New Smyrna, FL
Saturday – Monday, May 1- 3, 2004
After a great breakfast, Sandy & Edie walked some of the great paths through development. Then they joined Barb to head out for some serious shopping. Meanwhile, Jack dropped Bill off at the boat to install a replacement for the troublesome little plastic arm that had plagued our head (toilet) all winter and to locate the leak in the cooling/exhaust system. The head came apart rapidly (lots of practice), the new cam and arm were quickly installed and the head flushed easily, as designed … the first time in months!
Then it was time to empty the cockpit locker, lower himself into that hot little hole and seek the source of the smoky wet. What he found was disheartening. The water injection elbow had corroded through and was leaking a combination of exhaust gas and sooty water. (The water injection is where engine cooling water is sprayed into the hot engine exhaust gasses to cool them prior to running them through a rubber hose to the stern of the boat. On our boat it is fabricated from pipe fittings.) The area was a mess. Bill worked at removing the old fitting while Jack worked from home, calling friends to find out who could fabricate a new part. Bill finally also had to appeal to Jack to locate a bigger pipe wrench to try to loosen the old fittings which were badly corroded.
Jack came through in spades! His friend, Peter Tacelli, whom we had met on the way south, offered to bring bigger wenches and hammers to help. (When in doubt, try a bigger hammer!) He showed up with an assortment of pipe wrenches and hammers, including a heavy sledge and a propane torch. The torch was the key and after heating one of the old 1¼ inch elbows nearly red, the 24” pipe wrench did the rest. It took hours in a cramped cockpit locker, but it was off. Whew!
Meanwhile, Jack concluded that a weekend fabrication job was not in the picture. His friend, Bud Calvert, owns a machine shop, however, and offered to get the job done on Monday. We’d have to stay at Roraboughs longer than we’d planned but that was fine with us if it was ok with Jack & Edie. It was!
That evening we met Bud (who turns 90 this month) and his lovely wife Jan at their home on the ICW for drinks, to make a sketch of what had to be fabricated and to watch the Kentucky Derby. Then we all traipsed off to a Chinese buffet where we gorged ourselves on things of an oriental persuasion.
Bill & Jack left the house at 9:00 and ran to three building supply stores and West Marine, an auto supply house and a muffler shop to try to find all the pipe nipples and elbows and the heat resistant fabric covering for the new installation. We succeeded, mostly. The fabric was a problem but we could do without it for awhile by salvaging some of the old fabric.
That afternoon Bill returned to the boat for a couple of hours to clean up the mess left by the sooty water and exhaust and to clean up the piles of rust flakes that had dropped into the engine compartment. Ugly but easier and cleaner and quicker than yesterday’s job.
Sandy did some wash and she and Edie took a walk. We made Moroccan chicken for dinner. Afterwards, we played a game of Farkel.
Jack & Bill picked Bud up at his home and drove to his shop, an hour away. True to his word, Bud had alerted the shop foreman and he immediately took the pipe from Bill and set the crew to work drilling, cutting and brazing. Meanwhile, Jack and Bill got a quick plant tour and went out for a cup of coffee. Bud’s business is building and refurbishing machinery used to peel logs to make plywood and furniture veneers. It’s a neat business. By the time we returned from coffee the job was complete. We got back into the car, stopped at a diner for lunch and returned home. Later, Jack took Bill to the boat where he quickly installed the new part. Peter must have been really bored because he dropped by … twice … to observe.
The resolution of this problem shows just how friends can come together to help someone out. We are very grateful to all who helped and are also grateful that the problem didn’t occur in some remote Bahamian out island!
Sandy & Edie had spent part of the afternoon making vegetarian sushi. We ate that for appetizers and then pigged out on Bill’s shrimp over beans for dinner.
New Smyrna to Daytona Beach, FL
Tuesday, May 4, 2004
We didn’t plan to go far today so we’d spent one last evening with Jack & Edie. They dropped us off at the boat and bid us farewell. We quickly dropped the lines and headed for Daytona, only 15 miles to the north.
Arriving, we dropped the hook across the river from the city and had a relaxing evening reading.
Daytona Beach to Pine Island, FL
Wednesday, May 5, 2004
We considered spending a day of two in St. Augustine but decided to reserve what lay-days we had either visiting friends or stopping in places we hadn’t seen before. Accordingly, we headed for Pine Island, about ten miles north of town. Along the way, we stopped in Comachee Cove Marina for fuel and water.
Though pleasant enough, it was a long day … twelve hours and 68 miles. We’d spoken by VHF radio to the folks on Spotted Moose and had planned on having cocktails on their boat when we arrived. But, we were tired when we arrived and, with apologies to “The Moose”, we spent a relaxing evening aboard. We took much-needed showers. Then Bill printed out greeting cards for all the folks who’d helped us out in New Smyrna or had hosted us in Florida. Meanwhile, Sandy made a huge and very tasty salad for dinner.
Pine Island, FL to St. Marys City, GA
Thursday, May 6, 2004
We left our pleasant Pine Island anchorage at 6:45. As we left, Sandy noted that both the rising sun and the setting moon were beautifully reflected in the still water. It was a beautiful, clear day with NNW winds at 5 knots that were predicted to change to southerly. The tide seemed exceptionally low and we had to remind ourselves that we were getting into that area of the ICS that experiences tides of up to nine feet. As we left the little creek a paddleboat could be seen following us up the ICW. It was to remain behind us almost the entire day.
