Cruising from Satellite Beach Florida to Savannah Georgia & We Missed the Rocket Launch…#49

We had arrived in Satellite Beach, Florida in mid-April after our week or so in the Keys and our trip north in the ICW.  We were planning on staying at Satellite Beach area for a while and just settle in a bit before we thought about going north again. We were able to just enjoy our time and not do too much. Our friends, Chris and Gina loaned us a vehicle to be able to go to store & Patrick Air force base to hit the Exchange and Commissary. We were also able to take a couple drives around the area but really kept ourselves isolated as much as we could. We did a few dinners with our friends at their home and Dan was excited to help Chris work on his Corvette project, where he is putting an Electronic Twin Turbo LS motor into a Stingray from the frame up. We also worked on tuning his LS powered boat.  We really enjoyed our time with Chris and Gina and were so glad to spend the extra time in this city. 

I started a daily walk along the neighborhood close by and enjoyed it tremendously. I got so many cool pictures along the way. I loved these “snake Cactus” and got a close up of this beautiful Heron along our dock. indian-banana waterwaysI also took my Kayak out a couple time on Indian River, I was hoping I would see dolphins which frequent the area every day. I did see them, but I couldn’t get close enough for good pictures.

“This area has two rivers that collide into the ICW (Intracoastal Waterways). The Indian river starts up in the Ponce de Leon area and flows down towards Satellite Beach where the Banana river runs into the Indian river and continues down the ICW. The Banana River isn’t considered part of the ICW only part of the lagoon system and has an outlet to the Atlantic Ocean by Port Canaveral”

The Marina we were at was a bit south of this map image.

img_7140

We stayed busy with projects of course, we did many puzzles, books, netflix’s & went fishing and caught nothing worth keeping, but it was fun. Dan got to power wash the dinghy of all the sea barnacles and such, being that we left the dinghy in the water so we could use it. I had to do the same thing on my Kayak that I left in the water. This is the joy of sea water vs fresh. We had planned to stay for 1 month but extended our stay when we heard that the Spacex rocket launch was planned for 5/27. Dan had reviewed the bays near Cape Canaveral, and we knew how close we could get to the launch.

img_7205

On Tuesday 5/26 we left the marina and headed out to our rocket watching anchorage spot. It was extremely close, and we were excited. But on Wednesday the weather was not looking good and a thunderstorm was heading in. As you know the launch was scrubbed due to weather issues. We then had to make a decision as to stay at anchor until Saturday or Sunday and hope it doesn’t get scrubbed again. I was concerned because the weather did not look any better for the weekend, I really didn’t want to wait 3-4 more days and it gets postponed again. So, the decision was made to move on to St. Augustine. We had waited and postponed our travels north by 2+ weeks and I was ready to leave. 

We headed out along the Intracoastal waterways to Ponce de Leon Inlet and anchored out for 1 night. (map of our locations at end of blog) This was just a stop and rest point so we didn’t have to cruise all night long. img_7227We got hit with a pretty good storm that evening and just watched with amazement as the winds, rain and dark clouds hit us. We took off again the next morning for St Augustine City Marina. We traveled via the Intracoastal Waterways and it is an interesting navigation endeavor. Some areas are really shallow 6-8 feet or less and narrow. Some are wide open with a few extra feet but required to stay inside the navigable channel to be safe. The depth is very shallow outside the narrow channel which requires us to stay alert the whole time. It is also can be very windy and lots of marsh lands, bridges & little alcoves along the way.  You do stay safe from the sea conditions while traveling the ICW and that is one bonus, plus the view is much better too! 

img_7253We arrived in St. Augustine docks and were pleased that the city was within steps of the marina. We arrived late afternoon and planned to stay two nights. We walked around the town that night and found a nice place for a snack & drink, Prohibition Kitchen. It was a two-level cute pub grub type place. Service and food were excellent. We had Brussel sprouts grilled with some awesome sauce and a beautiful shrimp cocktail with huge shrimp. It was incredibly good. Found the local visitor center and bought tickets for the next day on a historic “On-Off Trolley”. If you haven’t done one if these it is AWESOME. We used the “Old Town Trolley Tours” company and were very happy with the knowledge, locations they stopped and the quickness between rides (approx. 15 mins). We did one in Washington DC years ago and enjoyed it then and this was very similar. I just love old history and we both enjoyed our time listening to the drivers explain the city.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We rested a bit before dinner. We had so many recommendations from friends for good places to eat but ended up at a local restaurant 2 block from the marina at Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grill. It had good ratings on-line and it was close by and it did not disappoint. It was fabulous! 

