St Augustine to Stuart Florida

Must. Keep. Going.  We ended up leaving St Augustine 2 days ahead of schedule. When the weather is right, you just have to go for it. Actually we thought the weather was going to get bad, so we opted to leave early and get a jump on it. Turns out we would have been ok. But who knew. Sometimes I wonder if the meteorologists really know.
We decided to stick with the waterway and head south. It was that, or go on the outside and motor most of the way due to no wind. Going down the waterway gave us an opportunity to anchor each night. I’ll just tell you right now, I like my sleep. And if I had my way, it would be from 10pm-7am. Yep. I’m not ashamed to admit it. So anchoring allows me this luxury.

Lots of houses like this along the ICW

Lots of houses like this along the ICW

We put in around 45 miles a day. That’s a 9 hour day. We motored down the waterway with no depth finder. (remember, we sent the defective one back and didn’t have the replacement yet). We did great. We had our iPad and an app that showed us the danger spots. It worked out just fine for us.  Yes, we had our old garmin that Keith hooked up as a back up, but I got spoiled with the new one in the short time we had it.
Our plan was to get to Stuart, Fl. We are set up to meet with a boat yard to go over some repairs we need to do this summer. We could have gotten here one whole day sooner, but we thought it would be fun to stop at one of our favorite anchorages. Peck Lake.  We were right. We dropped the dinghy and went to shore. After a very short walk, we were on the Atlantic beach side. We treated ourselves to a beach walk, and seashell hunt. Keith fashioned an old whisker pole (thats a pole that can be used to hold your jib sail out) and a gaff (you know, a giant hook to stab a fish with to get it on the boat)  together and went in search of coconuts. He had to get off the beaten path to get to the tree with the ripest coconuts. After a few swings of the whisker pole/gaff, he was rewarded with a coconut. And let me just say that they come down fast. Fortunately Keith was able to jump out of the way fast enough. FYI, if you should find a coconut laying on the beach, don’t open it. We did and well, it was quite nasty. It looked like milk that expired months after its prime. And that smell……..whoa.

opening a bad coconut

opening a coconut

Peck Lake

Peck Lake

getting coconuts

getting coconuts

The other side of Peck Lake

The other side of Peck Lake

The next morning we slept in, had a nice southern breakfast and headed out for a 13 mile ride to Stuart. Fortunately we only had one draw bridge. Draw bridges aren’t that big of a deal, but we don’t much care for them. For those that don’t know,  some are open on demand, where you call and ask them to open for you and some are on a schedule. Either way, it’s a waiting game. You watch to see when traffic stops, then you listen for the horn to blow, then you watch for the bridge to start to open and push it full throttle, assuming you aren’t too close. All this while trying to hold still in a wind or current that you can’t control and hope there aren’t any other boats too close to you. Fortunately we had no problems with any bridges this time around. But it still makes us apprehensive at times.
So we made it to Stuart, washed the boat, found our mooring and grabbed it on the first try. This still makes me happy. Keep in mind this was only our third time on a mooring and the first time we had to have help. We were just inexperienced. We are starting to get the hang of it. We will meet with someone soon to go over our repairs, get it their books, and hopefully head somewhere further south for a month or two . At this point, we don’t know if we will go to the Bahamas, or key Biscayne, before coming back and taking the boat out. We will probably make that decision soon. It’s alright. Life is still good.

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