Monday, December 3, 2012

Brunswick, GA to Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Ft Lauderdale, FL
Lake Sylvia
26 6.18 N 080 6.70 W

We finally dropped the dock lines and departed Brunswick Landing Marina on Nov. 2 to begin our third "season" of cruising. On our first night out we anchored off Sea Camp on Cumberland Island, GA. Cumberland Island is Georgia's largest and southernmost barrier island and a protected national seashore. There are numerous trails that crisscross the island. We took the beach trail and walked for miles along a beautiful beach that was littered with dead horseshoe crabs. Not sure if it was due to high surf from Hurricane Sandy the week before or just a seasonal phenomena. 

The island is home to 100's of wild horses that seem to love to walk the beach as much as we do. They are really beautiful and don't seem to be to bothered by humans. The horses are descendants of horses from Spanish galleons that were shipwrecked off the coast in the mid-1500's and some left by the Carnegie family after they donated the island property to the National Park Foundation in 1971.

The Dungeness ruins at the south end of Cumberland Island. Catherine Greene, the widow of Revolutionary war hero, Nathanael Greene purchased the land and built a 4 story tabby home in 1783.The property remained in the family and in 1884 Thomas Carnegie, brother and partner of the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, began building an impressive mansion, with his wife Lucy, on Dungeness's foundation. The ruins of the mansion are all that is left after a fire destroyed the home in the late 1970's.

As we continued south into Florida Mark took advantage of a calm day while anchored in Kitching Cove in Stuart to do some maintenance at the masthead. Quite a view from the top!! Notice the little gray spot next to the green kayak? That's Sinbad supervising the work.

One of our favorite anchorages along the ICW in Florida is Faber Cove in Fort Pierce. While anchored there this year we kept hearing some rather loud music at night (it was the weekend). On Sunday we decided to do some exploring to see if we could find the source and came across Archie's Bar and Grill on A1A. We had a pitcher of beer and an unexpected delicious lunch of barbecued ribs with baked beans and mac & cheese. It was a great spot - excellent food, casual atmosphere and live music on weekend nights.

Carina got her Christmas present early this year...we decided it was finally time to replace our house batteries. After almost seven years of faithful service our AGM batteries were getting "tired". Mark was able to order new Trojan wet cell batteries from a company in Fort Lauderdale which were delivered to us in Delray Beach. For the third year we were graciously invited to spend Thanksgiving with our good friends Skye and Peg and we took advantage of their condo guest dock to remove the old and load on the new batteries - about 800 lbs worth lead!   
The Friday after Thanksgiving we motored a few miles back up the ICW, still in Delray to spend some time visiting our friends and fellow Manta owners Mattie and Ed Sears. Carina is anchored just off the ICW and below their condo. 

While there we took a walk to the beach which was quite different from previous visits. Much of the beach has been eroded away since Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent strong easterly winds with above average high tides.

Mattie (front right) and Ed (back left) treated us and two other friends Chris & Elizabeth (back right) to lunch after we helped them move some furniture in their condo. All Mark wanted was a burger and a beer.

Oh my goodness!!!! How do you eat this?
Yep - he ate it all!!!

Carina is the catamaran at the far right side of the photo. We have been anchored here at Lake Sylvia in Fort Lauderdale for the past seven nights sitting out strong easterly winds and seas. Lake Sylvia is not really a lake but an almost fully enclosed cove right off the intercoastal waterway surrounded by beautiful homes. It is really the only "legal" anchorage within the city limits and very protected. All 16 of the boats anchored here are cruisers like ourselves waiting for good weather to cross to the Bahamas or continue south into the Keys. 

The protected waters of Lake Sylvia also attracts locals and tourists. This boat brought some folks who were trying out the hottest new toy here called a JetLev. It's a water powered jet pack that looked like lots of fun. 

Fort Lauderdale, Annapolis, MD and Newport, RI  each tout themselves as the yacht capital of the world. Ft. Lauderdale wins it hands down with (arguably) more yachts per mile of water than anywhere else. Steven Spielberg's $200 million mega-yacht Seven Seas is the 3rd on the left here. 

Local wildlife - we saw this 2'+ Iguana along the banks of one of the side canals during a dinghy trip.

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