Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mile "0" May 27-28




Today we hit a milestone on our journey home by getting to Mile 0 of the Intracoastal Waterway. In the Florida Keys we were at about mile 1,200 and here in Norfolk VA at the Red Buoy #36 is where this great waterway begins. So - CHEERS! We made it this far!! Right by this buoy we anchored at a spot called Hospital Point beside the Tidewater Marina. We paid the marina for landing our dinghy and using their facilities which included a floating pool. Right there amongst the floating docks they have this salt water pool that was a hit with Christopher. While we were at the poolside we met a man who was visiting on a friends boat and they were all from Ontario. He was from Burlington, where much of my family lives and is where we dock Tiffany Rose. AND his daughter lives in Orangeville and she taught us our pre-natal classes, and is the wife of the current mayor. Go figure!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Doin' the Dismal May 26-27













Elizabeth City was a fun two day stay and then we left with a fleet of 6 boats for the 7:30 bridge opening to go up the Pasquotank river and into the Dismal Swamp. Traveling the Dismal in the spring is beautiful. The trees growing right in the water, the lush greens and the turtles and snakes we saw along the way were intriguing. Most of the other boats pushed on through to the end and we elected to stop at the roadside visitor center for another free dock and also to deal with an overheating problem. We sucked something into the raw water intake for the engine at the lock and it cut off the water flow. So we had to take it apart and use a hose to blow the stuff out the other end. Seemed to work.




Rich on the sailboat Nessie pulled in behind us and we were treated to a bagpipe serenade in the evening.




On shore we walked across the pontoon bridge to explore the Dismal Swamp state park. Nice trails and a boardwalk to walk. There were also scads of ticks. After admiring the beauty of it all we had to de-tick each other. Christopher had a whole community scurrying about his socks and shoes. We'll try not to bring any home! I feel kind of bad whining about a few ticks when i think about the slaves that worked under George Washington's company to hand dig this entire canal. Hard to imagine.




One of the odd sights we saw along the way was someone's target for shooting practice. As you can see in the above picture the target is not meant to improve skeet shooting skills...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Redeemed In Elizabeth City May 24-25










It was almost a trip ending event. At the time we couldn't express it properly for a blog entry, but now we can revisit it feeling better. It was when we stopped in Elizabeth City on our way down in November. We had been having a bit of engine trouble and hadn't fully resolved it. As we approached the dock, which is tall pilings together with tiny finger docks lined up against a steel wall, the wind was blowing strong. There were a number of people there to help guide us in and grab lines. I gave the engine a bit of speed to get into the pilings without being blown sideways, then I shifted quickly into reverse. That's when I heard it. That's when Shirley at the bow heard it too. The lady in the boat beside us said it seemed very sureal. We heard nothing. It was the sound of the engine stalled. So with this bit of speed on we glided,16000 lbs silently head on to the steel wall...the helpers were now yelling at us to stop...everyone - body parts out of the way. CRASH! Christopher goes flying forward. Everyone else just stares. At the helm I wonder what this all means now. Christopher was fine, but Tiffany Rose...? Somehow some of the impact got diverted and the anchor roller took the brunt of it. This piece of steel was bent almost 90 degrees but there wasn't a bit of fibreglass or other structural damage. After much discussion with the guys on the dock I was able to remove the anchor roller and take it to a local machine shop. $20 to fix it up. Shirley, Christopher and I were way more emotionally shaken and damaged than that!!
And so we head across the Albemarle Sound this morning bound for Elizabeth City. The crossing was beautifully smooth. Plan A is to go right past the docks and anchor beyond the lift bridge. As we neared town we heard other boats calling in to dock and it seemed like there was lots of space. I asked Shirley what she thought. No docks thanks! Christopher was also feeling queezy about it as he recounted in detail the events of November. We had some serious jitters. Then we got close and it looked inviting. What do you want to do? I asked again. "OK, let's see if there is help to dock." Next thing we knew we were coming in for a picture perfect docking with the help of some fellow boaters. On the outside it was a normal docking, with polite thank-yous. On the inside we were doing high fives and victory dances!! We faced a fear and won.

