Isle of Palms to St. Augustine

Trip Start Oct 19, 2008
Trip End Jan 05, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A pleasant days run with the temperature somewhere closer to what we expected.  We called ahead for a marina and are now at the Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor.  Doziers said there was a lot of shoaling on this leg but  the Marina person at Camachee said a lot of dredging had been done and we should have a pleasant run.  Our adrenalin shot for the day came early on as after leaving the marina at Palm Cove which was in a little basin off the channel we had to pass under the new B B McCormick fixed bridge - one lane of which has now been constructed and replaces a bascule bridge.  The guide warns of strong currents and the water was swirling through the bridge cut.  We suddenly noticed the height clearance board said 34 feet.  At many bridges there is a board in the water and as air draft varies with the tide one can see at a glance what the bridge clearance is.  We did a 180 degree turn and went back a 100 yards up the river where an Australian boat was anchored and we had seen someone hanging out his washing.

Conversation as to the bridge's height.  "I dunno mate - we just came in off the ocean but it looks like a 65' bridge"

We had done a double take as sometimes one thinks one might of taken a wrong turn and there are  bridges of all sorts of heights up the side creeks.  There were other sailing boats coming up behind us so we were obviously in the ICW so off we went again.  It was apparent the bridge was so new the new height board has not been put in place and the old one for the bascule bridge reamins.

The Palm Valley section of the ICW seemed easy but we followed the recommendations as to where shoals might be just to be on the safe side.  As we knew we going to a marina we slowed down to enjoy the fine and warmer  sunny day together with the pleasant views of the woods and marshes and the beautiful houses in some of the sections. A sailing boat (Lady of Lorien) registered in Ipswich UK passed us.  We a had a little chat on the VHF and learned they are going to the same marina to work on their boat.  They said they have been over here since 2005.  Saw what looked like a really good anchorage in an oxbow with plenty of water in it and another boat in it with two more going in.  Marked it on the chart.  Our new Maptech charts for Florida did not have the markers on for some sections of what we did today and the electronic chart seems to be more useful than the paper chart as it did show the markers.

On arriving at the marina after checking in we did an oil change and changed the fuel filter.  The engine stalled afterwards but we managed to bleed it with the manual pump on the fuel system.  From memory we had about 268 hours on our engine before leaving for Marthas Vineyard in the summer and now we have 534 hours.  We sailed well more than half the trip to New England but on this trip we have not had much opportunity to sail since leaving the Chesapeake.  In retrospect we might have taken a few opportunities crossing the sounds but often they were rough, we were freezing cold and focused on keeping warm and dealing with other boats coming and going and getting to wherever we were bound to beat the short daylight.  Coming back we will make a point of sailing whenever we can but one sees very few boats using their sails. 

There look to be some weather windows for getting to the Bahamas coming up but we will probably not be far south enough to use them and are tired of pushing hard to make distance all the time.  We are going to have today in St. Augustine and carry on tomorrow.  There are two cold fronts coming through today and the forecast is for 37 F tonight but in the 60's tomorrow.

We were very pleased to hear that friends, following us about a week or so behind are on their way again after having a fender bender while docking in a marina near Charleston.  Docking in strange places after a long day in the cold can be difficult and getting information from marina people as to conditions and currents is not easy.  Obviously they do not want to scare you off......
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