Friday, May 23, 2014

Back to Bridges

We made a quick stop in Vero Beach to do some re-provisioning, and of course go out for sushi with our friends Pierre-Luc and Isabelle from Océane (it's been like 8 months since we've had sushi! I'm sure I have some sympathizers our there!). And then we had to get reunited with the Inter-coastal waterway again. We had a quick stop over in Daytona Beach before heading over to St. Augustine.
Back with the beautiful spanish moss
Clearly he didn't see the sign
Dexter's heaven
I have noticed a definite change in temperature, it is pretty chilly here, in comparison at least (I know, I shouldn't be complaining, everyone else had the worst winter of this century, but I got used to heat and sunshine!). This is the first time in 6 months that we started using a blanket to sleep with, I'm wearing sweatpants for gods sake! Ok, I'll stop.

We had also forgotten what a nuance it can be to wait for the many many bridges to open, it can really slow you down if they only open on the hour, and you arrive 10 mins past. We also got so used to our beloved autopilot, but while in the ICW, it's a narrow channel that you need to stay in, that is very windey and there's lots of traffic. We realized how much we dislike standing and doing nothing for 10 hrs a day.  
One of the many bridges,  Dexter is not impressed
The pelican parade!
A short moment of elation after eating chocolate
On our way to St. Augustine via the Intercoastal, we ran aground, hard. Well, I ran aground, John was sleeping. It was a weird part of the ICW, the buoys had been moved and weren't where they were on the charts, and were very close to shore. I started to veer towards them (I needed the green buoy on my starboard side, but it was on my port), but saw that were in 4.5 ft of water (we draw 4'11"), so I chose instead to follow the channel and chart, and that's when I hit. So apparently I should have continued to follow the buoys, oops...but on a positive note, there were lots of dolphins around us!

We were stuck good, and the tide was low, and getting lower. We backwinded the sail, hoping that we could heel the boat over enough to get unstuck, but there wasn't much wind. I even tried to use my weight to help heel us over. Just then mother nature thought she would test us and throw a storm our way, what fun! It began to pour and thunder like crazy. This was not fun, and since we were heeled over, water started pouring in the boat through the doors. With the storm also came some much needed gusts of wind. A half hour later, with the help of the wind and the pressure of the sheets of rain hitting the sails, we made it off. This was a very happy moment, despite the fact that we were soaking wet and freezing (poor Dexter was soaked and shivering, I bet he's wishing I hadn't cut his hair so short!). If we hadn't been able to get off, we would've had to wait 7 hrs for the tide to rise.

We caught up to Océane, who were waiting for us, who then also ran aground, but with a little less drama, and got off pretty quickly. We also ran aground about 2 more times before actually reaching St. Augustine. Low tide + ICW = hitting the bottom & no fun.
Just some friendly neighbours
A consolation gift after the storm-a full double rainbow!
You can almost hear my ooohs and ahhhs

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