On to Sisters Creek

After the whirlwind visit to St. Augustine, which was basically a laundry stop and a visit to Scarlet O’Hara’s restaurant, we continued northbound. I know we missed you Joe and Grace, but we’ll have more time on the way south this winter. Leaving St. Augustine was in a word…cold. So, piled on the layers and away we went. While the weather this trip has been certainly better then the weather in Maryland, it’s been colder rather then warmer. I believe in the months we were in the keys we saw 80 degrees or more maybe only half a dozen times.  The cold fronts just kept coming through. It was one of the few times we’ve had to use the heat that far south. Now, being almost at the Florida Georgia line, heat is a daily necessity.

The run from St. Augustine to Sister’s Creek is fairly diverse with periods of nothingness followed by stretches with beautiful homes. Shortly after leaving St. Augustine I made a really stupid, or what I think was stupid, mistake. As I rounded a corner I came upon five Customs boats. They had one boat stopped and it looked to me as if the corner was blockaded. So I got on the radio and here’s what I said, ” This is the northbound catamaran El Camino calling the Customs boats at marker 47. Can I pass through here?” As soon as I un-keyed the mic, I realized what I had done. If they were there set up to catch drug boats or boats coming into the US illegally, I just gave away their position to anyone within a ten mile radius. Stupid, stupid, stupid. They let me pass, but they had to be a little upset.

Our original plans were to stop at Fernandina Beach but it was so cold we cut it short at Sisters Creek. Sisters Creek now has a new floating dock that is about 250-300 feet long. There’s water here but no electricity, which is ok because the dock is free! You can stay up to 72 hours and there’s a gentleman here that will take you into town if you need supplies. It’s quite and super easy to get into. Previously, we had to anchor out here in the strong current, so the dock is nice. We’re going to end up spending two nights here because I woke up this morning feeling under the weather and decided to stay. The bad part about that is we were supposed to meet up with our friends Pat and Doug in Fernandina today, instead we’ll meet them tomorrow. We’re both looking forward to seeing them again.

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The fort at St. Augustine. One of these trips we're gonna have to tour it inside..

The fort at St. Augustine. One of these trips we’re gonna have to tour it inside..

It's always strange seeing another catamaran coming at you. They look so huge!

It’s always strange seeing another catamaran coming at you. They look so huge!

A small work crane

A small work crane

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Some of the huge houses between St. Augustine and Sisters Creek. The funny thing is, no matter where we go we see these huge houses but hardly ever see any one using them. No one in the pools or yard or anywhere on the grounds. We find this strange...

Some of the huge houses between St. Augustine and Sisters Creek. The funny thing is, no matter where we go we see these huge houses but hardly ever see any one using them. No one in the pools or yard or anywhere on the grounds. We find this strange…

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Ok, for my nautical friends. What kind of ship is this??

Ok, for my nautical friends. What kind of ship is this??

Another one for my nautical friends. What's different about this bridge board?

Another one for my nautical friends. What’s different about this bridge board?

And this made for some lively discussion between Michele and I!

And this made for some lively discussion between Michele and I!

 

Until then….

Back In St. Augustine

Leaving Lake Worth in North Palm Beach, Michele had planned out a long four day run to St. Augustine. With 50, 60 and 70 mile days it was quite a push for us. Normally, we like to keep our daily runs to 50 miles or under because we feel more relaxed as we make our way north or south. So, we’re here now, sitting out the storms that are moving through the area. And since we have a few loads of laundry to do, a little break in the weather would be nice.

Michele loved this little tugboat style cruiser..

Michele loved this little tugboat style cruiser..

Our friends, the Coasties at Ft. Pierce inlet

Our friends, the Coasties at Ft. Pierce inlet

The anchorage at "hole in the wall" Pine Island. We love this place as it's quite and always nice and smooth. Good holding too!

The anchorage at “hole in the wall” Pine Island. We love this place as it’s quite and always nice and smooth. Good holding too!

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Just a few examples of the glassy water on the Indian River..

Just a few examples of the glassy water on the Indian River..

Michele found this white pelican, which at first we weren't sure was a pelican at all..

Michele found this white pelican, which at first we weren’t sure was a pelican at all..

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These cormorants always strike the funniest poses as they try to dry their wings..

These cormorants always strike the funniest poses as they try to dry their wings..

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St. Augustine coming from the south

St. Augustine coming from the south

The Bridge of Lions..

The Bridge of Lions..

Love this shot that Michele got..

Love this shot that Michele got..

 

Until then….

 

Northbound

Man, I’m so glad the site is up and running again. Crazy thing is, no one can really tell me what happened. Bluehost, who hosts the site blamed Cloudflare who does the DNS and name server stuff. Cloudflare blamed Bluehost, of course. In any case, it’s fixed. Keep your fingers crossed..

