Friday, October 16, 2015

Savannah to Vero beach

Each fall we take a trip ending with positioning the boat in Placida Florida. This eliminates winterizing the boat and having to tow it down in the winter. Our ultimate goal is to complete the entire Great American Loop. This trip completed a segment from Savannah to Vero Beach. We have now completed from Urbanna, VA all the way around Florida to Tarpon Springs. We have also completed from Apalachicola, Florida to Kentucky Lake. We still need to complete the "Big Bend" of Florida and then segments on the east coast , a complete canal crossing to the Great Lakes and then from Chicago to Kentucky Lake. 
We started our adventure a few days early to get below where Hurricane Joaquim was to hit. Our planning was impeccable. We hit some heavy rains while towing, but got to Savannah just before the heaviest rains hit Charleston, NC and north. 
This year we traveled with Colleen and Brian. They have a 25sc Ranger Tug. Traveling with others always provides a sense of security and help when you need it. Brian encountered two flats on his trailer while towing the boat down. We had both changed on two separate instances in less than 15 minutes. I check my tires, pressures and hitch every two hours. Trailer tires get a beating and are susceptible to damage. I also change my tires every 3 years regardless of how good they look. 
Our starting point of Savannah was a great place to start. A short distance to get to town and it was Octoberfest. Lots of food and entertainment. Our friend Patti lives in Savannah and is also a caterer. She prepared a great sauerbraten dinner and all the works of a fine send off dinner.
We left early the next morning with lines cast at 7:15 am. Cruising the inland waters from Savannah is very beautiful. Calm waters, marsh grass blowing in the breeze and the smell of sea air permeates the cabin. As the sun rises, the wildlife becomes active. Going slowly and watching the world go by is the way to see everything. Sometimes a dolphin or two will catch your wake and give you a free show. There are osprey galore and they can give you a great show of their fishing prowess. A dive bomb from hundreds of feet in the air and a plunge in the water. The next thing you see is a fish dangling from talons as the osprey struggles to gain altitude and head back to the nest to feed the family. Eagles, manatee, fish of prey breaking water are an every day occurrence. We stopped at Cumberland Island, GA which was originally owned by the Carnegie's, but is now a national park. There is a large herd of wild horses and you can see plenty of them. One must use caution when walking the trails. If you don't look down you can step in what horses always seem to leave behind!  The beach there is spectacular and pristine. 
With every trip anchoring out at night brings the serenity of being one with nature. When the sun goes down the sky's light up with stars and planets. I woke up before sunrise and was drinking coffee in the cockpit. I could hear dolphins working for their morning breakfast as they past the boat. I couldn't see them,but I could hear them breaking water with a large sound of them exhaling and breathing in before this next dive.
Stopping at various towns along the way brings excitement for the ladies and torture for the men! However once in a while a good hardware store or marine supply place crops up and both genders needs are met. 
Cruising brings so many aspects of life together. It is truly a special time for us. Where can you have a waterfront view 24/7, meet interesting people, experience unique places, live in what you travel in and be one with nature. We have made so many friends along the way and those you meet you may meet again and again in different places. It is like meeting a long lost friend over and over again.
Brian and Colleen had to leave us unexpectedly and left their boat temporarily in Titusville. However they will be back in a week and tow their boat to Placida and store it there until they return in January.
Below are some statistics and pictures 

A little wet in Savannah, but we didn't let that dampen our spirits.

Rainy days can change your attitude about style. 

Colleen at a wine tasting. What else does one do when cruising.

At a pub in Savannah you can buy a drink in honor of the vets at a table reserved just for them. 

Chugging down the ICW

Can you see it in the distance? That is the assembly building at NASA.

Jess getting water at the fountain of youth in St. Augustine. Let us know if you think it is working.

Jess is looking for one of these as a permanent installation in Rhode Island and Florida. This was a means of getting the misbehaved prisoners to shape up. You were put in here and then it was hung from a tree for all to see. It was called the birdcage. 

Jess looking for another fish to hang on the the porch walls in Rhode Island. The criteria is it has to be swimming to the right. Plenty of choices here 

Trip statistics:
15 days cruising
44.6 hours of cruising time
334 nautical miles
384 statute miles
87 gallons of fuel
4.41 statute miles per gallon.