The high winds that were forecasted for last night never developed....or we were so well protected the winds never touched us! It's suppose to be cool today, mid 60's, and the winds this morning are suppose to be less than 16 kts. When we woke, the temperatures were actually 55 degrees, the sun was shining, and the winds were light. High tide was at 10:05 am, so everything looked good for us to move down the ICW. None of us were impressed with the Amelia Island Yacht Basin and we all agreed to leave. We backed out of our docks at 8:30am for a short days' trip to Palm Cove Marina, Jacksonville, FL.
We had plenty of water under our bottom this
morning so that was a major relief! Especially since the mud was still very visible along both banks of the marina's channel. Immediately into the ICW, we turned hard to port to pass consecutively through the Kingsley RR Bridge (open) and then under the Twin A1A Span....Al and Colette then took the lead.
Sunny Florida along
What a beautiful morning and hey, it dawned on me that we're in the sunny state of Florida! The winds suddenly picked up a bit while traveling down the South Amelia River and then settled once we got into the Sisters Creek.
Once through the Sisters Creek Bridge, we soon were into the St. John's River....and yikes....a freighter was headed right for both of our boats!! We managed to pass him starboard to starboard and continue across the river toward Jacksonville. Before we knew it, we were entering the Palm
Cove Marina for the afternoon and night...make that 3 nights!
We knew from the predicted forecast that the winds were going to increase considerably this afternoon, but they could have waited until we got off the fuel dock and tied up at our slip! Nope...before we had a chance to pump out and fuel up, the winds had Euphoria and Happy Hours II both pinned to the fuel dock. Even if we could get off the dock, there is way too little room to maneuver in these winds. So what will we do????
Our two boats should have traded positions. Where we were, the fuel pump reached Al's boat but not ours and the pump out hose wasn't long enough to reach either of our openings. So, the dock master suggested we walk Euphoria around the west end of the fuel dock and tie him to the south side of the dock. I have my doubts that in these winds, we can manhandle a 37 foot boat!! It's a good thing that the dock master is a big guy!!!Once this was accomplished successfully, our boat was walked forward, fueled up and pumped out and then walked back to it's position for the night. That was a bit scary!!!! With about 6 bumpers hanging over our side, our port side was protected during the night even though we were still pinned to the dock by the fierce wind.
As settled in as we could be, the four of us walked around the Palm Cove Marina. It is so much nicer than where we spent last night. This place has a swimming pool, lounge, 3 washers & 3 dryers, a nice shower and bathroom facility as well as the Mark 32 Restaurant on site. It's also within walking distance of a Publix's grocery store, Wendy's, McD's, and West Marine....we definitely would stay here again if the opportunity arose.
We decided to eat out and try the Mark 32. After being seated and looking at their menu, we all decided we really didn't want to eat that much money! Instead we walked to Wendy's and the meal was great!! Back to the marina to do our laundry while we played Mexican Train next door in the boaters' lounge. This is soooo convenient!!!!!
It blew hard all last night. Chuck and I both went to sleep listening to the fenders squeak from being squeezed against the dock and the waves slapping against the transom of our boat. What a relief to be tied at a dock under these circumstances.
Our plans are to stay at Palm Cove for 2 more nights to spend time with Al and Colette before they leave for home. Chuck helped Al get his dinghy up on the bow of his boat and lash it down securely. Then the rains came...all day long! We spent the entire day in our boat. It wasn't until 5:00 that the rains quit but the winds still blew hard. By then, the four of us were ready to get out of our boats and walk. So off again to Wendy's we went to eat, and then back to the lounge for another round of Mexican Train.
Today is Al and Colette's last day together with us. :( We met them on October 25th at the Dismal Swamp Visitor Center...not even a month....but I feel we've known them much longer! The first item on our agenda today is to help move Euphoria to the dock that she'll be at for the next few months. Once she was resituated, the marina wanted us to move off of the fuel dock. Chuck backed Happy Hours to a face dock where it will be easier for us to leave tomorrow morning. After the moves were complete, the four of us walked to West Marine, ate lunch, and then grocery shopped at Publix.
The afternoon was spent with Chuck washing Happy Hours, Al working on Euphoria, and Colette and I sitting by the pool with our books....until the clouds overtook the sun and it got cool. Overall, it's a very nice day and the temps are going to be pleasant for eating outside, under the roof on the patio. The marina has a propane grill and picnic tables available to the boaters.
We decided to grill steaks and eat outside for our last meal together at 5:30. Al and Colette brought most of the food for our dinner and wouldn't let us split the cost! Thank You but you shouldn't have! Chuck and I brought the dishes, silverware, etc, so Colette and Al wouldn't have anything to clean once we ate. We had great food and even better company!!