seems to have its own repair issues.

That's ok we're in St Augustine!
What better place to be held up for repairs.
It's HAKUNA MATATA time again as we prepare to enjoy where we are.

Monday, February 4, 2008

1/27/2008 Brunswick, GA


Getting away from the dock at Isle of Hope took a good shove off and strong engine to push against the current and into the Skidaway River. Destination who had left a few minutes ahead of us, made their way up the narrows and under the Skidaway bridge.

We followed in their wake soon to pass by Moon River, into Burnside River, Vernon River, with a short jump across Little Ogeechee River to a cut called Hell Gate (hey didn't we go through that in New York?) to Ogeechee River and on to the Florida Passage (now I like that name, sounds promising). All of this stretch and more in Georgia were reported to have shallow water, sometimes as little as 2' mean low water, so Bob calculated the tide and currents to pass at half tide and rising as recommended. This made for a short trip today into Big Tom Creek.

Be sure to click on this to see all the birds.

Love the red roof

There's water on the other side and a shrimp boat with it's outriggers

Big Tom Creek for the evening. A nice spot but the current was so strong that our second anchor a 10# Fortress would not sink?? so Bob had to haul out the 35# plow. Ok to put out but not too great to haul back the next morning.
Beautiful sunsets always calm the days worries.
Yesterday we were in rivers, today we seem to be crossing sounds with a lot of the same shallow water and temporary marker issues, as well as several ship wrecks that add to the navigation issues. The large spans of water are always a shock after winding along some of the creeks.

We crossed St. Catherines Sound, Sapelo Sound and DoBoy Sound, where we entered the Duplin River and anchored just past a couple of docks near some power lines.

The next morning there was a little fog early on, so we had a sit-down breakfast before raising the anchor. The water we traveled today was interesting and enjoyable, although we did still have to mind the markers and keep a watch for any new ones not on our charts.

As we made our way up St. Simons Sound to head up into the Brunswick River we encountered a good deal of commercial and recreational boats.

We slowed to allow a car carrier to make its way under the Sidney Lanier high-rise bridge and into the harbor ahead of us.

Then it's our turn to go under the bridge
The harbor was a busy place
Some scenes were from a by-gone era.
others very active today
Even the Brunswick Marina had a train whistling by every day.

This was one of the nicest, most accommodating marinas we have stayed at. Each dock had a little pavilion on the end with a gas grill provided by the marina.
The showers resembled what you might find in a nice hotel, the laundry was free - 4 wash/5dry, so that was no longer a hastle, and there was an L shaped lounge with tables and comfy furniture with computer hookups, tv, coffee pot and 2 tall book shelves for exchange. Wednesday night was the weekly get-together night.
The town of Brunswick was a very short walk from the marina.
It's an interesting town reminiscent of a turn of the century Southern town.
What I found especially interesting was the road and sidewalks.
The road was a rough stoney texture. Notice the sidewalk.
I only spent a short time in town but seemed to have caught the right day. While I was in one of the gift shops it was announced that today was their day to stay open till 8:30pm with refreshments served. I was just in time to get a little red cup of wine that really added to the shopping enjoyment :-)
Oh well the clock says it's time to move on. We've been here only a couple of days but have had an enjoyable time with old boating friends we caught up to and new ones we just made. Sharing your experience and waterway information with friends and good food is such a big part of our trip. HAKUNA MATATA to our waterway friends and the dear ones we left on shore at home.