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Trip's Log

Date: Mar 8 to Mar 11

Total Distance: 328 nm
Route: Atlantic Ocean (Ft Lauderdale, Ft Pierce, New Smyrna Beach), ICW (St Augustine, Fernandina Beach)

Click on the map for a bigger image. The purple line is the ICW route.

Mar 8 Our broker Gerard insisted that we hired a captain to help us break in the boat, and so we did. It was one of the best decisions we've made on this trip.  Captain Chris, who was also an ex-programmer,  came by at 06:00, checked the engine and decided we needed parts, so we didn't leave Royal Palm Yacht Basin,  Dania Beach until 10:30.  It was a beautiful sunny day, around 65 degrees, with a slight wind.  It felt colder up in the fly bridge when we were out in the ocean.  Along the way, we saw schools of dolphins frolicking around.  This was wonderful.  Our adventure was about to begin. 

Testing out the anchor

We drove 97.4 nautical miles at around 13.5 knots and got into Harbor Town Marina around 18:00.  Before entering into the marina, Chris showed Sophal the ropes of anchoring.  After fueling up (not too bad at $1.20 a gallon for diesel, albeit we took 122 gallons, marina was $0.95 per foot), we waited for Chris' girlfriend to come by.  Then we all went to dinner at the restaurant on site to celebrate our first successful day of cruising without any mishap.
Mar 9 We were on our own.  We both felt apprehensive and excited at the same time. Luckily for us, it was a glorious sunny day with no wind!  The current was a little strong as we left the marina, but not a big deal.  We left at 8:30am and traveled out in the ocean.  Five hours later, we saw Cape Canaveral from a  distance, but unfortunately, there was no launch. 
At around 15:00, we passed by  Titusville, and winds started to pick up.  We saw rollers of about 5 feet.  Water was splashing all the way up the fly bridge!  And it was COLD!  Around the same time, the high temperature light came on for the starboard engine.  Eileen panicked.  Land looked very far f-a-a-r away.  Sophal turned off the engines, and went down to the engine room to check them out.  Fifteen minutes later, he claimed everything looked fine, and when he turned the engines back on, the light went away.  We continued on our merry way.  By 18:00 we should be getting into New Smyrna Beach, our destination for the night.

Just as we were entering into this inlet, right in front of Lighthouse Boatyard Marina, we grounded ourselves!  A SeaTow boat immediately (a sign that the area is quite shallow) showed up.  It would cost $10/ft to be towed, but we were already on the phone with Boat/US with whom we are members.  The gentleman on the SeaTow boat was nice enough to tell us that we had 5 feet of water at our stern, so if we backed straight out, we should be all right.  We were able to get out of here without being towed, thank goodness, but at this point we were so disoriented we didn't know where to go since the chart took us down the wrong road!  Again, the nice SeaTow gentleman showed us the way.  So, 114 nms later, we tied up at Inlet Harbor Marina.  What a long trip that was!

Inlet Harbor Marina is near Daytona Beach, where all the action is.  The marina has a popular restaurant complete with live band and singer and a well-stocked bar.  One thing we noticed was that once away from Ft Lauderdale where all the mega yachts reside, our boat was about to become bigger and bigger.

Inlet Harbor Marina

Mar 10 Strong winds and current (6 knots) as we left Inlet Harbor at 8:45, but later became calmer.  This time we decided to cruise on the Intra-Coastal Waterway (ICW).  What a change of scenery!  We saw homes after homes, most with docks, all beautiful, especially by Ormond Beach and Summer Haven.  The ICW itself was neat, with its twists and turns.  One has to go slow though (lots of no-wake zone), around 8 knots, so if you're in a hurry, this is not a route for you.  We did 62 nm and stopped at St Augustine Municipal Marina around 16:00.
Little did we know that St Augustine is the oldest European settlement in America!  It is a charming little town with lots of history and beautiful architecture.  Since the marina is right in town, we were able to explore the town by foot.  This is definitely a place we'd like to come back to on the way down.

Mar 11 We departed from the marina around 09:30. It was a little breezy, temperatures of 73 degrees.  The sun came out a little later on.  Along the ICW, we passed by some more beautiful homes and saw dolphins.  It was all very exciting.  At around 15:10, we anchored at Fernandina Beach after cruising for a total of 54 nm.

We'd love to hear from you. Drop us a line - Eileen or Sophal
Last updated: 04/12/2007
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