‘At Ease’ eased on out of Brunswick Landing Marina early on a cold and cloudy Saturday morning. While St Andrew’s sound an hour south had breaking waves, we were able to cross by taking the longer inside route off the ICW. After crossing into Florida early afternoon, we arrived north of the St John’s River at the Jacksonville Free Docks after a long eight hour day. The Free Docks have room for just six boats and are popular because they are free for up to 72 hours. We were arriving later then planned so our chances of scoring a spot were slim. But we can thank the fellow cruisers who arrived before us for moving their boats closer together leaving that one precious spot on the end, which we scored. We reciprocated early the next morning by leaving first giving them extra room to maneuver in the strong current.
Wanting warmer temperatures, we bypassed St. Augustine on a busy Sunday and arrived in Marineland Marina after another long day. St. Augustine is a favorite of ours but we were happy to put the craziness behind us. We arrived too late to see much of the Marineland area, but we enjoyed this very small marina and especially Jay, who goes around to all the boats every night at 5:00 to say goodbye. During our trip today we helped a sailboat by radioing back the bridge heights as we passed under. They needed at least 63 feet and at high tide they were understandably concerned. As a thank you, they took a picture of At Ease as we passed them to take the lead. This is our first photo underway so we are grateful for the picture.
We sailed into New Smyrna Beach under warm sunny skies and scored a great slip before the skies opened up with blinding rain and scary lightening. Scary as in no time between the lightening and the thunder scary! Lucky we had a Tiki bar a few yards away to hide in. Reminded us of Banana Bay Marina in Costa Rica where we would hide at the bar during those scary storms. Thanks to our brother-in-law, Mike for driving over for dinner. Despite the rain, he received the royal tour of our new home.
You know the old adage “be careful what you wish for”. Well we wanted warm but we are getting hot and humid. We are ahead of schedule covering 182 nm in 4 days. I know, in a car that is just a few hours. With all that behind us we slowed down. We stopped in Titusville and revisited the Playalinda Brewery below the loft we stayed in a few weeks back. Then on to Cocoa where we had no sightings of Jeannie, Tony Nelson or Roger Healey but there was a nice village to explore. With heavy rain predicted, we did a short two hour hop down to Melbourne to a slip at Telemar Bay Marina, which is a little off the ICW up the Banana river. Our intent was to stay one day but the rains came as predicted shortly after we arrived. So today 11/9 we made the easy decision to stay put for another day and let this weather system pass through. I hope the rain stops this afternoon so we can get a walk in and find some groceries!