May 26 - June 8, 2015
|X -- Ft Lauderdale, A -- Stuart, B -- Ft Pierce, C -- New Smyrna, D -- St Augustine, E -- St Mary's, |
F -- Sapelo Sound, G -- Beaufort, H -- Charleston, I -- Georgetown, J -- St James
K -- Carolina Beach (Wilmington)
|Tall buildings signal our arrival back in the USA.|
We entered the intracoastal waterway at Fort Lauderdale avoiding Miami and an endless number of low bridges that open on their schedule not on demand. We still had plenty of bridges to maneuver through as we began to travel north. We’ve made this trip several times and have favorite anchorages along the way. The first one was in Palm Beach. We were up early the next morning so we could arrive in Stuart by noon. Stuart’s Sunset Bay Marina is like Sunbay Marina in Puerto Rico. We’ve spent so much time there
|Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse|
|Sunrises are beautiful. I just don't want to be up to|
witness them in person.
|The fort guarding St Augustine|
We weren't going to get stuck looking for an anchorage in the dark for a second night. Brian had some work to do on the new navigation computer so we anchored north of the fort in St Augustine at 4:00. It was a great anchorage: quiet with only one other boat, views of a favorite city and right off the ICW.
|The gas dock at low tide.|
|We're the dot in the middle of the concentric circles.|
Just before the storm wrapped around us.
Another day off shore and we were in Sapelo Sound half way between Brunswick and Savannah. And, we were very close to Blackbeard Island which will never be forgotten because I made a wrong turn and put us on a pile of rocks that had been ballast for a slave ship. I happened to do it at the peak of the highest tide of the year. Gotta Smile was listing to the point that we put on our life jackets and were preparing to launch the dingy. Oh, and did I mention that our seven year old grandson was with us. I keep telling Brian that it’s experiences like this that make a trip memorable! I won’t repeat what he said…..
|Sitting the cockpit after dinner, watching the sun set|
as three frisky dolphins play next to the boat.
One more uneventful (uneventful is good!) day off shore. Next stop Beaufort, SC.
Friday through Monday we traveled the ICW. It twists and turns, but it is wide with beautiful homes, lush green foliage and plenty of wildlife to entertain us. Our stops were Charleston and Georgetown in South Carolina and St James and Carolina Beach in North Carolina.
Our new friend from Sunbay Marina in Puerto Rico, Carmen, suggested we stop in Wilmington, NC where her son, Eric works at Carolina Beach Boatyard and Marina. We had planned on leaving Gotta Smile in Charleston, but when we couldn't get a slip at the two marinas that we were interested in, we gave Eric a call. Boy are we glad we did! The marina is very nice and the staff is amazing. Sometimes we have to step back and just let things play out. It's always seems to be for the best. We will leave Gotta Smile there for a month while we do some land travel.
|Five riding on our bow. We never get |
tired of watching these guys!
|The one with the glowing eye preferred|
to do the side stroke.
|Haulover Canal -- |
I'm always hoping to see an alligator.
|The black streak is a manatee. When we first saw|
him he was on a sandbar. He looked like a huge
inchworm as he tried to get back in the water.
|All of the pilings on this Daytona Beach bridge are|
decorated with mosaics.
This container ship was really moving. We quickly
left the lane and gave him all the room he needed.
Residential docks are extremely long. They stretch
from the house, across the salt marsh and out to deep
A cable car takes golfers from the parking
lot to the golf course.
It was hard to see what was swimming across the
ICW until this deer was right in front of us.
A pair of osprey built a magnificent nest and
lined it with Spanish moss. Feeding time for the
An airboat exploring the salt marshes.
Gotta smile -- we're lovin the ride!