Sea Fever Gulf 32

Sea Fever Gulf 32

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Jacksonville Beach

Sea Fever and Compass Rose are spending the night at the Palm Cove Marina in Jacksonville Beach. Got into our slips about 3:30 and went out for BBQ and to reprovision.  Soon after we got back to the  boats the thunder storm that has been "hovering" most of the day hit. About 10 minutes of heavy rain and now its clearing out, hopefully for the night.
Tomorrow we plan to hit the mooring field at Fernadina beach.... as long as Sea Fever steers clear of that shoal just south of town...or maybe our last pass rhru there 'fixed' the channel.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

we made it to St Augustine by early afternoon

Took the marina's shuttle to town and did some more exploring including a late lunch at the Cruisers Grill, a hike to the sailors exchange and, of course, a quick stop at the Tradewinds pub for happy hour before heading, past this statue of Ponce DeLeon, to the marina for the last shuttle run back to our boats.
Tomoorow we'll head out about 9:30 for the Palm Cove marina at Jacksonville Beach. Should get there by mid afternoon, in time to pick up provisions.
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This morning's visitor...Green treefrog

I have no idea how this little fella got on the boat... the winds were consistently pushing Sea Fever away from the dock... but there he was, is the cockpit by the companionway this morning.
I put him ashore in the grass before we dropped the dock lines and left Marineland for St Augustine's mooring field.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Addison Point to Marineland Marine... Spot 'pings'

Checkout this link for the course we took.

After TS Beryl...all is well

Winds picked up steadily through yesterday afternoon and evening, and by dark were howling pretty strong. Rain came in waves off and on through the night. Not sure of official numbers but we are about 30-40 miles south of Beryl's landfall and winds there were a steady 70 with gusts to 85. I'm sure we were running at least 50+ with higher gusts...not a very restful night!
But... everyone here at Marineland marina road it out well!

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Awaiting Tropical Storm Beryl

Well, winds have been picking up all day and as we keep checking the various weather sources, seems the track is now showing landfall a bit south of Jacksonville...meaning a bit closer to here.  I decided to remove more canvas and wrapped the bimini given we may be getting winds from directly astern at some point.
Current predictions are for 30-35 with gusts to 50 mph from the N, shifting to the S and diminishing by midnight...this could be a long night!

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Sea Fever and Compass Rose secured for TS Beryll...

At least we hope we are adequately secured.

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This morning's sunrise doesn't look threatening!

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King Neptune presides...Marineland statue garden

Saturday we did some cleaning up of the boats and had a nice lunch of blackened mahi mahi at the "Snack Shack" associated with the Marineland facility. It was a food truck but served, apparently, the same menu as its main restuarant a few miles down the coastal highway.
Afterwards we joined the other cruisers beginning preparations for today's predicted landfall of TS Beryll, just north of here.
They are predicting 20-25 mph winds gusting to 35 here, but just north they're talking 30-35 gusting to 50.  They are also calling for potential 5-10' storm surge which could impact us on the docks here.  but...We won't know til it hits.

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sunset over Sea Fever at dock at Marineland Marina

After a VERY long day, fighting the tide for 7+ hours (we can not figure out how no matter what tide stage we were at, it waz always against us), we arrived at Marineland. Thiz os a great little marina with very accomodating staff, right at the old Marineland site. The old facility is now more for education than sbows and they have a nature trail and do eco kayak tours, along with a very nice marina facility.

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Daytona to Marineland Marina5/25

This is why you don't leave the helm on the ICW. This guy is not more than 50' from the channel. Had a brand new UsA flag flying so maybe someone has hope of recovery..

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The Danci.g Avacado Kitchen...Daytona

Once we filled our diesel and water tanks at Halifax Harbor Marina and got Sea Fever and Compass Rose settled in at the anchorage, we headed ashoee in search of lunch.  Found a nice little neighborhood BBQ spot, but they only did take out and had no place for us to sit. So on we trekked to a spot Tom had googled...with a 60's sort of hippie theme going we decided to relive our teens...  it didn't disappoint.  Batik is back...right.

