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Captain's Log

"Summer Skis" N43-12 - Jim and Marge Fuller

 

 

Date: April 28, 2008
Departing From: Cowen Creek/Port Royal,SC
Destination: Beaufort, SC
Distance: 7.6 Nm
Departure Time: 1010
Arrival Time: 1120
Time in Transit: 1 Hrs. 10 Min.

Weather: Over cast cool and rain in the forecast

As you can see we “slept in” today as we had a long day & night yesterday.
We did not run to Beaufort last night because we knew there was no place to tie up or anchor. Also it avoided running the ICW in the dark which is not advisable.
We tied up at the Downtown City Marina in Beaufort, SC. This is a very convenient stop as it is right on the waterway and requires no side trips or detours. The marina is located right in the heart of Beaufort and is surrounded by many shops and fine restaurants. The marina has floating docks as well. The only drawback is the current can run very fast and it makes docking a challenge some times.

As we were approaching the marina we had to pass under a highway bridge and the phone rang. It was our friend Pete Judd who was driving over the bridge as we passed under it, quite a coincidence.

We coordinated our dinner plans and told him we were going to get cleand up and we would see both he & Pat @ 1800.

We got tied up and checked in at the marina. Now it was time to really relax. We each took showers and tidied up the boat a bit and settled in for a nap. Later that day it poured rain so it was a good thing we were cozy and warm. I did log book work and Marge caught up on some of her business. It was a very relaxing time.

Pete & Pat arrived at 1800 and off to S-A-L-T-U-S River Grill. A fantastic suggestion by the Judds. We had some typical Low Country cuisine, such as Shrimp & Grits, and Marge had local fish. As well as pork fried dumplings with ginger sauce. A wonderful evening with good friends.

We turned in early as we wanted to make it Charleston, SC and there are two bridges that are on schedules that keep them closed during the “rush hour” in both Beaufort and Charleston. We had to be through the Ladies Island Swing Bridge (Beaufort) before 0700 in order to make the Wappoo Creek Bridge in Charleston that is to be closed from 1600-1830 for “rush hour” on that end.


 

Date: April 27, 2008
Departing From: St. Marys, GA
Destination: Brunswick, GA/ Port Royal Sound, SC
Distance: 129 Nm
Departure Time: 1000
Arrival Time: 0315April 28, 2008
Time in Transit: 15 Hrs. 15 Min.

Weather: Clear, sunny & very warm, beautiful night lots of stars.

I will try to explain the discrepancy in the various topics in the heading.
We awoke with the thought of trying to make Hilton Head, SC in daylight. The reason for this is that GA is a very tedious and stressful portion of the ICW in that it is very curvy and in actuality the distance covered vs. the distance traveled is very different. In addition there are portions that can only be transited at high tide due to severe shallow spots. It is the ICW cruisers desire to avoid Georgia at all costs. With this in mind we had decided to go to Brunswick and spend the night and get an early start on Monday and make the run to Hilton Head in daylight. Unfortunately the words, “plans and cruising” do not belong in the dictionary of boating terms. We awoke to a problem with the master head (bathroom). We tried without success to solve the problem and called Hal and he advised us that there was NO ONE in St. Marys, regardless of the day, that he felt could fix our problem. We called Brunswick Landing Marina and made a reservation for the night and they gave us the name of someone who could help us. This is normally a situation that is solved by the boat owner and very seldom needs the help of an outside person. Due to the fact that this head (the toilet a vital part of the Master Head) is new to me I opted for professional help the first time. As we were traveling to Brunswick Marge asked if she could give the head repair a “shot”. Not being to chauvinistic I said fine. An hour latter she appeared to announce that all was well and we did not need the “professional” to fix the head. We then convened a meeting of the Admiral (Marge) & Captain (Jim) (the Admiral out ranks the Captain) and discussed our options. We again consulted the weather and the Admiral decided “what the hell lets go”. So we departed Brunswick for the open sea. In the meantime we had contacted Pete & Pat Judd, of Bermuda fame, and scheduled a dinner in Beaufort, SC for Monday night. Knowing that Hilton Head was not an option in the dark; we opted for Port Royal Sound the entrance to Paris Island Marine Base. We divided up the night into watches starting a 2100 and Marge prepared a great meal of fresh green beans, broiled fish and a sweet potato casserole that she bought at the Farmers Market. A great meal and a beautiful evening on the open ocean; as the sun set we started our watch schedule. Marge turned at 2100 and I would run the boat until 2300. I came on at 2300 until 0100. Marge had the hard part as we approached the Savannah River and the entrance to the port of Savannah the shipping traffic got quite intense. When I came on at 2300 she was praising the virtues of AIS (Automatic Identification System) a vital piece of electronic equipment if you are traveling off shore especially when encountering commercial traffic whether it be during daylight, fog or night time. As I came on at 2300 and Marge went to bed we were approaching the entrance of Port Royal Sound. As a point of information; it is preferred to enter an unknown harbour in daylight hours. In some instances this is not the case, as was this case. We had selected Port Royal Sound for a number of reasons. First & foremost it is a “Class A” channel which means it has the maximum number of navigational aids to allow for a safe entry. It is well dredged and wide. There are a limited number of shoals and there is no danger of surf in the conditions we had.