We left Marathon and a whole bunch of friends in order to travel to Miami to help Sail Away Catamarans with the Miami Boat Show. We hadn’t seen Tommy and Amy since we left Annapolis and were looking forward to getting together again. The trip up was pretty uneventful because we were able to get a decent weather window. It had been blowing 25 knots for what seemed like days and then the fronts passed through and gave us a reprieve. The first night we anchored in Tarpon Basin, which is in Key Largo. The nice thing about Tarpon Basin is that you can have 360 degree protection from any high winds. Since it’s circular in shape, just tuck in close to shore from whatever direction the wind is blowing and you’re all good. When anchoring, keep an eye out for the grass and try to avoid dropping the hook there, look for the sandy spots and drop there instead.

The boat show was an exhausting five day affair, but as usual, was really fun too. We really enjoy talking to all the people we meet and watching Tommy and Amy work their magic is always a treat. The weather was just about perfect except for the last day when it blew like crazy. Amy ended up calling the tent rental people because the tent was starting to blow apart. One piece fell off and almost hit me in the head while Amy was watching pieces fall off and go in the water.

After the boat show wrapped up it was time to start heading north again. This time would be a little different in the fact that we were going to go through Georgia. Normally, we skip Georgia by going outside in Florida and coming back in at Charleston. By “outside” I mean using the ocean instead of the ICW. It’s typically a 35-40 hour run and saves quite a bit of time. But since we lost the autopilot due to a blown seal, the outside run doesn’t sound so great, having to hand steer on an overnight run. So, we might just pay Savanna a visit as we’ve never been there.

Leaving Miami at 8 o’clock in the morning we took the Government cut out and headed offshore for Fort Lauderdale. We really didn’t have a firm plan on where we were stopping for the night. Once you get into Fort Lauderdale and start heading up the ICW the bridges can really take their toll on you. Our first year in this area we were doing 20 mile days and feeling completely exhausted at the end of the day. I really didn’t have much of a clue as to how to properly time the bridge openings. Between Fort Lauderdale and Lantana there are more then a dozen bridges to open. It took us a couple of trips to really get it dialed in and figured out. By integrating the chartplotter in the timing process we pretty much have it down pat now. This trip, what before would take us two and a half days, now took us a day. It was a long day at 61 nautical miles, but we never missed one opening or waited longer then five minutes or so for an opening. We may get this cruising thing down yet..

The run from Lantana to Lake Worth is a short 12 miles or so, so we stopped in North Palm Beach to have ice cream at one of our favorite ice cream stores, Slone’s. The place is pretty incredible with some really awesome flavors. I had the rum raisin and Michele had a scoop of coffee and a scoop of coconut. The flavor in every scoop was just intense and delicious. It’s well worth the side trip and really, North Palm Beach is worth an overnight stay. So now here we are in Lake Worth getting ready to leave in the morning after a walk to the mall to see Star Wars. We’ll do a four day run which will bring us to St. Augustine, where we’ll stay a few days, rest and catch up with the laundry.

This is the Seaport at Miami. You would think that it would be a little more upscale. You would be wrong...

This is the Seaport at Miami. You would think that it would be a little more upscale. You would be wrong…

A Disney cruise ship in Government cut. If there is only one cruise ship docked you can use the Cut. If there are two or more then you have to use Fisherman's Cut.

A Disney cruise ship in Government cut. If there is only one cruise ship docked you can use the Cut. If there are two or more then you have to use Fisherman’s Cut.

The Government Cut headed out..

The Government Cut headed out..

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North Palm Beach

North Palm Beach

The rum raisin at Sloan's Ice Cream

The rum raisin at Sloan’s Ice Cream

Sloan's Ice Cream Parlor

Sloan’s Ice Cream Parlor

Here's the crazy bathroom door at Sloan's. When you go inside you can see outside, which goes to say people can see inside. It took me a while to realize when you lock the door it somehow turns opaque.

Here’s the crazy bathroom door at Sloan’s. When you go inside you can see outside, which goes to say people can see inside. It took me a while to realize when you lock the door it somehow turns opaque.

The anchorage at N. Palm Beach. If it's too crowded just use the free dock or anchor just across the ICW channel.

The anchorage at N. Palm Beach. If it’s too crowded just use the free dock or anchor just across the ICW channel.

 

Mega yacht parking in Palm Beach...

Mega yacht parking in Palm Beach…

Michele saw this bush on the way to the mall and thought it was beautiful!

Michele saw this bush on the way to the mall and thought it was beautiful!

The dinghy "dock" at the Lake Worth anchorage. Not the greatest. Plan on getting wet boarding and getting off the dink. Also, because of the tides, it's one of the few places it's ok to leave your motor up..

The dinghy “dock” at the Lake Worth anchorage. Not the greatest. Plan on getting wet boarding and getting off the dink. Also, because of the tides, it’s one of the few places it’s ok to leave your motor up..

 

Until then…..

Quick Update

Ya gotta love technology. The site has been down and I’m not even sure how long it was down. After calls to tech support and hair pulling, it looks like everything is fixed. Let’s hope so. Thanks to all who hung in there and welcome to the new readers!

A proper update will post tonight or tomorrow…

Until then…