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Thursday 5.24 Rockhouse Crrek to Daytona...Bird island

This is just one of many ianss we passed that was covered with birds.. egrets, herons, pelicans...

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Compass Rose in Rockhouse Creek sunrise

Beautiful calm morning here so far, but for the first time the mosquitos and no-see ums chased me out of the cockpit at sunrise. Had to use repellent...

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New Smyrna became Rockhouse Creek...5-23-12

We made it to the anchorage off New Smyrna a bit after 3 and dropped the anchors, but the combination of wind and tide had both Sea Fever and Compass Rose swinging all over the place, including a bit into the channel. We could either get little sleep as we kept constant anchor watch or we could hoist anchor and move about 4 miles further toward Daytona.
So... here we are, at Rockhouse Creek, a nice little anchorage off rhe ICW between the two accesses to Ponce inlet. 
Had dinner on Compass Rose and watched another nice sunset.

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Another bridge...

This one in the haulover canal - the passage between the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon.
Just as Sea Fever was approaching the opened bridge there was something large floating at the surface dead ahead. "What in the world?... wow a really big manatee!".  Quick swerve so you don't hit it... as it liesurely raises its flipper out of the water and 'dives'

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Titusville to New Smyrna...or not

Wednesday morning we left Titusville anchorage with the weathermen's promise of southernly winds, 5-15. So...out with the gennys, even before we were out of the mooring field. Seemed to be doing ok at first, but winds were more northerly than from the south and then they just..weren't... Pulled the sail in and out as it seemed to give power or not through the day, then Sea Fever gave up and motored. Compass Rose got her main up and by the last hour or so was gettiing in some gteat sailing.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Yes, another tiki bar... we are back!

Well, after all the excitement of the space shot we had to hit the Titusville "space memorial" tiki bar.  3 dollar can we go wrong!?!

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From Addison Point to Titusville

It was only a 7-8 mile run from our anchorage to the mooring field in Titusville this morning.  Shot this pix of a guy fishing with NASA i. the background.

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Sunrise after the space launch

This is about 3 hours after lift-off as the sun  ame up just to the right of Canavarel. The tower to the far left, I believe, is where they launched from.

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Tuesday 5.22.12- Addison Point, FL

Monday afternoon Sea Fever and Compass Rose left Cocoa and are now anchored off Addison Point, directly across the Indian River and ICW from NASA.  At 3:44 this morning we all got up and had a spectacular, unobstructed view of the space launch.  It was like slow motion- and silent- at first.  Then the sound hit us with a ROAR! we watched for about 3 minutes- then it was over and the craft was just another 'star in the sky'. 

To see our progress up the ICW since we got back to the USA, go to my spot adventure:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ready for a space launch!

While I was on a conference call today, Tom and Sara did some more exploring, including getting more information on a scheduled space launch from Cape Canaveral. So... as soon as I was off the call.. up anchor..and away we go!
We are now anchored off Addison point along the NASA causeway
and directly across the ICW from the space center.  Latest word is that this will be the first commercial space craft to be launched to resupply the space 3:44 a.m...

Well, we will see who all makes it up and if they launch happens..and if we can get any pictures.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sailing with the wind..our approach to Cocoa- 5.20.12

Sea Fever and Compass Rose left Melbourne/Indialantic this morning for Cocoa, with hopes that winds would be favorable and allow us to sail there.  We actually got our main sails up for a short time, but the wind wasn't cooperative.  The boats in the picture were sailing down wind, in the opposite direction of us, as we approached the Cocoa anchorage this afternoon.
We plan to stay in Cocoa 2 nights, and then head on to Titusville.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

5.19.12 On the ICW east of Melbourne FL

Sea Fever and Compass Rose are now anchored off the ICW in Indialamtic...on the ocean side of the ICW from Melbourne.  Had a good trip here with winds about 15-18, from the NNE...Compass Rose was better able to use the wind since Tom got the mai. sail up so was able to head closer to the wind. Sea Fever unfurled and refurled the Genny to take advantage of the wind when the angle was right. which was sporadic.
It is still windy so we'll send the night on our boats instead of venturing for a walk on the beach.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

sunset at Riverside Cafe, Vero Beach

Another day another tiki bar.  Yes, we are back in the USA.
Tom, Sara and I had our last happy hour here in Vero and after refueling ans filli g our water tanks today will be heaxing on north ro Melbourne, tomorrow.

