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May 21, 2011

Back from the Bahamas and headed north

Our crossing back from the Bahamas was the roughest one we have ever had! We joined two other Krogens, Wanderers Rest and Sequel for the trip and they both have stabilizers so the nasty waves didn’t bother them like it did Courage.
We left from Green Turtle Cay on April 27th with the prospects for a good weather window for the next 2 days. We stopped at Great Sales Cay for a couple of hours rest and dinner and then left there at 7 PM for the overnight crossing to Fort Pierce. The weather was clear but as we got out towards the edge of the Bahamas Bank and entered the Gulf Stream, the combination of wind direction and strength produced just enough waves (3-5 feet) for Courage to rock and roll! Not dangerous but certainly uncomfortable. Of course it didn’t help that it was night.
By daybreak we were well into the Gulf Stream and making slow progress because we were headed across it rather than with it at a slight angle. I decided to tack back into the stream for a while to get a better lay line for Ft Pierce and this was a better ride and once we turned towards Ft Pierce, we were OK. The entire trip took 32 hours and we finally arrived at the Ft Pierce City marina at 2 PM!
That is too long for this old man to go without sleep and I was bushed. After getting the boat settled and checking in I was ready to crash when Bob and Dianne Lund stopped by. They knew we were on the way and just wanted to see if we had arrived. After about a half hour, and agreeing to meet them the next day to visit, I excused myself and hit the sack – for 12 straight hours. The next morning< felt good again and ready to go!
We spent 2 days at Ft Pierce and had a nice visit with the Lunds who were kind enough to drive us to the Ft Pierce airport to check in with Homeland Security and to do some shopping. We also got to be at the weekly farmer’s market that is held at the parking lot by the marina and got fresh bread, local honey, and veggies.
From Ft Pierce we wandered north stopping first at Coco where we went ashore so I could go the Travis and Co – the world’s most interesting hardware store – and have lunch at a nice local restaurant. Our next stops were Titusville, Daytona Beach, and then St Augustine where we got on one of the new moorings the City has installed.
Our X GE friends Jeff and Sharon Pruner met us there and we took Courage a couple of miles north to Caps restaurant for a great lunch on a perfect day. As always, it was good to see them and it was a nice visit. We also did a walk around the City, got ice cream and I got my bi-annual supply of Kilwin’s peanut brittle.
Our next stop was at Fernandina where we had good boating friends Ginny and Jerry aboard for dinner. They had just returned from a weekend trip to Cumberland Island on their boat Chessel. We went up to Cumberland Island the next day and went ashore to walk around the island. We had not been there for a few years and as always it was a nice experience. The weather had been calm so there were not many shells on the beach for Sue to add to her collection.
On the way north from Fernandina, we were greeted by an escort of Coast Guard vessels and a US Navy nuclear missile sub headed out to sea. They made us (and other boaters) move out of the channel to stay at least 300 yards away from the sub but I got some good pictures of it going by. It is quite a sight.
We anchored in Brickhill River on the west side of Cumberland Island that night. It is a great anchorage but the river has shoaled in quite a bit and at low tide, Courage is too close to the bottom for comfort – read that as we were pushing mud out of the way to get through!
Our next stop was Ocean Petroleum in Brunswick where we took on 400 gallons of diesel at $3.62 per gallon (yes, that is $1,454!!!) which should hopefully last us through the summer, and then moved to the Brunswick Landing Marina for the night. The local boaters were having a happy hour get together so I made deviled eggs as our contribution to the feast and we met two other Krogenites and many other boaters there for a nice get together.
Just north of Brunswick, we left the ICW and went into the Frederica River and anchored by the old fort for the night. The Frederica River is nice and deep and this anchorage is protected and beautiful. The fort was originally built by the British as the southernmost outpost of the Colonies to protect them from the Spanish who then held the land south of there through what is now Florida.
From there we worked our way north to Charleston anchoring at Kilkenney Creek, New River, Beaufort, SC, and Toogoodoo Creek before checking in at the Charleston Maritime Center marina run by the City. It is the least expensive marina in the area, has nice facilities, and is just a short walk from the Harris Teeter Supermarket and downtown Charleston. Our good friend Terry Temperly on Island Time with his crew of Don and Vickie aboard had just arrived after going outside from Stuart. We joined them for dinner at Hymans Seafood restaurant the first night and had them aboard Courage for dinner the next night. They left yesterday as we did but they went off shore again direct to Morehead City, NC and them on to New Bern where Terry will leave Island time while he returns home to Midland Michigan for a while. We are anchored at Harbor River in another remote spot surrounded by the beautiful salt marsh and the sun has just come up for what promises to be another gorgeous day on the water.

Posted by Dick at May 21, 2011 03:00 PM