Heading South Again
The temperatures have plummeted. Winter has come early in the US. We feel that we are moving south a bit too late, as we are running our heating on the boat to keep warm.
We are supposed to be south where it is warm.
We took some time off the trip south over Thanksgiving to do a road trip to visit my family in Oklahoma. We took the ICW from York River to Morehead City, NC. We had hoped to go outside to make the trip in a few overnighters, but the weather was not cooperative.
And so we did the ditch back through Norfolk, Chesapeake, through NC, and finally stopping in Morehead City Marina. We had hoped to get to Brunswick to leave the boat for the road trip to Oklahoma, but decided it really did not matter. And so we rented a car, and did the 1200 mile each way trip to see Mom, Jackie and the rest of the family. It has been decades since I spent Tday with the family, my favorite holiday. And Jenny got to experience American Thanksgiving. We both felt bloated for a week following the trip.
Back at Morehead, we left and took the outside route to Brunswick, breaking the trip into two sections of about 200 miles each. We made a stopover at Winyah Bay, after 30 hours and an overnight in the picturesque river with a raging current. We had to tie the main engine prop shaft as it was spinning in the 4 knot current.
It was a beautiful passage; a Super Moon (we learned later) gave us amazing night sailing. We averaged over 7 knots with cooperative winds and currents.
The second day and night took us to Brunswick Ga, where we planned to stay for 3-4 weeks before heading south to Ft Pierce and then Old Port Cove in North Palm.
We took the bikes out of the dock boxes and did some errands in Brunswick, including a Dr. visit for me to check my blood pressure med, and a stop by US Customs to get our cruising permit extended.
When we checked into Ft Lauderdale in May, we guessed that we would stay 8-9 months before heading back to the Bahamas. And so our cruising permit was issued for 9 months, expiring on Jan 1.
We were surprised to learn that we cannot get an extension for the cruising permit. This means that we have to depart the US by 1 January.
Crap, this means we cannot stay in Brunswick for 3-4 weeks. The upholstery job would have to wait.
Another call after the news, to Customs in Ft Lauderdale did reveal that we can move to our final US destination by Jan 1, and can stay in that port until any work is completed and then the Customs department would issue a clearance. So at least we can stay in North Palm after Jan and get our water maker work done.
Oh well that is cruising. We enjoyed being back in Brunswick. The marina was pretty full, and we got to meet up again with Ted and Mary on Sea Star, a sister Nordhavn 47. Ted and Mary keep the boat in Brunswick, and commute back to Port Aransas Texas.
They were in Port Aransas for hurricane Harvey, right on the beach. Their house did fine, as they had it built to withstand 200 mile per hour winds. Their neighbor’s roof was torn off.
And then Hurricane Irma, came up from Florida, and hit Brunswick, leaving Sea Star to weather the storm in the marina. Luckily not damage to Sea Star or the marina during the hurricane. The dock master, Ralph, did say that the floating docks can within about 3 feet from floating off the 15-20 foot pilings.
The shrimper’s fuel dock a bit further south of the marina was damaged, and they can no longer sell fuel.
This has created an opportunity for the marina management to increase the price of diesel at Brunswick Landing Marina. I kick myself for not checking active captain, as we made our way past NC fuel stops, Atlantic Yacht Basin, where we stayed one night is 25 cents cheaper per gallon.
Oh well, we have checked AC and see that the fuel price in NPB is about $2.40, at the moment .37 cheaper that Brunswick per gallon. We can wait.
And so we are now off after waiting for a massive cold front to clear the area. We had temps in the low 40’s and two days of rain. Ted and Mary told us they had snow at Port Aransas.
We left this morning in the dark, easy to navigate Brunswick with nice wide and deep channels, and well -marked. We have a long trip, of over 200 miles to Cape Canaveral, with a planned stop to rest up and then head on down another 60 miles to Ft Pierce, for our crane work.
It is still pretty cold outside. Sunny with a westerly wind today, 10-15 knots and a minor 2’ wind chop off our starboard. We have only about 24 more hours to go.
We are getting more accustomed to the longer trips. With 2x 30 hour passages we have learned a bit more of a routine for the passages.
Jenny makes up some sandwiches, and does a dinner which we can heat up in the microwave so we can spend little time in the galley while underway.
We made a short 2 day stop at Cocoa Village Marina, after our long 200 mile trip. We had some head seas overnight that lasted until the morning. We had 30-40 knot winds develop as we passed Cape Canaveral, and the several bridges and the loch.
We were happy to get tucked into the marina after a long trip. Southern Star was coated with salt crystals.
We gave her a good wash after we recovered on our second day.
We made contact with Dennis for our crane work, and Ft. Pierce had a slip for us, for a week.
And so our long run from the southern end of the Chesapeake to NC, to Georgia has finally come to a brief stop.
We plan to spend Christmas and New Year in North Palm Beach, finishing up our provisioning, and having JT reinstall the water maker after an overhaul.
Our passage from FT Pierce is going nicely. Nice and calm out here, with a little fog as we left Ft. Pierce.
We should make NPB about 2-3:00 today 21 Dec.
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