We did a two night stay and enjoyed the great hospitality of this town. Christopher was a bit down because his camera had stopped functioning properly. He averages 400 pictures a day and not having it work has thrown him into a bit of a withdrawl frenzy. But he does have some of his own money and we talked about some possibilities. So off we went to find a store that sells cameras and is open on Memorial day. The drug store of course! Sure enough they had a couple of good ones to choose from. Then I realized how particular he was about the features. He wanted to be sure the camera would do all the things he required of it, and had all the right buttons for those things. I tried to show him that this Kodak C713 indeed does everything he wants. But he was a bit leary of me and insisted we ask the sales person. She joined in and commented on "he is a hard sell isn't he?" She did a good job and he was satisfied and then handed over his US cash. By the time we left he had more bounce in his step, and after setting it up we went out and snapped a couple of hundred high quality pics. A very successful stop at Elizabeth City for all!

Leaving signs of the south behind May 20-23




As we near the top of the Carolinas, although from home we would consider this south, more and more there is evidence that we're in a more northern climate. The mangrove trees that were a constant sight for months have been absent from view for quite some time. Palm trees have become fewer and fewer and should we see one now it will be considered exotic and imported. Long gone are the signs telling boaters to slow down for manatees. More and more we are seeing signs of home. Yesterday we watched two Canada geese herding their goslings along. A couple of days ago we dinghied up a creek lined with Cedar and Maple trees. When we stepped out the roadside was lined with Queen Anne's Lace.

The temperature fluctuations feel more like our summers at home. The storm that greeted our arrival to Surf City had us pulling warm clothes out of storage, but now a few days later we are back to humid summer heat.

We stayed in Surf City a little longer than we intended. The gale force winds made leaving the dock look somewhat daunting and the VHF radio was warning of bridges that would not open with the winds. Finally Wednesday morning things calmed down enough to leave. We waited until low tide in the late morning to get going so we could pass by a couple of the shallow inlets ahead with a rising tide. We were lucky as well as we travelled through Camp Lejeune. Practice firing and other military training sometimes prohibit boats from travelling through, but all was quiet that afternoon. Along the way we saw remnants of army vehicles, presumably used for target practice and had constant companionship of multiple helicopters doing their training maneuvers. We made it to Swansboro, and like in the fall, anchoring in the current there with the opposing wind had us hiding down below when the evening rain came.

Thursday, we headed towards Morehead City/Beaufort area with the plan of heading out to Cape Lookout to anchor there for a last ocean fling. We did head out the Beaufort Inlet but once out there it was clear that the ocean had not had time to settlle down from the previous days winds and the swells were too uncomfortable so we turned around and waved goodbye to the ocean. For now. See you in New Jersey.
After our good bye to the ocean as we motored north of Morehead we were treated to a pair of dolphins joining us to play in our wake. They were right beside the boat almost within touching distance. As they surfed our wave they would turn a bit sideways and show thier tummies and their pemanent smiles! What a treat!!
We headed north up Adam's Creek and anchored not far off in Cedar Creek just south of Oriental. It was there we got off the boat to dinghy up the creek. We found a convenience store to stock up on a few items. We must have had that somewhat homeless and hungry look as the friendly store owner insisted we take bags of nacho chips for free as they were near their expiry date. That night at the anchorage we were once again serenaded by the bagpipes from Rich on the small sailboat Nessie.

On Friday we left shortly after sunrise as the winds were still relatively gentle and the Neuse River was next and it has a reputation for being nasty in certain winds. We had a pleasant sail up the river and by the time the winds were stirring things up we were anchoring in Belhaven. We did dinghy to shore which turned into a wet wavy adventure, but was also a welcome chance to stretch our legs. Now that we are north of Oriental, we are out of what our insurance company considers the hurricane zone. We had to be by there by June 1st. We're ahead of their schedule.

After the Neuse River the next challenging body of water to come is the Albemarle Sound. In the fall we had been delayed for the better part of a week on the other side as we, along with about twenty other boats, had waited for calm enough weatehr to cross. Our destination on this Saturday was to make it to the mouth of the Alligator River and anchor, ready to take advantage of the calm weather forecast for early Sunday morning. Once again a sunrise departure, and a pretty trip through the Pungo and Alligator river canal, up the Alligator River, through the swing bridge then we inched our way into the Little Alligator River to put the anchor down. Nowhere to dinghy to tonight, so early to bed to be ready for tomorrow's crossing.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Beach Consulting




One of the tricks to managing the crossing of larger coastal bodies of water is to watch the tidal currents and the winds. If these two things are opposing each other the seas become steep, choppy, and wet and uncomfortable. The Cape Fear river is one of these. In November we had a rough ride down the river so this time we paid more attention. We waited at our anchorage until about 10 am and then headed out in order to be carried by both a favourable tide and a following wind. A good combination for a fast and comfortable sail. Our next stop was not very far at all at Carolina Beach. The anchorage there is a good one and in the fall we had found that one of the houses there allows boaters to tie up their dinghies at their private dock. You then walk through the backyard, cross to the next block and you are at a beautiful stretch of North Carolina beach without hotels or T-Shirt shops. The waves were pounding and it was fun to jump in them. The shore was fairly steep though and attempts at body surfing resulted in being scroonched into the sand, leaving you with grit lodged, possibly permanently, in every orifice imaginable. Not pretty.