Up early the next day to head off to Jacksonville Fl. We had made friends with some locals through a Facebook group for those that have Hatteras Yachts. We went in a bit further, 25 nm, than we would have on our own and stayed at Lamb’s Yacht Center & Marina. We had tons of fun with Bill and Patty. We each showed off our boats. 

Dan helped Bill a bit with some projects, we did a couple dinners out, went to the Navy Base nearby and we got to visit their boxers… what a joy! That is one thing Dan and I miss a lot is animals in our lives! We had a 5 day stay and have new friends too! 

We got up extra early when we left Lambs Marina in Jacksonville, we had aways to go, 75 nautical miles to Brunswick GA. We picked this location for a couple reasons. We needed a halfway point between Jacksonville and Savannah and Dan found a place to buy his 5-gallon buckets of Chevron Delo 100 40w oil, to keep the big Detroit Diesel happy, and they were going to bring it to the boat. So, that saved us a problem with how to get it picked up and hauled. So we went in to Brunswick Landing Marina. We stayed 1 night, oil was waiting for us when we arrived, and we walked to a local restaurant for dinner. On our way “in and out” towards Brunswick at St. Simons Island Sound we got to see the 656 foot “Golden Ray” cargo ship that flipped over in September of 2019. It was holding 4,200 cars and the effort to get her out of the water has been an undertaken ever sense. The ship was eventually declared a total loss and is now being cut up in place and scrapped. Here is more detail on the whole event and salvage work. Golden Ray Wiki

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Below is a map of our trip along the coastline and ICW. 

Our trip continues North as we head towards Norfolk/DC area. We will be stopping in Savannah Georgia next. I’m excited because my friend Ashley gave me a book that I read a year or so ago called “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt” If you haven’t read it, you should. It will make you want to go to Savannah and see all the interesting places. 

Looking forward to our adventures in Savannah and South & North Carolina… 

Take Care! 

2 Years Living Aboard our Boat, What a Dream Come True….#48

This month, June is the 2 year mark for us being underway from our home at Columbia River Yacht Club in Portland Oregon. cropped-img_2364-2.jpgWhen we started this adventure, we thought that this 2 year mark we would be close to being done….but that isn’t the case. Our plans have adjusted multiple times, as they should when things happen. But we are so happy they did because we would not have experienced some places that we were not planning on going.

This first disruption of our plans was the overhaul in the Puerto Vallarta, Mexico  Shipyard at Opequimar. It took many more weeks than we anticipated. They did a great job but the length of time made us change our plans. We decided to head north up to the Sea of Cortez  for the summer. And what a great time we had! We would go back for sure and maybe someday we will do that. It was one of the best times we had.

img_6046One of the other best times/places, that was unexpected, was when we hit the San Blas Islands on the Caribbean Sea side of Panama. This was definitely in our plans but we were totally surprised by the level of friendliness from the native Guna Indians. We were blessed to have them share parts of their lives with us and we will never forget this memory. Also the beauty of the land and the hardship these people live every day to just survive is amazing. We were blessed to be able to experience it.

Now we had many small change in plans and we really only plan out the next stop just before leaving the current one. But the Sea of Cortez was a major change to our plans. One of the other major changes to the plan was just recently when the Covid 19 hit the world. We were in Jamaica  and we planned on going to Turks and Caicos and had family coming to join us. Well, of course that didn’t happen and we decided to undertake the longest run we had ever done, 4 days, alone with no crew. We made it safely to Florida and were glad to be in the US during these trying times.

