November 1-14- Cruising Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

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 Nov 5 - (About 4 days ago in transit.) We went south again.... After 6 days of moving, we are ready to stop, smell the the shore life and get some exercise. I'm not complaining but the engine needs to stop for awhile, I'm just tired of the drone, Deb has been sick, and we needed wi-fi. it does sound like I'm complaining. Oops, I forgot to say that today was beautiful and we almost got up to 70 degrees. By the way, the forecast has changed for the tropical storm and it is a good thing that we are this far south because there are warnings out for wind and surf from Norfolk to Wilmington, S. C. I'm happy we are south of Wilmington! We will anchor in a secluded, protected area and be sure we are protected from the tropical storm.

As we were getting ready to go into Charleston Harbor we saw this OOPS. I guess something happened and this boat ended up in the middle of this marsh. I'll be he will have a few boat units to expend getting this out!


 As we passed by Charleston, we were slowed for about 30 minutes waiting on a bridge to be fixed. We were actually the lucky ones because we had heard about this problem for the previous hour and some waited for an hour and half. In the end, that wasn't too bad either I guess compared to the possibility of having to go outside in 9-15 foot sees from Nole leftovers.

We have gotten more into salads lately and try to put everything fresh we like on the salad and then I make up my own dressing. If you like a vinegar and oil dressing, you might try this one. 4 parts olive oil, 2 parts rice wine vinegar, 1 part balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp garlic, 1/4 tsp pepper, salt to taste. Stir the dressing well before pouring over the salad. I don't usually toss the salad because Deb and I like a different amount of dressing. It does taste good to us. By the way, I watched Bernie (you remember Bernie and Pat - Gemini owners who hosted us in early October) make a similar dressing and simply modified it to get this new one. Thanks for the ideas.

Here I thought things would quit breaking. Below left the mike button broke so I took the mic apart and added a screw instead of just plastic. One item fixed. Then we were going to go ashore and the starter line broke on the dinghy. Of course I've never done that before so out come the tools, find a line about the right size and replace it, wind it the wrong way, tighten the spring, put it together, test it, doesn't work, take it all apart, do it again, wind the right way this time, set it into place, spring end breaks, bend a new catch into spring end, tighten just right, put it all back together again and off to shore. I think I have fixed about everything now so we are ready for the Bahamas.


We had Bill and Christy over for a late lunch yesterday and I cooked up a chuck roast in my pressure cooker. You can see here we are in the process of browning the roast. After I finished browning it, I added the potatoes, carrots and onions. Once it came up to steam, I cooked it for 20 minutes the let off the pressure, added the green beans and mushrooms. Cooked another 10 minutes and we had a great dinner. We actually had too much food but that just means an easy lunch tomorrow.

We then went off to see the Frogmore Blues Review at Kathleen's Grille. We saw these guys on our way up in May and I had to be here on Sunday night to hear them again. They've been playing together since, well forever. A bunch of older guys like me who are having a great time playing music. It made me miss playing back in St. Louis. I took a bunch of pictures and emailed them to their drummer in case they needed some good pictures. I know it is hard to get pictures of band members smiling but I think I got at least a few good pictures. Hopefully they can use them. I just hope they are playing in a few years when we come this way again. If you ever get to Beaufort, stop by and see them play. You won't believe how good they sound with their Bose "sticks" and subwolfers.

 Of course, we had to get out and do a little dancing too. So indeed, we did all have a good time.

 We were looking through some pictures and found we rarely have a picture of Deb and I together.  Last night, Bill and Christy took a few of us and we thought this one we would put up so everyone would know we are still doing fine.

By the way, we were looking for the pictures because Deb has written a one year reflection we are sending to Jeff Fister at the West End Word for a possible article. I guess we will see if he likes it and prints it as an update on our travels. We will also post it on the website soon.


 Nov 7 - We are getting ready to leave this morning and hoping we can update the site. We have had a good time in Beaufort again. We've reprovisioned and also got a number of boat projects completed including washing the boat and then using Polyglow on the parts I was not able to complete in Oriental before the rains came. The weather is getting colder at nights and we are in for some real cold for the next few nights. Therefore, I've picked up fuel for the generator and our "fireplace" ie propane heater. We aren't too worried about ourselves, it is the bird. If it gets below 45 in the boat, oops that can't happen for Jimmy Buffett.

It looks like we will be heading down to pick up diesel and check out a town just south of here. If it is nice, we will stick around for the afternoon, otherwise we are off to Hilton Head to explore. Then we will be making a number of offshore hops down through Georgia rather than a crossing. The problem is the cold rather than the distance and Deb said she didn't want to go at night when it could be in the 30's and low 40's. At least we will see some of Georgia. The wind and waves are supposed to cooperate starting Friday so we should be in a good position then to start the journey. We should be in St. Augustine about Tuesday with these hops. Who knows if we will have an update before then.

