Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Continental Drift

Apologies for the long drought in posting. We are back in these united states and have been moving north fast and visiting many places.

The Gulf Stream crossing was good and we got to use its north flow to land in Fort Pierce Florida. We met up with our friends Oceane in Vero Beach and have been travelling northward together since. We've been splitting ocean hops with the inland Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), weather dependent. The ICW's slow winding motoring, frequent shoaling and lift bridges is killing us. So boring and frankly in many ways more tiring than the ocean. Additionally we can't transit the ICW at night so it's slow going.

Cocoa, Daytona, St-Augustine, Fernandina, Charleston. This time we skipped the entire state of Georgia altogether which was a shame but I do not miss the winding marshes or eight foot tides!

We've seen too much to pack a reasonable description in one blog post and I'll let the pictures tell the story but I'll also just bullet form some highlights.

  • Flagler College: formerly a ritzy hotel from the Gilded Age, where you could only stay for a “season” (required: $10,000 and listed on the NY social registry
  • Distillery: free tour and free samples!!
  • Floridian Restaurant: so good!! Felt back in Montreal!
  • The Legion: Stopped in for one drink, stayed till closing. Met some interesting people.

  • Our good friends the Grumbauchers
  • The Old Slave Market (a MUST see for Cassandra that we missed on the way down and that I've been hearing about for the past six months – done!)

Coming out of Charleston in the ICW there is a section of extreme shoaling (3.5ft at low tide) that we knew about. On the way down we had seen a sailboat aground there waiting for high tide. As we knew of this we planned an early departure accordingly to be at high enoough tide and a favourable current. Unfortunately the exact spot we went over was too shallow and we did run aground... on a falling tide. As our buddy boat Ocean had just passed over the same spot and reported back to us 5ft (we only draw 4ft 11inches) I tried to power forward through it, unsuccessfully. We were caught but good. As the tide was falling our predicament would only worsen and time was of the essence. Oceane ahead of us was still in the shallows danger zone and rightly continued on so as not to get caught themselves. A passing power boat tried to get us off by creating big wake waves around us but to now avail. Then they tried to tow us off which became a near disaster (they were good hearted but inexperienced) as (1) they hit into our bow and (2) the tow rope snapped and sprang back, thankfully missing me and Dexter on deck. As I saw they were pulling way too hard & fast I crouched down low covering Dexter to make us a smaller target. We immediately called Tow Boat US but by the time they arrive half an hour later the tide had dropped so much even they could not tow us off. So there we sat, water disappearing under us, tilting over, 15 then 30 degrees. We spent a very tilted and stationary six hours waiting for the tide to rise. Delay but no injury or damage. Eventually we got on our way again

We're now in Beaufort NC. On the way down it took us 8 travel days between Beaufort and Charleston, on the way back up it's taken less than 4 (including the lost half day running aground). I figure this makes us at least twice the sailors we were ;-)

Gulf Stream - the ocean's conveyor belt
We deviated significantly from our route - no straight lines on the Gulf Stream

Cockpit musical dance number

Back to the land of bridges


Double rainbow

Double rainbow!!!!!!!!!!!

Lovers on Ocean

You need to be kissed well and often, and by somebody who knows how!

Tiffany Glass

A clock by old Tommy Edison (note his signature 4 o'clock numeral)

Definite fire code violation 

Doing some quality control sampling

This woman schooled me.


Playing with the big boys

Beautiful anchorage in Fernandina

The town was redeeming though

Let the record show I walked the dog

Here otter otter otter

Another little visitor (or intruder as I like to call it)

Some evil genius' lair in the ocean... oh now it's just BP

Monday, May 12, 2014

Just Grand

Grand Bahama, a major island not too far from Florida, is very developed and has plenty of resources. We stayed at the our first marina in the bahamas. Ocean Reef Marina is also a hotel and we made fast friends with some of the guests. Partied hard, toured hard. One last bahamian hurrah. Went to a dolphin experience. Cassandra's life is now complete. These animals were incredible, reacting to the slightest hand movements of the trainers.

Now headed back to the continent. See you state side.

Gettin' down

Family vacay

So hungover

High stakes dominos

Karaoke queens

The diva

Apparently in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie