Amelia Island, Florida


Happy Veterans’ Day, to myself and all who have served our country in the armed forces, past and present!

Florida!  Yes – we actually made it today and are safely moored at Amelia Island Marina in, not surprisingly, Amelia Island, Florida.  The day started out fine, motoring out of our beautiful little anchorage in New Teakettle Creek and back into a nice, calm morning on Old Teakettle Creek, down and across Doboy Sound, along the North River for a couple of miles, then down the Little Mud River, across Altamaha Sound, down the length of Buttermilk Sound, on into the Mackay River, past St. Simons Island and across St. Simons Sound, then down the length of Jekyll Island on Jekyll Creek and Jekyll Sound, down and across St. Andrew Sound and into the Cumberland River, along Cumberland Dividings and into Cumberland Sound and finally, across St. Mary’s Inlet and into the Amelia River.

I mention the names of all those waterways to illustrate how complicated Carol’s job is, trying to keep track of where we are while at the same time keep me posted as to what’s coming up, both turns and avoiding shoal water.  And sometimes the charts give the name of the particular body of water you’re on, and sometimes not, which obviously can complicate things.  My job, in that sense, is easier because I spend a lot of time kind of staring at the chart plotter with the GPS image of the chart with our boat represented on it, and to a large extent I don’t much care what the name of this particular river, or whatever, is.  Anyway, I’ve explained our navigation system before and it works, it’s just a lot more work sometimes than others as you weave your way through this network of marshes, rivers, creeks and sounds.  You really could get lost if you missed a turn, at least temporarily, and you could run into some shoal water that the guide books warned about…but you have to know where you are.

Most of the day we were following 2 other power boats, which I eventually passed one at a time.  Our plan was to find another anchorage – maybe behind Cumberland Island, which is a National Seashore and where there’s a dinghy dock that brings you to hiking trails around the island.  So we stopped at Jekyll Island Marina to top off the water and fuel tanks so we’d be prepared to spend a couple of days away from a dock, and the folks at the fuel pier warned me that we were going to find St. Andrew Sound quite rough, as the wind had built to around 20 knots from the Northeast and the tide was going directly in the opposite direction.  I thanked them for the local advice but figured we had already experienced our fair share of rough conditions, so how bad could this be.  And a glance at the chart showed that the crossing of St. Andrew Sound would only be about 2 miles, so I definitely wasn’t worried about it.  WRONG!

As soon as we came out of Jekyll Creek we first of all encountered the US Navy submarine base at King’s Bay, with warnings on the chart that if there’s a sub entering or leaving the base there would be armed patrol boats accompanying it and keeping boats like ours away.  OK, so we didn’t see any submarines.  But those 2 miles in St. Andrew Sound right after the Navy base were unbelievable, and were as rough – right on the beam – as anything we’d seen on this trip.  The boat was rolling heavily side to side even though I was turning head-to the biggest waves as I saw them, and on top of that we had to head right at some breakers on a shoal about half way across, before finally turning into the Cumberland River, where we were in the lee of the quite large Cumberland Island.  It’s very unnerving to deliberately head toward breakers on a known shoal, especially when you’re not familiar with the waterway.  The short transit of that Sound was intense, and we couldn’t have been happier about suddenly being behind the island in peace once again.

St. Mary’s Inlet is the border between Georgia and Florida, so as soon as we entered the Amelia River we were in Florida.  We were rather beat at that point and all thoughts of anchoring for the night went out the window, since the wind had not abated at all and we wanted the security and amenities of a marina.  We first thought of stopping at Fernandina Beach Marina, only because it was the closest to us, but they didn’t have room for us and anyway as we went by we could see the boats in the marina being tossed around – there was no shelter from the wind at all.  So Carol looked in the guide book and saw that Amelia Island Marina was next, a couple of miles down the ICW, she called them on the phone and made a reservation, and in we went, 2 very tired and relieved people.  Fortunately, this marina is in a small man-made cove and is completely sheltered – exactly what the doctor ordered.  There was even a restaurant on site so we didn’t have to cook or go restaurant hunting.  It was nice to be shut down for the night and to be in Florida.  We’re almost there – only a few more days to Cape Canaveral, and we can take our time getting there; we’re somewhat ahead of schedule at this point, so no more worries about getting there on time.  Ahh…..

