Day 23 was Christmas Day. We decided to leave Savannah, GA and continue on down the ICW until we could find an outlet to the ocean. The ICW traveling was becoming more and more difficult. On Christmas Day we were aground for a couple hours at Hell's Gate. The name of this narrow passage convinced us that we weren't the only cruisers to get stuck in the shoals at low tide. Again we just waited for the tide to rise and we motored carefully through the shallow waters--akk--that's no fun! Christmas night we anchored in Kilkenny Creek, GA. It was a nice enough place to spend the night, but in the morning as we were trying to fuel up at the Kilkenny Marina and prepare to sail out in the ocean the no-see'ms descended upon us in force. My gosh--we've never seen such!
Our plan was to get out of the ICW ditch and into the open ocean. Caribbean Soul was ready and eager to go (and so were we!). Before we could get to the ocean, a bit of fog began to roll in. It wasn't easy, but we managed to pick our way along the ICW markers to St. Catherine's Sound. The fog was not getting any better, but we had great hopes that it would clear up out on the ocean. The forecast predicted a clearing in the afternoon.
So out we sailed using our GPS waypoints to guide us from buoy to buoy in the fog which did not abate. We left Kilkenny Creek around 9 AM and were out in the ocean around 10:30 AM. We were motoring at 7 knots which meant that we'd get to St. Augustine, FL at about 2AM. Yikes! That would never do--we wouldn't be able to see to get in the inlet. So we cut the motor off and put up the sail slowing us down to 3 knots. This worked great and also allowed us to listen out for other boats in the dense fog. The sailing worked until about midnight when the wind died. So we were back to motoring, watching the GPS and straining to see any signs of other boats out there in the fog.
For all we knew, the dense fog would linger into the next day and would keep us from entering St. Augustine. But---yay hooray--as a hint of sunrise appeared in the east, the fog eased off. Then this beautiful pinkish, orange ball of light appeared on the horizon clear and fog-free! Oh-my-gosh, what a wonderful sight. Here are the pictures of this sunrise near St. Augustine. You can see the gentle, windless seas and we could see all the buoys we needed to get into the St. Augustine harbor at around 10 AM--safe and sound! We're not sure what miracles are like, but this seemed like one to us--no fog and lots of warm clear skies. It was like arriving in paradise!
We didn't do much celebrating of our 8th wedding anniversary on Dec. 26th as we sailed through the fog, but the sun rose on a new day and we celebrated everything--our anniversary. our safe arrival & life in general!
These two pictures are us in front of the central park on Kings Street in St. Aug. Lovely, yes?
These two pictures are the his & her pix of St. Augustine's A1-A brewery from which you can see the anchorage where Caribbean Soul rests after its foggy ocean adventure.
On Sunday, December 28, I revisited St. Augustine's historical Episcopal Church--Trinity Church. John and I attended services here a few years ago when we flew down to St. Augustine. The service was the Christmas traditional service of Lessons and Carols! What fun to be in this lovely place singing lots of Christmas carols! John decided to read the Sunday newspapers this time and was waiting out front at the end of the service. He snapped this picture of me--note that I have on my fanciest church clothes. Well-they were clean and no one seemed to mind.
And then we heard that UNC Tar Heels men's basketball team was playing Rutgers Sunday night. We searched around and found a great sports bar right across the street from where we are anchored. Here it is--J.P. Henley's. Go Heels! They beat Rutgers by about 20 points.