A Cold Week on the ICW

Updated: Dec 26, 2019

A picture of the dock we just left at Green Cove Springs, the previous night.

It was cold up there in Green Cove Springs, especially since we were use to the warmer weather in South Florida. I was actually wearing a winter jacket, the only one I saved from Colorado. Not only were we moving a boat, something I had never done, it was downright chilly. Hopefully the weather would stay clear. That would be miserable if it started raining, but if that's what it was, I guess we would survive. We only had seven days since Craig had to get back to work. The people in his office were all on a two week vacation, for Christmas and New Years Day, but for the most part he could still be reached by cell phone. Our broker wanted to come with us to see how she sailed and motored. We started getting stuff ready to go. On our way up there we stopped by Walmart for provisions, and bedding.

Our boat in the dock at Holland Marine.

The previous owner showed up. He and Craig put up the dodger and bimini, ripping one of the windows. I wasn't too impressed. I guess it had been a while since he was on this boat. Craig and him talked for hours, and I was trying to listen as much as possible to try to get a clue as to what I'm supposed to do. I filled the tanks up with water. There was another one but he told me not to worry about it. We pulled the dinghy off and put it on the stern, then the davit broke. Less impressed. We actually had to get it welded before we left. It was hard to find someone. Then we found out we had to move the boat so they could do the work. There wasn't enough power where we were. The previous owner was already gone, and our broker was on the way. Actually he should have been there. A friend was driving him up there so he didn't have to leave his car. Craig and I moved the boat, and he didn't like it since he knew nothing about this boat. It had been something like twenty years since he had a sailboat.

While they were working on it, our broker showed up. They had been in a car wreck and got t-boned. It was the friend's fault, he didn't see it coming. They were both in pretty bad shape, but at least they were alive. We sent the friend back home in an Uber and moved the boat back over to where we were, by the dinghy. We went out to eat that night, and made sure the friend got home safe. That night we slept. It was cold when we woke up. We got the boat ready to go and plotted our charts. By midday, we left.

Jacksonville from the Intracoastal Waterway(ICW) at night

The trip was kind of screwy. To go down the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), we had to go up North then turn back down. The sun was just starting to go down as we reached Jacksonville. It was there that we ate dinner, while waiting for the twin bridges to open. We waited for quite a while. It was beautiful at night, but we had to stop because our steaming light wasn't working. We had a near miss with a barge that wasn't lighted up properly. We stopped at St . John's Inlet for the night. It was so dark there we could barely see where we were supposed to go. It had been a long day and cold, so we plotted charts for the next day, and took a well-deserved sleep.

We made it through the St. Augustine inlet.

We left at sunrise after getting wakes from a huge container ship. Out from the ICW to the Atlantic. It wasn't super cold but it was still chilly. I was actually able to call my kids while I was out there. It was pretty windy so we wanted to get back to the ICW. The boat pointed well. Maybe once we got back there we could try getting the sails up for a bit. It was quite a while until we got to our next stop and challenge, the St. Augustine inlet. Everything about it was a challenge. Low tide, shallows and currents against us. We made it. Alive. We parked at the fuel dock, so in the morning we could fuel up and leave. Craig wanted a hot shower and took an extremely long one. We went out to eat in a Greek restaurant. The food was pretty good. We did charts for the next day again, recapped what we did, and went to sleep. I actually was at the helm for a while. It was easier than the J-Boat I learned on.

Our boat hauled out at Crackerboy.

I liked the ICW, because I could get some unusual shots with my camera. On the other hand, it was kind of hard to dodge the crab pots in some places. We were actually able to get our sails up for a while. It sailed nice. We were on the home stretch now. This was the easiest part of our route. We got to City Marina kind of late in the evening. In about a week we were going to get hauled out at Crackerboy Boat Works. And, that's where the real fun began.

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My name is Skipper and my Mom and Dad are helping me bring you this sailing blog, recipes, and lots of cool stuff for your house or even a sailboat like we have! Woof!



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