Today: 65.3 nautical miles

Running total: 1,265.1 nautical miles


Sapelo Island, Georgia


Yawn – another not-so-early departure because we didn’t know where we would end up but we did know there were a bunch of anchorages to choose from, or even marinas, although we were hoping for an anchorage.  Anchoring is free, is usually private and quite, and is a nice change from marinas.  As we headed out of the port of Savannah we passed an inbound container ship, and it’s always kind of weird to pass so close to one of these behemoths.  I’m sure the pilot and Captain weren’t very concerned about us, but I was careful to maneuver around him while getting close enough for some good pictures.

As it turned out, today was a much easier day than the last few from a navigation standpoint.  Instead of endless marshes with shallow, narrow winding channels, dodging shoal areas as warned in the guide book, we spent most of the day in beautiful, wide and deep rivers and sounds.  It was a lovely, sunny day, which brought out all the vibrant colors of the “low country” as the locals call this part of the world.  It’s amazing how much of a difference the sun can make, both to the scenery and to our state of mind because overcast can become quite boring.

It was also a day when we sailed in company with several other boats, power and sail.  For the most part we eventually pass sail boats, and half of the power boats pass us.  Each time, the passing boat calls the to-be-passed boat on the radio and proposes a “slow pass” on either port or starboard, where the to-be-passed boat slows way down as the passing boat is passing them, thereby shortening the amount of time the 2 boats are close to one another.  And half the time the 2 boats chat one another up and comment either on where one or both is from, maybe how long each has been travelling, or some other trip-related thing.  Today, for example, we passed a sailboat named Korros and on the stern it said their homeport was Castine, Maine.  Well, be bought our boat last April in Rockland, Maine, which is very close to Castine.  I mentioned that to the Captain of the Korros, and she actually remembered our boat because it had spent the last 12 years up there.  It was a real “it’s a small world” thing and it was a fun little interlude in a long-ish day where we all value distractions.

Over the course of the day, as has been the case the past several days, we passed lots of local men & women in small boats fishing along the ICW and in the myriad creeks along the way.  We still haven’t seen anyone actually catch a fish, but it’s not from want of trying, because they are all over the place.

So in the afternoon as we meandered along through this lovely day we started to discuss where we might end up.  Carol had the guide book and was looking at options, and I was checking out a chart app that lists marinas and anchorages, and eventually we decided to check out one particular anchorage and see if we liked it; if not, we would either go on to the next anchorage or head for a marina.  At the time we had been following one particular power boat for a while (m/v Harmony) and he was going a little slower than I wanted to go.  I called him on the radio and proposed a slow pass unless he was going to stop soon, in which case I’d wait.  He said No, they were planning to stop at New Teakettle Creek anchorage, which was just a couple of miles ahead and in fact was where Carol and I were contemplating stopping.  So I told him so and we turned in behind him and followed him into the creek about a half mile, past a fisherman and a sailboat that was already anchored there.  I waited until he was finished anchoring a short way past the sailboat, and when he said he was finished we dropped the hook in between the 2 other boats.

New Teakettle Creek is a beautiful place, smack-dab in the middle of nowhere on the west side of Sapelo Island, Georgia, in the middle of the huge network of marshes.  The guide book said to be careful of alligators (relevant if you’re planning to take your dog ashore for a “walk”) so we were on the lookout for them, although we didn’t see any.  But once we got anchored and shut off the engine we found ourselves in a place that was wonderfully quite except for the birds that live and feed in the marsh, although we couldn’t see them in the 4+ foot high marsh grass.  But the water was entirely flat calm, the boats were all 3 completely quite, and Carol and I sat in the cockpit for a while enjoying a cocktail and the peace and quiet.  Eventually we were treated to an incredibly beautiful sunset over the marsh, after which I cooked pork chops on the grill while Carol made a salad and veggies, and we had a fantastic meal in one of God’s truly beautiful settings.  Indeed, life is good.

Today: 65.0 nautical miles

Running total: 1199.8 nautical miles

Savannah, Georgia


Today we weren’t in a hurry to get going from our little anchorage because we knew we weren’t going all that far, and because I planned to stop for fuel in Beaufort and the fuel dock didn’t open until 08:00.  So we got off to a nice, easy start around 08:15 and went 2 miles into Beaufort, where we took on fuel and I had a nice chat with the fellow former Coastie who worked on the fuel dock.

