A Bundle of B’s. Broken, Bugs, Bum, Bars and Broaching

Broken

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.

Bugs

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.

Bum

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…..

 

😀

 

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More time on the island and “Hey baby, can you check me for ticks?”

Lori and I went back to Cumberland Island today. Brought our trust dog Charlie and left good old Conner sleeping on the cabin sole.

After going shore at the SeaCamp docks we walked over to the ocean side of the island.

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We walked south along the beach and came across some wild horses.

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Our boat has crabs and Onward to Cumberland Island

Crabs!

As we were coming into the anchorage Lori was straightening up the cabin when in the corner of her eye she thought she saw a roach, and it was a big one. Quickly moving to crush the beast she realized it was a crab. About 1.5 inches across scurrying about in the vberth. It shot down between the cushions has thus far avoided capture.

Cumberland

We are no longer in St Mary’s we are now on the hook at Cumberland Island. We feel less isolated on anchor as we now have the motor for the ding fully functional.

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We were able to ding ashore and have a quick look about this afternoon. We plan on exploring more extensively in the morning.

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We returned to the boat just before sunset. A special feeling in and of itself is returning to an anchored vessel. Surreal.

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Down Day, a day of rest. Drunken Brits.

Here we are at Lang’s Marina, St Mary’s, Georgia enjoying a day of rest and no travel. It is raining at the moment and we can hear thunder in the distance.

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We arrived here yesterday after finding no free slips at Fernandina Beach. It is very quiet and has the feeling of the land time forgot. Heck they even have a phone booth on the dock.

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We took the boys on and stroll and had dinner with friends at Gator Bites. A local establishment that is dog friendly and has a nice front porch with a view of the water.

As we ate we were privileged with observing the antics of a bunch of young bored British tourists (Navy Sailors). To be honest, St Mary’s may just qualify as one the absolute worst liberty ports ever for a single young sailor, unless of course, you love Christian Gospel concerts and a passion play in the park as Saturday entertainment. We thought the local Christian entertainment to be great fun.

Flooring

Since the rain is keeping us inside today I have endeavored to finish my peal and stick vinyl mahogany flooring.

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I purchased it on clearance for under $1 a square foot and it seems to be holding up well. Much better than the smelly carpet the boat came with and dog friendly.

Dinghy adventures.

Yesterday before all the excitement of the grounding Lori and I drug the dinghy out from under the companionway and inflated her. It is a nice little boat.

Here are some action shots. The one were I am in a red shirt are of me rowing Charlie ashore to do his business as we have yet to get him to go on the boat.

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Amelia

We finally made it to Amelia island. The marina is really nice and they have hot showers. Great after two nights out on the boat. The marina has a truck they loaned us to run to the store for supplies. After we get reprovisioned and some rest it is onward to St Mary’.

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They also have a really cool swinging railway bridge here. Nifty.

Shipwrecked!!!

Ok, I am being a bit dramatic at the moment. We are just hard aground at low tide in the mud.

A bit of inattention on my part got us to the west of the channel into the sludge.

At the moment the tide is rising and we have improved from 15 degree off heel to 10.

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We have a SeaTow account and gave them a call. They came out and looked us over and suggested we wait on the tide as to avoid possible rudder damage.

Here we wait, Lori reading a book in her rack and myself typing away on my iPhone.

Plantation Visit

Before our mishap we stopped at Kingsley Plantation. A good 2 hour stop for anyone who enjoys history.

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Lets surf! Where did all the water go?

Traveling

Yesterday was a busy day. After a the previous night on the town we awoke a bit groggily at 5:30am. We rushed through bathing, refilling the water tanks, clean the bilge, disconnecting shore power and paying the dock master and had cast off by 7:30am.

There were about 6 boats waiting with us at the Bridge of Lions for the 7:30 opening. No one wanted to wait for the 9am opening as the bridge does not open during rush hour.

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We formed a nice convoy out into the rising sun, with only 2 if us heading out to sea, the rest turned north on the ICW. Passing out the channel thru the bar was rolling but fairly smooth.

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We both headed north in gently rollers, setting sail we were unhappy to find the wind very light out of the NNE instead of moderate out of the SE as forecast. We could only manage 3 to 4 knots. The other sailboat being long and much nicer soon left us far behind.

Lori had a touch of seasickness during the passage. Fortunately no cookies were tossed. However I felt it prudent to start the motor an we motor sailed at 5 knots the 30nm to Mayport.

