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Friday, November 4, 2011

Home in Jacksonville Again!

What a pleasant stay at Cumberland Island. Just as we were assembling the dingy to go to shore for a hike, we saw our new friends Don and Sharry cruise by in their boat. We met up with them at the docks and the four of us hiked the island for about four hours. The wild horses were indifferent to us, although one colt was curious.
From Heading South - October 2011
Toward the end of the hike we spent time investigating the ruins of the Carnegie mansion. Lucy Carnegie employed more than 300 people. She was set on making the estate self-sustaining, including crops and farm animals. She had houses built for each of her children as they grew older and/or got married. When Lucy died in 1916, the estate was left unattended and in 1959 it burned and was never replaced.
From Heading South - October 2011
Our hike left us hungry and worn out. After dinner we quickly dozed off, but at 3 am we were awakened by the arrival of a cold front. Cold, raining and windy. It set off our anchor alarm like a radio clock. We weighed anchor at 6:45 this morning in order to make the Jacksonville main street bridge before the 4:30 pm closure. It was still dark as we worked through the Cumberland Sound. Myron noted that we should be seeing a red buoy soon, but I was concerned about an unlighted fixture off our bow. Then we realized the light on the red buoy was extinguished and we were heading right for that target in the dark. Crisis averted! We made such good time across the sound that it was still dark as we came upon Fernadina Beach, just as well, there is a lot of industry in that area. For several hours, we ran the ICW as usual.

Just after entering St. John's River from Sister's Creek, Myron mentioned that two individuals driving in a small boat toward us sure looked like Paul and Shari. In fact, it was them! "Pirates" Myron yelled as they raced up on us. We got them aboard and towed "Gretyl." Poor Shari was wet from the ride. It was a welcome treat to just see them - beyond that Paul insisted on taking the helm to give us a break, so we said he was our harbor pilot. Shari brought Publix sub sandwiches for lunch. I realized how hungry I was and felt suddenly ashamed after I gobbled down my food. They brought their stuffies (Bearette and Geofrey) to see our stuffies (Patches and OT), but that is a different story for another time. Since they had seen us off at this point and now caught up with us upon our return five months later, the whole event was surreal. And pretty cool too!
From Heading South - October 2011
We made it to the main street bridge in time, got through just to see the FEC Railroad bridge closing in front of us, trapping us between the RR and the main street bridges for at least 15 minutes. Paul departed on Gretyl for the marina, Shari stayed on board so we could continue our visit. Glad she did too as another pair of eyes were helpful in getting through the Ortega River Bridge. It is under construction and has only one leaf open. A 25 foot span to squeeze a 13 foot beam vessel, in wind and current. Myron made it look easy. As we came into the Ortega Yacht Club and Marina (OYCM) we received a warm welcome from our dock family and dock master. Even Otis (RJ's dog) gave us a big smile and welcome. It was as if we had been gone for a long time, but never left. Either way, it was good to be home! Fred took us to Moon River to address our five month craving for that infamous pizza.

We are full, happy, secure and ready to sleep for a day.

Love to all,
Dena

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{GMST}30|16.507|N|081|42.960|W|in the slip|Jacksonville{GEND}

1 comment:

Barb & Barry said...

Great to see the photos and good to hear you are back in Jax. Are you going to visit the Abacos? We are currently in Green Turtle for Nov and will be heading to Man-O-War at the end of the month. Hope to see you.