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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Shifting Gears



Hold Fast has been put away for the season.  After a few days of boatyard recovery rest with the Jacksonville Support Team (thanks Paul and Shari!), we had an uneventful trip to New Mexico, interrupted only by stops to pick up farm equipment and visit with family in Atlanta. 

As a reminder, the farm in New Mexico is at an altitude of 6,400 feet.  It takes a few days to adjust from sea level but, more importantly, our risk of frost does not end until May 15.  To all of our friends still out there cruising, we wish you fair weather and a happy rest of the season.  But if you find yourself dealing with miserable cold fronts, we say “suck it up buttercup,” because when I went outside at 7 am this morning to check the thermometer it was 20F.

It was an emotional struggle to tear ourselves away from Hold Fast, but it is time to be with family and feed the people.  Lord willing, we shall be on the water again soon.

Until then, love to all,
Dena

Friday, March 17, 2017

Almost There

We planned our arrival to the boat yard for slack current, which was just before noon. After 11 am, we called the boat yard and confirmed our arrival. We were told to come straight to the dock, we were the only haul out today, except for an emergency lift for a vessel taking on water. The arrangements changed once we were tied up, then changed again. A boat was launched and is now between us and the haul out slip, and another boat has been hung for the night in the lift. The end result is that we will not be hauled today. So close, yet so far. We were told we will be hauled out tomorrow. We certainly hope so because there are no haul outs on Sunday or Monday.

We will get done what we can at the dock and deal with the oddities of this boat yard as calmly as possible. The stainless forward of the main mast has already been polished and waxed. Paul and Shari brought us lunch. Food is a great coping mechanism. The van started right up and the tires evened out when we went to pick up our mail and rent a movie.

When I get some time as well as decent internet, I will share more pictures.

Love to all,
Dena

{GMST}29°58.96'N|081°38.97'W|10:00 PM|{GEND}

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Surprise!

The wind kicked up again last night, which was fine as long as it was with the current. Once the current was against the wind, Hold Fast danced around her anchor, sometimes at 1.2 knots. She would reach the end of her leash, then turn around and race to the other extreme. The holding is so good, it did not bother us at all. We slept well under all the blankets.

We woke up to temperatures in the 30's F with a wind chill to 26F. Slightly painful on the hands washing down anchor chain. I am glad we were able to delay our departure until after 9 am in order to make a noon opening of the Main Street Bridge. As we moved around to pull up anchor this morning, a security boat cruised by, protecting the security zone around the naval fuel depot island. They soon dismissed us, recognizing that we were just a harmless sailboat chasing our anchor chain in the current.

Myron checked in with the Main Street Bridge and put us on the list for the 12 noon opening. As we were leisurely riding the current toward the bridge, they called us and asked us if we could hurry and they would open early for us. Really? All we could figure was that commercial traffic was coming as well and the bridge did not want to open twice. We stepped on it and called the bridge when we had it in sight, checking in again when adjacent to Metro. As we approached, the bridge opened well before our arrival. That has NEVER happened. There was no commercial traffic in sight. Auto Paul was on Gretel and met up with us before the Main Street Bridge. We were going to have him board between Main Street and FEC RR since FEC RR was down, but as we cleared Main Street Bridge, the FEC RR Bridge opened. Bizarre. To what did we owe this VIP treatment? We shall never know.

Paul boarded and we towed Gretel and visited. Then we came up with a scheme to surprise Shari. We anchored Hold Fast here in Plummer's Cove, then all got aboard Gretel, went in for a late lunch. After lunch we paid a surprise visit to Shari and her mom. Mission accomplished!

The boat yard has scheduled us to haul out tomorrow. Is it too much to ask for VIP treatment two days in a row? One can only hope.

Love to all,
Dena

{GMST}30°11.61'N|081°38.49'W|5:34 PM|{GEND}

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Back Water

We took advantage of the current and moved to Back Water. The plan is to go through the main street bridge at noon tomorrow.
Myron

{GMST}30°23.77'N|081°30.42'W|5:03 PM|{GEND}

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Through the Lions

We neglected to post yesterday. It was such a short day, New Smyrna to Daytona, I guess it did not seem important. We stopped in Daytona because we did not believe we could make Matanzas Inlet shoaling area with enough water.

