Florida to South Carolina

Now begins the long arduous journey home.

With a ripped mainsail and unfavorable weather, we were forced to travel up the east coast via the Intracoastal Waterway (or the ICW for short).

This is not a fun trip in a slow boat, especially on Saturdays and Sundays when the weekend warriors come out to play with toys they have no idea how to use.

In Ft. Lauderdale, for example, the ICW was churning with wake from boaters ignoring no wake zones and passing too close.

Se la vie…

Once the weekend was over and we got into more rural waters we were able to enjoy our leisurely pace and snag some beautiful anchorages each night.

On the 26th of May we docked in Marineland, FL to ride out tropical storm Beryl with our dear friend, XBOX.

Calm before the storm


After our extended stay in Marineland, we traveled to St. Augustine and decided to stay for a few days in order to enjoy this beautiful and historic city.

We rented scooters and visited the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, where they have every species of crocodile on site!

Albino alligator (looks like white chocolate)

Indian crocodile

St. Augustine lighthouse

Our sweet rides

We just happened to be in town for a reenactment of Drake's Raid, a bloody battle that occurred in 1586 when the British invaded the Spanish colony of St. Augustine.

From St. Augustine we continued north and on our second day out we decided to try an offshore jump using our reefed main and the jib. 

Conditions were good, but just as we were nearing the St. Simons inlet to enter Brunswick, GA, the front we’d been watching on the radar decided to blow in.  The winds and seas kicked up and suddenly we heard a violent flapping noise.  We looked around, nothing…looked up…the mainsail had ripped again, but this time it was obviously beyond repair.

I quickly lowered and lashed the main under ominous skies and angry seas.  However, the storm skirted us to the north and we made it in the inlet safe and dry.

The following day nature showed us what she could really do…

We had planned a long day, but about half way into our trip the clouds looked like a storm was forming and the radar confirmed that there was a LARGE storm headed our way.  We decided to stop early and got our anchor set just in time.  As Ransom was letting out chain I looked off our bow and exclaimed, “Is that a waterspout?!”  Ransom looked up and confirmed that there was indeed a waterspout right off the bow and headed our way.

The storm rolls in...the waterspout is off the bow, but hard to see in this picture
The following pictures were intended to be a panorama, but without photoshop on my new computer I was unable to merge them.  However, you can get the sense of the storm that surrounded us.

We hastily tied the canopy awnings down and just as we made our retreat to the cockpit the skies opened up and the waterspout was on top of us.  The boat heeled to starboard, the wind screamed, and the water turned white as the waterspout passed over us.  We watched from the cabin and let out a sigh of relief when it was over.

Clouds over Georgia...looks like Rei

The weather cooperated for the final stretch, and four days later we were pulling into a slip at St. Johns Yacht Harbor in Charleston, SC.

After getting settled we took a moment to reflect on our journey and let our accomplishment settle in.  We soon realized that we were exhausted!  What an amazing adventure!!!  It’s hard to believe it’s over and time to go back to work, go back to saving and planning our next voyage.

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