August 2007, Palatka, Fl
When we arrived in Jacksonville - our old dock mates were there to greet us. It was really nice to see familiar faces and catch up on what everyone had been up to for the past year. We have a lot of friends there so it was a really nice stop and all to brief.
The next day we pushed on to Palatka which was all well and good until we arrived at our channel to begin making our way to the dock. A storm blew that carried rain, hail and 60mph winds! It felt like we were at sea again, very exciting and very alive. Having things secured for sea on deck and things secured for intercoastal waterways, i.e. "the ditch" are entirely different methods. For the ditch, we didn't worry so much and although we had things lashed - it was a half hearted jobbie. So, when said storm hit us, I was running around lashing the dingy's rear down and everything in the cockpit was chucked inside. Justin was at the helm battling hail stones the size of golf balls and getting whipped in the head by our makeshift canopy. The canopy was nearly cut free altogether but I realised we would regret this later so managed to lash it to whatever was closest - Justin tells me my lashing resembles something of a weave! Whatever, it worked. We discovered we have an engine gremlin but otherwise all systems (what we have anyway) functioned well.
All in all, we took 9 days to get here, spending an extra day in Fort Pierce. Which I have to add, was very nice. The last visit we had in Ft Pierce I wrote on how horrible the place was but in fact, it's not so bad. Exactly the same place but coming from Ft Lauderdale and not the Bahamas this time perhaps had something to do with it? I didn't even take pics of it last time as we were so anxious to leave. Plus it rained everyday we were there last time and we weren't in a marina to easily get supplies. Abigail lost her 3rd tooth at the Tiki Bar in Ft Pierce. Amazing how that tooth fairy finds her wherever she goes!
Palatka is a nice place. We are enjoying the swimming pool at the marina daily. There are a few kids on the dock which is nice for Abi & Aaron. People are very friendly. The alligators aren't so we stay away from them! Yes, there are several alligators here which we have seen and have yet to get a decent photo of. We also have snakes - many, many snakes! There is a resident owl on the dock and fish eagle nearby. I will write more on Palatka on the next log entry.
For now, we are working on the boat, getting cabins painted and preparing for boatschool this year.
Below is the day to day of our trip...
7/12/07 Our first stop was Palm Bch. After a sorry attempt at anchoring - slight misalignment we think with a rudder which sent us going round and round in circles like a merry go round, we pulled into a marina. The water was as clear as any we'd seen in the Bahamas. You could see bottom at 30ft! The kids got to feed the fish there with a lady who feeds them daily. They liked that. No electricity on the transient dock so we all slept in the cockpit to keep cool.
7/14/07 Next day we made Ft Pierce.
7/16/07 After a 2 night rest and a bit of laundry taken care of we set out for Eau Gallie - a little north of Melbourne. Wonderful stop, very friendly folks. Eau Gallie Boat Works is run by an Irish fellow. Justin left his flip flops on the dock here.
7/18/07 An easy day to Palm Coast where we were looking forward to a pool which, it turns out, had been destroyed so they could add more docks. Nevermind, we made use of the bbq facilities and had a great evening in the quiet of this place. The only shopping center here was a very upscale one called "The European Village" - they had flip flops for Jus but for $70! Oh well, maybe the next marina!
7/19/07 Palm Coast to Jacksonville Beach. Nice easy day - no flip flops.
7/21/07 JAX to Palatka - Marina wasn't sure if they could take us (this is after months of planning for this place) but in the end told us to try the transient dock - they weren't sure of the dimensions. WHAT? We made it though (and during the storm to boot) but boy is it a tight fit! Drowned rats, eh?