Wednesday, June 6, 2012

STUCK IN JACKSONVILLE

We're stuck again... while sailing up from Palm Beach and during the night, the radio was buzzing with other boats caught in storms off the north Florida coast. Fortunately, we only had one squall off Cape Canaveral and tacked back and forth between shallower water and a freighter for an hour or so until it moved out easterly across the ocean. 30 nautical miles to our north east we could see a huge storm constantly flashing with lightning and with so much energy it wasn't going to dissipate in the same way as the smaller squalls. We had lucked out by staying on the western edge of the gulf stream as opposed to the conventional thinking of getting into it to gain the speed of the north flowing currents.

Entering a new and unknown port is always nerve racking, but Jacksonville is several miles up a very wide river with lot's of deep water and well marked channels. We motored up three miles and turned into Clapboard Anchorage. We found it with Google Earth (our new tool to find out where everyone anchors). To our surprise Periplous (a sailboat that we briefly met in Palm Beach) was anchored and we felt confident again. Gordon and Pam live on Periplous and have sailed further than most have dreamed, they are in their 70's and have more life and spirit than many landlubbers we know who are half their age.

There aren't any facilities near the anchorage, but we did find Clapboard Creek Fish Camp just under the bridge and David the manager. It's so nice to be in the real south... David could provide ice and immediately offered to drive us up to the supermarket a few miles away.

The anchorage was lovely... quiet and serene, I can recommend it as a safe, deep and secure place to stop for a day or two.

We have become very good friends with Gordon and Pam aboard Periplous, learn't a lot and when they suggested that we come with them up river to downtown Jacksonville for a few days while we waited for the bad weather to pass. we jumped at the opportunity. We can take on fuel and water and of course food and services are readily available downtown, the kids might actually find something to do and it provides some good shelter.


The bridges are spectacular and we enjoyed a night of calm water and a barrage of questions from the tourists enjoying their time on River Walk.

The forecasted storms and wind arrived this morning, so the once calm dock is now pitching and it's a bit sloppy onboard. It's a mad dash to do laundry and get supplies so that we can move back down river a couple of miles to a small protected anchorage or back to Clapboard Creek to wait until the weekend when the weather is forecast to turn in our favor allowing us to run up to Charleston, South Carolina.

NY seems a long way with over 1000 nautical miles left to go, but the allure of Long Island Sound, the big city and a home for the summer is compelling. Sailing and living aboard in the USA is very different than the Caribbean Islands... far more difficult and lonely with very few cruisers attempting to run the full length of the east coast. Ah... but if it wasn't a challenge then it wouldn't be worth doing.


1 comment:

  1. Hi There,

    A boater in Jacksonville myself. Yo can see my blog at www.thehard6.com.

    If you need any suggestions or help while you are here, feel free to drop me a line.

    No scams or strings, just a boater paying it forward.

    Jim

    jiminfla at gmail

    ReplyDelete