Sorry for not finishing my last post. I was working on posting more of the several dozen pictures from Cumberland Island but the area we were anchored at only offered Edge internet connection, not G3, think dial-up speeds.
As we were sailing south back to civilization my iPhone bricked. So there goes the pictures and our primary chart plotter, navigation tool. Luckily we had a second older iPhone 3 as a backup GPS chart plotter, but no internet or phone.
One discovery from Cumberland Island not covered was fleas and ticks. We came away from the place with both on poor Charlie and ourselves. Luckily we had left Conner on the boat and the fleas succumbed to the dogs treatment within a day or two. But it was an itch filled day.
I blame all the wild horses, but the trip was well worth the discomfort.
We took four days total to travel home from Georgia. 2 shorter days got us to St. Augustine for our 21st Anniversary. After we both had a nice hot shower (we had cold showers on Cumberland Island) we loaded Conner in his cart and took him and Charlie out on the town.
Dinner was good on the patio of a local restaurant after which we took a nice long walk before having ice cream. Lori ducked into a glass store to check out an object that caught her fancy. I sat out front with the boys on the bench on St George street.
Wandering out of a side alley comes a older thin gentleman in jogging shorts and a sweat shirt. Notable for the fact he was caring an open bottle of Guinness Stout, a beer I find quite good, and a cigar. He leans on a palm tree and I observed him start to inhale the Guinness and after finishing it start dragging on the cigar.
“Oh this is not good” was the thought I had as I could almost see the green rise in his complexion. Sure enough after about 45 seconds of dragging on the cigar he snuffs it out quickly with a pained look on his face. Followed 20 seconds later with him projectile vomiting into a nearby bush. Lovely.
Soon the man stopped his 2 minutes of wrenching heaves and dry heaves, wiped his mouth and proceeded on his way. Lori emerged from her shopping venture and ask me why the funny look. She had luckily missed the show.
“Oh, nothing much, just some local entertainment.”
Bars and Broaching
On the third day of the trip home we fought a consistent southern head wind. No sailing possible, just motoring into the 15 to 20mph wind at 4 to 5 knots. We had some sun in the morning, overcast in the afternoon and pouring rain in the evening for the last hour before we docked for the night in Daytona Beach. A tiring day.
That night at 4am the wind shifted from the south to the north. For the last day we were blessed with a 15 to 20mph tailwind. We motored 300ft out of the marina and into the inter coastal waterway and turned south. We unfurled the jib and shut off the motor. We were moving at 5 to 6 knots and quiet, as fast as our little boat can go as the physics of hull speed.
When we were pulling out of the marina we had slowed a bit to allow a larger and faster boat (estimated 32 or 36 foot) go by under sail. As we sailed he opened the distance to about a mile in front of us and then we started gaining on him. He had run aground on a bar (shoaling in the channel), his boats draft being 6 foot and ours being 4 we sailed right by. He said he was fine and fired up his diesel. By the time he was 500 feet astern he was moving again.
Soon he overtook us and was ahead and then thunk, another bar. Out pours the diesel smoke as he cranks up the revs. We left him a mile astern before we notice him moving again. Soon he power sailed past us, on both diesel and with his jib, his boat at hull speed. I called out to him to watch the next 2 markers and take it very easy. A sailboat had sunk the month before, run aground on shoals and ripping off its rudder. Sure enough 1/2 mile later we passed him again. His diesel cranking to push his boat over a bar. He was hung up for about 20 minutes, but as it was, we were at the New Smyrna draw bridge and had to wait for an opening. He got off the bar and I let him through the bridge first. He soon left me behind as the shoaling and bars are not as much of an issue south of NSB.
As we sailed south from NSB making 5 to 6 knots we watched our companions disappear into the distance. I think he had turned off the diesel as he pulled ahead fairly slowly and we did not completely loose sight of him until he turned into the Haulover canal.
Half way down Mosquito Lagoon south of NSB things open up and the wind can run across the water uninterrupted by islands, trees and homes.We were making good time but the waves were building to 3 to 4 feet rollers coming at our stern. With the winds at 20mph the waves were moving faster than our boat by about 1 or 2 knots. They would lift the stern and cause the loss of rudder control causing the boat to slew to port a bit.
The first time this happened I was puzzled but recovered quickly. A minute later a set of three rollers hit, each taking away a bit more helm control until the third on just pushed the stern to starboard. 90 degrees across the wind the momentum of the boat and wind in the jib pushed her over 25 degrees. Not really that big a deal except the fact I had absolutely no control over and aspect of it. If I had the main sail up the boat probably would have Broached. It would have righted itself due to the keel but the chance at taking a swim does not appeal to me.
We have sailed in worse weather and heavier seas at a more severe heel but were in control at the time. The course we were required to hold (south in a strong south wind) made things much more dangerous in these conditions. Our boat being small and slower contributed to the loss of control, the fact that I had not been using the main sail and just the jib for fear of accidental jibing helped.
After the incident I furled in the jib and ran on motor for the last 8 miles or so. The motor has the nice quality of creating a slick aft of the boat, preventing rollers from disrupting steerage.
We pulled into our slip in Titusville at 6pm. After unloading, cleaning and securing everything we ate dinner and drove home. We did not get back to the house until very late. We slept very well that night.
I will be composing a lessons learned and new to do list for the boat in the near future. We have a few things that need correction and upgrades but overall the boat did well on the 2 week journey.
As for our future on the water. Lori says our song should be this…..