The second reason was there was an anchorage near the entrance where we could anchor and get some sleep and proceed to our ultimate destination of Beaufort, SC in day light on Monday morning.
We arrived at the Sea Buoy at 0100 and made the turn down the channel. As anticipated we made the entire trip to sheltered waters by about 0230. After making the turn into the Beaufort River it was only a matter of about 30 minuets until we found our anchorage and the “hook” (anchor) was down in 20’ of water and engine off by 0315.

Needless to say we both were relieved to be “hook down” and stopped so we could both relax and turn in.

It was a long day(?) but worth it Georgia is no longer on our minds.

 


 

Date: April 24, 2008
Departing From: Palm Coast, FL
Destination: St. Augustine, FL
Distance: 24.0 Nm
Departure Time: 0945
Arrival Time: 1310
Time in Transit: 3 Hrs. 25 Min.

Weather: Clear and cool wind still brisk and out of the Northeast.

As reported yesterday today would be a day of decisions on the fly.
Decision one was we could not run outside due to seas running 6-8’ and wind out of the NE @ 15-25. The first opportunity to run outside would have occurred at St. Augustine. Tomorrow does not look much better. In the meantime we determined that the bridge in question near Jacksonville is NOT working as it should and is on a very abbreviated schedule.

Decision two was that we could not make it to the bridge in question so it was decided to stop in St. Augustine for the night and get an early start tomorrow and get to the bridge for it’s opening at 1200. Based on the information that we have the only opportunity to pass thru the bridge is between 1200 & 1300. Otherwise we are out of luck until 1800. So based on this we are off around 0800 and if all works well we will be in St. Mary’s GA tomorrow night at the home of Hal & Marcia for dinner. The boat will be at a marina in St. Mary’s. We will also decide if we will return to Vero to see our doctor there and then decide our next move(s).

The run up to St. Augustine was very benign and quite nice. Nothing spectacular, it is always nice to see the dolphins playing along side the boat and keeping us company along the waterway. In keeping with watching wild life on the waterway; we did see a Manatee in a Manatee Zone the other day. There are so many Manatee Zones in Florida it is amazing that any boating gets done at all. When you are in a Manatee Zone your speed is reduced and you are supposed to be very diligent so you do not hit them as they are very big and VERY slow. Well we did see a Manatee in a Manatee Zone for the first time ever. At least these thee Manatee’s knew where they belonged.

We stopped at a marina new to us as we have anchored in this area in the past. A place called Comanche Cove. Quite up scale with lots of homes and shops and a restaurant that is good for casual dining. Because we got in early and Marge deserved a galley break we had lunch there.

This afternoon is devoted to getting caught up on odd jobs, paper work, log writing, and Marge’s Solid Vision projects.
Up early tomorrow to make it the bridge by noon.


