Sequel On The ICW: Grits and Bear It (BLOG/VIDEO) - PassageMaker

Sequel On The ICW: Grits and Bear It (BLOG/VIDEO)

Of tips for overtaking, Manatee zones and getting the stink eye from the Navy. John and Amy are adjusting well to life on the ICW was they make way from Florida to Georgia.
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June 19, 2014: To quote the great Ray Charles, "I’ve got Georgia on my mind…"

 A very cool tall ship we encountered.

A very cool tall ship we encountered.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Before writing – actually finishing this post, as it was started two days ago – I have to apologize for my tardiness. I had a bit of an IT issue with the mobile office two nights ago. It all started out fine – Amy got her personal hot spot working (it’s not what it sounds like) while I popped the SD card from the camera into the laptop and downloaded the day’s imagery. That’s when things started going all pear shaped.

I hit Delete on one of the videos and the next thing I knew, everything on the SD card disappeared. Poof. No recovery. Aaargh! So what did I do? Software developer, electrical engineer, and Former Director of IT John “Freakin” Hanzl finds a SD Recovery program off the internet and hits “Install” (I can hear my father in law – FIL – groaning right now).

About ten seconds later I realize what I had done and CANCEL CANCEL CANCEL!!! Too late – my computer was just hijacked. AAARGH!!! (queue me banging my head on the keyboard while refilling my glass). So that brought the blog writing session to a screeching halt. Amy wrote an email to her dad (FIL), who’s the master of computer recovery (he’s saved our hide more than once already). But I’m finally back to square one now – minus a few videos, which is a bummer.

 A fishing boat trawl' the ICW.

A fishing boat trawl' the ICW.

First of all, based on a suggestion from our broker, Peter, I’m going to present a few stats at the top of each post to help set the scene for the day’s run. Perhaps this could be of use for someone planning a similar trip down the road. Also a few baseline items: when we can, we run the boat at 20 knots (2200 RPM), carry a max of 350 gallons of diesel, and at that speed we burn basically 1 gallon of fuel per nautical mile, giving us a range between fills of roughly 265 miles with a 20% reserve, including running the genset while operating.

However we are constantly slowing down for manatee zones, no wake zones, bridges and boats and docks (oh my), so our range varies (at six knots our range triples). Regardless, here’s where we’re at so far:

Day 1 – Jupiter, FL to Titusville, FL, 124 miles, 8 hours
Day 2 – Titusville, FL to St Augustine, FL, 99.8 miles, 7 hours
Day 3 (today) – St Augustine, FL to St Simons Island, GA, 103.3 miles, 6 hours

What did today bring? Well, good stuff, for sure.

Confusing channels (almost ran out of one at 20 knots. No doubt that would have been fun), HUGE ships and appreciative sailors on tiny ones (tip for anyone thinking of doing a trip through the ICW – when overtaking slower vessels it’s good etiquette to radio the overtaken to ask what side the captain would like a pass. If the other boat is with it, then the captain slows down, allowing us to come off plane and break our wake – Sequel moves a LOT of water – so we can pass at a slow speed and prevent all kinds of chaos on their end. We’ve received several VHF thank you’s doing this). We saw dolphins playing in our wake – and one pair mating, or at least swim-spooning, got the stink-eye from Navy security because we stopped to check out some of their cool ships, and motored past a nuclear power plant.

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We also had our first challenging docking at Morningstar Marina at St Simons Island, Georgia – for anyone planning on stopping there, check the tides. There’s a HUGE tidal current, over three knots, and it can be really windy to boot. Fun times at the end of a long day. But a nice marina and friendly dockhands. We put in 262 gallons of diesel, paid the $1,000 (groan), and then realized we needed a sales slip with our hull number on it in the first place we stopped out of Florida to send to our broker for sales tax purposes. So after we docked for the night, Amy went back marina office and bought this:

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It was interesting being moored next to 100′ yachts – one which must have been prepping for the owners or guests as the crew was busting hump giving her spit and polish. If you’ve ever watched the reality show Below Deck, these guys were exactly that. It was amazing to see how that silly show had some reality to it.

After my computer fiasco, we decided to treat ourselves to a nice meal ashore. We ate at Coastal Kitchen and Raw Bar, the restaurant at the marina and had some tasty, though not the healthiest, Georgia food. Fried green tomato and buffalo mozzarella caprese salad, a half dozen raw oysters, peal and eat wild Georgia shramps (sic), and local grouper with cream corn grits, sautéed spinach, leeks, surrounded with a citrus beurre blanc sauce, and washed it down with a bottle of Martin Codax, Albarino Rias Baixas. Not bad! And then we came home to Sequel – even better!

 I caught Little Miss Perfect-Eyes using reading glasses!

I caught Little Miss Perfect-Eyes using reading glasses!

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