Wednesday, June 28, 2017

smooth motoring south

June 27, 2017
Day 4 - St. Augustine to Rockhouse Creek, at Ponce Inlet
Approximately 64 miles

With the new water pump installed we were ready to go. Ready to go with a more moderated, subdued attitude than the first two days. We’ve been full-time liveaboards and boaters for almost eleven years now; really we should now better. That hyper, let’s see the world, we’re explorers, adventurers, anchor aweigh! attitude was perhaps a little over the top. We are after all, on a boat. A big, powerboat with multiple mechanical and electrical systems that can all . . . FAIL. Instead of setting our eyes on the ultimate prize of that deserted anchorage on a Bahamian out island, we left St. Augustine with the contented feeling of a working boat, a happy crew, and lots of uninterrupted family time. One day at a time, enjoying each day as it comes.

As it turned out, we had a fantastic day. The port engine is running smoothly, the kids understand what we’re doing and are, thus far, happy to be playing and are, more or less, self-entertained down below. The long day of motoring (eight hours) didn’t bother them because they know that the further we drive the boat, the sooner we’ll be in the Bahamas. 

The day wasn’t without some sibling rivalry, a few major tantrums, and a handful of whines, but we’re giving the kids a wide berth and trying to be as understanding and sympathetic as possible. Takeaways: It is possible that we will run out of art supplies. Roald Dahl is an amazing writer and manages to insert adult humor into his children’s books. And so refreshingly politically incorrect.

We motored on and on; Hans and I alternating driving the boat and taking care of the kids. At one point, Hans jumped in the dinghy with his fishing pole and zoomed off to try to fish the flats. No luck, but he did catch a couple cat fish off the boat at anchor in the evening.

A rain stop in Daytona as a massive thunderstorm rolled past and we continued on to our night anchorage: Rockhouse Creek just inside of the Ponce Inlet. Our trusty anchorage guidebook, Skipper Bob’s “Anchorages Along the Intercostal Waterway,” merely described it as a spot where you could dinghy to the ocean and walk the dogs. It was so much more.  Lined with (no-see-um infested) mangroves, fantastic holding, a view of sandbars and the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, and the sound of crashing waves on the beach, it was gorgeous. We jumped in the dinghy and spent an hour on the beach finding sea creatures, swimming, and playing tag and retreated to the boat when the skies grew dark (again). We quickly retreated inside the boat when the bugs came out in full force. 

Taco Tuesday is still Taco Tuesday, even at anchor - huevos rancheros with all the fixings and we were all in bed at 8:30 under our fans. We kept the boat closed all night to keep the no-see-ums out. Thank goodness it had been a cool day.

And of course we had an engine problem. This time the dinghy engine. Cough cough sputter. Possibly a rusty grounding wire? Hans diagnosed and did fix #1.

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