Georgia under our keel

All work and no play. That’s what has been happening the last few weeks. Since the engine was still being worked on, we went up north ga so Keith could work a few shifts. While he was at work, I helped our daughter and son in law move into another house.  Fast forward a few days and we are back at cocoa and the engine is finally done. Boat is ready, we are ready, we have a good weather window and its finally time to head north. North of Cumberland Island is where our insurance company wants us to be during hurricane season and after spending 6 months along the Florida coast, we were ready to be back at Jekylll.
We thought about going out the lock at Cape Canaveral but having to time it and  the draw bridges opening schedule, we opted for the intracoastal waterway. We sailed up to New Smyrna and anchored close to the inlet.

New Smyrna inlet has a reputation for having lots of shallow spots. We even had sea tow come and take us in when we came through, back in January  But we read our charts. We read reviews on active captain and we stayed where we were supposed to and made it out of the inlet just fine.  I motored the boat and Keith kept a lookout on the bow for shallow spots. Whew! I’m pretty sure we held our breath most of the way. Once outside the inlet we celebrated the blue open ocean with laughter and an ice cold coke.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I used to think the ICW was the safest way to travel. Nope! I love being out in the great big ocean with no worries of running aground, or having someone run into you. We had sailed for hours and hours and hadn’t  seen sight of another boat. The winds were perfect coming from the south. The waves were 2-4 feet. No storms predicted. We always watch the weather very closely and saw that this was the perfect time to head north.
This is very relaxing. We are see flying fish and Keith even spotted a shark at one point. We don’t see many dolphin. They are more prevalent in the ICW.

We had the whole place to ourselves

We had the whole place to ourselves

Keith viewing a shark

Keith looking at a shark

Later that night, I took the 8-12am watch. Keith slept, well, sorta. The winds changed and every now and then the sails would backfill, causing them to make a loud noise. Unfortunately my attempts at adjusting the sails failed so Keith got up, adjusted the sails and our course and went back to sleep. Night watches aren’t too bad. The sky is amazing to look at. We almost always see shooting stars. The milky way was brushed across a clear sparkling sky.  I kept an eye out for other boats,looked at the stars,  read my book, ate cheese-its, and watched a lightening storm to our west very closely, praying it wouldn’t come our way (it didn’t). We swapped out, I took my turn at attempting to sleep, woke up 30 minutes early on my 4 hour nap and sent Keith below to sleep. He wanted me to wake him in time to see the sunrise. It was stunning. But since he was up, I might have gone below to sneak in a 45 min power nap. I got up, cooked a breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast. Keith ate and went back for the rest of his nap that I might have taken from him.

Later that afternoon, we had a pod of dolphin swim along the bow of the boat. Some of you have seen that video on my Facebook page. It was truly amazing. There were three beautifully colored dolphin. They played together, nudged each other, would swim off and race back to the bow of the boat. We watched for a good 5 minutes and never stopped watching until they went away. It was truly the highlight of our trip.

Three dolphin that swam along our boat

Three dolphin that swam along our boat

We made pretty good time. We were able to make it into Fernandina Marina at 1pm. We got fuel for the boat, and grabbed lunch at a nearby restaurant. We didn’t really want to stay at the marina, so we sailed over to Cumberland Island, anchored and cooked dinner. We tossed around the idea of staying a few days and exploring the island, but in the end, decided to just press on.The trip to Jekyll from Cumberland only took us 4 hours. Keith docked us perfectly between two boats, in-spite of our throttle coming apart at that exact moment.

Monday: Keith got up early, jogged over to the beach to watch the sunrise. I slept in and had coffee ready when he got back. Laundry is done and the inside of the boat has been scrubbed. Keith is working on the throttle. Later we will wash all the salt off of the outside of the boat, inflate the dinghy, and take it for a ride. Life is good.