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Vero Beach sunrise - 5/18/12

Well, we are officially back in the USA.
Got to Vero Beach mooring field Wed. afternoon and got real showers and hit the local tiki bar. Then yesterday we, well.... we went to Walmart... yes...we are home... we took the free city bus (a great service Vero Beach offers to all sections of town), did some shopping at a box store and then on to West Marine, where I got a new "big boy" life jacket for G3, my grandson... (he plans to join me on the trip back to Charleston as soon as he is out of school.)
We also joined a group of marina guests at the Thursday night BYOB happy hour and got to share cruising stories with other boaters.
Seems my  house batteries are really about gone now. Even after  30 hours of running across 'the stream' they could only keep the fridge going about 10 hours without my having to run the engine again.  I contemplated picking up 2 group 29 batteries while I was at Walmart and getting at least one battery bank updated, but decided that was something that should really be done at a dock. So at least for now, I'll try to hold off until I get back to Charleston. What this means is that I'll have to run the engine each evening and morning too, on days we don't travel. Hopefully, I won't lose too much fresh meat, etc. by the temps getting into the "danger zone".

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Then there is the ICW!

So,  after 6 weeks off nothing but wide open spaces...the sea of abaco  - where for miles in any direction we had 7 to 10 foot depths, or more (yes there are sand bars but they are well marked on the chartplotter). we are now back in the ICW, that pencil thin strip of water with 1-3 foot depths just feet from the center line. So much for "otto" taking control...

We are now in Vero Beach on city marina moorings.
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Now that we are back in the USA...

Well, we're back in the States and now have to readjust to these 'civilized' ways.
This morning I had to get a cab to the St Lucie airport to check back into the States with customs (the agent that boarded Sea Fever is not associated with the check-in office).  Tom and Sara have rhe local boaters option so only had to call in. Next time I'll do the same. 
So, back from Customs (thanks for the dinghy ride, Tom), time to start engines and head to the moorings at Vero Beach. First thing under the bridge and request an opening. Go to 16 - "Ft Pierce north bridge this is Sea Fever"..."bridges monitor channel 9, Captain" whoops... sorry...its been a while... so called again, on 9, and the bridge opened... Sea Fever and Compass Rose are now officially "heading home".

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Green Turtle Cay to Ft. Pierce- the long trek back!

Well, today, 5/16/12, Sea Fever, Compass Rose and Mindfulness sit at anchor in Ft. Pierce FL- back in the USA after our Bahamian adventure.  The decision to head home came unexpectedly fast.  We were in Green Turtle Cay, after moving from anchor in White Sound to Black Sound moorings on Thurs. 5/10- after the storms went through- causing at least 6 boats to drag (including Sea Fever and Mindfulness), and including sightings of 3 water spouts. After the first wave of storms hit- Mindfulness pulled anchor and headed across the Sea of Abaco for westerly protection- they were out there when the water spouts hit- and the were hit by funnel- and got video- warning us that they were coming.  Anyway, after the next wave came through and we all survived the water spouts, Sea Fever and Compass Rose moved to mooring in Black Sound.  We spent Thurs and Friday there, refilled diesel, and after listening to the weather decided to start slowly moving toward Great Sale Cay to stage for a crossing.  By the time we got going- winds were favorable- we kept going and going- passing several of the 'options' we had to spend the night.  We wound up at Crab Cay, where we were able to reach Mindfulness by VHF- they were in Allan-Pensicola- just north of us.  We all decided to head for Great Sale in the morning and stage to cross.
 Compass Rose on the way from Green Turtle to Crab Cay 5.12.12
 Final Bahama's sunset for this trip- Great Sale Cay 5.13.12
Sunday morning we had more favorable winds and started our way to Great Sale, a 40 nm run- which we made in 8 hours. Dropped anchor and prepared for the next leg.  Mindfulness had tried to anchor outside but it was too rough, so they decided to head on to Mangrove Cay- another 25 miles! (I was too beat for that.)
Improvising- light winds from the East on the way from Crab Cay to Great Sale- boat hook used to hold out Genny.
Shoals to starboard on the way to Great Sale
 Why they recommend NOT traveling at night and to use your Chartplotter- Sale Rocks, and other rocky areas are all over this part of the Bahama Banks!

