We set out off the docks of Oasis Boatyard on Thursday, March 12th with the intention of staying on a mooring for a couple of days before our trip just to get used to being out on the water as well as monitor our energy consumption. After saying our final goodbyes to our friends at the yard and running some very last minute errands, we set out shortly before sunset. As we were leaving the docks, my nerves got the best of me, and I ended up smoking the piling with our dinghy as well as the dinghy davits. It was my own damn fault as I thought the wind would push our bow out, and even when Frank asked if I needed a little shove, I stubbornly said no, and ended up underestimating where I was in relation to the piling. Luckily not TOO much damage was done. I did manage to crack a weld on the davits, but I’m so grateful that I didn’t tear our dinghy or sink the outboard. Fortunately for me, my good friend Ashley had decided to come along to stay out on the mooring for 2 days, so I didn’t get the verbal lashing I would’ve normally gotten from Frank, though my ego was quite bruised and I was very embarrassed that that was to be the last impression I was making at the yard.
After that debacle, my heart was racing and I lost all confidence that I could even steer the boat. With Frank being on edge as well as I, I was having some trouble concentrating on what I was doing. Thankfully I got my shit together by the time we reached the mooring ball and was able to get us pretty darn close to it. We spent the next few days peacefully moored out, watching the weather, as well as planning our route. It was decided at that time that we would pull up to the fuel docks and fill our water tanks as well as our diesel tanks. The days leading up to this were anxiety ridden as I kept replaying the image of our stern smacking up against the piling. I guess you would call it a bit of post traumatic stress, because I really was affected by that. I figured I needed to overcome my fear as it would only worsen and fester in my mind, so when the big day came for me to get us to the fuel docks, I ignored my anxiety and crabbed us up the docks flawlessly. I must say I was pretty proud of myself.
Of course, Poseidon wouldn’t let us off the hook that easily, and decided to play one last trick on us. The day before we were supposed to leave, which was supposed to be on Sunday, we noticed that the set screws in our pillow block that hold our shaft were missing. Go figure. So after borrowing a car from a friend, we headed out to Home Depot to get what we thought were metric screws. Turns out, they were not metric. Of course, they were some odd, rare thread, 5/16” fine, and we couldn’t seem to find them anywhere. It was decided at that point that we’d wait til first thing morning and get them from Marine Oil & Supply. At first light the next day, Frank went in via dinghy and walked over with his fingers crossed. He wasn’t able to find set screws, but found bolts that would work for the time being. Thank Poseidon.
We were able to get it sorted out and headed out from St Augustine around 9am, with an uneventful jaunt to Daytona via the ICW. Upon arrival, we noticed that all the anchorages were full. Shit…we managed to squeeze ourselves in between a powerboat and a sailboat and put out a 5 to 1 scope. Frank’s nerves were running high, and he was convinced that we were going to hit the boats as soon as the tides changed. So instead of celebrating with a nice dinner as I had hoped, we cracked open a can of SpaghettiOs and sat in the cockpit on anchor watch. It wasn’t until about midnight that we realized that our boat was not about to change direction with the tide. Around 1am, Frank was convinced that we were about to hit the powerboat (though I still don’t think we came close), so up the anchor went as we circled around in the dark looking for a new place to anchor. All the lessons with Rick have really paid off because at this point, Frank had me do all of the close quarter maneuvering. Including a 3 point turn between 2 boats. After finally coming to terms with having to anchor pretty darn close to the bridge, we finally got some intermittent sleep in the cockpit. I awoke every hour or so to make sure that we weren’t swinging into the bridge. As for Frank, all the stress wore him out and he got to sleep all of 3 hours. At first light we headed to our next destination….Titusville.
|Farewell St Augustine...|
|We were this close to the bridge|