So on Monday morning, the technician showed up as planned to change the transmission oil. All went well and we got underway to Daytona Beach before 11 AM. We arrived at Halifax Marina and fueled up and picked up the spare part DeVere had left for us. He had borrowed the spare part from us in the Bahamas and due to our delay and inability to catch up with them, he left the replacement in the care of the marina. We do miss you both Carole and DeVere! Safe travels to you. A great stop given our shortened travel day.On Tuesday morning we left at 6:30 AM to make Jacksonville Beach where we could walk 1-1/2 miles (each way) to a Publix to stock up on some fresh fruits and veggies.
Ok, I am sure you may have heard the old saying "it is not if you go aground, it is when." Hmm, can't happen to us right? Wrong. It happened at roughly marker Red 36 on the Tolomato River. OK, I was not on the magenta line, but the 3 foot shoal/sand/mud bar was much further to the SE than charted. The blue dot on the lower third of this screen shot shows where we were aground.
Here is Red 36 in the distance as we are stuck on the bar.
We were just past low tide and I caught the edge of the bar. We tried to back off but the tidal current pushed us sideways and we were being pushed further onto the bar. Here I am referring to three separate charts noting we were not on the charted bar....it had grown.
Then the tow boat showed up and we began to get hooked up for the tow. He hooked to our stern and pulled gently so we would not damage rudders, etc.
As he was pulling us off, I was raising the anchor. Once out of the mud, I tried again to get water into the sea cock. By opening and closing multiple times is started to trickle. So I cracked open the top of the sea cock and then it filled with muddy water. I trusted it would clear once we started the engine. So that is what we did. We put each engine into forward and reverse at idle to test for vibration, etc. All good. We turned the wheel lock to lock to feel for any binding or some different feel than normal. All good. So Julie handled the tow line and I put Sum Escape in gear to produce slack in the tow line and she cast it off.
We then followed the tow boat through the curving channel with Julie at the helm. I went below to check strainers, vibration and rudder posts for integrity. After I returned to the helm after my check of engine room and lazarette proved to all look good, we then ran the boat up to speed to test for vibration, etc. None noted! So a "soft grounding" is what we will term our experience. Here they are leaving...note the clock, only a one hour delay. Thanks Tow Boat US.
It is interesting to note that the unlimited towing policy we buy each year (about $150) covered the entire $1200 bill! One of the things AGLCA forum members had suggested was to have the policy for "when you go aground, not if". Worked for us... Only my Captain's pride is hurt.
We made it to Jacksonville Beach, Beach Marine around 4:30. Not what the website depicted. This is what we thought we would see. We would have been right by the pool...had it existed.
It turns out the website is an artists rendering of the future state with the marina lined with condos and a pool...none of which was there today. It was expensive with nothing special and did not even have potable water on the docks, only at the fuel dock. I guess when the website said "Since 1948" we should have taken a hint. But we were able to walk to Publix and get some great fruits and veggies. So we planned a first light departure for Jekyll Island.
We got underway on Wed by 6:30 AM. We had a nice run on the ICW to Jekyll, arriving around 1:30PM right at slack tide. Nice as the currents are pretty stiff here. Oh, and the new moon will be creating a ten foot tidal shift here on Saturday. We are not in Michigan any more...
Here is the dock at high tide.
Here is low.
Here we are rounding some more shoals (carefully) along the sand dunes lining the barrier islands along the Georgia shores.
On Thursday night, we rode our bikes 4.5 miles each way to the Driftwood Bistro. Very good food, and reasonably priced too. Our friends John and Becky from St Simons Island had recommended it. Thanks so much for the recommendation, we will be back.
We took early morning walks to beat the heat almost every day. The heat index reaches the high 90's if not 100 degrees in mid afternoon.
Friday, we had a nice afternoon at the pool and were able to listen to the live music at the restaurant as well.
Saturday was a work around the boat day. Julie organized and cleaned inside, I went into the engine room to clean up all the grime from all the work done. Mechanics did a good job, but greasy hand prints, sand from shoes, scraps of cable ties, gasket material etc were left behind. Cleaned up pretty well now.
Here are some pictures from this morning's walk.
Dropped off wedding invitation RSVP at post office
We will leave here later morning on Wednesday (need to wait for some tidal help) and head north...
Note the small channel and sailboats sitting in the mud....we'll wait an hour or so.
Thanks for following our cruising blog.