This has been quite the week.
Our final few days on the ICW in Georgia were lovely. We left St. Simons Island on a high tide late last Friday afternoon and completed the 2-hour journey to Jekyll Creek. This creek is very shallow and very narrow so getting through it at high tide was critical. We also wanted to position ourselves for an early start the next day for crossing the St. Andrews Sound, which is notoriously rough if you pick the wrong weather. But Saturday was forecasted to be a low wind day and leaving at first light meant that we would also catch a favourable current. And, boy, were we rewarded! We had a beautifully calm journey across St. Andrews Sound (our wind instrument actually read “0”). So, yeah, peak calmness 😊.
It was a quiet journey for Wild Horses as we motored alone through the salt marshes. Our boat buddies (Sensai and Brise) were a day ahead of us, having left St. Simons at first light on Friday to take the outside ocean route to Fernandina Beach, Florida. For us, we are enjoying every last bit of the ICW so we stayed inside to take in the final stretch in Georgia.
And then, we were in Florida! We arrived at Fernandina Beach last Saturday and have continued, almost every day, to make headway further south. We continue to play the wind, tides, and currents to make our journey smooth and enjoyable.
One of the other things we have learned to work around are crab pots. We have to avoid them while moving the boat (so as not to foul the prop) and when anchoring (so as not to foul the anchor). At Sisters Creek anchorage, just outside of Jacksonville, this was a challenge. The anchorage area is very shallow so it is a perfect place for crab fishermen but it is also very narrow so, well, you either anchor among the crab pots or you choose another anchorage. We decided to task the risk and within a few hours, we were happy we did. Crab fishermen that we had seen on our way to the anchorage came by to empty the crab pot right behind us. We started chatting about how we had seen each other earlier in the day (they recognized us because of our dear Ocean and we recognized them because of the pelican that hung out with them). They loved our story and we enjoyed hearing about crab fishery. Then they said the most amazing thing. That crab pot right beside our boat? They wanted us to have the spoils from it. Fresh blue crab for dinner? Yes please!!! We couldn’t have been more grateful. What a dinner!!
Oh, and the pelican that was hanging out with the crab fishermen? They have named him Moley because of a distinct mole on his cheek. He is always with them and even hitches a ride home on their boat, waiting for the next work day to start. You can’t make this stuff up!
The next day we were off to St. Augustine, the oldest city in the US and the birthplace of the Atlantic ICW. This was definitely a must-see destination with cool colonial Spanish architecture and a really great village vibe. Here we enjoyed walking amongst history, Christmas lights and a beautiful waterfront boardwalk. And St. Augustine got to enjoy Ocean. We have never encountered so many German Shepherd-loving people and Ocean leaned into all the attention. Of course.
So, what could top fresh blue crab or the beauty and friendliness of St. Augustine? Well, how about watching a sea turtle eat his dinner right beside your boat at Marineland City? Or, how about watching a rocket ship being launched from Cape Canaveral while anchored at Daytona Beach. Wow, just wow.
We will spend a couple of days in Daytona Beach trouble shooting the water issue in our V berth before continuing our journey south. That’s okay, it means we can take in the Santa Claus parade here in Daytona Beach tomorrow. Watching a Santa Claus parade in shorts and a T-shirt? Yup! These are very special days!
Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.