April 29, 2014

April 28-9, 2014  Days 1-2  Heading North!
At anchor,
New Teakettle Creek, GA

Yesterday we said goodbye to The Marina at Ortega Landing after being there for 4 ½ months. It was a good feeling to be underway and we had a great day of traveling.  Carried Away performed perfectly!

We left the Ortega River and were soon in the busy St. Johns River, passing downtown Jacksonville and then passing the industrial ports with many container ships and the Carnival Cruise Line. We saw the newly boarded passengers in their life jackets receiving their safety instructions.

Six hours later we passed Fernandina Beach. The marina was full with pleasure craft as well as several shrimp boats. Their annual Shrimp Festival begins Friday and is a big event.

We continued on to our anchorage at Cumberland Island, GA and joined several other boats who were already there.  We had wine with cheese and crackers and celebrated our return to the water.  Then we cooked dinner on the grill and had a peaceful evening at anchor!

We departed Cumberland Island at 0720 and were soon passing the Kings Bay Naval Base with its submarines. We were fortunate to see both a Ballistic Missile Sub and an Attack Sub.  As always the Navy patrol boats monitor the boaters passing by!

We entered St. Andrews Sound at 10:00 and were so happy that it was fairly calm.  We arrived at Jekyll Harbor Marina at 11:00 to get fuel.  We enjoyed our stay there last year, but we needed to go farther today.

We continued up the ICW which quickly became marshland. We had some very shallow water at low tide but Bill skillfully maneuvered us through it.
We spotted many dolphin today along with one wild horse, an eagle, many pelicans, egrets, cormorants, and one heron!

At 4:15 we arrived at another good anchorage in a quiet creek.  We enjoyed a nice dinner fixed on the grill and then planned our route for tomorrow. We hope to get near Savannah and go to another anchorage.

April 14, 2014

April 14, 2014  Day 155  South for the Winter
The Marina at Ortega Landing
Jacksonville, FL

We have less than three weeks remaining here at Ortega Landing and we are staying busy getting Carried Away ready for the trip. Bill is chipping away at his project list.  He removed all the screens in the salon windows and washed them. He pulled the anchor chain out of the hold, reversed it, and painted new stripes to mark the depths.  That took a few days due to multiple coats of paint. He also refinished some wood trim on the side of the boat – another multiple day project.  We also had a diver check the bottom of the boat, and as expected, since we have been stationary so long, we have barnacles. The diver will return before we leave and remove the barnacles!

In the meantime we have enjoyed being with Looper friends, Rick and Margi on Journey and Bob and Janet on Harmony.  We have shared many meals – potlucks, cookouts, restaurants, etc.  We went to the beach one afternoon and thoroughly relaxed under the sun!  We have been to the Riverside Arts Market twice and hope to go back this weekend. It is a market of arts, music, and food!  The St. Johns River provides a perfect backdrop for it.  We attended the Southeast US Boat Show in Jacksonville this weekend.  We have also been on many walks, shopping and browsing through shops, including an enormous used book store that is nearby.  Another great outing was a trip to Gold Loopers, David and Barbara Doyle's home on the St. John's River just north of Jacksonille.
Joyce & Margi at the beach

One tradition here at Ortega landing (as well as other marinas) is the annual “Burn Your Socks” party to officially welcome in spring and warm weather.  After enjoying our catered meal of ribs and chicken, we all contributed our socks to the bonfire.

Janet, Bill, & Bob at the "Burn Your Socks" party

Joyce has one more follow-up with her Doctor and hopes to get the official release on April 24 that will allow us to leave within a few days after that.  We still have much to do but we are up to the challenge!