Then it was back into the difficult, narrow and winding marshes, made kind of boring by the overcast skies, which muted the colors that are otherwise interesting: thousands of acres of green and tan marsh grasses, against the green trees behind the marshes, and blue sky and water.  When it’s overcast, it’s all gray.  Oh well…

The next civilization we saw after Beaufort was Hilton Head, where we passed several big marinas full of big boats, and even more and bigger houses with huge docks and huge boats than the past few days.  Hilton Head is really something to see – it’s amazing just how much money there is in a place like that.

We actually only went about 35 miles in the ICW today before turning right onto the Savannah River and 8 miles up into the city of Savannah.  I’ve been there a half-dozen times on business and Carol has been there twice with me, and we both like this small gem of a southern city.  There’s almost no recreational boating infrastructure (probably because it’s 8 miles off the ICW and it’s a busy seaport), which we knew, but the Westin Hotel across the river from the city proper has a face dock a couple of hundred feet long and we’d made a reservation there.  Sometimes there are mega-yachts moored there, but tonight there was just us and 2 other boats, maybe 55 and 65 feet long.  But since we were guests at the Westin we were able to take advantage of the spa and showers, which was nice even though the dock itself was in poor shape.

The Westin is next door to the Savannah Convention Center, and the city operates a free ferry that plies back and forth across the river until midnight or so.  We took the ferry into the city and walked around for a while, had a cocktail at a nice sidewalk pub, then picked a restaurant from the many and varied choices in the downtown Riverfront district, and had a really good dinner.  Then we took an Uber to a supermarket to provision the boat, and another Uber back to the Riverfront and the ferry back to the Westin, lugging our several bags of groceries.

Although we didn’t get to enjoy it tonight, Savannah has a vibrant folk music scene, as well as an Arts College and a generally lively arts community.  There are a whole series of wooded squares around the downtown and it’s just generally a nice walking-friendly place that we always enjoy.  Of course there’s the Forest Gump bench where they actually filmed the “Life is like a box of chocolates” scenes, which is in one of the squares, but aside from that it’s just a nice city to walk around in.  Life is good…

Today: 43.9 nautical miles

Running total: 1,134.8

Beaufort, South Carolina


Today was a long day, and included more shallow, winding creeks, shortcuts between rivers and sounds, and 1 city.  We sat down last night and looked at how far we still had to go and how many days we had left before we had to be in Cape Canaveral, and we decided to put in some long days now so we’d be able to have a couple of lay days later by choice, whereas all our lay days to this point have been dictated by heavy weather.  So we set a goal of Beaufort, South Carolina, got up early and left at first light, 06:15.  It rained fairly hard most of the night, but we didn’t see any more serious rain all day, which was nice.

I love being on the water at that time of day.  More often than not it’s flat calm, the birds are out fishing and making a racket, and if you’re lucky you are treated to a beautiful sunrise.  We weren’t lucky today in that sense, as it was overcast when we got underway, but it was still and lovely and I was ready to go.

For most of the morning we wended our way through yet more miles of marsh land, and it was a relief to evidently be out of the storm damaged area, as everyone’s houses and docks were intact.  There were some ungodly long docks from some very large houses, and we both got a kick out of the long walks people had to take to get to their boats, or the gazebos many of them had at the end of the dock.  The long docks were required by 2 things: first they have to cross the marsh, which often extends out a hundred yards or more from the shore, then they have to get out to deep enough water to operate a boat, and the gradient from the shore outward is very shallow.  Anyway, we saw docks that had to have been ¼ mile long from the shoreline to the end.  You could get your day’s exercise just by walking to the end of your dock and back!

After miles and miles of marshland the density of houses suddenly started to increase as we got close to Charleston, South Carolina.  First there’s Isle of Palms, then the ICW dumps into Charleston Harbor, which is quite wide and is a big seaport.  It’s over 3 miles from the east side of the harbor to the west shore, during which you once again have to deal with ships and tugs & barges, as well as recreational boats.  But it’s visually a nice city, with a big modern bridge over the ship channel, then the city proper including the Battery, at the southern end of the city peninsula.  There’s no big city skyline with tall buildings.  Plus you pass close by Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the US Civil War were fired, which is interesting in itself.

It takes a busy but interesting hour or so to pass from one side of the port of Charleston to the other, then you’re back in “typical” ICW, with houses, boats and docks.  Not long after you re-enter the ICW you go through a very narrow section called Elliot Cut, where the ICW Guide recommends you make a Security Call on the VHF radio, announcing that you are entering Elliot Cut southbound and asking all northbound vessels to respond so you can make passing arrangements, because there really isn’t enough room for 2 boats to pass in the Cut.  This is a common thing for commercial shipping, but it’s unusual for recreational vessels to have to do it.  The Cut is only about ½ mile long, but you can’t see the other end when you enter, so the Security Call is important.

