A Travellerspoint blog

Heading South

Leaving the Palm Cove Marina was an exercise in patience, a virtue with which I am ill acquainted. This marina has a very shallow channel and last year when we stayed at this marina we hit the bottom entering the channel. This year we went in at dead high tide, no hay problema. Leaving in the morning was not so easy. I checked the tide tables and "guessed" that by 8:00 am there would be enough water in the channel to get out. To leave the dock we had to execute a 180 turn plus a little bit more, in six feet of water, we draw about 5' 2", with little swing room along the shoal. For some reason, I could not get the stern to move right, maybe the wind, maybe the current, maybe the operator. The dénouement was letting the boat drift against the fuel dock and using that as a fulcrum to force the bow to the left. It worked, although I have never seen that particular maneuver in the Annapolis Book of Seamanship.

Leaving the channel, grande problema! After about 100 yards were were in 4’6” of water, but it was mud and the fin keel cut through it like a John Deere plow. Another 100 yards and we were hard aground. Fortunately, the tide was running in and about 15 minutes later we floated off and we were on our way to St. Augustine.

The trip was fairly boring, altogether a good thing. Here Carol was at the helm during a 5-mile stretch that was perfectly straight doing her best, “Look Ma, no hands” version of piloting. Periodically she punched in a degree or two of course change into the auto pilot. P2020203.jpg

That portion of the ICW was a study in contrasts. The west side looked as it has for centuries, if not millennia. If Ponce de Leon had passed this way in the early 1500’s he would have seen what we saw. The Bartrams, who did pass this way in the mid 1700’s may have seen this exact thing. The east side, however, was a testament to the opulence of modern America: interesting, for many aspirational, and totally without modesty. In fairness, there are many in the world who would say the same of us.

After a while on the water, you sort of figure that you’ve seen most of the basic iterations of craft that ply the ICW and that there won’t be any surprises. This day we were surprised: Buckminster Fuller’s vision of a vessel? It seems to be a couple of pontoons with a base and a geodesic dome for a cabin. There are two O/B motors on the back. If you believe the web site posting, earthball.org, this conveyance has come from North Carolina and is bound for the Florida Keys. There is a wind generator, so he has some battery power. P2030208.jpg

We hit St. Augustine and had planned a single night here, but the weather forecast indicates dangerous in-shore winds of 30 knots and over. So we're staying an extra day, which will be nice so that we can see the town. We hooked up with Victoria, who had visited us in Brunswick on her way south. Since our marina has a courtesy car we combined our errands. We may travel together down the ICW since she's also bound for the Vero Beach mooring field.

Posted by sailziveli 05:31

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Is this lady in blue, Victoria?...and is she sailing solo? More on her story...you GO Girl! and dome...are you SURE they are not from Georgia? What a hoot.

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