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We definitely covered a fair amount of ground in the past few days. From Beaufort, SC, we put in a long day of ICW motoring to get us across the Georgia border. We bypassed Savannah and spent the night at Turner Creek, a cool little anchorage with a very convenient grocery store right by the dinghy dock. One 9:00 PM dinghy ride to the store and we had ZTC all re-provisioned.

Spurred on by the very cold mornings we had been having and the upcoming circuitous traveling that we knew would be coming through Georgia, both Rebecca and I and our friends on Knot Tide Down were anxious to jump outside and make a leap to Florida. Our initial weather forecast didn’t show great conditions but upon checking again yesterday morning, and receiving first-hand reports from our friends on Sabbaticus who were already out there, we consulted our charts and made a quick decision to pop outside at Ossabaw Sound. Our destination was Fernandina Beach, FL and it took us 15.5 hours from anchor up to anchor down, almost exactly 12 of those hours spent out on the ocean. Although some higher winds would have been nice, the conditions were almost ideal for a leisurely motor down the coast. There was a long-period swell on stern quarter that we rode for most of the way and the light winds even clocked around to allow us to at least pretend that we still had a sailboat by unfurling our jib. We departed Turner Creek at exactly 6:00 AM wearing multiple sweaters, foul weather clothes, gloves and toques but by early afternoon, we were sunbathing on the bow sans-suits (we need to work to get our tan back).

Our intention is to hang out in the area for at least the next day or so. Both Rebecca and I, and our hard-working Yamaha engines, need a break.

The swing bridge just before the anchorage at Beaufort, SC. We were held captive on the other side of that bridge for an entire hour.

I hope no one is looking for this marker!

It is awesome watching these birds crash dive into the water while hunting for fish.

I think our charting program needs a little multihull icon. That triangle doesn’t look a thing like ZTC.

This shows our route down to Fernandino Beach, FL.

Our traveling companions on m/v Knot Tide Down.

A marker breaks up the wide expanse of water.

We even had to make a course change to dodge a log while way out here!

The dolphins came to play for a bit.

As we were not required to stay in a very narrow channel as we did the other day, we were able to enjoy this spectacular sunset.

Our friends no doubt were enjoying it too.

Our first real night time sailing.

Not only our first night time sailing but we also had to navigate our way into a new-to-us inlet. There were a LOT of lights to figure out.

16 Comments

  1. Wow, you’re already in Florida! The tropics are getting close! Glad your first night-time sailing went well. That had to be so cool.

  2. Wow, Mike, lots of progress and a great update! I love those days that start off with a chill and hit au-naturel temperatures by the time you’re done lunch. Happens all the time up north, first one up lights the fire, then the bright sun starts hitting the dock…..

    Kingston still has a few crazies out on the water (kiteboarders, of course) but three or four times this week, we’ve had the same weather and waves you’ve been reporting from down south. It makes me wish I hadn’t already pulled the engine and started Sunset Chaser‘s winter refit.

    Of course, Lake Ontario doesn’t have dolphins. Those alone are probably worth the trip out to Georgia and the Carolinas.

  3. I envy you right now! Our final destination was to be Jacksonville FL. We got there but unfortunately it was via a rental car. We were sooooo close too and the weather was going to be perfect.
    Oh well, we’ll be back at it after Christmas when we head down to Charleston and pick up our newly repaired naughty Knotty Cat.

  4. I don’t care how long I sail, I won’t ever learn to like a new inlet at night. Red and green trafic lights. Street lights and dock lights. Very little depth perception.

    I might be temped to run all night with 2 of you, and skip the problem. I’ve done it to avoid bad weather, it was no big deal… but we didn’t try to sail the next day, just lounged, gald to have missed a storm.

    I assume you were inside the Stream. No current?

    • We must have been inside the gulf stream as there was no opposing current. Our friends were ahead of us going in the inlet (I think) and they have done it before (in daylight). It was challenging to even keep our eyes on them though.

  5. You aren’t escaping me THAT easily 😉

  6. Okay guys, you are almost to St. Augustine! If you need anything give me a call or shoot an email.

    Night sailing = awesome!

    Entering a new location at night = nail-biting, but only if you release the death-grip from the wheel!

    Fair Winds,
    Mike

    • Hi Mike

      We were just talking about you and Susan a few hours ago as I saw a cat here and guessed that it was a Maine Cat. It would be cool to meet up regardless of whether or not we need anything. I am sure we’ll be to St. Augustine shortly. How long are you going to be there?

  7. Congratulations, you two, on reaching Florida! Oh, how I wish I were there, too! Ah well, perhaps soon. Enjoy!

  8. Ahhh Florida. What memories I have!

    It’s so different from anything here and I really did love it. Isn’t it nice to be WARM all of the time? I LOVE that feeling… get up in the morning and it’s warm; step outside at night and it’s warm. Never ever feel chilly or cold. Mmmmm!! Lucky you!!!

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