Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Last days in Florida waters

We just picked up a mooring in Fernandina Beach. The wind has been howling an almost steady 15-20 knots from the Northeast all day. Grabbing a mooring ball is so much easier than docking in this wind. No need to embarass ourselves if we can avoid it!

The last time we were here in Fernandina was November 16, as we were heading south. A lot of water under the bow since then! But 5 months??? We did fly home twice for about 10 weeks off MicMac, but this has been a journey.

It's time to swap out the cruising guides and charts too. Thank you, George and Denise, for loaning us so many of yours. Non-boating friends might be amazed at how expensive these necessary charts are. $70-$100 is the going rate. But cruisers can't simply rely on GPS and electronic chartplotters.

I just had a "happy sad" moment, realizing we'd be leaving Florida tomorrow morning. But golf, lawn, garden, and friends are waiting back in Virginia. We estimate another 4 weeks before we see them.

Last night, we stayed in Jacksonville Beach at Palm Cove Marina. We arrived at dead low tide and had about an inch under us in their channel as we very slowly approached. After an invigorating walk to Publix to restock the frig, we enjoyed one of our best dinners of the entire trip at Marker 32 Restaurant next to the marina. We are growing gills and fearful of looking like grouper, but had to order more swimming creatures. Pete enjoyed his Florida pompano, while I devoured my Florida shrimp and grits. Food and Service were terrific. Ask for Tiffany or Steve.

The night before that, we stayed at Camachee Cove Marina, in St. Augustine where we shouted "Ahoy" at one of our heroes, Tom Neale, when we spotted him on "Chez Nous" at the end of the dock. We've been Tom Neale wannabes since we first heard him at a cruising the Chesapeake seminar at some boat show back in the '70s. We even have some of his old cruising newsletters onboard. He and his wife Mel inspired us to cruise the Chesapeake and "do the ICW."

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