 

Date: April 23, 2008
Departing From: Daytona Beach, Fl
Destination: Palm Coast, FL
Distance: 24.7 Nm
Departure Time: 1145
Arrival Time: 1555
Time in Transit: 4 Hrs. 5 Min.

Weather: Clear but cool. Wind 20-30 NE

We departed late due to the need to pick up my prescription at Walgreen’s I now have a “Z Pack” of drugs that will hopefully take care of my cold. It is a five day regimen so only time will tell. We are making contingency plans in the event this does not work.

This leg of the trip is very sheltered and protected so the wind at 20-30 did not pose any threat or concern. There was a short stretch of the ICW that had waves of 1-2’ but they were very close together and only created some spray that was a pain and did nothing except put some salt on the windows and stainless. This will have to be washed off tonight. Once we got into the really sheltered part of the ICW it was like a mill pond and the only diversion was watching the wind speed. It topped out at 35.

Marge is busy getting all the “fixing’s” ready for tonight’s Lasagna dinner with Charlie, Rose & George. She is planning to have it ready to put in the oven when we arrive. Needless to say most of the driving is being done by me. Marge has done her share all ready. We discovered today via e-mail that one of the bridges in Jacksonville is on a restricted schedule and might really mess us up unless we can go outside from St. Augustine. Stay tuned for more.

Once arriving in Palm Coast we took a short walk to a new area of shops that people have said are quite nice. It was ok, a couple of restaurants, some clothing stores & wine and cigars bars. We did pick up some garlic bread for tonight’s dinner to go with the lasagna. It would have been nicer if the weather was a little warmer and I felt better. The cold is really starting to get to me. We will see how the new meds work tomorrow and the next day.

Marge’s efforts to prepare a spectacular dinner paid off. Our guests arrived around 1800 and a good time was had by all the dinner was wonderful. Very little left over for tomorrow. The garlic bread was also quite good. Everyone had a good time reminiscing and catching up on family matters. Everyone went home around 2100 as George & Rose were off to Tampa early to see the Red Sox & Tampa play on Thursday & Friday.

We are now planning our strategy to get to St. Mary’s GA where our friends Hal & Marcia Parisen live. If the bridge is still a problem we cannot get there tomorrow. If it is too rough outside we still cannot run outside. Stay tuned as tomorrow will be a day of decisions on the fly.


 

Date: April 22, 2008
Departing From: No departure
Destination: No destination
Distance: 00.0 Nm
Departure Time: Arrival Time:
Time in Transit: Hrs. Min.

Weather: Clear and very nice.
Lay Day Daytona Beach, Florida.
Today was a day to visit with some of Marge’s relatives the Kamishlian’s as well as their son Bob and daughter and Son in Law Irene & Phil McReynolds. It was a good time as Phil works for the Daytona International Speedway and got us tickets for a tour of the track including the infield and the various garages and the track as well. Quite impressive. We were told that when going around the turns which have a 31dg bank you must maintain at least 90 MPH otherwise the car will roll down the banked turn. If you wanted to stand on the turn you would have to lean into the turn and touch the track in order to stop from falling down. When we stop again we would like to spend some more time there as there are some very interesting things to see as well as what we have seen on this trip.

Irene & Phil had us for a wonderful cook out at their home and a good time was had by all. The fare included steak, chicken and all the fixings. A delicieous meal. Bob gave us a ride home and we prepared for our departure to Palm Coast to visit Charlie Piligian, Marge’s uncle, and Rose & George Torosian.

In the meantime I have been trying to fight off a very “pesky” cold with no success. I have e-mailed my doctor in Boston and given him the symptoms. I have since gotten a response and he will be phoning in a prescription to the local Walgreen’s and hopefully I will be on the mend.

 


 

Date: April 21, 2008
Departing From: Titusville, FL Destination: Daytona Beach, FL
Distance: 42.3 Nm
Departure Time: 0930
Arrival Time: 1630
Time in Transit: 7 Hrs. 0 Min.

Weather: Spectacular. The cold front that came through cooled things down nicely.