Also, my brother now has my ham rig and has it working. We got it off of ebay and it is a 5 watt unit. Rather than just by a shortwave receiver, we agreed a QRP (low power) ham rig would have a better receiver so he is also getting me the weatherfax software and will test it all out. That should take care of us in the Bahamas with being able to pick up weather faxes with forecasts out to 72 hours along with wind and waves.

 Nov 10 - We have been moving for 3 days although we haven't had an internet connection to update. Right now we are anchored off of Cumberland Island in Georgia but the real story is getting here.

We left Beaufort and the plan above was the way it started. Next it changed to going completely inshore on the intercoastal waterway because of the weather forecast. Then the weather changed again so now we would do hops offshore. Maybe that was or wasn't a good idea. We positioned on Wednesday at Turner Creek just below Savannah so we could go offshore on Thursday for a short hop. I have to tell you, it was cold. I now have the design for totally enclosing the rear cockpit which will keep it warm when we are doing this again in a few years. I'll sew that up next summer.

We left on Thursday morning and went to the Atlantic by way of Wassaw Sound. I had used the same sound when we came in from St. Augustine in the Spring so I knew it was ok and depths were as marked. Well, that isn't true of all inlets as you will soon find out.


When you take pictures in the ocean, it all seems to flatten out. Also, you don't always get the picture you are trying for. Looking at the picture to the left, ignoring our boat, you would probably say this was a great day for sailing with calm waters. However, when you do look at the boat, no we aren't sinking, you quickly figure out that the seas must have been a bit bigger than calm. We figured about 3-4 foot on this day and they were coming from the rear quarter so we rolled around a bit too.

We ended up motor sailing because the winds just weren't that strong. The real story here however was leaving Wassaw Sound. The tide was going out and the winds were from the north east. That mean they were totally opposing but we saw some of the effects of opposing wind and current which equaled bigger waves. Going out the sound, there were times when we were in close 5-6 foot waves. Regardless, we felt safe, it was just rough.

We had a short day, about 6 hours today so we were able to anchor early and explore. We came back in from the ocean at St. Catherines Sound. We anchored in  Walburg Creek behind St Catherines Island. The cool part of this anchorage is that we arrived at low tide and went ashore to take a walk. We were able to walk through the tree graveyard and simply enjoy the exercise.

Of course, those who know Deb know that she doesn't like the cold. You can see the contrast below with Christy in shorts and sweatshirt while Deb has lots of clothes on including gloves. In the background you can see the sound we had just came through and will leave from the next morning.

Of course we had to take advantage of one of the trees for this picture, Christy, Deb (yes she is sitting) and Bill. The photographer didn't remember the camera tripod.

There were neat places going into the woods and Molly, the dog, was anxious to explore them but Bill didn't have shoes and Molly isn't quite that brave.

We enjoyed getting out and seeing some of the things you just don't see in the midwest. For example, Christy dug a crab out and he immediately went to attack posture. After a bunch of pictures, I got the one in the middle with the shadows just right. After that, I had a scare war with the crab by raising my arms up and pretending I was the bigger crab. That may actually be true just in a different meaning of the word. In the end, those little pinchers moved me along and he went back to his hole in the sand.

Below right, you can see our boats anchored in the background and Bill's dinghy ready for us.

Just as we were getting ready to get in to the dinghy and go back to the boat, the dolphins came up about 100 feet from us and evidently they were staying down for awhile because they were "blowing" when they came up. I actually caught this one and you can see the small particles of water in the air just behind flipper.

Then we had to get back in the dinghy. I didn't catch the first pictures of this sequence but when a photo opportunity comes up, you have to take advantage of it. Just suffice it to say that this isn't how Deb gets into our dinghy.

We left on Friday morning and we didn't have the rough water we did the day before because the winds were slower. Today, the ocean had calmed down a bit and we were in 2-3 foot seas. These weren't bad. We pulled our anchors at 7 am and didn't anchor until 5 pm on this day. However, that isn't the real story of this day. As we were leaving, we got a call from a boat by the name of Charmed. It ended up that he was sailing along the same route today and also planned on going in at St. Simons Inlet (a Class A inlet which means a good one). Later in the day, he had passed us - bigger boat and ran his engine faster - and called us on the radio to tell us he was now going into St. Andrew Sound inlet which he has used before. After a bit of research by both Bill and me, we talked and decided there were advantages. It would cut about 5 miles off our trip on the Intercoastal Waterway the next day and the chart looked pretty good on depths. Of course, this wasn't a Class A inlet and we would soon find out what difference that would make.