Our next stop was a little further along at Wrightsville Beach. Here the anchorage lead to a public dinghy dock and another 2 block walk to the beach. This was one of the most vibrant beaches we have been on. There were loads of people mostly youthful, lots of jumping, body surfing and real surfing - right amongst swimmers! It had a very alive feeling and I fully expected to see Archie or Jughead go by.


Our last beach stop for the next while was Surf City. The approach was a bit wild. We left Wrightsville Beach early in the morning with clear skies. We had great weather heading up the waterway and then just before 11am we were approaching the Surf City swing bridge that only opens on the hour. It looked like we were going to miss it by 5 minutes. To make it worse, behind us coming fast was a black mass of cloud rolling its thunder our way. We had the sail up trying to eek out a bit more speed but we were fighting the current. A number of power boats went by all trying to get to the bridge. The sky got darker and darker and the bridge wasn't getting closer fast enough. Then the rain started. By now I was pushing our diesel hard and it looked like we might make it. Just as we were getting close I called the bridge and the tender said -"Keep it coming!" we were pushing hard at 6 miles an hour and then the skies really opened up. But we made it just in time and then made a hard right into the marina channel where we had made reservations. By the time we got to the dock the rain was straight horizontal, I could barely see the poor guys who had come out to help in their shirtsleeves, and Shirley was hanging on tight to the shrouds with the lines. Christopher went below to get out of the mayhem. I didn't bother slowing down for our usual cautious approach and next thing we knew we were jamming it in reverse, guys were frantically pulling and tying lines and then they all ran back to the office suggesting that we "finish it up" while they avoid the lightening. Ahh, we're here!

With the gale force winds, driving rain and temperatures in the high 50's our walk on the beach had its own distinct feel here. No Betty or Veronicas here.

And so by now we have been to about 20 different beaches, some multiple times and we feel that our credentials for consulting on things of a beach nature are substantial. We have seen pristine all natural beaches and beaches packed with hotels with vehicles driving up and down. This consultancy is likely a viable new occupation and I am sure there must be a market for it out there - there is for everything else. So if you see new business cards come out, you'll know who to call...


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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Into North Carolina May 14









We left the dock at Barefoot Resort with the wind on our nose and some wet weather threatening. Much of this part of the route is chugging along through a relatively narrow channel. One 5 mile section is known as the "Rock Pile" and the books give ample warning of the dire consequences of straying out of the channel into the submerged rocks that line this section. They advise that you announce your intentions to traverse this section with a VHF "Securite" broadcast in case any large working vessel is coming that may squeeze you out of the safe channel. Our passage today was an easy one and we barely saw another boat. After passing through a couple of inlets we crossed over the border of South Carolina into North Carolina and headed towards the town of Southport. The rain that finally came meant pulling out our full rain suits, which we have not used in a long, long time. We decided to tuck into a nicely protected anchorage called the Pipeline canal. It was partly full of local moored boats and there was a handful of other cruisers there as well. One boat, named Nessie, we had met before down in Marathon. This boat is a small 19 foot sailboat that Rich on board is single handing up the coast. In the evening he comes out and plays the bagpipes (in picture) as the sun goes down. If we are there we blow the conch shell when he is done. A nice touch to the end of a day.