After you get through Elliot Cut and the suburbs of Charleston, maybe about 10 miles later, you’re back in sparsely developed marshland where I was glad to see 3 areas of active dredging in process.  The ICW in South Carolina has been sorely neglected for many years, with respect to dredging and other maintenance, but the current administration has finally taken an interest and directed money to the Corps of Engineers to start getting things in order.  Dredges can be a real obstacle to vessel traffic, but without it any waterway will eventually become impassable, so it was good to see the work going on.

Our day ended about a mile short of Beaufort, SC, in a beautiful anchorage called Pleasants Point, where we only had 1 other boat as a neighbor.  It was perfectly calm and quite, the bugs weren’t a problem, and it was a fabulous way to end a rather long day…and at no cost!  I had hoped to anchor a lot on this trip, but with all the cold weather earlier on we more or less had to go to marinas at night, because the only heat we have on the boat requires 120 volt electricity, either plug into shore or run the generator all night, which ain’t going to happen.  So tonight it was nice to finally be able to anchor out rather than pay a marina.

Today: 89.5 nautical miles

Running total: 1090.9 nautical miles

McClelanville, South Carolina



This was an interesting day, in that we went through some of the most difficult sections of the ICW, where we both had to pay close attention to where we were and what was coming up next the whole time.  It’s fun in a way and satisfying when everything works out OK, but it’s also tiring.

We didn’t leave all that early – 08:15 – but it was a beautiful, calm morning, the kind that makes you so glad to be on the water.  It was hot and humid last night, and we had to turn on the air conditioning for the first time on this trip.  Which was a relief after all the days with the heat on earlier!  It rained a lot during the night, but the dawn broke bright and clear and off we went.

The river got wider and wider as we went, and for some reason we had it all to ourselves.  For the past few days there were lots of boats in the migration down the ICW, and we were passing or being passed all day, which is kind of fun each time because you call the other boat on the radio to make passing arrangements and it’s fun to see where everyone is from.  We’ve seen several boats from Canada each day, as they head south for some warm weather.  But today we hardly saw any other boats: in the first 2 hours 1 power boat passed us and we passed 1 sailboat.  But the scenery along the way was wooded and nice and the day was sunny and warm, so who cares?

We had been warned by Hank during the briefing in Southport the other evening that there would be some really challenging sections of Waterway between Georgetown and Charleston, and there was one section in particular that has experienced significant shoaling for the past few years and hasn’t been dredged, and he warned us that if we got there at low tide we should not proceed – boats either anchor and wait for the tide to rise or, if they don’t have time for that, turn around and either anchor for the night or find a marina.  So guess where we were a half hour before dead low tide: that’s right, McClellanville, South Carolina.  We came around the corner and Carol had Hank’s sheet with all the details, and she confirmed that we were facing that stretch of the Waterway.  I looked around and saw that the tide was pretty low so I checked the tide tables and sure enough, 30 minutes from dead low.  Bad planning, Bob the Navigator!  The only close-by marina facility, as told by Hank, is the Leland Oil Company dock, up Jeremy Creek in McClellanville.  The current was running fairly strong so I had to keep the boat in place in the middle of the ditch while I called the dock to see if they had room for us.  It turned out they did, but that meant we had to go a half-mile or so up Jeremy Creek, which is about as big as it sounds.  Again, the tide was just about dead low, and there were mud flats on both sides of the creek.  Hank had warned us that if we went up there at low tide there would be barely enough water for our boat, but if we stayed close to the docks on the north side of the creek we would make it OK.  Easy for him to say, but I followed his instructions and watched the depth sounder readings go from 6.5 feet to 6.0, to 5.5…as low as 3.5 feet, which meant we had about a foot of water under the keel.  I didn’t like it, but in for a penny, in for a pound, so on we went.  There wasn’t enough room in the creek for me to turn around anyway, so once I started up we were committed.  Anyway, we made it up to the dock, turned around and moored, and I was hugely relieved.

We got there at 13:30 after only 50 miles, which was less than we’d planned, but we were safely moored so that was that.  We walked into the thriving metropolis of McClellanville, had a late lunch at the only restaurant in town, went back to the boat and had another nice, peaceful night.  Whew!

