The last 2 days have consisted of moving down the ICW from sunup to sundown. For the uninitiated, the intercostal waterway runs from Maine down to Florida with an option to continue around the gulf to Brownsville, Texas. The majority of the waterway tracks just inland of the ocean and provides a sheltered path when the ocean is raging, like it is this week. There are a some systems circling out there at the moment that, if it was warm water, would look awfully like the beginnings of a hurricane. Not fun even for the non-seasick inclined.
Given endless amounts of time the. ICW allows sailers to stop off at numerous towns, small and large, and offers scenic views enticing one to drop anchor and stay awhile. I’ve spent years doing just that in the low country and have driven the 2 lane roads the length of the waterway from Charleston to Miami stopping in every town probably 5 times, so blasting by the lovely islands and lighthouses is (only slightly) less difficult. The cold weather and nearly constant rain helped encourage speed. The days can best be summed up as follows:
12/22 was a full day of motoring in the rain. We anchored in St. Augustine on 12/22 and had a fantastic view of the fort emerging from the fog before all sights but the next boat over were engulfed in rain. Needless to say there was no exploring the town, but we did have whiting fried in coconut oil courtesy of a couple of fishermen at the dock in Jacksonville the night before. Up at 5:45 next morning and moving before first light. It’s hard to tell when sunrise was thanks to the foggy rainy grey. Around 10am the miracle happened: sunlight! By 11 the fog was gone enough to put the wet things on the line and get back to living a dry life. We somehow managed to catch the tides perfectly and cruised with the tide almost the whole day.
Daytona Beach is land of the bridges and we crossed 5 of them within 2 miles. See video at end. South of the city the ICW straightens up and there was enough wind to put up all the sails! It’s probably not everyday folks look out their windows to see a 43’ catamaran under full sail hauling down the 20m wide canal behind their house.
A nasty storm was due to arrive at 5:30, right when we were due to arrive at our chosen anchorage at last light (post sunset type last light). We watched the land 3 miles away disappear and the wall of rain march closer, saw the waves pick up ahead, gunned the engines to race to the anchorage and dropped sails as the wind and light rain arrived. Did a loop to check depth and dropped anchor as the first serious gust hit and instantly couldn’t see shore a football field distance away. Nothing like getting pelted with sideways rain to celebrate the end of the day! Thanks Anna, for the ground beef you sent me from the farm. It was extra tasty last night
12/22 Jacksonville -> St. Augustine
Beautiful Sunrise = 1
# white pelicans = stopped counting at 100. STOKED.
Dog walks on land = 1
Fresh fish received for dinner = 2
Pairs of pants worn = still 3
Sailboats overtaken = 1
% of tides in our favor = 60%
12/23 St. Augustine -> Mosquito Lagoon by Cape Canaveral
- Rocket launch sites passed = 1
- # times stopped to take the dog to shore = 0. We’ve perfected launching the dingy while underway. Dingy + Ryan goes ashore. Cat + Weathers keeps rolling. Have to do something for entertainment!
# pictures Weathers took of Barrell = 632
- Pairs of pants worn = 1!!
- Sailboats overtaken = 3
- % of tides in our favor = 100%