The shore by the anchorage is a nice community park with a beach to land the dinghy. The next morning we decided to paddle to shore to give Sea Jay 2 a good bottom cleaning. When we flipped it over we were amazed at the mass of barnacles growing below. It took some serious scraping to get them all off. And we had just cleaned it near the beginning of April.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Unexpected Myrtle Beach fun! May 12-13







We arose at our beautiful anchorage on the Waccamaw River and as dawn broke we were greeted by a toilet pump that broke. Before we left Dave plunged into the mess and by 6:30 we were good to go. Luckily that wasn’t the way the rest of the day went! When we started this trip back north we were thinking we might bypass Myrtle Beach this time. Although Christopher has fond memories from a March Break vacation a few years ago, there is no where to anchor near there and so a marina stay is the only way to visit. On the way south we had stayed at a marina and rented a car, so we figured our Myrtle Beach visiting days were done.
Enter the T21 Travelling Afghan project. About a week earlier we had received an email from CJ, the lady who started the project. It is an afghan that is travelling the world spending about a week at a time with a child who has Down syndrome and their family. She had seen our blog and thought it would be fun if the afghan could come on board.
I emailed her back our route and general timeline, and in no time she contacted us to say the afghan would be with a family in Myrtle Beach the following week and we could meet up with them.
OK then, seems like it is meant to be, let’s find a marina. Not wanting to rent a car this time, Dave started looking for one a little closer to the beach area than where we were before. The Barefoot Resort Club’s price in the guidebook was out of our range, but a phone call revealed that for once the price was lower than what was printed. What a place! We had the same access to the pool as the resort guests and what a pool! Advertized as the largest pool in South Carolina we’d never seen one like it. The deepest spot was four feet deep, it was mostly 3 feet deep, winding around cement islands and it was saltwater which made bouyancy great. It was the most Christopher friendly pool we’ve found. He was so comfortable swimming on his own it was so fun to watch him.
The local family who had the afghan had our cell phone number so while we waited for their call we enjoyed the pool and then went and explored the town area nearby. We came across one of the mini golfs we had tried to go to last November but had found closed. This one had a train engine as part of it……..so of course we played. When we contacted CJ to tell her we hadn’t heard from the family she said she hadn’t heard from them either nor could she get hold of them. Meanwhile Christopher had spotted another minigolf and was lobbying for another day’s stay. We checked the weather forecast and it looked like Friday would be the best day to travel up the Cape Fear River which can sometimes live up to its name, so leaving Thursday would get us to a spot near there to anchor. So…..twist our arm…..I guess we’ll stay.
More swimming, a visit to the beach and another minigolf. And Christopher grinning ear to ear. But………..no afghan. We hope that everything is well with the family that we were to meet but it was time to move on. CJ will see if we’ll be near it again later on in our travels, if not then we’ll try to get our turn once we’re home. To check into the T21 Traveling Afghan project go to http://thet21travelingafghanproject.blogspot.com/


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

No Snorkeling Here!




Finally we see them! Ever since we got to North Carolina in October we have been on the lookout for alligators, but no luck. The last two days though as we came through Minim Creek and on up the Waccamaw River we have seen 5 of them! They are quite a site as they almost imperceptibly move along with those big eyes looking for something to pounce on. Keep all poodles on board around here. We need to get out and do some cleaning of the bottom of the boat but I think we’ll wait until we are out of gator territory.

The Thunder Gods on Mother's Day










Another sunrise departure crossing Charleston Harbor and back into the waterway. Today we had to revisit one of the locations that we ran aground at on the way south at Price Creek. But this time the water was at higher tide so we glided over effortlessly feeling much more confident and almost smug. It wasn’t the water levels on our mind today it was the forecast for some potentially severe weather – again. The thing about these thunderstorms here is that we are travelling through miles and miles of salt marsh. When you look around it kind of looks like we are floating on a little river in the middle of Saskatchewan wheat fields, with the ocean on the other side. In this situation our mast is embarrassingly high and seems a bit too attractive as a sky to ground conductor. It wasn’t until late afternoon that the sky opened up and the loud rumbles and flashes started. At this point we knew we were only a few miles from our planned anchoring spot but it was an agonizing few miles. The tidal current had switched and our gleeful 7 miles an hour was now a painful 3.5! For this stretch Christopher went down below to work at a computer game while Shirley and I took turns holding the metal steering wheel. What a lady – and on Mother’s Day and everything!! Fortunately the storm died down and we pulled into a lovely anchorage on Minim Creek. Everything settled nicely and we were able to relax and have a fun Mother’s Day dinner.
The next day we were again up before sunrise to spend the day travelling past Georgetown and up the Waccamaw river. This has lead us out of the low salt marshes and into a beautiful cyprus tree lined river. We pulled over once and dropped the anchor as a thunderstorm blew in and then continued on to an interesting anchorage at Bucksport for the night. At this spot there were a couple of little floating barge cottages permanently anchored nearby. Neat little things that I guess people rent as a fishing holiday. You can see two of them in the picture above, behind Tiffany Rose.

