August 2007

Marine Life
Log Book
Our Family
The Crew

August 2007, Palatka, Fl

The intercoastal trip went well and was a lot of fun.  We saw lots of dolphins, manatee, wealthy waterfront homes, RV parks, marshes and birdlife along the way.  Weather was clear and sunny every day for us.  We managed to keep cool with cold drinks and the occasional face cloth dunked into the cooler to sponge around the neck and head.  3 groundings - oops!  Seems even with a shallow draft one tends to push the limits, "can we sneak in there - um, no"!  Nothing to bad we couldn't get ourselves out of though.  Only once did we call in Sea Tow as we were on a shallow bank and pushing further onto it which didn't look or feel too good.  They pulled us off in no time and we went into a marina.  Pulled into marina's every night for rest, ice and air conditioning!  Anchoring not such an easy task what with no windlass and we think we have a misaligned rudder perhaps that just kept sending us spinning circles on anchor.  Can't really be sure until we haul out.

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.

7/13/07 The next morning we set out for Stuart - had 3 groundings this day. 2 our own fault and 1 well, our fault as well but the channel was poorly marked. Sea Tow helped us out here and we got to marina no problem. AC was great and slept in our bunks.

7/14/07 Next day we made Ft Pierce.

ft pierce city marina


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.

Eau Gallie sunrise Eau Gallie boathouses

7/17/07 Day of marshes and more marshes as we headed north to New Smyrna. A great stop with lots to do. An historic site right across from the marina! Just my thing! No flip flops for Justin nearby. My flip flops were left in the sun this day and actually shrunk a size or two!

historic site

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!

 "The Most Relaxed Guy in Palm Coast" Icream Parlor Goofballs

7/19/07 Palm Coast to Jacksonville Beach. Nice easy day - no flip flops.

7/20/07 JAX BCH to downtown Jacksonville - Our old haunt! Enter the St John's River and wow, hello current. This was the first time ever we tried to slow ourselves down so as to arrive at slack of tide in our marina. The current is very fast in the St Johns, and with engines at idle speed we still were doing 5 knots. Our good friend and dockmaster, Lee, gave Justin a pair of flip flops. YEA, flip flops!

My how they've grown!  JAX skyline

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?

Quit taking pics and help me dodge the crab pots! Drowned rat


Jan 07
Feb 07
March 07
April 07
May 07
June  07
July 07
August 07
Sept 07
Oct 07

flying monkeys

Jupiter, Fl


Indian Haulover

Snoop Dog & Madame Blueberry get harnessed in!

lone kayaker

tuckered out

Abi keeping it between the navigation buoys!

St Augustine

Swing bridge




Fish Eagle