This inlet just happened to have breakers on the north side, which you see lower right, and shallow water on the south side which you can see on the lower left. Of course it was charted at 15 foot or greater water. WRONG! Bill was in the lead and was following the depths on our GPS and headed at the red buoy. However, we both saw breakers right at the red buoy. That is a bad sign. Bill got on the radio and called Charmed (he must have been) and he said the water was fine where the buoys were marking it. WRONG! Shortly after Bill hit hard on the bottom, in 15 foot of charted water - Right..... Bounced off and changed directions. He had a 5 1/2 foot draw on his boat. I was about 400 yards behind and I was surfing on some of the waves but never saw less than 6 feet. Perhaps I was up when the shoaling was under us. Regardless, we made it in and were ready for a break after 11 hours. Don't go through St. Andrew Sound!

After the "fun part," then we were continuing into shore when we saw all of these birds both following the shrimp boat working the area and just hanging out. We both moved through the mass of the birds and headed for our anchorage behind Cumberland Island.

After our turn, we spotted one of the homes of the birds who have inhabited this area. There were two large groups just like the one you see below.

After anchoring in 25 feet of water, we just looked around and the area is beautiful. I always find it interesting when I see a tree supported just by the roots. I'm sure they were washed out after it was grown but it is an interesting sight.


 Cumberland Island is 85% owned by us, the citizens of the U.S. and is a nature preserve. We are moving tomorrow morning to another anchorage so we will have access to the park. There are supposed to be wild horses and all kinds of other wildlife that you should be able to read more about later.

I caught Bill taking a picture of us while we were taking a picture of him. We were out to get our pictures of the sunset which is again beautiful. I've missed watching sunsets over the water. It is just beautiful.


 One of Bill's last duties is taking the dogs ashore. Molly and Tucker are hanging in their lifejackets as Bill carries them up to the less muddy and dryer sand. After all, it is easier cleaning Bills feet than the 8 paws he would have to clean from the dogs.

Fortunately, we don't have to take Jimmy Buffett to shore. He just poops where ever and whenever he wants. Of course he is fairly well trained and poops on command but I have to remember to put him back in his cage every 15-20 minutes and tell him to poop or he will just let it go on my shirt. I mostly remember!

I don't know when we will get to post this update but I'm trying to keep up regardless. Saturday will be a day to explore and then depending on the weather we will either leave early and go offshore to St. Augustine in one day or stay inside for two. We will be there no later than Monday afternoon. WARMER weather is just around the corner.


 Nov 12 - On Saturday morning, we left our anchorage and moved about 12 miles up to a new anchorage that provided better access to Cumberland Island. As we were moving, we came across this divide in the water which had nice blue water on one side and murked up mess on the other. I don't know what it was, but it went on for miles.

I guess it was a submarine trail or something.....


 The picture to the left is of a submarine base which is across form Cumberland Island. Evidently, this is where they maintain the Trident Subs, of which six operate from here. There are times they will close down the ocean inlet and waterway when a sub is arriving or leaving. We didn't see any subs on this trip going to the base. Darn, that would have been a great picture!

Below are three pictures of the degaussing station for the subs. The middle picture shows the way they have looped the cable on supports and the picture on the lower right is where all the connections happen. Now you are probably asking yourself, so what! Well, if you have a missile that is attracted to a magnetic surface, the last thing you want to be in is a submarine that is magnetic. At least that is my thinking so why not demagnetize it or should I say degauss it. Also, I'm sure the instruments on the sub work much better if there isn't allot of stray magnetic lines of force running around. Just one of those things our tax dollars paid for.


 As we were coming up on the new anchorage, the wild horses that we have read about were out grazing. I'm sure it was just so I could get this picture as we were coming in. In addition, there were a few more in the trees after we had anchored. Pretty cool having all the wildlife running wild on the beach.

We put the dinghy together and then headed into the landing where they allowed dinghy's. After putting our money into the envelops for our day usage fee and stuffing them into a box, we headed across the island and towards the beach. The first thing we encountered was the sign below. However, since we just wondered what traffic there would be on the beautiful island, we used the main trail anyway.

Here is the traffic. I guess the campers get to use carts to drag their junk to the campground and use the main road. Good thing they aren't motorized.

We found the area was just beautiful with the vegetation growing everywhere. Then we arrived at the dunes and finally the beach. This experience is one of the reasons we went cruising and I know this will be a place we will stop again next time we are coming this way.

Down at the beach, it was time to look for shells and we did find a bunch of them.

