Happy 2024 New Year! It’s been a bit quiet lately on our blog and social profiles because we’ve spent the last month in Fort Myers visiting with family and friends. Much has happened since we left Savannah, GA, back in November. So, lets get you caught up!
After we left Savannah, GA, we headed south on the ICW. Our next stop was Cumberland Island. We anchored on the Wahoo River for a night and made it to Jekyll Island the next day where we stopped for fuel and water and then dropped an anchor by Shark Tooth Beach. The next morning, we had about 23 miles to go to get to Cumberland Island. We spent 3 days there walking and exploring and seeing various wildlife (horses, deer, turkey, armadillo and alligators). I’ve written a lot about Cumberland Island and why we love it so much. Suffice to say, it didn’t disappoint this time either.
While we had gorgeous weather in Cumberland, we weren’t so lucky when it was time to leave. A front was moving through as we motored the 6 miles to Fernandina Beach. For the next 5 days, we had high winds (20 knots+) and some rain. We spent a couple days in Fernandina and managed to provision and get laundry done with the wind and lumpy anchorage. The dingy rides to shore were choppy and wet and we had to dig out our rain pants and jackets to wear over our clothes. I only took one photo while we were there and it was of us with friend Ron and Phoebe of SV Noodin’. They happened to anchor in Fernandina at the same time and Randy, Sophie and I braved the choppy waters to visit with them and catch up.
After 2.5 days in Fernadina, we realized that the weather wasn’t letting up. Being on the boat felt like being inside a washing machine. We decided to make a run to Sisters Creek free dock to see if we could find a spot there and to get some protection. As luck would have it, the dock was empty. It was a bit hairy getting on the dock with the winds and current, but we made it and it was a much calmer place to stay. While there, a few more boats came in and docked. Randy met our neighbor, Logan, a New Zealander who is currently circumnavigating solo. We invited him over for some pasta that evening and learned more about his travels and experiences.
We spent 2 windy and rainy days on the free docks before moving on to St. Augustine. We cruised southbound on the ICW about 26 miles and anchored on the Tolomato River before heading into the St. Augustine mooring field the next day. We grabbed our ball and spent 4 days enjoying the Festival of Lights and catching up with fellow CSY owners, Jim and Monique, over beers and tacos. We also met up again with our new friend Logan when I agreed to help him by repairing a torn seam in his bimini. He kindly thanked us by bringing a couple six-packs of IPA’s.
Our next destination after St. Augustine was Cocoa Beach. We took 2 days to get there, stopping to anchor in Daytona Beach and again in Titusville. On Thanksgiving Day, we motored 11 miles to Cocoa Beach and anchored near Cocoa Village. The next day, we provisioned at Publix, stopped in a yarn shop and fabric shop for me, and then later visited Bugnutty Brewery. Anytime I get to visit a yarn shop, fabric store AND a brewery, make for a happy cruiser here!
After Cocoa Beach, the plan was to check out Vero Beach. We’d heard the the mooring field there is great for cruisers with access to all the usual things cruisers need: fuel, water, laundry, package delivery, propane, etc. They even have a free bus that takes you to the grocery. We anchored overnight in Melbourne on the way from Cocoa Beach. We stopped at the fuel dock for fuel and water and got our mooring assignment. They sometimes raft more than one boat on a ball there if they are full. We ended up rafting up to a large ketch that appeared to have been neglected. We spent 2 days there getting to know the area and liked how pedestrian-friendly it is to get around. We also got to catch up again with Ron and Phoebe over drinks and dinner and they taught us how to play the card game, “Blitz” or “31”.
The last leg of our trip was 27 miles from Vero Beach to Jensen Beach. We planned to put Blue Turtle on a mooring ball in Jensen Beach while we rented a car and drove back to Fort Myers for the holidays. Jensen Beach mooring field is fairly new and it’s a bit different than other mooring fields in that there’s no one on staff at the premises. You reserve your ball and pay online. There’s showers and laundry facilities that are accesses by gates codes that get emailed to you after reserving. They have no package delivery service so you have to use the local post office or pack-n-ship. We spent a couple nights on board prepping the boat to leave it and packing up for our visit home. Since we didn’t want to leave the dinghy in the water at the dinghy dock, Randy shuttled Sophie and I and our luggage to shore in the dinghy then went back to the boat and pulled the dinghy out of the water. He then inflated our paddle board and paddled to shore, deflated the paddle board, threw it in the truck and we were on our way!
Savannah, GA to Wahoo River = 53 nm Wahoo River to Jekyll Island = 44 nm Jekyll Island to Cumberland Island = 23.5 nm Cumberland Island to Fernandina Beach, FL = 6 nm Fernandina Beach, FL to Sisters Creek (Jacksonville) = 19 nm Sisters Creek to Mile 769 (Tolomato River) = 26.5 nm Mile 769 (Tolomato River) to St. Augustine = 7.2 nm St. Augustine to Daytona Beach = 44.1 nm Daytona Beach to Titusville = 50.1 nm Titusville to Cocoa Beach = 44.1 nm Cocoa Beach to Melbourne = 23.6 nm Melbourne to Vero Beach = 24 nm Vero Beach to Jensen Beach = 27.1 nm TOTAL miles to date: = 4,812 nm