May 21, 2017: Stuart – Fort Pierce, FL ( 33.63 NM – 5 hours, 20 minutes )
Our first leg north was an easy one spent mostly in the ICW (Inter-Coastal Waterway), we had great weather and lots of other vessels to contend with. We stayed at the Fort Pierce City Marina and took on 700 gallons of fuel.
May 22, 2017: Fort Pierce – Cape Canaveral, FL ( 66.92 NM – 10 hours, 40 minutes )
Getting our confidence up, we head out to sea for our first real open water cruising and we had a few visitors:
When we arrived at the Cape Marina, the wind had picked up to 20 gusting 30 knots and we had our first tricky docking experience. After 3 approaches, we finally nailed it and were tied off for the night. Where’s the beer…
May 23, 2017: Cape Canaveral – Ponce Inlet, FL ( 67.61 NM – 10 hours, 12 minutes )
After a nice day at sea we found transient dockage at Sea Love Boat Works, which in reality is nothing more than a boatyard with a dock. Good enough for the night, but I wouldn’t recommend the showers..
We wondered down to Hidden Treasures for a quick bite and beer. Ponce Inlet is a cool little town.
May 24, 2017: Ponce Inlet – Daytona Beach, FL ( 8.56 NM – 1 hour, 36 minutes )
A quick day on the ICW to stay clear of some weather, slow ‘n steady :). We decided to stay at the Halifax Harbor Marina in Daytona Beach.
May 25, 2017: Daytona Beach – St. Augustine, FL ( 48.53 NM – 8 hours, 7 minutes )
Another day on the ICW avoiding some nasty seas.
We found transient dockage at the Camachee Island Marina, unfortunately we came in right at low tide and with our luck was one of the lowest on record. We draw just over 5ft and despite calling ahead letting them know our requirements we got hung up in mud as we were pulling into the dock. We patiently waited for over 2 hours for the tide to come in and dislodge our bow so we could finish backing her into the slip!
May 26-27, 2017: St. Augustine, FL – Charleston, SC ( 203.47 NM – 30 hours, 22 minutes )
Our first over-nighter, oh boy :). It wasn’t that bad, we tried 2 hour shifts on the helm between 3 of us so that 1 person always had a straight 4 hours off. This quickly changed to 4 hour shifts on our next over-night trip so we could actually get some sleep!
Charleston, SC is one fascinating place loaded with history. We stayed at the Ashley Marina, which was walking distance to the historical downtown Charleston.
May 29-30, 2017: Charleston, SC – Southport, NC ( 143.22 NM – 23 hours, 26 minutes )
This was our first experience with a squall warning, which was an amazing thing to see moving along the horizon at sunset. As you can see by our track, we actually circled back for a while in order to avoid it. In retrospect, we probably would have been fine to proceed. But with our inexperienced crew, we choose to err on the side of caution and take our time (we actually did a little fishing during that circle-back too).
Once the squall passed we decided to proceed on to Southport, NC. We stayed at Southport Marina, which nicely accommodated us last minute on their fuel dock.