When we got up Monday morning, the plan was to go about 51 nm to the edge of Little Bahama Bank, drop the anchor and rest for about 5 hours before we'd head across the Gulf Stream to Ft Pierce.  We had  light winds from the east so had to motor sail again, and as we were crossing the bank there were thunderstorms all around us.  Luckily, we were not in their paths- but some were closer than we'd like.
Compass Rose crossing Little Bahama bank  under full sail
Water spouts trying to form as we crossed the bank- luckily they never formed!

Well, underway we heard from Mindfulness- they had heard a weather forecast saying that the Gulf Stream was calm and though winds would be light over night, storms were predicted for Monday... they were going straight across.  What should we do?  Stop as planned at the edge and rest for a few hours, or try to keep ahead of the storms and cross without stopping.... of course. intrepid souls that we are... let's sail on!  hmmm.. no sleep for 24 plus hours?  well- better than rocking and rolling in the middle of thunder-lightening and sideways rain- right? So, we went into idle speed as we hit the edge, Compass Rose added fuel, Sea Fever got out the crackers, peanut butter, and 4 bottles of water, and into gear we go... no stop!
Sunset over the Bahama Bank as we 'go over the edge' and into the open Atlantic- 'crossing the stream'.

Well- no more pictures now, until the sun comes up.  We were in very light winds and gentle rollers- Sea Fever opted to motor across- no way I wanted to be out on the deck trying to fix a wrapped line and fall over with no one knowing it!.  Compass rose got out their genny part of the trip.  Then.. we were surrounded by darkness.  We both had plugged in the line to Ft Pierce so could get 'there from here', but we wanted to be sure to stay together, so Sea fever fell in line behind Compass Rose and kept an eye on the bright "back porch light' and the mast head light- that was about all I saw for the next 10 hours- except, of course the 2 huge cruise ships that crossed our paths in the middle of the night.  The mast light seemed to be swinging from water to water- though I know it wasn't that far! Then we were facing the most fantastic light show- lightening cracking all over- lighting up the sky all around us- luckily it stayed in front of us and we made it to daybreak!
Compass Rose fighting the Gulf Stream at dawn

We made it to the shelf, headed to Ft Pierce and the long trip 9we thought we were home, but it took about 5 more hours to reach the Ft Pierce inlet)... and... Sea Fever was stopped and boarded by Customs and Border Patrol... why did they pick me???  Anyway, very professional and courteous agent came abord, looked at my ids, and vessel documents, did a quick search of the boat and then sent me on the way to catch up with Compass Rose as we entered the inlet.
According to my GPS- it was supposed to be dead low tide, with water just starting to push us in through the inlet...NOT!!! as you can see- we were fighting a STRONG outgoing tide- and the rollers... way worse than the Gulf Stream (of course, it was dark out there so maybe they were bigger than we thought, but..) I thought this one was going to fill Compass Rose's cockpit!  It took another 45 minutes to make it thru the inlet to the anchorage just north on the iCW- (28 hours with no sleep.. please let us get to the anchorage soon!)  Made it.  Dropped th anchors, tried to get a little sleep- then hit the tiki bar at Harbortown Marina!

First sunrise on returning the good ole' US of A!