Today: 50.0 nautical miles

Running total: 1001.4  nautical miles



Socastee, South Carolina


We left Southport at 07:05 to a beautiful sunrise on a warm morning with clear, blue skies.  It was a really nice way to start a day on the water and we had high hopes of putting in some big miles.  We realized the other day that since we had used so many days early in the trip waiting for weather that we have to push the miles now in order to be able to enjoy some tourist time in at least some of the nice places still to come, in particular places like St. Augustine and maybe Savannah.  We do have an end-date for our travels which is Thanksgiving, which we plan to spend with my father and sister in Fort Myers, Florida.

So now we have to see what the weather brings and what the road ahead looks like.  Last night’s briefing by Hank went into great detail about the several difficult sections of the ICW that are in front of us, from Southport to the Florida line.  The layout of the ICW looks similar to the past couple of days, made up of natural creeks and rivers connected by man-made canals and “ditches”, but for whatever reason this will be the most difficult part of the ICW because there are areas with significant shoaling and you need to have some idea where the deep water is before entering them.  Some of the shoaling was caused by the 2 recent hurricanes, some is just natural movement of sediment from rivers and creeks into the canals, and some is from neglect by the authorities, caused by budget battles in Washington.  But of course the causes don’t concern us as much as the fact that these problem areas are there, so Hank’s information – updated almost daily by folks who have passed through them recently – is an important component when considering when to arrive in certain places (big tides in South Carolina and Georgia) and how to negotiate them when we get there.

So after leaving Southport we wended our way through Lockwoods Folly (sounds inviting, doesn’t it?), and shortly after that we crossed Little River Inlet.  Both of these places we had to wind our way around a series of sandbars, sometimes hugging close to buoys or day markers, sometimes deliberately swinging wide around them, according to Hank’s information and the guide books.  After Little River Inlet you are in the Little River for many miles, including 10 miles or so of an area known as the Rockpile, where the engineers blasted through a long granite ledge to make the ICW in the 1930’s.  Most of the ICW is at least a couple of hundred feet wide from shore to shore, but the Rockpile is just 50 feet wide because they chose to blast the bare minimum to make it navigable.  It isn’t difficult, but it is a bit tiring because there’s no room for error; if you screw up you’re not going to nudge onto a sandbar, you’re going to smash into rocks.

After that we were in the Myrtle Beach area, which is miles and miles of beautiful, high-end homes along the Waterway, complete with golf courses and very fancy stone work and landscaping.  Even a bridge over the Waterway was elaborately decorated, unlike the spartan concrete bridges that are the norm.  Sadly, we also went through miles of hurricane damage again, but this time it wasn’t roofs and decks from hurricane force winds, it was docks, seawalls, yards and whole houses that were damaged by the flooding after hurricane Florence.  You may recall that the storm stalled after it went inland, and sat there and rained and rained for several days before petering out, and all that water came down into the coastal area and flooded it, in some places as much as 10 feet.  We saw floats in the marshes and in peoples’ yards, and others where the floats had floated up and over their pilings and are now resting on top of the pilings.  Like we saw earlier, the newer houses are built on stilts or raised foundations and they were undamaged, but the older houses are right at ground level – and just a foot or 2 above the water level of the ICW, and they were completed flooded out.  Mile after mile we saw houses with the contents piled high in the driveway and front yard, and from the boat you could see right through to the street because the house had been gutted.  We could see stains across the front of the house like a bathtub ring, where the flood waters had risen to and sometimes over the bottom floor windows.  It was kind of sad to see, and we were glad when we finally came out of that and back into just woods along the river until we got to Osprey Marina in Socastee.  We had actually hoped to anchor tonight in one of the many coves off the river, but there was so much debris still floating around from the floods (logs, etc.) that we opted for this nice little family run place instead.  And ironically, here in the middle of the woods we have the best Wifi we’ve had yet on this trip!  Yahoo!

Today: 57.5 nautical miles

Running total: 951.4 nautical miles

Southport, North Carolina


Ahhh – a nice, leisurely day on the ICW.  We left the marina at 07:50 in order to make the 08:00 opening of the swing bridge right at the entrance channel , which only opens on-the-hour.  Again, I find it so funny that we did business with this place and never once saw anyone who worked there.  This was largely due to the online marina booking service Docwa, but still…

Anyway, we made it through the bridge at 08:00 and headed down the ICW.  I knew from past trips that we were getting into a section that is heavily populated and developed, with long stretches of No Wake zones that will keep us at 8 knots or less.  So we moseyed down the way for an hour or so and stopped at a marina right on the channel in Wrightsville Beach, near Wilmington, North Carolina, and took on fuel, then kept going.

