Wow…I have NOT been doing a good job of keeping you all up to date on our travels lately. Sorry! Gonna work hard on rectifying this, starting right here and now with this post. When we last left you, we were going through bridges trying to make our way to Wrightsville Beach, NC and today we are sitting in North Palm Beach, FL waiting for a weather window for crossing to the Bahamas, but a LOT has happened in the meantime! There’s been a couple of reunions, a concert, feral horses, a holiday or three….not to mention making our way through South Carolina and Georgia!
Two of the most exciting parts of this trip have been reunions with old friends. Sharon, my very best friend from middle school (just a few short years ago…) lives about three hours from Wrightsville Beach, NC and she drove all that way to come spend a day with us when we were passing through. What a great friend! This was only about the fifth time we have seen each other since we were thirteen, but somehow each time we get back together it’s like no time at all has passed! An amazing day spent with my beautiful friend!
Less than a week later, on the day before Thanksgiving, we pulled up to a dock in Myrtle Beach, SC
and started looking for a restaurant where we could enjoy Turkey Day (my absolute favorite holiday, so I was feeling pretty melancholy spending it by ourselves!). We’d pretty much settled on Cracker Barrel…until I got a message on Facebook from Jessica, a very good friend of ours from high school (yes, Jim and I met in high school), asking us where we were. When she realized we were about a half hour from her, she invited us to her home for Thanksgiving dinner with her family! We obviously had no transportation, so she drove out to pick us up and then returned us safely back to our boat later that night. Mind you, we had not seen each other in 30 years!!! We were so grateful for the home cooked turkey dinner and had such a wonderful time getting to know her husband and younger daughter that we almost forgot to take any pictures at all, and by the time we remembered, her husband had already hit the sack. Bummer.
We made it through the rest of South Carolina and then Georgia without incident. There are quite a few shallow spots and a lot of areas with shoaling through these two states. Everyone that we had talked to so far had at the very least touched bottom at some point, and at least one other boat had sustained some pretty serious damage, so we were quite nervous going through there with our six foot depth requirement. It feels so good to be able to say we made it from the beginning of the ICW all the way to North Palm Beach, FL (over 1000 statute miles!) without touching bottom once. A lot of folks say they would never take a six foot draft boat through the ICW, but thanks in large part to Active Captain and it’s many contributors, we were able to avoid all potential hazards!
Before heading out of Georgia we spent a glorious day at Cumberland Island riding bikes, admiring the feral horses, looking for shark’s teeth and walking the beach collecting shells and a few starfish. Apparently there are also feral pigs on the island, but thankfully we never saw any of those!
And then, FINALLY, we were in Florida! And it was here that we heard for the first time shrimp on the hull of the boat and the Rice Krispies snap, crackle and pop sounds that we kept hearing about from other cruisers. It’s just the weirdest thing…sounded like the boat was sitting in a bowl of Rice Krispies! It was also in Florida that we had another reunion…although this time significantly less time had passed since the last time we’d seen these folks. We’d been trying to catch back up to Ron and Jackie on Hullabaloo for quite some time now and it felt so good to finally drop anchor next to them again in St. Augustine! We had missed them terribly! We spent a few days with them in this beautiful old city and then traveled with them on down to Titusville. Unfortunately, it was here that we bid them adieu once again. We stayed put in Titusville over the holidays, while they continued on further south to have their boat hauled so they could take a hiatus from boating. (P.S. We miss you two! Hurry back!)