Sept 28, 2017
[Note: this blog is being written in September, shortly after getting a call from Tiger Point Marina that Adamant 1 had not been damaged in Hurricane Irma! Yeah!!]
Checking back into the US was quick and painless. We made the call to Customs but we needed to check in with Immigration in person. Because it was Saturday, it meant we had to wait until Monday morning to check in. They gave us permission to move to Titusville where we could anchor out, and take Folly’s car back to Cape Canaveral on Monday. While at Immigration, we signed up for the Small Vessel Reporting System, which means next year, all we need to do is call Customs, give our SVRS number and we are cleared to enter.
Leaving the dock at Cape Canaveral early Sunday we headed for Titusville. It was dull and dreary and I had forgotten how long the canal was between Cape Canaveral and the ICW. Even though it wasn’t sunny, there were loads of people in small day boats, cruising, fishing and swimming. We hadn’t seen many of these types of boats in the Bahamas, so we had make sure we didn’t run anyone down. We Anchoring outside of Titusville harbour we are directly across from the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center. There was a rocket launch scheduled for Friday, but we had no intention of hanging around. On our last trip we saw both a day launch of a shuttle and the very last night launch of a shuttle.
Early Monday morning we headed back to Cape Canaveral in Harley’s car to check in with Immigration. Then it was shopping and laundry. We had a farewell dinner with Janice and Harley as we were ready to head north while they were preparing to haul Folly in Titusville. We had been with them for nine months and had the greatest time. We would see them once we both returned home – they live only a few miles away.
Tuesday dawned bright and sunny and the wind was piping up from the south, a few days later than was forecasted. The Intracoastal in Florida is well marked; the scenery ranges from wetlands and forests to trailer parks and mega mansions. We were following spring up the Waterway and everywhere there were lilac bushes and flowers blooming. We needed to have the many bridges raised for us.
pods of dolphins followed us and there are many manatee areas where the speed limit is reduced so no one will harm the animals with their props. There were also areas that have silted in and we managed to run ourselves into some sand while still inside the markers. Pat managed to get us “unstuck” but it required some serious throttle and steering!
We spent our first night underway in an anchorage in Daytona Beach. We were in small whitecaps, which back home would have sent us looking for a quieter anchorage, but here, we never gave the waves a thought…it’s all in what you get used to! The next day, the homes along the canal were even bigger, which I didn’t think was possible. I made an interesting observation though: we never saw a single person anywhere around those mansions. It was the smaller homes along the way where there were people sitting outside and fishing from their docks.
We carried on and as we headed north, we found increasing damage to docks and homes caused by Hurricane Matthew the previous October. The closer we got to St. Augustine, the more damage we saw. Almost every dock was destroyed, some with boats still in the slings, with the roof of the lift crushing the boats. Many homes still had tarps on their roofs and trees were bare of leaves. We were lucky to get a mooring ball and signed up for 5 days as the forecast was for heavy winds from the south. And blow it did. Getting into the dock from the mooring field required wrapping ourselves up in coats and towels so we wouldn’t be soaked when we got in. We bought a three-day pass for the trolley tour and used it as a taxi. It hit all the highlights of St. Augustine and we visited museums, old homes, the lighthouse, the fort, the chocolate factory and of course, the winery! I think we visited every art gallery twice.
The highlight in St. Augustine is the Lightner Museum, built in 1888 as a hotel, then turned into a museum. We spent five hours there and I took a hundred pictures of the furniture, collections of crystal, lamps, art, tapestries, stuffed animals…the list is endless. The only blight on our time in St. Augustine was, unknown to us, during Adamant’s romp through the endless whitecaps for 5 days, the mooring ball we had been given had some broken pieces on the lip of the ball. Those pieces rode back and forth along both sides of Adamant’s hull and chipped off quite a bit of paint. We will need to give her a coat of paint in the fall, before we head back out.
When the wind died down, we headed for Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, 20 miles east of Jacksonville. We were scheduled to haul out on May 9th and had tickets to fly home for the summer on the 12th. The first 2 nights we stayed on a mooring ball off the city marina. The marina had been totally wiped out in Hurricane Matthew and all services for boats were shut down. We were lucky to get into Tiger Point Marina early, so we had time to get Adamant 1 ready for haul out. We had a busy week getting her “summerized”, similar to winterizing back home, but no need for antifreeze.
They cleaned the barnacles from her bottom, put her in an 8-pad cradle [thankfully they do not use jack stands for sailboats] and put on the hurricane straps, just in case a hurricane comes through! We took off all the canvas, strapped the dinghy down tightly to the deck, removed the solar panels and bagged and sealed everything below that could get damp and musty. By the time we boarded our flight home, we were tired, anxious to get home, and nervous about leaving our beloved boat in Florida for the summer.
Until next time……….
Longtime CY staffer Lynn Lortie and her husband Pat left Midland last summer to make their way into the Great Loop and head out on a three year sailing odyssey. Follow their progress right here in CYOB.