Thursday, August 27, 2009

We're Almost Home

Location: St. Augustine, FL

We are in St. Augustine and are only one day away from being back home. We are grateful that Tropical Storm Ana and Hurricane Bill stayed away. We feel very fortunate to continue to have beautiful weather for our trip back home.

It has been 11 days since we had internet access, so there is a lot to share with you. When we last posted, we were preparing to leave Marathon, FL. In this update, you will be able to see the changes in landscape and water as we head north through Florida. I hope you enjoy the update!

Sunday, August 16, 2009
Destination: Sunset Cove, Key Largo, FL
When we left Marathon, the track of Tropical Storm Ana had changed and was no longer a threat to the Keys. However, Tropical Storm Bill was building and was expected to become a hurricane. So, we decided we should not stop at John Pennekamp State Park. We were disappointed because we were looking forward to the opportunity to snorkel the reefs of John Pennekamp State Park. So, now we have something to look forward to doing on our next trip!

So, with some strong winds to give us a push, Captain Jim reefed the main sail and we headed for Sunset Cove in Key Largo.

Monday, August 17, 2009
Destination: No Name Harbor, Key Biscayne, FL
We enjoyed more great sailing as we left the Keys headed for No Name Harbor on Key Biscayne. With a reefed main sail and jib, the strong gusts of wind caused the boat to heel:

I found the sailing to be very relaxing:

I have also found other great ways to sleep on the boat. I bet you didn’t know that you can also sleep with your butt on a pillow:

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
Destination: Delray Beach, FL
When we arrived at No Name Harbor, we decided to take the ocean route from No Name Harbor to Ft. Lauderdale to bypass all the drawbridges. However, in the morning we learned the seas had increased to 4 to 6 feet. Since these seas would be uncomfortable, we decided to change our plans and tolerate the trip on the “inside” with all the restricted bridges.

Here you can see how the buildings are built to the edge of the ICW in south Florida:

You know you are no longer in the Keys because everything is bigger in south Florida:

At least they have some green space along the waterway. This is a state park in Ft. Lauderdale adjacent to the waterway:

And there are some quaint little towns along the waterway north of Ft. Lauderdale:

As we were waiting for a bridge to open, we saw a dolphin (oops, my ear got in the photo)!

Boca Inlet
Boca Inlet has a nice lighthouse:

Drawbridge Hell
On our trip from Key Biscayne to Delray Beach, we had to go through 20 drawbridges! 16 of the drawbridges open on a restricted schedule meaning that some open on the hour and half hour, while others open on the quarter and three-quarter hour. Unfortunately, the bridge tenders will not hold an opening for you if you do not arrive at the bridge exactly at the time they are scheduled to open. Because our sail boat is not extremely fast, we definitely had a challenge making some of the scheduled openings and had to wait nearly 30 minutes for a couple of the bridge openings!

However, we got lucky when a north bound tug pushing a barge showed up. Because the tug cannot stop the barge to wait for a scheduled bridge opening, the bridges are required to open for barges upon request. So, we gladly took advantage of the situation, fell in line behind the tug and didn’t have to wait for another bridge opening until the tug stopped in Deerfield Beach. This certainly made the trip a lot better!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Delray Harbor Club Marina, Delray Beach, FL
We were prepared to leave Delray in the morning when we learned that the remnants of Tropical Storm Ana would be bringing wind and rain to the area just north of Delray Beach (where we were headed). So, we decided to stay another day and let the storm pass. We didn’t mind the break because the Delray Harbor Club Marina has a pool. And there is a Walgreens and Publix within walking distance of the marina, so we were able to get some things that we needed.

Here are photos of Morgan Glory in the Delray Harbor Club Marina. Doesn’t the boat look small next to the tall building?

Rowing Practice
When we thought we would be taking the ocean route from Key Biscayne to Ft. Lauderdale, Captain Jim had taken the dinghy motor off the dinghy so the dinghy would ride better in the ocean waters. Because the dinghy is my mode of transportation to get to shore, Captain Jim decided we would try getting to shore without the dinghy motor for the remainder of the trip. So, Captain Jim and I practiced rowing the dinghy in the harbor of the marina where it was safe from boat traffic.

Thursday, August 20, 2009
Destination: Hobe Sound, FL

Making the Most of the Drawbridge Wait
There were still a few drawbridges we had to clear as we continued north. When we reached Jupiter, we had to wait 20 minutes for a bridge opening. So, Captain Jim and I went ashore on a pretty beach just south of the bridge and I had fun stretching my legs and taking care of other important business.

Jupiter Lighthouse

The Jupiter Lighthouse is a pretty lighthouse located at the Jupiter inlet near the Jupiter Federal drawbridge:

Just past the Jupiter inlet, there was a nice little beach area where people and dogs enjoyed the water.

Because the tide was low, this dog and his owner had their owner special dog beach exposed by the low tide. I wish I could join them!

Hobe Sound Anchorage
We found a beautiful anchorage in Hobe Sound. After getting the boat anchored, Admiral Sandy got a chance to practice rowing the dinghy when she took me to shore.

Sunset in Hobe Sound

Sunrise in Hobe Sound
Captain Jim took these beautiful photos of Morgan Glory as the sun was coming up. Look at how beautifully calm the water is.

