We got up at dawn to get an early start, at least Joe did. Since we got our new mattress I’ve slept much better! I’m not waking up til 7ish. Joe put the decorative pillows from our bed in the port hole windows so our berth is nice and dark. Sometimes the waves will rock you to sleep.
We left St A at 7:15 and had to wait for Bridge of Lions to open at 7:30. The dolphins were jumping our wake a bit as we left. A good sign we would have a good day! 8 hours of traveling today with lots of no wake areas. The day was cool and not many boaters out. Our boat is around 65,000 lbs so we can handle more than most. We arrived at Ortega Landing and got docked, met a few neighbors and walked to Publix with our tailgate wagon. That thing has come in handy!
One of our neighbors at Ortega use to live in Versailles Kentucky on Shotwell Lane where a couple of friends live now. The world is certainly a small place! Back to our walk, I went to Publix while Joe went to West Marine to get the brass fitting we needed for our air horn. They had it, thank goodness! I bought some stew beef to make a beef and barley stew and some beef vegetable soup. We have some cool days ahead on the St John’s River. When we got back to the boat I started making beef barley stew. We had sliders for dinner with a nice big salad. Day 2 of Ortega Landing was just a day of working and cleaning plus a little laundry. The free washing machines at Ortega were busy all day so we did our laundry on the boat.
We ran into Sabbatical whom we met at Marathon Marina. Misty who was with us at Marlin Bay had just left Ortega Sunday morning. We hope to see them somewhere on the St John’s. We had beef barley soup for lunch and leftovers for dinner then watched The Voice. Joe worked on our route for tomorrow and then his route for when he comes back.
We started down the St John’s River with tentative plans on where to stop.
The winds picked up and so we decided to dock at Palatka. Old Marina! The docking was the toughest yet. Even with Joe using our thrusters the wind was blowing us away from the dock. That tells you how bad the winds were since our boat is heavy at 65,000 lbs. The boat that docked just before us DougOut helped with our lines. We met Doug, Lynne and Archie their Westie. We love Westies, we had 2 ourselves.
After getting organized, we took a walk to town. Palatka is a sleepy little town…not much happening when we were there! We stopped at a bar and it was happy hour so, of course Joe had 4 vodka crans for a total bill of $7.50. They were nice pours too. He was amazed.
We walked back to the boat and I fixed dinner. Stone crab claws, steamed broccoli and baked potatoes. That night sleeping was difficult as the old dock was very creeky in the wind. The metal roof on the dock was especially noises. I’m still trying to get use to the noises on our boat. I hope I get use to them soon!
We left fairly early the next morning. Thank goodness the wind had died down! Not sure where we were going to anchor out that night. It was a we’ll see what happens when we get there kinda day. Joe decided we would stop at Walaka and have lunch at Shrimp r us and More. There was no room on the public dock so we anchored out and took our dingy to the dock. We walked maybe 4 or 5 blocks to the restaurant. We decided O Steens in St A was clearly the winner with the shrimp! The dingy ride was great!
After our Johnson Key dingy episode I want to make sure we don’t have any repeats of those rides
Our next stop this day was at our overnight anchorage. Buzzard Point. Moving South we rounded a corner and found the rail bridge in the closed position. Guide book says it stays open except when they are expecting a train. Well we called bridge tender and asked for an opening. He said he expected the Amtrak south bound train in 10 minutes. Well we waited 25 minutes to see the train cross. We had to wait going North as well, only 20 minutes that time.
Decided to head back North the next morning and find another anchorage
Well when it became time to stop the wind was gusting to over 20 MPH out of the west. Not the best for anchoring.
Short travel leg back to Ortega
Now we were focusing on getting the boat ready for our trip home, plus a docktail event at the marina. Pharmalife, Misty, Hard Dock, Technomadia, Destination, New Freedom, BalaHula and one other boat…we are at home in Kentucky writing this. Our brains aren’t remembering the last boat…sorry!
Number one project for Joe was installing 8 new 6 volt house batteries. They were set to be delivered between 8 and 10 AM on the same day as our flight home. Would it all come togeather, a little stress was happening. Well the Estes freight truck showed up at 8:30 yea. Each battery weighs 78 pounds, so total weight to move was 624 lbs. Turns out Joe had to lift each battery 10 times during the process getting them from the parking lot to the installation location. We had decided we needed to leave by noon to return our rental car and then Uber to the Airport.
Turned out our flight was an hour late. We had lots of time at the airport for lunch/dinner. Our son picked us up at the Cincinnati airport. Joe is staying home 4 nights before returning to Balahula with a high school class mate who is filing in for Me until I return in Savannah. So what to do while no boat around to fix thing on.
So tune in next time for a Barbara less episode. If Joe can find the time. Food might be the bigger challenge. Although I fixed a pork Shoulder in the instapot, vegetable beef soup, in the freezer there is a bolognese sauce and there is a nice piece of ham…..but eating dinner out sounds good too…huh!🤓