The last 2nm or so we turned. To the NW and were able to maintain 4 knot without the incessant drone of the 2stroke OB. I wish we had a nice quiet IB diesel.

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Just before entering Mayport and the St Johns river marine traffic picked up a bit. With cargo ship, trawlers, sailboats and power boats all within sight.

The wind died just before we arrived at the outer marker for the channel so back to the motor we went.

Unfortunately our timing was a bit bad and we were entering at max current on the ebb tide. Combined with river current and the ocean swell coming from the SE and it created some really nice rollers at the river mouth. We got to experience some 10 to 12 foot rollers in a 27 foot boat. A few times we would surf down a face of a wave and then wallow a bit in the trough just enough were i would loose rudder response. Fortunately no breaking waves as the channel is dredged to 50 feet. We never took on any water or spray for that matter but I was quite a roller coaster ride. No pictures as Lori was racked out with sea sickness and I was working hard to keep us in the channel.

Once in the river things smoothed out, I took down the main and we ate lunch while watching boat traffic.

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Turning from the StJohns up Sisters Creek we stopped for the night at a free dock. ( than you City of Jacksonville) it is pretty here and peaceful.

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Icebox?

Last night we found our icebox dry. We have no idea were all the ice and water went. One theory is the drain cracked and allowed the water out into the bilge and it was pumped overboard without us knowing. We will be purchasing more ice tonight and will endeavor to fine out. A real puzzle.

Of carts and cookies….

Yesterday we motored from Daytona Beach up here to St Augustine.

Had the advantage of the tide most of the way. I estimate it saved us 1 of 2 hours. We were averaging 6 to 7 knots surface speed even though the boat only goes 5 knots at 80% throttle. I believe that the few hours we were at 7 knots we were at .5 knot over the max hull speed of our little 27.

Out on the town

This morning we went out on the town here. This is not the first time we have been here but this little town is still a nice place to visit.

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Our folding wagon was a huge hit. We must have had 3 people ask us were we bought it. Conner likes it also as he rides in style.

We ate lunch at the Spanish Bakery. Very good fresh baked goods at a good price. Hard to find as it is tucked away in a corner along ST George street. Good cookies.

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Also today our companionway ladder fell off the bulkhead. A fellow cruiser was nice enough to give me a replacement screw to replace the one that worried out its hole. Thanks Rick.

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Details

I find myself skipping over the details at times. Details that make sailing and life in general fun. Here are a few.

The jib filling for the first time in the day and the sensation of the boat accelerating under sail.

Sitting on the lee side of the cockpit under sail with 15 degrees of heel looking up into the rigging and watching the sails.

Working with Lori as a team to rig the sails. Sometimes I will be on the helm and she will be climbing about and at other times she will be helming the boat.

The constant motion of being under sail in a smaller boat. Just the act of sitting upright required more work that appreciated. The gently pitch and roll that requires adjustments as you work on a task.

Seeing a consistent improvement in my partners skills and hoping I myself am also learning.

Relaxing in your berth at 5am with the companionway open watching the stars, the view framed by the boom with the sail furled roughly to it.

About our marina de jour

We got here at about 6pm last night. The marina is situated on the Halifax river with slips on piers going out into same.

When we pulled in the tide was rising and there was quite a bit of currents,1 or 2 knots, flowing through our slip. This is the first time either of us has tied up with current.

After a few failed attempts using the method from our home slip we finally figured it out. Lori working the tiller and throttle and me throwing the ropes we tied up bow to the current.

Our marina “Seven Seas” has a small greasy spoon dinner. Unfortunately that was closed last night so we loaded Conner into our folding cart and went out for dinner.

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Sadly, most of the finer dinning in Daytona beach is not dog friendly. We availed ourselves of the local Burger KIng, not the worst food and here the whopper Jr. are $1.29. I only mention this because on a visit to New Hampshire they charged us $2.50 for them.

On the way back I noticed Conner drinking heartily while riding in the cart. I mentioned to Lori that is was pretty nice of her to give him water. She responded with surprise, as Conner had managed to take the lid off the water cup (the cart has cup holders) and get a drink all of his own accord. Even old and blind he still manages to get into things.

.90 per foot, life is good

Finally started out trip this morning. We made good time (5knots) under sail until just south of New Smyrna.

Luck would have it as we motored through NSB they were having an airshow. .

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We are now stopped for the night in Daytona. We found a marina 2 blocks from the beach for only .90 a foot. At 27 feet it makes for an affordable stay at the beach.