Despite high and cold winds, a 7:15 am departure allowed us to make it to Matanzas Inlet with enough water left in the tide to negotiate the shoaled areas. The dredge was operating at full pressure. We are glad to see it. Wish they would work on the Ponce Inlet area.

We caught a break with the tide for a few hours, sufficient to push us to the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine with 5 minutes to spare for the 3:30 pm opening.

I had on four layers today, including woolies. Plus my buff scarf and beanie. Welcome to north Florida in March. I think Saturday will be 76F.

My turn for the shower, gotta go.

Love to all,
Dena

{GMST}30°03.05'N|081°21.94'W|6:10 PM|{GEND}

Sunday, March 12, 2017

What? A Marina?

This morning we came to the realization that we were just not going to be able to leave early enough to beat the low tide at Ponce de Leon inlet. It was not worth an attempt to negotiate those shoaled areas during a negative tide. When life gives you lemons.

Our lemonade was to take a slip at New Smyrna Beach City Marina. We are thankful that, Pat, the dockmaster, is a good natured fellow. He helped us get backed into the slip so that we can have a less exciting departure tomorrow. Just after we got docked the weather turned sour with wind and rain. We were oh so glad to be here. During a lull, we explored the restaurants on Canal Street and ended up at Yellow Dog Eats. Pulled pork was available what seemed like hundreds of varieties. Yummy! Bonus: we have left overs. We met a Swedish immigrant couple at the restaurant that live near the yacht club, and now we have been invited to see them next time we come to New Smyrna! We also met Jim and Cindy on 'The Journey,' an American Tug completing the loop. They came into the marina just before us.

We are not sure when we will get to Green Cove Springs. Jacksonville is about to have 32F weather. Brrrr. While we are fine anchored out in that, it is not much fun to be underway. We will figure it out.

For now, we are full, safe, and sound. Seems like a recipe for a nap.

Love to all,
Dena

{GMST}29°01.63'N|080°55.25'W|5:03 PM|{GEND}

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Moving North

Anchored next to the NASA causeway.
Myron

{GMST}28°31.36'N|080°45.64'W|8:12 PM|{GEND}

Friday, March 10, 2017

Checked In

We left at midnight and began to wish we had left earlier. We fought a current coming off the banks that set us behind. Once in the Gulf Stream, we quickly made up that time and more, riding along well over 7 knots. When we were about 45 miles from the Ft. Pierce entrance, we got a small squall, but behind it was West wind, about 12 to 15 knots right on the nose. We began to get concerned whether we would make it into Ft. Pierce or whether we needed to come up with an alternative. Yet Hold Fast was still making progress and keeping a decent arrival time. We schedule our arrival for slack current at the inlet, which was 3:30 pm today. After beating into the west wind for 30 miles, it suddenly let up and came light out of the east. It was back to a beautiful day. We saw huge turtles, four different times as we approached the inlet. We are glad to see them because they eat jelly fish!

We are rafted with Shibumi, a CSY, at Vero Beach City Marina, we are checked in to the country, showered, and now looking for some grub. Then of course, rest!

Love to all,
Dena

{GMST}27°39.57'N|080°22.23'W|6:43 PM|{GEND}

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Mangrove Cay

Our plan is to stay at Mangrove till midnight then depart for Fort Pierce inlet and continue on Vero Beach.
Myron

{GMST}26°55.20'N|078°37.39'W|11:20 AM|{GEND}

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Great Sale

Other than a little uncomfortable rolling at the Whale Cay cut, we had a fabulous day. We made good time, leaving MOW Cay at 6:30 am and arriving the southern end of Great Sale Cay, via Jane Girl Cut, at 5:45 pm. We had cell phone coverage, data only, until Jane Girl Cut.

Time for some food and rest.

Love to all,
Dena

{GMST}26°57.42'N|078°13.28'W|6:23 PM|{GEND}