Nov_Dec 2004
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November 1 - 5, 2004 - Finally a break in the weather.  We were able to dress in tee shirts & shorts instead of multiple layers.  We had a great 5 days visiting with our son and enjoying the sights of Charleston always one of our favorite cities.

November 6, 2004 - The weatherman has been nice to us and it looks like we will have a three day window to go outside to Ft. Pierce, Fl. before the next front comes through.  At 0915 we left the City Marina headed out the Charleston inlet.  The winds were light out of the west 5 - 10 mph and the seas were flat and stayed that way all night.  I checked the weather early the next morning and the forecast had the front moving faster arriving a day sooner putting our attempt to reach Ft. Pierce in jeopardy.  We looked at ducking in at Cape Canaveral but the lock allowing access to the ICW was closed for repair.  So we opted to head in at St. Mary's Inlet and visit with some friends that live in St. Mary's, Ga. We arrived at 1415 on November 7, 2004.

November 8 - 10, 2004 - We anchored off the St. Mary's City dock.  St. Mary's is a nice little town.  Over the last couple of years the city has welcomed cruisers to spend Thankgiving with them. The city folks cook the turkeys and the cruisers bring all of the side dishes.  We called our friend Bob and he came by, picked us up and hauled us around to do a little shopping and lunch. We had a great visit.  The next morning we woke to the winds blowing 25 - 30 out of the NE with gusts to 35.  It was not to bad when the tide was coming in but when the tide shifted the boat swung around putting the stern into the wind and the anchor somewhere astern also.  This caused the anchor chain to drag along the hull of the boat.  I increased the length of the snubber so that the chain would not ride on the hull.  The wind against the tide also created very choppy water slapping against the stern and also caused us to sail around putting a lot of stress on the anchor. Because of this we had to do anchor watch just in case we should break loose.  The winds finally started to subside late on November 10 and we were able to get some rest. 

November 11 - 13, 2004 - With the winds calm we hauled anchor and headed south.  The temperature was still on cool side following the front but the winds were light.  The day went by quickly and we anchored in Pablo Creek at Jacksonville Beach.  We did have an interesting event when we crossed the St. Johns river.  We had crossed the St. Johns River and were about to enter the ICW on the south side when we hit the strongest eddy that I have ever experienced turning the boat 45 to 60 degrees before I could regain control.  The next morning we hauled anchor early and headed to St. Augustine.  Another uneventful day until we arrived at the south anchorage.  the south anchorage was kind of crowded and as we moved around to find a good anchoring spot we ran around on an uncharted shoal.  We were able to work our way off of the shoal only to find another on about 5 min later.  Again we were able to work our way off the shoal.  By this time we were a little flustered so we went back through the Bridge of the Lions and dropped the hook on the north side of the bridge.  The weather forecast has another cold front approaching with strong NE winds.  The north anchorage at St. Augustine is not the place to be with strong winds out of the north so we hauled anchor and took a 4 hour ride south to the Palm Coast Marina.  We arrived around noon, the winds started blowing around 1600 but we were well sheltered.  

November 14, 15, 2004 - We have lots of wind and rain the last two days, so we stayed put and got some chores completed.  Ugne did some laundry and I changed the engine oil.  One of our neighbors offered to run us to the store so we could do some reprovisioning, I took them up on their offer.  

November 16 - 19, 2004 - That last front has ushered in some very nice weather so we were able make good progress everyday.  Our goal had been to be in Ft. Pierce the first week of November as we had scheduled doctor and dental appointments.  Seeing that we were not going to get there on schedule we change the appointments  for the week following Thanksgiving.  We left Palm Coast warmer weather and a light breeze with a goal of anchoring off Daytona Beach but again we made good time and pushed on past Daytona and anchored in Rock Creek just short of New Smyrna Beach.  The next morning we up early so we could make the 0800 opening of the New Smyrna Beach bridge which we did and then headed to our next anchorage at Titusville.  We arrived the Titusville bridge at 1300 a bit early to drop the anchor so we continued south  and anchored just south of the high rise bridge in Cocoa, Fl.  We slept late the next morning as we planned a short trip to anchor at Rocky Point just south of Melbourne.  This time we stayed with the plan and dropped anchor 4 hours later at Rocky Point.  

Since we have been in this section of the ICW we have stated to see more & more damage caused by the 2 hurricanes. Marinas destroyed, docks gone, boats on the rocks and a lot of blue tarps on the houses. Everyone tells us that it gets worse farther south. 

The last leg of this journey started at 0730 with very nice warm weather. Six hours later we pulled into our assigned slip, H-8, at Harbortown Marina in Ft. Pierce.  It is our plan to be here about a month, provision the boat and then head south and cross to the Bahamas . 

December 2004 - As usual our plans have been changing on a regular basis.  We got our doctor and dental appointments completed and all is OK.  We also rented a car a couple of weekends to start provisioning the boat for the Bahamas.  One weekend we took advantage of the car and drove down to Jupiter to visit our close friends Ed & Janet. Had a great time.  The boat was all provisioned and we were ready to depart around Dec 20, however the weather forecast put a kink in our plans with yet another strong cold front with strong north winds due to come through and provide chilly weather through the Christmas Holidays.  So at the last minute we called our daughter in Atlanta to invite ourselves up for the holidays.  We rented a car and drove up on the 20th returning to the boat on the 29th.  A great time was had playing with the grandkids and visiting with old friends that we had not seen in a year. 

It was great to be back on the boat.  Many of the liveaboards on H-dock had gone away  for the holidays and the dock was quiet.  With everyone away Ugne & I had New Years Eve to ourselves. We did have to set the alarm clock so we could share a toast to the New Year.

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