Doing the Charleston Splish Splash May 9


After exploring some of the quaint areas of this charming city we decided to stay another day to get some things done –like changing the fuel filters, just for fun. We left the dock around noon and went out to anchor out in the Ashley river just off shore of the Charleston city marina. We had contacted our friends Dave and Joanne on the catamaran Tropical Breeze at their haul out marina about 15 miles up river. They would have a car in the evening and would be able to come visit. We thought it would be good to dinghy into the marina and do a bit more exploring around and then visit in the evening. Good plan but the weather even dictates what we can do in the dinghy. By the time we wanted to go in the wind had kicked up a large chop in the harbour. I tried to go out in the dinghy but it was going to a wild and rocky time in the midst of a wild and chaotic flotilla of all sized boats darting around. Best to delay. By 5:30 pm it was now or never – Dave and Joanne would be on their way soon. It seemed like it was calming a little bit so we gave it a go. Woo-hoo! What a ride. Waves were pooring into our little Sea Jay ll as we bopped and bounced our way towards the marina. Every now and then a big one would crash in right over Christophers head! By this time he was hunkered down under the protection of a rain coat draped over his head and tucked under Shirley’s arm. So with thoroughly soaked body parts we went to meet our friends. We were glad we made the little trip and had fun learning about their adventures since we last saw them. They have finished this part of their journey and will return home for the summer. Another boat leaves to the land as we continue north.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

On to Charleston...with a "slight chance of thunderstorms".May 3 - 8






After enjoying our 2 day holiday at Jekyll Island, we steeled ourselves for the trip through Georgia. Georgia is very beautiful but in our trip through it in the fall, negotiating the shallow water had been stressful. The upcoming daily forecast for the next week of a "slight chance of thunderstorms" was interfering with our plan of avoiding these inland waters of Georgia in favour of an outside run. "Slight chance" is no fun out on the ocean when it turns into the real thing.

The tides here change the water level by eight feet. Leaving Jekyll at mid day allowed us to sail through Buttermilk Sound and Little Mud River with ease. Yay! One bad spot over with! We anchored in New Teakettle Creek.

The next day we were in luck again at high tide as we were able to follow an inland cruise ship through another bad spot aptly named Hell Gate. Near the end of the afternoon the weather was changing, and with the current against us our anchoring destination seemed too far off. We pulled into the Isle of Hope marina.

The marina had a loaner car, and wanting to get our money's worth from this unplanned stop, we put off leaving until we had taken the car to go load up on provisions.

We left the dock mid day and were about 5 minutes away when the engine started overheating. Back we went....... In short, Dave did resolve the problem, but the promised "slight chance' became 100% so we stayed another night.

On Wednesday we headed off for South Carolina and had a wonderful and boisterous sail across Port Royal Sound (see video below) to Beaufort where we anchored in Factory Creek. We watched storms all around us but they missed our location. Not that the computer voice on the VHF weather station didn't have us quaking in our shoes with his dire warnings.

Thursday we headed in the direction of Charleston making it as far as Church Creek to anchor. At sunset, Dave's salute with the conch shell was preceded by bagpipes from another boat nearby. Friday we arrived in Charleston for a planned marina stop.

After exploring the market area in the historic downtown Christopher spotted some railway action. The port authority engine was doing some shunting of rail cars. Anyone who knows Christopher knows that this put Charleston on his A-OK list for attractions.


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Monday, May 4, 2009

Jekyll Island - Spa Days! May 1-3





Just a short sail north of Cumberland Island across St. Andrews Sound is Jekyll Island, where we spent a day in November. At that time we looked longingly at the pool and hot tub while wearing jackets and hats. This time we were ready to lounge by the poolside! We have been taking full advantage of it and have been hopping from pool to hot tub and back again. Being in the ocean is fun but Christopher gets overwhelmed by the waves. So the pool is great to let him cut loose and swim on his own and do what he wants. Of course we spent some time at the beach as well. What a contrast from the solitude of Cumberland Island. This beach was weekend packed - which is fun in a different way. For dinner we just had to go to the marina restaurant because of its name - Sea Jay's. This is the name of our dinghy (Sea Jay ll) which is named after Christopher James - CJ l. Fare for us that night was their famous "low country boil". A bunch of stuff thrown into the same pot to boil and then put out as a buffet. Pretty good.
Later on at the dock one of the ladies who lives on her boat here, Linda, offered to show Christopher some dog tricks with her little dog Charlie. That was a hit! She had him do some of the commands so that Charlie would do a few cool things. It also drew a bit of a crowd with other kids getting in the act as well. Turns our that Charlie was "best friends" with some of the kids from another boat from the Orangeville area named Gromit this past winter. They have since headed off shore headed for St. Martin.