Going Ashore
This is the beautiful little beach next to our anchorage that I visited while we were anchored in Hobe Sound.

Friday, August 21, 2009
Destination: Vero Beach City Marina, Vero Beach, FL
We decided to stop in Vero Beach and stay on a mooring at the Vero Beach City Marina. The City Marina is nice with a dog park a short walking distance away. They also have lots of trees and grass at the marina which made my visits on shore very nice.

Here are photos of the Vero Beach City Marina mooring field:

Saturday, August 22, 2009
Destination: John & Dottie’s House, Vero Beach, FL
While refueling at the Vero Beach City Marina we met a guy named John who has a Morgan 384 that is a larger version of our boat. John and his wife Dottie live on a canal in Vero Beach and keep their boat behind their house. John was so nice and invited us over for dinner. He told us we could raft up to their boat and stay the night. This was a great invitation that we were happy to accept.

John and Dottie have a nice place on the canal. It was great to visit their home and see their boat. I really enjoyed the air conditioning while Admiral Sandy enjoyed a nice shower. Captain Jim and Captain John really enjoyed comparing notes about the boats, while Admiral Sandy and Dottie enjoyed sharing stories about their trips on the boats.

We also enjoyed meeting their friends Lauren and Rob and Darrae and Greg. Darrae is a big dog-lover, so she and Admiral Sandy hit it off talking about dog stuff. Lauren and Rob are spending hurricane season in Vero Beach before they go cruising the Caribbean in their wooden boat. They have a blog that you might want to check out:

The dinner was wonderful, the evening was a lot of fun and it was great to have met some really nice people. We look forward to planning some sailing trips with John and Dottie in the future!

Sister Ships
Here is a picture of Captain John on his Morgan 384 called “Noble Prize”.

Here are pictures of our Morgan 323 next to the Morgan 384. You can see some of the similarities and differences:

Sunday, August 23, 2009
Destination: Rock Point, FL

Dolphin Visit
As we were headed to the anchorage at Rock Point, we were visited by a dolphin that swam alongside our boat for over 5 minutes! It was amazing to watch the dolphin surface in our stern wake. Captain Jim got this great photo of the dolphin:

Chilling Out
The anchorage at Rock Point is behind a nice little island with a beach. So, we enjoyed spending some time on the island.

Captain Jim really knows how to relax. You can see Morgan Glory in the background:

I enjoyed the beach:

Birds flying over Morgan Glory at sunset:

Monday, August 24, 2009
Destination: Titusville, FL

Rock Point beach break at sunrise (Morgan Glory is in the background):

Morgan Glory at sunrise:

When we got to the Titusville anchorage, we heard radio traffic talking about a shuttle launch. So, we checked into it and found out that the shuttle was scheduled to launch at 1:36am. So, we set our alarm and woke up to wait for the shuttle launch. We were really excited about being so close and having the opportunity to take photos of the shuttle as it left the launch pad. But, unfortunately, as with many of the launches, it was scrubbed because of the weather. So, no photos of the shuttle launch!

Here are photos of Morgan Glory at anchor in Titusville. You can see the Titusville Municipal Marina in the background.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Destination: Daytona Beach, FL

Dolphin Watch
We have seen a lot of dolphins as we have been travelling north. We have also seen some manatee, but we have not been able to catch a photo of the manatee.

This dolphin showed up behind our dinghy:

I especially like to watch for dolphin:

This is a photo of the murals at the base of the International Speedway bridge in Daytona. The murals are of dolphins and manatee.

We arrived in Daytona Beach and anchored next to the Seabreeze bridge where we anchored on the trip south. We had hoped that we could see the shuttle launch that had be rescheduled for 1:10am, but the sky was so cloudy, we couldn’t see anything and we don’t know if the shuttle launch happened.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Destination: St. Augustine, FL
Here are photos of Captain Jim rowing me back from shore before we pulled up anchor to leave. Boy, he had to row a long way!

As we were pulling up anchor in Daytona Beach, we spotted this rainbow:

We got to see our friend Carol as we passed Palm Coast. She’s on the steps behind the boat docks:

I found a really great spot to sleep on the companionway hatch. It is a really nice spot because it is shaded by the bimini and I can feel the wonderful breeze.

As we have gotten further north, we are seeing beautiful marsh grass along the intracoastal waterway:

As we passed the Matanzas Inlet, we saw Fort Matanzas:

We passed the St. Augustine lighthouse as we approached the St. Augustine anchorage. We really like the anchorage because the lighthouse shines on the anchorage at night.

Here are photos of some of the St. Augustine anchorage. This is a nice large anchorage area and there are currently about a little over 30 boats anchored. We understand that the anchorage gets really packed in the fall.

Here is a photo of the construction on the Bridge of Lions:

Because we really like St. Augustine, we will be spending a day here before the final leg of our trip home. I am looking forward to getting home to my bed that doesn’t heel or rock, my yard that I can enjoy without a dinghy ride, and the air conditioning! But, I will definitely miss the treats from the marinas and restaurants, swimming in the Keys, sailing, watching the dolphins, the beautiful sunsets over the water, exploring new places and all the great friends that we have made along the way.

Since our adventure is not officially over, I will be sending you another update when we get home. So stay tuned…

Coconut and Crew

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1 comment:

  1. Are you guys back in Jax? Please call Rick 512-266-0665