It was overcast all day and we didn’t take many pictures, but there was still lots to look at along the way.  One amusing thing for the past couple of days has been the number of recreational fishermen in small boats either drifting or anchored, sometimes right in the channel.  And although we probably saw 250 people fishing today, some casting and some jigging, we didn’t see one person catch a fish.  I know the old saying, “They call it fishing, not catching,” but still – for all that effort you’d think we’d see at least one lucky fisherperson haul one in.  But not today…or yesterday.

As we steamed along we couldn’t help but look at the houses and docks along the way, and one thing that really jumped out at us was all the storm damage.  I knew there had been 2 hurricanes this year that hit this area: Florence and Michael, and I knew there was both storm damage and post-storm flooding damage from Florence, and less of both from Michael, but I guess neither of us was prepared for the extent of the damage.  Frankly, most houses and most docks were OK, but many either showed some damage or were destroyed.  Most of the house damage was to roofs and decks: there were many, many blue poly tarps covering roofs, and many decks that were either missing, hanging off the house, or askew to one extent or another.  And the docks: some were missing whole sections, many were more or less in tact but the floating docks and boat lifts at the ends of the docks were again, askew or missing.  There were sections of docks and houses in the marshes, and boats, too, way up in the marshes.  Some homes and docks appeared to have been repaired already – the wood looked new – but most were waiting…for what, I’m not sure – either the insurance to settle or maybe they didn’t have insurance and were trying to put the money together to effect repairs.  Either way, it was really impressive how much damage these 2 storms did to this area.

When we left this morning we weren’t sure how far we’d get, because the weather forecast was squirrelly once again, but after most of the day in the narrow waterway behind the barrier beach, like yesterday, we were suddenly in the Cape Fear River south of Wilmington, and Southport was just a few miles on so we decided to stop there.  There are several good choices of marinas in Southport, but we chose Southport Marina partly because it’s right on the ICW so we could get a quick start in the morning.   The marina is very nice and modern, good bathrooms, showers and laundry, and good, solid floating docks.  We stopped at the fuel dock for a pumpout, then backed into our slip.  Once again, even at this modern marina, the Wifi was very iffy, but otherwise the marina and its amenities were great.

The other reason we picked it is because there’s a meteorologist named Hank who lives on a sailboat with his wife and has been on the ICW for many years, and he gives a free ICW briefing every night at Southport Marina.  I’ve been reading about Hank and his briefings for a couple of years, so we decided to give him a listen.  And I was glad we did!  First he showed a weather map of the whole country and described what he thought the local weather would be like for the next few days, which was good.  But the big deal was that he spent over an hour going over the trouble spots we would encounter along the way between Southport and Savannah – and there are several.  Places with names like Lockwoods Folly, and the Rockpile, not to mention Little River Inlet and various other river intersections – places I’d read about in the guide books, but he showed detailed, colored Army Corps of Engineers surveys of each trouble spot overlayed with recent observations from “reliable” boaters who had gone down the Waterway in the past few days or weeks.  We left with a 30+ page handout that Carol separated and inserted the pages into the guidebook, to use to help me navigate through the difficult spots – some of which are pretty notorious.

Carol and I look forward to walks every day after sitting on the boat all day, and we were really glad today because Southport turned out to be the nicest place we’ve been so far (sorry, Beauport!).  A really beautiful waterside town with a long (for the US) maritime history with wide, wooded residential streets and a lively, vibrant downtown.  We went through a few shops then had a cocktail at a waterside bar and were treated to the best sunset I’ve seen in a long time.  We’ve seen several good sunsets on this trip so far, but this one was fantastic.  Several people stopped by the dock at this bar just to take pictures of the sunset, and it was worth it.

Then it was back to the boat for dinner, some reading and an early night.  I know that tomorrow will be another long one with slow going due to No Wake zones and we want to get as many miles in as possible, so an early start will be the ticket.  I’m already getting a little bummed at the realization that this trip will end in just a couple of weeks, but I’m trying to not think about it too much, and to live in the moment.  Because I really am having a great time.  Life is good!

Today: 41.8 nautical miles

Running total: 893.9 nautical miles