First of all I have no idea what is going on with WordPress and I can not seem to get anyone to answer my inquiries. I posted a fun and lengthy post that was full of photos and details of our visit to St Augustine last week. Mac saw it, Jacquie did too. . Then it was gone. I’m working on trying to get WordPress to re publish. My last comment on that post was that Dave and Aimee , ( my brother and sister in law from Chicago) were joining us in a few days……Meanwhile a lot has happened,
Dave and Aimee did indeed fly into Jacksonville. They arrived Tuesday night. We had made our way from St Augustine all day thinking it would be a short run of perhaps 4 hours up to Ortega Landing Marina. Turns out we were almost eight. The first couple of hours out of Saint Augustine, uneventful, interesting, beautiful quiet Tolomato River area. Then into Palm Valley which is a clean cut canal with wonderful houses and docks to look at. The ocean is so close you can hear it and the marsh is so close you can smell it. Again, an area of Florida we have never heard of, but we will certainly return to via water or road.
Somewhere along this stretch Mac goes below to check on things because we had a problem earlier that morning with a failing bilge pump switch and he didn’t like the oil pressure on the one engine. He tells me he is shutting down the right engine to add oil. As I’m taking the helm I hear a slight zap and lose the depth finder and all of the instrument panel. I decide not to panic, give it a few minutes. Wait. Wait. Wait some more. I’m running a lot of scenarios through my mind like : worst case, Macs been electrocuted. Best case , we tripped a breaker. Wait….pray…. drive…. cuss him for not taking the walk talkie below like we planned….drive some more…check my clock and decide if he is not up in ten minutes I will pull back the throttles and stop and go below to check….pray some more ….cuss some more… ok , that’s all I can take. Just as I am ready to panic he comes up to the fly bridge with the news that we are going to be going on one engine because whatever the zap was it knocked out all starting power. Lovely. The easy day just turned to drama.
Ortega Landing Marina is a lot of things. Well protected, friendly, beautiful facilities including clean showers and free laundry,pool and hot tub and an awesome clubhouse. What it is not is close to the ICW. It seemed an eternity that we pushed on at 5 knots against the current, on one engine, with a stiff breeze, with company coming, and the dock master needing to leave by six, that we limped down the St John’s River past downtown Jacksonville in to slip C88 at Ortega at 5:59!! Docking this girl on one screw is painful but Mac did a great job and the shouting was minimal.
Dave and Aimee arrived around 8 with steaks to grill and wine to swill. Too bad we had no corkscrew! As with lots of things in small spaces Dave had it but it vanished. Fortunately we had a good screwtop red from our wine tasting in St Augustine. The Magnificat would have to wait. Bourbon and cigars on the fly bridge capped the night.
The wiring problem was fixed by noon on Weds and Aimee and I had reloaded provisions with a Public’s run ( including a new corkscrew). Off we went for a three hour cruise to Doctors Lake. Just a few miles down the Saint Johns River this proved a fabulous anchorage in pristine still waters. A lot like our own swimming hole up river in Mississippi. The hook was down and set by five. We were set for the night.
We chilled. We swam. We kayaked. We ate well. We slept deep. Doctors Lake was wonderful. Late afternoon Thursday we returned to the dock in time for a swim, some cocktails, and our turn on the grill at the clubhouse complete with some late night singing of Broadway hits …. hope we don’t get thrown out of the place, They were probably glad to see us get in our cars Friday morning as Dave and Aimee head out to Cleveland and Mac and I leave for our weekend in Savannah. It was great sharing a little of our adventure with our family adventurers. Dave has always lived life wide open and I have always enjoyed watching him do so. It was great to be able to share a few days of our wide open year with them.