Fernandina Beach, Florida
30 40.50'N 081 28.10'W
We are now safely back in Florida, at the home of the Beard Competition (see earlier posts) Fernandina Beach. The sail down from Cape Lookout was uneventful, some good sailing, too much motoring and too many false dawns of warm weather.
We celebrated my birthday with our friends Roy & Doon from Bold Endeavour at Cape Lookout, complete with birthday cake, presents and alcohol. A warning to all visitors, Linda bought me a guitar for my birthday (inspired by Gareth and Fred's efforts) so be prepared for camp fire sing alongs to Three Blind Mice and Ode To Joy (slowly).
We sailed the 205m from Cape Lookout to Charleston leaving just before first light on day 1 hoping to arrive before dark on day 2 and therefore only having one night at sea given the low temperatures. It was balaclava helmets all round for the first day and great sailing in 20-25 knots from the NW. Roy & Doon left the same day, so we had some company for the trip south.
The wind died out around sunset so we had to motor all night and we woke the next morning to sunshine and warmth, I climbed from bed after a lovely 3 hours of warmth and started putting on thermals again and then realised it felt warm, went on deck and it was t-shirts and shorts weather! 24 hours earlier it was balaclavas and ski gloves! We motored on all day in glorious sunshine with pods of dolphins joining us regularly thinking we had finally cracked the weather and arrived in Charleston just before sunset as planned.
After a couple of days in Charleston enjoying the sun another cold front came through and we left on the winds accompanying it, and yet again it was freezing cold! We had some problems raising the anchor culminating in a major chain jam so we must have made a worryng sight for the big coast guard cutter we passed them on Charleston Harbour as I stood on the foredeck in an IRA style black balaclava brandishing a crowbar and a lump hammer! We had a great sail down to Florida, despite the record lows being set for Charleston and Savannah that night, sailing most of the way before the wind died late at night and yet again the motor was on.
So here we are, it's about 250m from here to Palm Beach and then about 90 miles from there to Port Lucaya in the Bahamas where we plan to clear customs, we are waiting on a weather window and some post but hope to leave tomorrow or Friday so next blog update will hopefully be from the Bahamas!