Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May 3 - Onward toward Florida

We headed out early and since the weather forecast was wind from the south and since we are headed south, we chose to motor in the intracoastal waterway instead of sailing.  The intracoastal waterway is a waterway that runs just inside the beach and assorted islands all up and down the east coast.  Generally these are protected waters of a controlled depth with a well marked channel.  Georgia has seriously neglected these waterways and has numerous draconian laws regulating their use.  This section of the intracoastal is why most sailors jump outside at Hilton Head and don't come back in until they hit Florida.

Departing Brunswick

Beth had concerns about us having enough room to make it under this bridge.  The chart said we had plenty of room but the pucker factor was a little bit.

Our entry into the intracoastal waterway.

Kinda hard to tell where the waterway actually was.

The next bridge was a lot lower and raised the pucker factor even more.
The chartplotter said it was 19.8 meters and after a quick calculation and double checking the charts, we had plenty of room.

A shade tent was made for the babies.

And Beth enjoyed the sun, the babies enjoyed the shade.

As we cruised down the intracoastal on the west side of Cumberland Island, a National Wildlife Preserve, we saw several wild horses roaming around, an armadillo playing on the beach, and several skates (aka stingrays) jumping in the calm waters.

We saw another Gemini Catamaran.  It was S/V Hespa - a Gemini 105 MC  Hull # 867.  I didn't recognize the nationality of the flag being flown but friendly waves were exchanged.

The view of one of the submarines at the Kings Bay naval yard was quite impressive.
After this shot, we entered the Cumberland Sound where the winds were out of the south, peaking at 27 knots.  The water was choppy and it was a rough couple of miles up the channel and back into the protected waters of the intracoastal.

Today was a good day fishing as well.  I hooked 3 jellyfish, some flotsam and just as we exited Cumberland Sound a pretty blue took the bait.  Officially this was the first fish caught aboard Second Chance in salt water.
I will give half the credit to Richard Wright ( brother in law ) who supplied the lure.  As the first fish, it was photographed and released.  The next ones won't be so lucky but may be asked to join us for dinner.

After navigating some VERY tight channels in the Florida intracoastal we pulled into the Amelia Island Yacht Basin which was at the end of an even narrower channel.  We arrived just past low tide and the depth of the channel was 4 feet.  The Marina has very good facilities and offer Boat US discounts. The staff was very friendly and we met some great people aboard the "Red Gypsy" out of RI and heading home.
A relaxing evening dining on Chicken Cordon Bleu.  Tomorrow I want to check the engine before heading out.

As for the website tracking section, It is AIS.  It is kind of a transponder similar to aircraft transponders but its pretty new and rely on "base" stations to receive the signal and transmit the data to other stations which are all linked to the internet.  We have no control over it and are quite disappointed in its tracking.  Also, it is limited to the US only so once we leave the country, it won't work at all.  We are considering another GPS / Internet based tracking device.  If we add another tracking module, we will post the link on the home page.
We do know our onboard AIS is working as numerous targets, mainly commercial craft, show up warning us of location, speed, name, direction, etc.



  1. Great post John, I really had a feel for what you guys were experiencing. Great pics!safe sailing.

  2. Danny an Anita SissonMay 4, 2011 at 8:38 AM

    Beth and John, Danny and I Pray for safe sailing ahead for the two of you, thinking of you and will keep you in our prayers as you travel, Hope your adventures are everything you expect. Love your site and We love you. Stay safe and smooth sailing ahead.