Our second trip south we felt a bit more relaxed and comfortable having a bit of experience under our belt. We safely arrived in Florida on December 2 where we will spend the winter. Good thing we had some experience with the journey because we came across a few challenges.
We left Bohemia Bay Yacht Harbor in Chesapeake City, MD on November 1, 2018. Our total journey took a month that included 18 travel days and the rest were stationary days. We tied up at 10 different marinas along the way. Four free docks offered a comfortable place to spend a night. For two nights we stayed on a mooring ball in Annapolis. We dropped the hook (anchor) at 2 locations on this trip. But, unfortunately, we needed to stop for repairs twice.
Repairs are par for the course when you have a boat. We had a fuel leak the first day out, ran aground waiting for the Wrightsville beach bridge where we bent the props attempting to get off and sadly the washer/dryer needed repair. Such is boat life, there is always something that needs fixin’!
The trip south included return stops at some favorite spots as well as a few new places. Near the start of the ICW travelers have a choice of taking the Virginia Cut or the Dismal Swamp. Last year we went through the Virginia Cut and this time south we took the Dismal Swamp route. It was much less populated and quite beautiful, as autumn was exhibiting gorgeous fall leaves.
Here is a brief review of stops on the trip. Heading down the Chesapeake Bay we had an unplanned stop at Tollchester to get a surprise fuel leak repaired. We then stayed in Annapolis for a couple of days. A free dock in the sleepy town of Elizabeth City, NC (which is not a city at all) offered us rest. We returned to Belhaven, NC a favorite spot, as this was our third stay there. Next, we went on to visit friends in New Bern, NC.
The bent props required an unexpected stay at the beautiful town of Southport, NC. Thanksgiving was spent in Mount Pleasant, SC, not far from Charleston. We then returned to another favorite place – Beaufort, SC. After that, we spent a few days in Savannah, GA. Now we are really in the south! Finally two nights on anchor at Cumberland Island, where we spotted armadillo and wild horses!
We arrived in the beautiful and historic city of Saint Augustine, Florida on December 2, where we will spend about a month. This is a common port where many full-time cruisers visit and gather. The city is dramatically illuminated for the holiday season. The weather has been pleasant and the dolphin sightings plentiful!
After our stay in Saint Augustine, we will head to New Smyrna Beach for a month. Life aboard a boat continues to agree with us. So the adventure continues!