Friday, March 28, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hi everyone!  Well, today ‘s the day!  When we woke up, it was 57 degrees…warmer than yesterday’s high of 52 degrees!!  Chuck undid the bridle lines to the mooring ball at 8:15 and I called the Bridge of Lions tender to request an 8:30 opening.  By the time we got into position for the opening, 3 other boats also motored in to wait. We all went through the bridge out toward the St. Augustine Inlet and around the marker, then through the Vilano Fixed Bridge.  The navigational aids are very close to the ocean that it would be very easy to go out to sea!  Once through the Vilano Bridge it feels like we’re in a race with the other sailboats!   A few are fighting for the lead.
motoring toward the inlet
look at the ocean

marker takes boats close to shore
We’re not sure where we’re going this afternoon.  We would like to make it to Fernandina Beach but the currents are working against us .  Right now we’re only cruising at 4.2 kts and that’s with our headsail  out!  So, I think we’ll probably only make Jacksonville  Beach and stay at Palm Cove Marina.   We stayed here on the way down.  The fuel dock is easy to go in and out of.  Publix is within walking distance and West Marine is just a little further.  Plus, there’s a Wendy’s nearby.  We have fond memories of this place because we ate here a few times with Al and Colette from sv/Euphoria  last fall! 

Even though today is mostly cloudy, the sun did poke through a few times and the 62 degrees feels warm after yesterday’s high of 51 degrees!  Today’s trip has us motor/sailing through the Tolomato River and then through the Cabbage Swamp Canal.  I loved this stretch on our way down and I’m loving it again today.  On the Tolomato River, I feel like our boat is in the low country of South Carolina when we look west.  On the eastern shore are beautiful homes.   The Cabbage Swamp is even narrower with the houses close to the ICW on our starboard sided and vacant land to port(west).   The canal goes on for 10 miles….and we didn’t hit once!  In this stretch, we passed a guy in his canoe-stern sailboat with full sails a flying.  He also had his dinghy up against his port stern.  It appears that his sailboat’s engine isn’t working and he’s using the wind and his dinghy to move him along.

When we got to Palm Cove, I call about a dock for the night as well as inquiring about the condition of their channel.  We’ll be entering one hour before low tide.  This could be a problem!  The woman who answered the call said the channel was 6 feet MLW, but be sure to stay in the center of their day markers.  Okay!  Chuck navigated us into the marina basin without any problem but when he steered over to the fuel dock guess what?  We got hung up in the mud...45 minutes before low tide.  Let’s back up and try this again….yeah…we’re moving!  We made the fuel dock, fueled up, and pumped out.  They then assigned us to the face dock near where we’re getting diesel.  It’s exactly the same dock we stayed on last fall.  The wind was blowing in our favor so Chuck pulled off the fuel dock and backed down the fairway using the wind to push us broadside to the dock.  It’s not working!  What the heck!  We're not moving…we’re in the mud again!! LOL  Chuck moved the boat back and forth and finally I threw the bow line to the dock hand and he muscled the bow over.  Chuck then threw him the stern line and he once again muscled the rest of our boat over along the dock.  Wow!  This is a first….Once we start to float again, we’ll adjust our docklines!!

they have bird problems too!
at dock looking at marshland


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