The day turned hot and the ICW seemed almost deserted. Maybe were are just out of phase with where most cruisers anchor. Along the way were passed by an East Bay 49. It’s not often that powerboats strike us as beautiful but this one got to both of us.
We must be getting close to Georgia! We were inundated by two varieties of insects. First came some kind of black-winged flies (Mayflies?) that were dumb and slow and died all over the place. The cockpit sole was smeared with bug guts where they got underfoot. The others were big, slow, green-headed flies. Sandy managed to swat lots of them but it didn’t really do any good; there were just too many. At least they weren’t biting!
One annoyance … we encountered a railroad drawbridge that was almost never closed was undergoing maintenance. No big deal, we heard, they were keeping the bridge closed to work on it but they were opening it often enough so that no one had to wait more than about 20 minutes. So, as we arrived, they closed it right in front of us. We were, perhaps a bit miffed but we eventually noticed a long, slow freight train approaching. After it passes, we said to ourselves, it will open. Not so! Eventually we noticed another long slow freight arriving from the other direction. After it passes, we said … not so. We waited and waited. Finally the boat waiting nearest the bridge radioed us and the other waiting boats that the bridge was stuck closed and they were working as fast as they could to open it by hand.
We waited. All was not lost, however, as we saw, first, an alligator swimming past our boat; the first we’d seen in the water on the trip. Later a stunt pilot put on a show for us doing a series of incredible flying feats in a lovely biplane just for our entertainment. Finally, 1¾ hours after it closed, the bridge opened and we passed.
It was another long day; 59 miles, and were glad to at last arrive in the vicinity of St. Marys City. Not so cool, however, was the sight of Manitou, and IP 32 who (Rick & Carol) are friends of Attitude. They had the misfortune of running hard aground in the vicinity of the first daymark on the St. Mary’s River. They hit just after high tide and the tide was running out. They were high and dry as we passed … nothing to do but wait for the tide to come back in. Poor Carol was tending to things as they dropped out of storage lockers down below while Rick scraped barnacles off his prop and bottom and changed the zincs on his pro shaft. Might as well make hay …
We put the hook down about 6:00 and Terry and Peggy came over for drinks while we waited for Manitou to find their way in to the anchorage. Except for Manitou’s misfortune, it was a very pleasant evening.
Here the our logends. The laptop gave out and we only made a few hand-written notes. I’ll include a few to accompany some photos.
St. Marys City, GA
Friday, May 7, 2004
Clear and very warm, high in the 80s. Sandy walked. Breakfast out with Terry & Peggy (Attitude) and Rick & Carol (Manitou). Girls shopped while guys walked dogs, brought in trash and did other chores.
Met, again, in town for some refreshing, southern “sweet tea”. Toured town w/ “Golf Cart Lady”. Funny patter as she droves us around town. Post Office. Dinner at Sterlings, with Attitude, Manitou and Wind Runner. Great meal, fair price.
St. Marys City … lots of money and hard work keep this lovely, antebellum town looking prosperous.
St. Marys City to Jekyll Island, GA
Saturday, May 8, 2004
Left St. Mary’s anchorage 6:30. Little wind, already warming up. Motorsailed when we could. Easy motor and some motor sailing north, past Cumberland Island and Kings Point sub base to Jekyll Is. Tied up at Jekyll Harbor Marina about noon. Tied in front of converted WWII mine sweeper converted to yacht. Now heading to Bay for total refit.
Used free bikes to ride to historic to gawk at Jekyll Island club hotel and “cottages”. Hotel and some of the cottages are open as hotels in the Georgia State Park. Nicely restored. About 600 full-time resident families and 200-300 winter resident families. Sandy shelled and Bill returned to boat to write and catch up on e-mail.
Afterwards, we showered and, too tired and too hot to make dinner aboard, we ate a light dinner at Sea jays, the restaurant that adjoins the marina. We talked to folks on the dock who were all very friendly.
Jekyll Island to New Teakettle Creek, GA
Sunday, May 9, 2004
Another beautiful day. Sandy walked. Bill worked on log. Rinsed boat off & filled water tanks.
Left 10:45, wind SSE 5-15, Temps mid 80s.
Grilled lemon pepper chicken, broccoli & Italian risotta. Trawlers (Trolls) four alike we’d met before. Surrounded by salt grass marsh.
New Teakettle Creek to Isle of Hope, GA
Monday, May 10, 2004
Underway 6:30. Yeat another beautiful day. Homefries and feta cheese omelet and canalope. Isle of Hope marina by 3:00. Showers.
Wayne’s cousin, Alan Silver & Colin picked us up at 6:00. New home on one of the historic squares in downtown Savannah. Looks like an historic home. Elegant inside with eleven foot ceilings (to match surrounding homes) and elaborate millwork.
Dinner at a Greek restaurant on waterfront.
Isle of Hope, GA to Port Royal, SC
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Bill walked early (25minutes each way) for coffe and a half-gallon of OJ. Sandy walked. Bill rode bike and took photos of the lovely homes.
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
SE 5-10 and overcast with light rain showers.
Before departing, Bill put in chartplotter routes through Charleston.
Underway 10:30,planning on a stop in Hilton Head. Decided against … wouldn’t be able to tour it in one short evening. Decided to forge on ahead and agreed to meet Rag Time at Port Royal, just short of Beaufort, Just north of Paris Island. Drinks aboard Rag Time.