Sunday, May 27, 2012

Jacksonville to Savannah May 2012 (by Jim)

We left Jacksonville on May 12th heading to Fernandina Beach.  We stopped and picked up a mooring ball so we could stay a few days and visit friends. The trip from Jacksonville was very windy, especially when we were still in the St Johns river. The wind right on the nose was blowing spray all the way up to the flybridge. The boat was really 'crusty' with salt by the time we got to Fernandina.  Thankfully, Mother Nature came up with a really good rain storm that completely washed the boat!

We had a great visit and lunch with Capt Charlie, but unfortunately didn't get to see Cheryl (his much better half) on this trip. But we made plans to catch up again in November. We left Fernandina and headed to Brunswick, GA. The best fuel prices on the east coast have got to be in Brunswick at Ocean Petroleum. We took on 347 gallons and saved over a dollar a gallon.

After leaving Brunswick we went to a favorite anchorage in the Duplin River. The next day we went to a "new to us" anchorage in Buckhead Creek. From there we went on to Isle of Hope Marina in Savannah. We plan on staying here for a month or two to complete some more refurbishing inside the boat and to have the transom painted. We will finish the rest of the headliner in the boat and finish upgrading the lighting inside.

Paula took several pictures of this sail boat because it is actually sailing!! We never see a sail boat with it's sails up when we are traveling.

This video is of a Barn Swallow. He came to visit when we were anchored in the Duplin River. He kept coming back and landing with us standing about 5 ft away. He would sing and sing what a hoot!!

We met this cruise ship (he only travels on the ICW) and of course we met him at one of the narrowest and shallowest areas on the ICW. We had to pull off into a little wide place and wait for him to pass.

And of course we did manage to spot an eagle or two!

Spring In Sanford at Monroe Harbor Marina (by Jim)

I'm sure if you keep up with our blog you are wondering what we have been doing since February.  Well, all the projects that I mentioned in February are completed. The varnishing on the interior took a lot more time than I planned. We wanted to change from semigloss to gloss varnish that meant that most every thing required 6 to 7 coats to get the look we wanted. I also changed all the hinges and door hardware while I had every thing apart.
The normal maintenance is also done now. Oil and filter changed on main engines. Primary and secondary fuel filters changed and the housings cleaned. I also changed the raw water impellers on the main engines.

We have a really primo spot in the marina with a good view of the lake and wildlife. We have gotten to see Bald Eagles and Osprey take a bath on a little strip of land along the sea wall (our beach). We recently had three gators laying in the same area. (two over 11ft). Blue Heron, Ibis, Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, etc have been visiting our little beach too. We also have a family of ducks that visit us several times a day, a momma and 13 babies! Of course Paula feeds them so now we can't go outside without getting run down by the 'kids'.

Some pictures from our "Beach"!

Osprey taking a bath. This guy came by for a bath almost daily!

Bald Eagle taking a bath. He was by fairly often

Do you know where an 11' gator sleeps? (Where ever he wants)

Great Blue Heron with the catch of the day

White Ibis

Paula's baby ducks headed over for a several times daily feeding


An Anhinga.  We actually had to rescue one on the dock one afternoon. He had gotten several feet of fishing line wrapped around himself plus a piece of cloth caught in his beak. (Their beaks are barbed so that the food doesn't slip off it also keeps anything else from coming off) I caught him, Paula held him and I cut him loose.

Tricolored Heron

Cattle Egret

April in Key West (by Jim)

Paula had never been to Key West and I haven't been in at least 20 years. So we decided to drive the car down from Sanford for a four day vacation at a bed and breakfast. Well, actually my youngest daughter, Darcey, was getting married down there, too. (LOL) Darcey and a very nice young man, Mike Varn, tied the knot on April 27th. The wedding was very nicely done and a good time was had by all!! They make a beautiful couple and we wish them the best that life has to offer!

While there for the festivities we also went to the butterfly zoo? (what do you call a place that raises and displays butterflies?) We also went to Mel Fisher's Treasure Museum and looked at some of the treasure and things recovered from the Spanish treasure ships.

Evenings were a real treat with beautiful sunsets, nice cool sea breezes and a lot of really great people. Not to mention some really good adult beverages!

Paula and I learn about "Rum Runners" on Sunset Pier

Here's why people go to Key West!

Mike and Darcey saying their vows

Paula with one of the hundreds of butterflies.  Of course landed on her and snuggled up to her neck!

Mike and Darcey having a good time!!!!!

The southern most point in the continental US

Chickens run all over Key West.

Paula finally found the end of US 1!!

Disney Magic (it happened to be in port and had our friends Paul and Laurie Kimbrough on it!)

There were entertainers all over the pier this one had trained house cats! This cat kept breaking out of his cage and trying to let the others out!

Leaving Sanford (by Jim)

It's hard to believe that we stayed in Sanford for five months. It was our first time back in over three years. We made a lot of new friends, got together with family and old friends, got a lot of repairs and upgrades completed on Sea Eagle and generally just had a great time!!

When we left Sanford we were lucky enough to have Paula's oldest friend, Linda, travel with us as far as Jacksonville.  She was a fantastic boat guest and Paula loved having spending some quality "girl time" with her.  We left Sanford early on May 1st with our first anchorage on the western shore of Lake George. We anchored about 1/4 mile off the entrance to Silver Glen Springs. We put the dink down and took about a mile run to get back to the source of the springs. Did some swimming and sun bathing and got totally soaked riding back in the dink because of the wind and waves.

The next morning we found the boat absolutely covered with midges (like a nonbiting mosquito) I got out my trusty leaf blower (yep, a real leaf blower) but the midges were so thick it didn't do much good. So we went back to Silver Glen for a picnic lunch and more swimming.

Late afternoon we pulled anchor and headed to Turkey Island. It is so peaceful and quiet there that we spent two nights at anchor. We took a dink ride around the island and visited Welaka Springs. (which is a spring about  50' x 50'.)

We anchored the next night in a little cove across the river from our mailing address in Green Cove Springs. Then on to Ortega Landing Marina.  This was our first time at this marina and we would definitely stay there again. Beautiful pool, spa, lounge and walking distance to shopping and restaurants. We had a beautiful view of the downtown Jacksonville skyline. We also met some really nice people, Art and Jenn Cody on Jenn's Tonic. We ended up staying a week and enjoyed every bit of it!!

Ok, so after five months, we leave Sanford, go two miles and have to wait a half hour for this train so the bridge can open.

Our timing was perfect for some really pretty spring flowers. These are water hyacinths.  The St Johns River was covered with them in bloom.

Linda running the boat for the first time.  Most newbies oversteer and wander all over the waterway. Not  Linda, she did an excellent job!

My fruitless attempt to get the thousands of midges off the boat with the leaf blower.

This is what greeted us after spending one night on Lake George!  It took the three of us several hours to get the boat clean once we got to a marina.

A friendly Cardinal that rode along with us for awhile.

An Osprey feeding her chicks. Look at their eyes!

Another shot of mom and the kids

The little bridge on the Ortega River. Built in 1929 and recently rebuilt.

Super Moon

Another shot of the super moon.

Jacksonville skyline from our dock in the Ortega River

The pool at Ortega Landing. It's a tough life, but someones got to do it!!