This leg is one of the more boring of the trip. We have to transit an area called Mosquito Lagoon. A body of water north of the Kennedy Space Center that is very shallow and not appealing visually. Eventually you do come into some population areas and eventually into Daytona Beach. As we approached Daytona Beach we had been warned of some serious shoaling and dredging activity in the Ponce Inlet area. The radio had been quite active with advisories and chatter among the other boaters transiting the area. As we came upon the dredge we noticed a sailboat that was apparently aground. As we got closer this was the case. A small outboard was trying to pull him off but with no success. He asked us to try and we made an effort but there was little room to maneuver between the dredge and sailboat. The dredge captain told us if we wanted to transit the area to stay 10-15’ off the dredge and we would have plenty of room. In the meantime the dredge was conducting dredging operations in essence blocking the channel about half of the time. On a swing of the dredge we did manage to get through. Leaving the dredge about 15’ of clearance and the sailboat about 10’ of clearance. Considering we are 16’ wide you can imagine there was not a lot of room for error. All in all this activity delayed our arrival in Daytona Beach by about 45 minuets. Not that we had a schedule. We arrived at the Halifax River Yacht Club and checked in. This club is one of the Florida Yacht Council clubs and has very generous reciprocal arrangements with other clubs in the Council. First night free, second night $35.00 at this club. The normal cost to dock at commercial marina on this trip could run as much as $3.00 per foot. Anything below $2.00 is a deal. In New England and South Florida $3.00 is a deal. Halifax River Y.C. is a completely new facility replacing one that was nearly 80 years old. They have done an outstanding job.

Tomorrow will be a “lay day” ( a day of staying in one place) to visit with Marge’s relatives and take a tour of the Daytona International Speedway. We had dinner on board and considered the options for continuing on Wednesday. It looks like Palm Coast where Marge also has relatives in that community.

 


Date:  April 20, 2008        
Departing From:  Vero Beach, FL   
Destination:  Titusville, FLDistance: 64.4 Nm
Departure Time: 0945         
Arrival Time: 1915                  
Time in Transit: 9  Hrs. 30 Min.

Weather: Clear and very nice. Wind west to North West less than 15 knots. A cold front is passing through the area tonight. No significant effect on us is expected.

We left Vero amid waves and kisses from our dock buddies and Pam Cork our good friend and able Captain as well as dock master at the Quail Valley River Club. We will be seeing Pam again this summer as she has accepted a position on Glory a 100’ motor yacht. Part of their summer will be spent in New England waters. It will be good to see her back in her element. Driving and working big boats.

Our destination is Titusville, FL about 61 Nautical Miles. This is a significant run for us but in order to make our first stop in Daytona Beach on Monday it is necessary. Tomorrow will be in the 40 mile range. In addition to making a long run on the first day it gives us a chance to put some “miles in the bank” in the event that we get held up further along in the trip. A normal 7-8 hour day is around 50 miles. It also helps that the days are getting longer so we can run longer if we feel like it. We have been known to run for 12 hours if we are feeling good and the weather is in our favour.

The first day is always the one that gets the cobwebs out of the systems both on the boat and the crew. We had no problems with either. The stuffing box is within limits, all the filters that I changed are leak free and Marge has become reacquainted with “flying by wire.” That means she is driving the boat with the hand held remote. Twist the knob right or left and the boat goes right or left. Very easy and not stressful at all.

We did see an occasional shower around Melbourne. Some sever weather did pop us behind us in the Sebastian area but did not effect us. We arrived at Titusville, FL anchorage with plenty of day light left and settled down for a quiet night. When we left Vero I had a persistent cough and the beginnings of a cold had been present for a few days. As the day progressed so did the symptoms. Marge got little sleep and we are calling ahead to Marge’s relatives as well as my doctor to get some prescriptions or an appointment. We are planning to spend the day in Daytona any way because Marge’s relatives work at Daytona International Speedway and have arranged for a tour of the facility. We are looking forward to that.

The night at the anchorage was very pleasant and the full moon was spectacular. Off to Daytona Beach in the AM

 






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