We got a good walk both in the ocean and on the sand finding all kinds of shells. This was the largest group of complete shells, in other words, both half's still connected, that I have ever seen. I haven't been too many places so I'm sure we will see more someplace else.


We stopped on the way back where we could pick up this group picture. A rail just happened to be available for a camera stand.

This morning, Sunday, we were off early for St. Augustine. It is to be a long day but hopefully we will get there before dark and won't have to anchor before we arrive. We passed another place where Captain Jack Sparrow was sailing around and found another of his sunken ships.

Also, you can tell we are in Florida again. We are starting to see Manatee Zone signs so it should be any day we start to see some Manatees again.

We arrived in St. Augustine at 4 pm in the afternoon which was a quick trip. The tides were with us most of the way. We anchored with two anchors because of the significant current in and because there are lots of other boats anchored around here. We picked a spot where the other boats were also using two anchors as well. Hopefully we will be in the same spot tomorrow! Oh yeah, we always stay up to make sure things are ok before we actually retire so we actually know that we will be ok. Don't worry. Tomorrow we are back to having fun in St. Augustine for two days. Reprovisioning of course and then we are on to Vero Beach for Thanksgiving week.

 Nov 12 - Today, we decided to do laundry and go out to lunch. Of course we all decided we would go to one of our favorite places in St. Augustine - Scarlett O'Hara's for lunch. We have been there a number of times, which you've seen in our previous logs, and found the food and service very good. However, today things were just a bit different with regards to the food and the management. We ordered Nacho's and a couple of sandwiches along with our drinks. After getting through about half of the Nacho's I discovered something in the Nacho's that shouldn't have been there. It was about a half inch long, quarter of an inch wide with about 20 hair like roots coming off of it. Pretty unappetizing. So, I simply showed it to the waitress and asked that they check it out to see if the Jalapeno's might have had some roots in the jar they served it from. She said, you didn't find this in the Nacho's did you. I said yes and Bill said yes, Deb said yes and so did Christy who all watched me pull it out of the Nacho's. I guess they thought we were college kids trying to get away with something but they didn't know that I'm actually a past College V.P. that didn't need to get away with anything. Anyway, off she went to the kitchen and the general manager. I'll let you know now that I haven't asked for nor thought I should get anything except an answer if the "root" came from the Jalapeno jar. She came back and said that both the chef and the manager said this couldn't have been in the Nacho's, we make everything fresh here.. In other words she just said I was lying. So I then turned to the next table and asked if they saw me leave to get some roots to put into the Nacho's. They said no but the waitress said this couldn't have come from the Nacho's. Well, I guess now I know that their slogan that is clearly printed on the matchbook cover is correct! "Frankly, I don't give a damn." Well, we used to eat there everyday while we were in St. Augustine and now, I guess they have lost customers. I hope if you come to St. Augustine, you do not eat at Scarlett O'Hara's. They clearly don't "give a damn" about their customers.

As we left, I thought I should have called the health department or something like that but I guess I just don't want to waste my life with people who really "don't give a damn." I also thought I should have taken a picture of the thing but then if I would have, they would have probably really thought it was staged. So off we went. Next we saw a pretty cool thing. A tree that was growing out of, or should I say was surrounded by, another tree. This is known as the love tree according to the sign on the Love Tree Cafe. It was interesting that on one moment of time the two trees started so close to each other that they became one with each other. I guess we should have eaten at the Love Tree Cafe where there is a bit of love and hopefully customer service.

I'm not sure what happened with our Nacho's, except that I didn't put the root in there. I am sure they won't get any more of our business. All I really wanted to do was let them know there might have been a problem they didn't know about. Customer service - oh yea, "I don't give a damn."

  Nov 14 - We left St. Augustine this morning and traveled down to Daytona Beach. This was an easy day once we got moving. First we had to get both anchors pulled out, put away, and then wait for the bridge. Next, we moved to the fuel dock for diesel, gas, pumpout, and water. That took about 30 minutes and finally we were moving south. After we arrived in Daytona Beach, we anchored and went to the Stock Exchange which is a restaurant with a great happy hour. Essentially, we had dinner there on their appetizers. But the real story is that the pull starter on the dinghy, after 15 rebuilds, may actually be fixed. I'm hoping anyway. I think the problem is that the bolt holding the spring retainer in had to be held in with lock tight. So, I finally put lock tight on it. Hopefully this will fix the problem but I am carrying tools with me regardless right now. Hopefully I won't need them but if so, I will be able to rewind on the spot. Problem is that if this occurs, I then still haven't fixed the problem. Oops. I guess I will ultimately either fix it or get another pull start subassembly. Here's to lock tight!
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