We also had another interesting chance meeting here. When we bought Tiffany Rose in Sodus Point NY the owner suggested a boat surveyor if we needed one, named Erik. We didn't end up needing him so we never actually met. Wouldn't you know it, we pull into the dock in here and Erik is parked right next to us on his boat "Otis from Sodus"! He said that his boat now has Tiffany Rose's slip back at the Sodus Bay club. Small world.

After using the marina courtesy car to load up on groceries and giving Tiffany Rose a cleaning we are ready to venture on!





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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Wild Horses, guns, subs and armoured animals – a peaceful time at Cumberland Island April 29 - May 1















Many people told us that Cumberland Island was a great stop. On the way down though it was so *&%$# (darn) cold that we zoomed right by. This time we anchored off the park dock for a couple of days and discovered that they were right. Almost the whole island – 20 miles long – is a National Seashore park. The walk to the beach takes you through a stunning forest of live oak garnished with spanish moss and then opens up into beautiful rolling dunes. When we got to the beach it stretched out farther than you could see and without a single building in sight. And hardly a soul on it, since it is only accessible by boat. The water was very friendly with good waves that would crash without pummeling you into the sand each time. It was the perfect walk along the beach in the water place, and so we did. Later we talked with a ranger and Christopher asked a lot of questions. She awarded him with a badge as a Junior Park Ranger.
The island is also steeped in history and we dinghied down to another dock where the museum is, where Christopher got absorbed in all the dates and when people died and when the buildings burned down etc. A ranger lead us on a guided walk and told stories about the days that were. And then over by the ruins we saw a few wild horses, which are famous on this island. Being spring they were quite frisky running around, making whinnieing sounds and acting like horses running free. There were also many armadillos here digging around in their armour. One came right up to my bare toes. Apparently they don’t see too well. Maybe they don’t smell well either??
Speaking of armour, another thing we were told to look out for was the comings and goings of nuclear submarines – which are heavily guarded when they come in. On our way here we watched nervously as five coast guard boats came racing towards Tiffany Rose with men poised at the machine gun stations. They turned away and headed out towards the inlet. Then this morning we got to watch a sub go by. It was much bigger than we expected. Quite a contrasting image to the peace and serenity of the island. Can’t help but wonder where it has been and what it may have been up to in its life time. Not sure I want to know.

Out of Florida - and water balloons April 27-29


Having fueled up the day before and moved Tiffany Rose to the anchorage on the north side of the Bridge of Lions we were able to head out at sunrise. Dolphins greated us as we passed through the St. Augustine inlet and with the current behind us we clipped along at a good pace. Our destination was Fort George River at an anchorage just off shore from the Kingsley Plantation – a place we stopped at on the way south. This turned out to be a good place to stop again and we did another tour of the historical park. One thing we are being reminded of now is the wild tidal ranges from here north through south Carolina. The tide goes up and down from 6-8 feet which means that water that is navigable at one time of day may be high and dry later in the day. More diligence is needed!
Next we headed to Fernandina Beach to pull into town there to pay some bills before the end of the month. Being on the go means that we are usually not in internet range and need to be more organized to get important items done when we have the chance. Christopher enjoyed the stop here since a train track runs right passed the marina that we parked our dinghy at. And sure enough he was rewarded with a train passing through. And we also had to revisit the Atlantic Seafood store for their fresh shrimp.
In the morning we motored into the marina for fuel and pumpout. The lady working there, Heather, remembered Christopher from our stay here in November. Christopher began to tell her of our journey, how we are headed north for part 3 and that this was the end of 5 months in Florida. He then went on to describe how we should be throwing water balloons because that is what they did on the final day of school in grade 8 as part of a big good-bye. So… a few minutes later, Heather comes out of the marina office with 3 surgical gloves full of water to support this event! What southern hospitality!! With much fan fare Christopher launched these water balloons at Heather to the delight of everyone around. And so we had a fitting farewell to Florida and chugged off towards Georgia. Thanks Heather!

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