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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Splash At Last

After almost three weeks of significant projects, Hold Fast was launched today. We appreciate Green Cove Springs boatyard, but we are very happy to leave any boatyard. They lowered us in but kept us in the straps while we checked for leaks. There was a little hiccup with a leaky strainer for the engine raw water. Once that was resolved, the crew lowered us the rest of the way and we headed for the Main Street Bridge. It was so cold I could not stay out on deck very long. As a result, it was not until we got to the first red marker that I found the yard's rub rail blocks still hanging over the sides. Back to the boatyard we went, like that place has some kind of vortex that would not let us leave. Beau saw us return, drove the golf cart out on the pier and let me toss the blocks to him. We did not even have to tie up.

We initially had to the tide with us, so we were off to the races, doing almost 7 knots. Even when we left Ortega River Marina, my motto was "just get us through the Main Street Bridge." That motto rang true today due to the time restrictions for openings: midnight, 4 am, 6:45 am, noon, 4:15 pm and 8 pm. Of course none of those times work with the tidal currents. We had to wait for the FEC RR Bridge and we were still an hour early for the 4:15 pm opening. Jacksonville Landing was abused by Hurricane Matthew, but good enough to tie up while we waited for the designated time. There was not much traffic, just two tugs inbound and us outbound. Paul and Shari followed with tradition, even in the chilling temperatures, and met up with us on Gretel after we cleared the Main Street Bridge. They pressed on to figure out where we should tie up at the Metro Marina. The Metro is adjacent to the Ever Bank Ball Park and it can get quite busy for the Jaguar home games. The next home game is this weekend, so we are good for the night. Only two other boats here. We had a nice visit with Paul and Shari, and they brought cookies they just made today! Yummy!

We just finished dinner. The wood burning stove was lit, and it is time for a shower. It is a relief to be finally underway.

Love to all,

{GMST}30°19.15'N|081°38.44'W|6:14 PM|Farm{GEND}

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