"When I think of all the fools I've been it's a wonder that I've sailed this many miles." -Guy Clark

Thursday, March 24, 2022

day ten - the last sound

Wake to a heavy fog.  Can't see any channel markers.  Outgoing tide, I check GPS and Navionics and worry that I'll end up in mud by the time the fog clears.  6:50 raise anchor and motor down the creek to a little deeper water, seems like about 4' as I re-anchor.  

I read, relax, do some cleaning on SPARINTA.  Not going anywhere until the fog at least begins to lift.  White pelicans huddle on a nearby sand spit.  A perfect north with that would carry me down the Amelia River, just waiting on the fog.  I can hear power boats on the channel about 50 yards away, see shadows racing by.  Water drips from the sails and the rigging.  I'm wearing a sweater and foul weather gear.  

7:25 a hint of blue above.  8:10 raise anchor and motoring down the creek.  Fog gets thicker, put out the anchor.  9:45 fog getting lighter, I can see a couple of channel markers.  Raise a reefed main, jib, sail of anchor.  Thicker fog comes in, decide I'm going anyway.   Under sail 10:00.

10:15, round up to shake out the reef, full sail, 3.3 and blue sky mixed with fog.  Now I can see multiple channel markers.  10:45 passing Little Amelia River, wished I had anchored there last night.  

11:20 lighter wind, motor sailing on Nassau Sound.  Light green water, brown marsh and bits of white sandy beach on shore.   Frustrated with the light winds for crossing the last sound.

12:20 enter Sawpit Creek on the south side of the sound, wind finally arrives and making 3.0.  Round up in a little side creek but I can hear lots of noise, people yelling.  There's a boat ramp up the creek and lots of power boats soon headed my way.  Slip back out on to Sawpit Creek.

1:15 1.0 and the wind fills in.  1:50 passing Nassau River, then the Mud River, making 2.6.  Lots and lots of power boats and they seem to go only at full throttle.  I hang to the side of the channel, tacking only when there is a gap between power boats.  

I sit in the shade of the main and enjoy the steady sail south.  The river bends here and there but the wind seems to bend with it.  I look at anchorages along the way, there are only a few, but decide to keep going as long as I have the wind.  2:00 off the George River, 2.6, ebb tide in our favor and across the marsh grass I can see the tall buildings of downtown Jacksonville.

Wind swings for the last stretch and sailing close-hauled, 2.4 sailing just outside the edge of the channel, tacking when I can to avoid the shallows.  Looking ahead over the marsh grass can see a huge cruise ship heading to sea.  3:00 anchor down Three Sisters Creek with deep water but surrounded by nearby oyster reefs that are exposed at low tide.  Turned in to the creek just shy of a bridge.  Beyond the bridge is the St. Johns River.

 15.58 NM

Chicken noodle casserole

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