Go to my spot adventure site to follow the 'pings' as we made the trek from Green Turtle to Ft Pierce!
Spot pings from Green turtle to USA

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

2-9 May- Marsh Harbor to Green Turtle Cay

We are expecting winds over 20 and 50% chance of rain and thunder storms for the next few days, so we plan to stay here in White souond for at least a few days.  Compass Rose got an unpleasant wake up call this morning when a 40' catamaran dragged anchor, caught on their anchor chain, and bumped her starboard side.  With help from the dinghies, keeping the cat back off the hull, the anchor was freed and there was no apparent major damage to Compass Rose.  The cat moved for a short time the ducked 'outa Dodge'.

The track for the last week, from Marsh Harbor, to Hopetown, Fisher Bay off great Guana Cay, Treasure Cay, and back here to Green Turtle Cay can be found at my spot adventure sight:
spot adventure pings

For some reason, possibly high tide, about a dozen boats, mostly power, all decided to leave at the same time this morning- creating quite a traffic jam at the narrow channel entrance:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

8 May, in Green Turtle Cay

Well, after a nice dinner with our criusing friend Reggie, on Adrenalin 1 last night, including a game of cards with Tom and Sara, Sea Fever and Compass Rose left Treasure Cay for Green Turtle Cay this morning.

Sunrise at treasure Cay, 5.8.12
  Winds started out favorably, and we were able to get under full sail for the first hour or so, then winds were off our sterns and we brought down our mains to prevent an unwanted jibe.  Winds were going about 15 much of the day, and we made it around Whale Cay...out into the ocean... and back without any problems.
Waves crashing on the 'outside' of Whale Cay as we make
our approach back into the Sea of Abaco

We have made it back into White Sound now, and have reunited with Mindfulness. Seems we are all talking now about making our way back to Great Sail Cay, and making the crossing back to Ft Pierce.  That likely won't be for another week or so... there are still more Cays to see and reefs to dive on the way north and west.
Compass Rose, under her genny, passing through the Green Turtle Cay anchorage
on the way to White Sound

Seems we'll be headed in to the Green Turtle Club for this evenings happy hour.  Have to try one more of their 'tipsy turtle' signature rum drinks..

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fisher Bay, Great Guana Cay 5-6-12

Before leaving Hopetown we climbed to the top of the lighthouse and took in the phenomenal views:

Sea Fever and Compass Rose from top of lighthouse

Sea Fever and Compass Rose made the trek from Hopetown to Great Guana yesterday morning.  There was no wind so we motored the entire way (about 12 miles) and picked up moorings in Fishers Bay.  This is a nice little anchorage, but the bottom is covered in Turtle grass so we decided on the moorings rather than worry about dragging over night.
On the way over the water was so smooth we could see bottom very clearly the entire way- even at over 20 feet of water.

Fisher Bay:
Grabbers bed, bar and grill...and Beach!

Dive Guana- mooring owners

We had planned on staying here at least 2 nights, but with the wind shift we are thinking of moving back to Treasure Cay later today. We'll see what the beach and area at Nippers is like and decide later today whether we'll stay or move.

Nice sunny day so far! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Well, it is May 4th and Sea Fever and Compass Rose are in Hopetown
(  provides the route from Marsh Harbour to Hopetown), this will be our furthest point on this cruise, as we will start meandering back once we leave here. 

We spent a week in Marsh Harbour and got in the sites there including several visits to Snappas (to use the wifi, of course) and were able to reprovision at the Abacos' largest grocery store (Maxwell's).  Mindfulness had joined us but left to find (hopefully) a good snorkel spot while the winds were relatively light- off Fowl Cay.  

 Mindfulness, heading out of Marsh harbour in search of a good dive site
Our cruising friend, Reggie, heading back to Treasure Cay

 Hopetown Lighthouse at dusk- we plan to climb to the top today
 Cap'n Jack's- local pub- right off our bows here in Hopetown

 Lighthouse at dawn

We plan to stay in Hopetown until Saturday, then head up to Great Guana Cay to meet back up with Mindfulness.