11 December 2021: Florida, Baby!
11 December 2021
Cumberland River, GA, USA
Pine Island, FL, USA
Cumulative Mileage (NM)
Crew on Board
Skipper, first mate, chef, entertainment and more; I guess that is solo sailing for you!
GENERAL WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
14 knots gusting to 16 knots, on the cusp of deciding if you pull out all or some of the jib when you use it!
Not a cloud in sight!
Sunny and warm!
Dry, thank goodness!
Oh baby, this day was glorious.
The day was sunny and warm and for the beginning portions of the isolated and winding Intracoastal Waterway, I celebrated by sailing naked! You cannot be closer to nature than the wind in your face, the sun shining down and donning nothing but your birthday suit.
Plus I need to work on my base tan!
But nothing to shock you to the reality of Florida boating (on a busy Saturday) than the first boat that catches you by surprise after a quiet morning motoring alone. I can safely say those fishermen got an eyeful and looking ahead and seeing that I was entering Fernandina, Florida – a real, populated city – and the number of boats in the distance, I determined it was time for clothes again. Instead of my usual leggings and hoodie, I opted for a sundress!
I literally spent all day just reveling in the sun and topping up my Vitamin D stores (and again, operating the vessel).
Well, all day until about 10 nautical miles before my selected anchorage. This was the end of day after an early morning start, with plenty of miles and the hum of the motor constant throughout. Maybe five or so bridges and plenty of shallow spots to worry about (though most of the day was travelling at high tide so this eased my worries of the shallows a bit). However, those last 10 miles was the most boat traffic I have ever seen – New York City harbor included. Fishing boats, pontoons boats, dredges and barges, so many jet skis and people actively wakeboarding and wakesurfing and looping around you to retrieve a fallen wakesurfer/boarder in a channel that is only two boats wide.
Those last ten miles were more stressful than the first 48 miles put together and upon arriving to my anchorage, I could not even muster the energy to shower with the water heated by the engine (something I had been looking forward to as my end of day treat for the entire day). I made the quickest, simplest dinner I could think of – boiled some tortellini and threw on cherry tomatoes, ricotta cheese and green onions – and did not do the dishes. I brushed my teeth and washed my face and fell into bed.
But – I AM IN FLORIDA!
“Choose only one master – nature.”