We return to the endless tale of a thirty six hour trip by departing the Camachee Harbor Marina.
By 1030, most of the boats that were literally tied to us have departed, I slowly started to remove our own docklines to go. Started the Perkins 200's, fired up the electronics while the Spousal Unit removed extraneous lines.
Only I silently hopped ashore and started pulling off the spring lines. The Barco started to move away from the dock, slowly, with only one stern spring holding her close to the dock. I scampered over to the starboard stern and pushed the boat away, since she was about to grind into the concrete. That is when my little antic was noticed by Her.
"Get aboard, quick, otherwise I'm going to drive..."
I was a steppin' and a fetchin', I handed her the now untied line so that it wouldn't fall into the water and tangle into the props. What a mess I was starting, we were underway, and I was still on the swim platform climbing up the ladder with a will, hoping to gain control before we struck something.
The wheel was a turned, throttles were brought out of idle, and we were back in control.
To the casual observer, we had just executed the perfect and expert looking undocking eveolution. The reality, though, is that we looked as serene as a duck in a river, looking fully in control and all the while there is frantic activity below the waterline.
So naturally, I grab the camera and start snapping pictures, while traversing a ten yard narrow channel.
My Spouse was not amused with my antics.
I looked to the South and snapped this picture of St Augustine Harbor, it was very low tide, so I decided to not go further.
But there was traffic, a 34 foot Catalina sailboat was just ahead. It was called "Fantasea". Really Clever. At least it wasn't named after a Buffett song. Doing that is a sign of a severe lack of clevertude.
I am sure this family was having the best Sunday, ever.
Now, in fairness to all boat owners, the naming of your vessel is intensely personal. I like to make fun other people's choices, especially those names that I rate as unoriginal. Like my comment about Buffett tunes. Darn it, though, Ol' Jimmy stole all the best names, making them unavailable to ME!
Like, "Hemisphere Dancer". Or "Changing Channels" (A great song!), we won't mention the apostasy of "Marga*******"
Over the years and over eight or nine boats, we were unique with our names. I was wanting to name our first boat, "Cygnus X-1", which was turned down without even discussion.
My girl hates any references to some Canadian Rock Band named for fast.
"Wildebeest" was a Sovereign Seven Meter. "Wildebeest II" a Watkins 27. "Wildebeest III, Morgan 43.
Not very original, so I am a hypocrite, but a very lazy and original one.
Back to the ICW!
We passed "Fantasea", at slow speed, asince I didn't want to wake them. Looking to our starboard was two bubba's water skiing.
About that time we got waked by a very fast moving boat. The dreaded Polizei. Local St Augustine Talent;
So early on a Sunday, the police. In a hurry to go somewhere.
We broke out the champagne, which was going to be served mixed with orange juice and we call it a "Buck's Fizz" in the UK, or "Mimosa" which is the local name. I call it refreshing.
As I was enjoying my refreshment, another Gendarme came flying by, this time a County Mounty.
This time, they had someone of interest. Busted.
Prepare for the safety inspection from H E double toothpicks!
We just zoomed on by, at the speed of 5 knots. Nothing to see here.
Those darn flies had come back with a vengeance. I began to obsessively search and swat with my rolled up news paper. The Spouse set the underway suntan watch while I entertained myself with my fly bodycount.
An SH-60B was flying over us, doing pattern work at the St Augustine Airport. Brought back memories, it did!
Out to the right, a very odd sight came into focus; Some young chicks came running out of an uninhibited island, wearing underwear. Naturally, I began shooting photo's, as unobtrusively as possible. The camera saw more than my eyes, and I offer these creepy pictures;
Ahh, to go back to my early twenties, I could have had access to such a cool boat, frolicking on some island somewhere. But still, creepy to see someone's daughter smeared with mud that is loaded with two cycle oil from over the past 100 years of boating on the ICW.
We soon entered into the narrow cut going through Palm Valley and Ponte Vedra. (Note, as I write this, my Lovely Lady is working at her Company's hospitality booth, over at the ninth hole in the Tournament Players Championship PGA course at Ponte Vedra. She is doing the Grip and Grin with clients and the public. I am at my j o b not accomplishing anything but entertaining you)
As we approached the Palm Valley bridge, we saw the place where five unfortunate accident victims lost their lives three weeks ago, when the boat they were traveling on struck a parked barge. Tragic.
Apparently, there were 14 people on a 18 foot boat. Ya gots to be careful, things can really go wrong, especially on a small and quick boat.
I wouldn't mind having 14 people on the Barco, we have twenty life jackets and plenty of room for people to safely roost and mingle, on three decks. We don't even know that many people, personally!
Small and quick; Doth not describe the Barco Sin Vela nor the Captain of said vessel.
We got some great pictures of a dock that was decorated like a River Boat. Very nice!
As we left Ponte Vedra, more boats began to fly by us as they too, were heading home. Just that they can go thirty knots.
We passed by this island, just North of the Atlantic Blvd Bridge, we call it the "Uninhibited Island".
This is an old joke that She and I share; Back when I was at HSL-44, a friend of mine was single, and he happened to be just right (so we thought) for to introduce to a colleague of the Wife. So we invited the two onboard "Wildebeest II", we would go sail to St Augustine via the Ocean. While doing the Northerly course, we passed this island pictured, and my friend, wanting to show that he was cultured and smart blurts the following, "Oh, look; an uninhibited island!"
Silence was deafening and yet loud. The resulting sound was a potential night of romance being stripped away, sadly. Our female guest was an educated young lady who wanted good conversation. The other stuff, maybe later.
No chance for anything to happen, ever.
All I could do was chime in with a cheery, I Hope You Didn't Really Say That, "Yeah, and there's nobody there!"
Look. I can set you up, but I can't close your deal, ok?
So now, every island is uninhibited. It was that funny.
Back on the trip to Hontoon Island, I mentioned that we would go up the St Johns River, maybe find Kurtz.
We did find "Curts", only it is the USS Curts, FFG-38. (I spent years on this type of ship, Fast Frigates)
By now, we picked up speed back to ten knots as we made tracks for home. The last couple hours were uneventful and we were back in our berth in Pirates Cove after a trip of six hours.
This weekend will probably be some maintenance, I will change out a filter before calling a mechanic, on that generator problem.
We have been invited to either Fernandina (Fort George) or down to Silver Glen Springs, off of Lake George on the Memorial Day weekend.
Rigid Flexibility will guide us in our decision.
Thanks for reading and all the nice comments!