River Rats a Running!

“It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.”George William Curtis, Writer

Don here:  Haven’t travelled the intracoastal waterway since the late 70’s…not much has changed.  Landscape is taller, boats are different, but the currents are the same, and you can’t have any lapses in attention!  “It doesn’t get any shallower that shore.” even in the intracoastal!

Why are we moving again?  We were underway at daybreak leaving Amelia Island, Florida, to Brunswick, Georgia (our original destination, but as you recall, the winds were too strong to go into Brunswick).  So were backtracking up the rivers to our hurricane hole called Brunswick Landing where I’ll keep the boat for a while.  There are advantages:  Registration fees (assuming we need to register the boat is Georgia) are less; insurance is less, and we’ll be close to town.  Nice advantages.

But the sun is coming up (haven’t seen that for days!) Chris went out and got coffee (thank you Chris) the crew is spirited (hangover?), and we’re practicing “red right returning” on a little channel with big tankers and tugs towing barges.

But let’s let the crew talk about the trip…that’s more interesting!

According to Chris: Riddle me this Batman, “How do you take a bunch of well seasoned Racing Sailors with tons of experience and make them a little uncomfortable on a 43′ Sailboat?” Put ’em on the river!!! Making great time while turning 2500 rpm and running against the tide. I am sure none of these guys have ever spent 10 straight hours underway by engine. Sun is shining, Dolphins are playing and they are learning that even while on the same “river” the Navigation lights can go from “Red right return” to Keep the green on your right until we cross the next Ocean inlet. Been a great morning with scrambled eggs, 4 blend Mexican cheese and Salsa. It was fun to not be pitching and rolling, and to have to hold on with one hand while trying to cook. Looks like it is going to be a great day to end an adventure of a lifetime, but more on that later in my final trip wrap up.

And now a word from Loren: did our own pub crawl  last night. started with our breakfast restaurant, the bar portion and had a Mermaid Slap to start(lots of booze), then went next door for a dark and stormy, saw the biggest lab around, went down to the old corner bar for another dark and stormy, ended up at a restaurant for last stop for food and drinks, had to send our d&s back because of bad rum. and our crawl was over. And our start was at the cuban deli to have some GREAT cuban coffee made by the lady from cuba, yup it was great cuban coffee, like what i used to buy in the little cuban joints by the miami airport. been a long time since i had good cuban coffee.

And bought a 6 pack of real ginger beer(alcohol) for our trip north. Will give evaluation later after sampling(drinking) it.

by the way, at least where we are the icw is very wide.

Tim here: Enjoying the Florida sunshine for sure! Of all the places to get randomly sent to, Amelia Island was quite pleasant! The town was having a Victorian era Christmas celebration with folks dressed up in period garb and carolers and a dog costume contest. There were a number of artsy vendors and a lively group of tourists walked the streets and sidewalks also enjoying the day.

The trip down from Norfolk was a bit of a wild ride as we got a little closer to the gulf stream than I anticipated.  But the pilot house kept us dry or gave us a nice place to dry off if we did go outside and get wet. Chris and I did a number of trips outside for sail changes and reefing that always ended with me saying “let’s get out of here” as we went for the door.

Cruising this ICW is actually more demanding than it sounds. The driver has to pay attention to the markers and also keep an eye out for traffic as we wind around through what looks like pretty swampy tidal basin terrain.

Closing out for now.  One more Trip Blog to come.  Thanks for staying with us!



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