Friday, December 15, 2017

12/13-12/15 To Vero and into Lake Worth

12/13 Wednesday  It's getting warmer.  It is still chilly at night but we were still able to run from the fly bridge during the day.  There were still plenty of dolphin to see as we cruised to Vero Beach.  Vero is a lovely stop.  We pulled into the Vero City Marina.  The best thing about Vero is my son-in-law, Stephen's mom lives there.  Andi is a lovely person.  After picking up her grandson, Ryan, from school, she came to the marina and took me to Publix.  Andi and Ryan helped me lug the groceries to the boat too.  Andi treated us to dinner at the Citrus Grille.  Dinner was very tasty and well plated.  Andi told us about her family that had lived on Chincoteague Island in Virginia.  Andi had loved the Misty of Chincoteague book, too.  She had also been able to visit during a pony penning.  Andi remembered the movie too.  Of course, we talked about Catherine and Stephen and how they have given us three wonderful grandkids.  After dinner, Andi drove us back to the marina.  We promised to stop in Vero when we head north again.

12/14 Thursday  It is warmer and sunnier.  As we cruised along, we not only saw dolphins, but also manatees.  Getting pictures of dolphin is hard but trying to get pictures of manatees is impossible.  You can see concentric circles where the manatees break the water to breathe. Manatees do not really let their heads protrude, just their nostrils.  We did see a research vessel taking dolphin photos with long lenses.

Although more of Florida is built up along the waterway, there are still miles and miles where the marshes and mangroves are undisturbed.

Finally, we arrived in Lake Worth.  We pulled into Old Port Cove Marina.  This will be where the Hydrophilic stays until after our travels for Christmas.  We will then cross to the Bahamas.  Our Hydrophilic has never looked so small.  Here is the Nicole Evelyn on the other side of the same pier we are on.  It is an 87 foot Hatteras owned by man in NJ who owns a recycling company.  It takes a crew of 7 and has room for 10 passengers on board.  You can rent it for a week during the winter for $950,000.  That does not include expenses!

This is a very nice marina with a restaurant on site, a nice gym, and all the other amenities.

12/15  It was a busy day.  John washed the boat.  I went to the gym and did a workout from Assertive Fitness.  We saw the contrail of the SpaceX launch to the Space Station even this far away from the Space Center. 

There was another tow filled with sunken vessels that have been pulled from the waters.
I was fortunate to get a hair appointment at a Goldwell salon at 1 p.m.   It was in the high 70's as I walked there in shorts.  It is so nice out!!  The flowers were blooming.

The palm trees swayed gently in the breeze and a flock of ibises were feeding. 
On the way home, I stopped at the Italian market for Panettone and at West Marine.  I got the lay of the land so we can get other items done in the coming days and when we get back.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

12/12 Lots of Dolphins and No Launch

12/12 Tuesday  It was another bright and sunny day as we headed south to Cocoa Village. Dolphins were everywhere.  They took turns frolicking in our wake.  I wonder if I will ever get to the point that dolphins do not fill me with awe.  Check out these pictures.

Along this section of the ICW, we saw lots of damage from Hurricane Irma to the docks along the Indian River.  Almost all of them had some damage.  This barge is still picking up sunken sailboats.

The ICW takes a turn through the Haulover Canal.  It is a narrow canal and very scenic.

It would have been a perfect day to view the SpaceX launch but they rescheduled to later in the week.  They call this area, the Space Coast.  This was our view of the Kennedy Space Center.  You can tell that we would have had front row boat if the launch had gone off.

My nails were a mess after working on the alternator yesterday.  After we pulled into Cocoa Village Marina, I called around and found a nail salon within a short walk.  I now have festive nails for Christmas. 
Cocoa Village is all decorated for Christmas.  They have all sorts of cute stores and restaurants.  I did a wine tasting at The Wine Lady and bought two bottles.  At the Ossorio, I bought cinnamon croissants for breakfast. 

Tomorrow, we head to Vero Beach.  My son-in-law Stephen's mom, Andi, lives there.  We will get together for dinner.  It will be so good to see her.

Monday, December 11, 2017

12/11 Another Sunny Day

12/11 Monday  We started out just as the sun was rising.  As we started out we were headed south east and the sun was right in our eyes and shining off the water too.  Thankfully, it rose in the sky and we started running more directly south.  Just like yesterday,  the temperature on the fly bridge rose to the high 70's and we took to the fly bridge for a fabulous cruising day.

Dolphins checked on us periodically.  We passed the Ormond Beach Bridge.  All the pilings for this bridge are decorated with dolphin and manatee.  One of the best parts of our travels is finding art hidden in plain sight.

The iconic lighthouse at the Ponce de Leon Inlet shone brightly today as we passed.

Tonight, we are docked at New Smyrna Beach.  There is an island nearby that is covered by birds.  They look like Christmas ornaments on the bushes.
I didn't get any good pictures but about 8 dolphins were playing in the waters just outside the marina.  They were making sounds like Flipper did and slapping their tails.  I was amazed.

As we cruised today, we could hear the fan belt squealing so after we tied up, it was time to tighten the belt.  It is hard to get to in the engine room and the fan belt had left some dirt.  After we got the fan belt tightened, we took advantage of the nice shower rooms here.

Tomorrow, we go to Cocoa Beach.  We will be heading south but looking to the southeast.  NASA is sending up a supply rocket tomorrow and we hope to see the launch from our boat.  When the last space shuttle went up, we met Christine at the Kennedy Space Center and were guests of one of the astronauts for that launch.  What was the most interesting then, was that you could see the launch first and then heard and felt the sound.  I look forward to that feeling tomorrow.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

12/10 The Sun

12/10 Sunday.  Finally, the sun came out!  It was still cold though.  We pulled away from the dock early to take advantage of the rising tide. We ran the generator to warm the salon.  As the sun rose in the sky, even the salon warmed up.  Eventually, we checked the fly bridge and  it was so nice and warm up there.  It was in the high seventies.  We moved to run from up there.  We even opened one of the windows to cool it down.

The cruising was easy.  We passed St. Augustine.  It is one of my favorite cities.  In December of last year, when we stopped there, we enjoyed all the Christmas activities that we going on.  This time, I just got a picture of the St. Augustine Light House and the St Augustine Fort before the Bridge of Lions opened for us to pass under.

There is so much to see along the waterways.  This B and B is over the water had a huge shark sticking out over the water.

We stopped for the night at Palm Coast Marina.  There is a set of shops and restaurants called the European Village about a 10 minute walk from the marina.  As the sun set, the evening got chilly quickly.  The walk was nice though.  Our dinner was great and filling.  Neither John nor I had room for dessert.  Tomorrow, we continue south.  The day promises to be cold and sunny again.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

12/9 Florida, Not the Sunhine State

Florida, Not the Sunshine State
Saturday 12/9, we woke to another cold, raw day.  We skyped with our granddaughters in Houston, who were excited to tell us about the snow they had yesterday.  Then we headed south toward Florida.  The tide was rising as we made the twists and turns through the southern end of Georgia.  The water was very choppy as we crossed St. Andrews Sound but that didn't last long.

At St. Mary's there is a military port.  On our way there, we passed three military patrol boats.  They were going fast and had visible manned guns on the boats.  I didn't get the picture but rest assured, I was glad they were not after me.  We saw some ships in the port. 

This port also works on submarines.  This is what a dock for submarines looks like.

There was still no sun as we passed into Florida.  When we passed Fernandina, the boats were still stacked up om the shore from the Hurricane Matthew in 2016.  The marina docks are still closed there too.  This is the first time we are staying at the Jacksonville Free Dock on Sisters Creek.  The wind was about 17 miles per hour on our bow with a strong current running against us.  Thankfully, the crew of the Carolina, docked there came out to catch our lines.  We appreciated their help.  Pasta and chicken is on the menu for dinner.

Tomorrow, we head further south.  The forecast is cold but is promising some sun.

Friday, December 8, 2017

12/07 and 12/08 It turns cold and rainy

Thursday 12/7, we woke to cold and rain in Thunderbolt.  That makes it a great day to travel.  We cruised the intracoastal with very little other boat traffic.  In GA, there is an area called Hell Gate.  It has earned its name and has lots of notations on Active Captain.  We went through without incident though. Hell Gate was heavenly at high tide.  For the night, we pulled off the ICW in the Crescent River anchorage.  It was a peaceful, wide anchorage with good holding.  But it was cold!   We kept the generator on and kept the heat on in our bedroom.

Friday 12/8, we pulled anchor to head for Jekyll Island, GA.  It was still cold all day.  We are very dry in our salon and run from the helm there.  We are snuggled in our sweatshirts.  We started out early so we had a rising tide to help us through the shallow areas without any problems today.  At St. Simon's Sound, we safely crossed paths with the Emerald Princess.

It was time for a late lunch after we pulled into Jekyll Harbor Marina.  Their marina restaurant is very good.  I had a salad and shrimp and grits.  Other boats here were decorated for Christmas with trees and figures. 
So it was time for me to pull out my Christmas lights for the Hydrophilic.  Fa la la la la!
Neither John not I felt like much dinner so we had appetizers, Irish coffees and dessert.  The rain has not let up though.  As I write this, we have thunder and lightning and pouring rain.   Tomorrow, we hope for the end to the rain and some sunshine as we cross into Florida.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

12/06 Fresh water replacement in Thunderbolt

Savannah Belle Ferry Juliette Gordon Low
So last night as we readied for bed, our fresh water pump did not work.  We checked the obvious; 1. we had water in the tanks, 2. the breaker was on, 3. we replaced the in house filter to make sure it was not clogged.   No luck.  The ice maker had not made ice in a while either.  Fortunately, we are at Thunderbolt Marina.  They have a huge boat yard here.  The tiny town of Thunderbolt is just south of Savannah on the Wilmington River and is dedicated to boating.

While we were waiting for the mechanic, John called around and a replacement pump was available just over 1/2 mile up the road in a very well stocked marine store.  I was up and back in less than a half hour.  The morning was pleasant and warm.  While waiting, I got a wash in and got to do a great work out on the stern deck. Chris and the ladies in my gym back at Assertive Fitness would be proud.
There were two boats of particular interest today.  One was from the Savannah Belle Ferry, the Juliette Gordon Low.  As a former Girl Scout, I always read about Savannah, as the home of the Girl Scouts.  Thunderbolt Marina takes care of boats from all over the world.  This huge boat, Blue Moon, is from Georgetown.  I just don't think I want to pay all the crew needed for this boat or I would buy one.

The mechanic came and indeed the pump was shot.  He replaced it quickly.  We had water from the faucets and were making ice in no time.  Meanwhile, the forecasted weather front came through.  It started to pour rain and the temperature dropped.  It is supposed to be rainy and cold for 3 days.  Ugh.
Tomorrow, we will head south again.  We will probably anchor for one or two nights so I might not blog.