We are frequently asked by people we meet about the roughest weather or worst storms. Of course you will all remember our cruise from Costa Rica to Panama, Our most TERRORIZING Cruise ever. We tell this story often to people we meet along the way, with wide eyes watching us as we point to the top of the fly bridge where the sea water attacked me in the middle of the night. This was a life changing event for me as a sailor and I truly respect the sea as it has its own agenda.

Of course, we are always doing repairs on the boat, well, I guess I should say Dan is always doing repairs. At least the repairs are being done in exotic locations, right?  Because repairs are so much of our energy, to keep moving and be safe I asked Dan what his most concerning repair was and why. This repair issue was the overheating of our main generator. It actually had two issues, but we did not know that at the time.

Being that the overheating was in our main generator and it was old, we had a bit of concern and needed it fixed quickly. We were in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico at the time, which adds to the complexity if parts are needed. The first issue was a clogged and leaking heat exchanger. It was very troublesome because it was difficult to disassemble, being old & rusty and was hard to get it unfastened in a very tight location. Eventually he was successful, but the part had to be ordered from Cook Engines in the US and then have it shipped. Because it was heavy and expensive part, we paid bucks! Customs in foreign countries can hit you hard. The second issue was found a couple days later after the heat exchanger was replaced. We had a worn out and clogged exhaust mixing elbow. The sea water passage had become clogged, limiting the flow which causes more overheating. We had lost our main generator again. But this time we had friends coming down and they brought the part with them in their luggage and helped Dan fix the elbow. All of this was a major concern because this was our main generator wired to our inverter. We had to use our alternate generator which limited us to 50 amps max.

The winner of best pictures is a slam dunk on “Sunsets & Sunrises”. So many I may need to create a picture book with all these pictures to put on my coffee table, someday!

 

 

 

I was not sure how to put these two years into a overall blog when there was just so much to talk about, So I thought I would put the last 2 years into a list of data points.

  • 730 days/2 years living aboard Angelique
  • 8,386 nautical miles
  • 7 countries visited
  • Cruised past 6 countries without stopping
  • 12 Scuba/snorkels dives – not enough times, for sure!
  • 1 new dinghy
  • 1 haul out/overhaul
  • 5 times we used 2 anchors – bad holding & bad wind/wave direction
  • 3 times major direction change in plans
  • 2 marina power failures while gone off of the boat – not fun!
  • 18 airline tickets purchased, traveled away from boat
  • 1 pandemic
  • 2 intruders
  • 1 awesome supermoon
  • 100’s of amazing sunset/sunrise pictures
  • 40+ dolphin sightings
  • 1000+ hours fixing & maintaining stuff
  • 24 engine oil changes
  • 1 stolen phone
  • 3 Airbnb’s – during shipyard work
  • 50 different visits from our friends/family
  • 4 different visits from Ken and Cheryl – Our good friends
  • 6 different visits from our kids, Kylie, Chase & Mitch
  • 2 Hired hands – who were brothers
  • 2 Navy football games attended – different cities
  • 40+ motorcycle rides
  • 48 blog posts about our adventures
  • 75+ books read (hard, on-line & audio)
  • 100+ bicycle rides
  • 60+ Uber and taxi rides
  • 27 nights Angela spent on boat without Dan
  • So many new boating friends/acquaintances
  • 2 very grateful and blessed owners of Angelique

As we reflect back on the past 2 years living aboard our Motor Yacht, Angelique, we are amazed at how far we have traveled, IN OUR OWN BOAT! So many awesome memories we have and we are EXTREMELY GRATEFUL that I have been writing them all down in this blog. Also, incredibly grateful to our friends and family that have joined us and helped with moving the boat in those times we needed it. And of course, all the people we met along the way, which are now new friends with which we will hopefully keep in touch.

I hope that if this is something you are interested in doing, that you do it! Yes there are rough times, lots of maintenance and repairs. But what an adventure you will live and relive as you remember what you accomplished.

We hope you and your family are healthy and happy. Blessings to you from Dan and Angela on MV Angelique