We arrive at St. Augustine’s Municipal Marina in time to catch the 10 AM water taxi out to the mooring field. At first glance, FNR looks no worse for the wear after 3 ½ weeks on a mooring ball. Not so upon closer inspection. We lost the mildew wars.
We anticipated dealing with some issue on our return so the plan to take FNR 18 miles south to Marineland Marina is a good one. Steve cranks the diesel, drops me off at the dock and heads down the river. I hop in the truck, go buy cleaning supplies, and head down A1A.
We’re both a little nervous about Steve being on the boat by himself post-blood clot, but he promises to call me every hour with an update. His calls go something like this:
11:00: All’s well. Tides are in my favor so I’m making good time. The diesel’s smoking a little but it’s running okay. May be water in the fuel.
12:00: All’s well. Made a turn. Going against the tide now but still making pretty good time. The diesel is still smoking.
1:00: It’s foggy as h~~l out here. If the diesel is still smoking, I can’t see it because I can’t see s**t.
2:00: I ran aground. The fu^^^ng markers are in the wrong place. Talked a guy in a pontoon boat into pulling me off. It’s tough out here. I can’t see s**t.
3:00: I’m at Red 86. Just hailed the marina to let them know I’m almost there. The Dockmaster said he is standing at the end of the dock waving at me. Wanted to know if I could see him. I said h~~l no, I can’t see you. I can’t see s**t.
3:30: That was bad. That was real bad. I really needed to have a good day.
We spend an hour or so tackling the mildew and then drive down to Palm Coast for the night. Thanks to our BoatUS discount, we get a hotel room pretty cheap. Not the best room, but it’s better than sleeping with mildew.
We’re back on FNR first thing in the morning and she’s clean by early afternoon. Over lunch, we talk about what’s next. With a little over a week before we’re supposed to be in Stuart, we decide to take it easy for a couple of days. Whew! Bought myself some time to find cheap marinas between here and Stuart and to perfect my “I don’t want to anchor out” speech.
It’s no secret. I don’t love anchoring out, but I don’t hate it either. Anchoring out is free. That’s good. Anchoring out is usually peaceful and beautiful. That’s good. But getting emergency medical treatment when you’re anchored out is not something that happens quickly and post-blood clot that worries me. That’s bad.
With my list of cheap marinas in hand, I explain this to Steve. He gets it. The blood clot was bad. Losing the mildew war was bad. Getting to this marina was bad. Worrying while anchored out is bad. We really need some good days.
And, just like that, we get them.
Marineland to New Smyrna Beach City Marina (50.5 miles): A cool start and a little overcast but the water is calm and we’re practically all by ourselves on the waterway. Diesel’s not smoking. Marina is easily accessible. Docking is a piece of cake. Helpful and friendly staff. Cutest downtown ever. Clean bathrooms. Great Wi-Fi. $1.25/ft. plus $6 for electric.
New Smyrna Beach City Marina to Titusville Municipal Marina (31.8 miles): Another cool start to the day but the sun comes out and it gets so warm that we put the side curtains up. Marina is right off the ICW. Finger piers are short but Steve has no problem backing into the slip. Pleasant walk through downtown. Bathrooms and Wi-Fi meet our expectations. It’s a little bumpy early in the evening but by bedtime, it’s calm. $1.44/ft. with BoatUS discount plus $5 for electric.
Titusville Municipal Marina to Eau Gallie Yacht Basin in Melbourne (38.7 miles): The cockpit is nice and toasty. The Addison Point Bridge (27’ closed vertical clearance) only opens half way but it’s navigable. Getting into the Eau Gallie River is a little tricky but once in, the marina is easy to find. There’s a boat in our assigned slip, but several locals are on the dock to direct us to our new one. Quaint little downtown. Throwback marina. Rustic, but adequate facilities. Well-protected from the two recent storm systems that ripped through central Florida. Friendly folks. Wi-Fi works as long as our antenna is pointed in the right direction. $1.00/ft. Electric included.
We had some really good days, but I’m not sure that’s what we really needed. All we may have needed was time. Time to get used to being back on FNR. Time to settle into a routine. Time to get reacquainted with our adventure. Time to get our zen back.
We’re leaving for Stuart in the morning. It’s going to take us a couple of days to get there, but I’m not worried. We have time. And besides, it looks like there are several good anchorages between here and there.