If you have ever driven from southern Florida to Georgia, or to Alabama, you know that the Florida Peninsula can seem endless. From the mouth of the St. Lucie River to the Georgia border is roughly 300 statute miles along the Intracoastal Waterway. At an average of eight miles per hour, that is a long haul. In truth, there are many places to stop and explore along the sunshine coast, but our goal was to reach Deltaville, Virginia by early June. Deltaville was over 1,000 miles from our anchorage on the St. Lucie River. We had one month to accomplish this, minus a scheduled week’s trip home, and any repairs, inclement weather, or mishaps that may lurk along the way.
No wake zones kept our speed to less than 7 mph for most of the first day north. We travelled 58 miles to the Wabasso Bridge anchorage where we spent the night. Day two took us 65 miles to the municipal docks in Titusville, Florida. We needed to stop at a marina to refuel, take on water, dispose of trash and to empty the waste holding tank. There was a light rain falling and the weather forecast predicted storms and heavy rain so we decided to tie up for the night and make use of the marina’s laundry facilities as well.
Rain continued through the night and morning before clearing at noon. The local manatees rested belly-up under the drain spouts off of the marina office roof. There they drank deeply of the fresh rainwater, at times pushing each other away and jockeying for the best spots. It was too wet out to uncase the cameras, but manatees are not very photogenic anyway.
The following day we anchored after 37 miles at Rock House Creek. The next morning we cruised 40 miles, arriving just after noon at the Palm Coast Marina in Palm Coast, Florida to visit my brother, Jeff and his girlfriend, MJ.
It had been one week and 335 miles since we had provisioned in Ft. Meyers and Jeff and MJ graciously drove us around to various stores to purchase fresh vegetables. We visited over a great meal together that evening, catching up on sibling news. The next morning they brought breakfast to the boat and we talked about boats and waterways, but I never could entice Jeff to crawl down in the engine room for a look around.
After breakfast we headed north again, traveling 62 miles in 8 hours to anchor at Pablo Creek, around 40 miles shy of the Georgia border.