Thursday, July 8, 2010

What we have been up to

Well here it is the 8th of July and we still find ourselves in Florida, although much further north. We stayed in Riveria Beach for longer than we would have liked and began getting bored. Between having a huge case of laziness that grabbed both Dirk and I and the fact that we weren't sure what our next move was we were destined to sit and wait till the urge to move hit us. After a month of sitting on a dock with A/C, laundry on site and the Tiki Hut with killer drink and food specials we finally decided to cut loose and head north. On June 30 we pulled out of the dock and headed out the Lake Worth Inlet and traveled up the coast to the Fort Pierce Inlet. We found a small anchorage with one other boat in it and threw the hook out and called it a day. The following morning the winds were suppose to be non existent so we decided to do a day inside on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). We put in approximately 40 miles under our keel and landed right on the south tip of Merritt Island in Eau Gallie and found the anchorage to be empty. That's nice....A quiet evening and then up early to begin again this time getting to Titusville while timing bridges. We pulled into the Titusville marina to fill up with diesel and water then headed back out to the anchorage and threw down the hook. With views of the Kennedy Space center this must be a great anchorage to see a shuttle launch from. Of course it was up early again, and as we passed through the Haulover canal leaving the Indian River to Mosquito Lagoon it was such a pretty area. The fishing must be wonderful here as there were so many people out and about. As you go through the canal its very narrow and you are only a stones throw from shore.

The lagoon runs a long way and ends up narrowing down into a very tight channel as it runs past homes with docks and piers so close at times its scary if there is traffic coming at you. And this being the 4th of July weekend there was plenty of traffic. Both Dirk and I commented we have never seen so many dolphins or manatees in one area, they were everywhere and its nice to see them flourish here. I think we saw over 50 dolphins that day with about a dozen manatee sightings. Then we passed this guy in his "Earth Ball", he was actually putting down the ICW in what looks like his homemade floating home. Looks like he has everything he could need on board. Later that evening we threw the hook out in Daytona Beach and settled in for a quiet evening. July 4th we took off for St. Augustine and arrived in plenty of time to set the hook in the anchorage right downtown. One thing we forgot to take into account was that St. Augustine was putting on a fireworks display and the anchorage was full. We did find one spot to fit into with no problem but had the winds shifted that evening we would have been sitting on a shoal and that wouldn't have been too nice. We tried scooting up a bit but still no good as there was this boat or that boat that would have been to close so we decided to try going on the other side of the bridge and we could catch the last opening before the fireworks but someone said they weren't allowing anymore boats to anchor there and we didn't want to take a chance of getting stuck on the north side of the bridge with no where to anchor. The decision was made to backtrack about a mile and a half back to the anchorage we had seen on the way up. It was in southern part of St. Augustine so we didn't get the nice display of fireworks but there were other displays being set off everywhere you looked in the horizon. I think we were both too tired to enjoy them anyway and we threw some chicken on the grill, toasted the 4th with a cold one then headed to bed. We had to get up extra early the following morning as we had a long day ahead of us. We were aiming for a little anchorage just north of the Fort George Island close to the St. Johns River. For this being a Monday the holiday traffic was still horrible. I guess lots of people had a three day weekend which is great for them but not so nice for us when you see nothing but power boats and jet skies zipping in and out. I don't think we saw more then 2 or 3 sailboats out this day. Once we arrived to the anchorage we saw right away that it just wasn't going to do. Apparently this is the main channel to Ft. George Island and this is where everyone was in such a hurry to get to. It was like a major freeway with boat traffic and also once we looked at the depths we thought we would be too close to the channel for comfort as the depth would make it impossible to swing. Plan B, we pulled out the charts and saw the next available place to anchor was about an hour and a half north. Gee this had already been a long day and it was just getting longer. I decided to whip up something to eat while Dirk got us back underway as we were both hungry and tired. By the time dinner was cooked, eaten, and cleaned up we had arrived to our destination by Amelia Island. We dropped the hook in about 9 feet of water right next to the marshes and settled in for an early evening yet again. Tomorrow would be a very short day for us with only a few miles to our next stop. No alarm was set so we could sleep in, but after getting up so early the last couple days my eyes were open at daybreak. Dang it, I hate that...Dirk did take the opportunity to sleep in as I busied myself making coffee and playing a bit on the computer. Finally he was up and ready to go. As he is pulling in the anchor I'm behind the wheel and suddenly we were sitting in 4'8" of water. We draw about 5'. We managed to back her off and got back into the channel headed north. Not 2 minutes after being well inside the channel with Dirk at the wheel we are suddenly sitting in less than five foot of water. We both look at the channel markers, yes, we are well inside with what should be plenty of water. Apparently there has been a bit of shoaling between Red markers 34 and 32 so if you are heading that direction take note and stay toward your green markers. We weren't the only ones that noticed as there was another boat that had to hug us in order not to ground themselves. Granted we were on low tide heading to high but in the channels there should be plenty of water. So with only about a 2 hour day we picked up a mooring ball in Fernandina Beach. Not bad for 15 bucks a day and there is a very nice section of town with plenty of restaurants and shops to be had. This would be the first time since we left Riveria Beach that we have been off the boat. We have been here a few days resting and taking it easy. Tomorrow were gonna head off and restock our pantry before heading further north. Maybe if I'm lucky I wont let so much time lapse before posting again.

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