I wonder if my procrastination in getting another blog post done is because this journey really seems to be coming to an end, or maybe it is because there is so much to explore now. Whatever the reason, we are settled now in Brunswick, Georgia, and enjoying the social atmosphere here and the fact that we are now near family again. It’s good to be back in the United States!
We crossed from the Bahamas to Little Lake Worth, an anchorage near West Palm Beach on April 25th. It was a calm and easy crossing. Seeing the city of West Palm Beach felt like a culture shock once again, as even the busiest towns in the Bahamas don’t look anything like the cities here. Clearing Customs and Immigration after being out of the country was much easier than it had ever been in the past. Previously we were required to show up at the office in person, but this time we only needed to make a phone call, and give them our DTOPS decal number (Decal/Transponder Online Procurement System). An officer called us back within a few minutes, asked to speak to both of us and asked a few simple questions. After that we were done, and legally back in the US.
Once again we started our travels up the ICW. First we stopped in West Palm Beach for a quick repair of a hose that was leaking, the moved on to an anchorage at Hobe Sound. On April 28th, we spotted a nice anchorage on Peck Lake. It was a wonderful spot that was actually a park. One side lined the ICW and the other was on the Atlantic Ocean. After a very short walk, I spent the afternoon enjoying the lovely beach there. The next day we continued on to another anchorage in Fort Pierce and then the following day to a mooring at Vero Beach.
After being on the move for a while, we decided to spend a little time in Eau Gallie, a section of Melbourne, FL. Eau Gallie has an arts district and many of the buildings are painted in bright and colorful murals. It was also, unfortunately, lovebug season! Lovebugs appear twice each year in Florida, and, although they don’t bite, they are just a bother. They fly around, male and female, joined together and generally make a mess of cars, boats, and everything else. There were plenty to be found in Eau Gallie. Thankfully, they only last a week or two and then they are gone until the next season starts, but during my walk across the bridge one day to Melbourne Beach I found myself covered head to toe in those little black creatures.
We left Eau Gallie on May 7th and traveled to a mooring in Titusville, then to New Smyrna Beach for two nights. Sadly, our son-in-law’s mother’s long time partner, Frank, passed away so we rented a car and drove to Fort Lauderdale on the 9th for his funeral. Still on the move north in Florida, we motored to Halifax Marina in Daytona Beach on the 10th and then to Marineland on May 11th. This was a great stop because the next day was Mother’s Day and Kelly, Craig, Michaela, Carter, and Madison came to the marina to meet us for the afternoon. We all walked over to the Marineland Aquarium and enjoyed the dolphins, fish, turtles, and sharks there. Marineland also has a lovely beach, and I made sure to have a little time to experience it. Monday turned out to be a rainy day, so our stay was extended until Tuesday, the 14th while we waited for the weather to pass.
Our next stop was St. Augustine. We stayed on a mooring but I had John dinghy me into town so I could walk around and enjoy some time photographing the beautiful city. We were on a mission, though, to arrive at Brunswick Landing Marina in time for their Memorial Day celebration, so we spent the next night at Palm Cove Marina in Jacksonville, where we were able to have Kelly meet us for lunch, and then, the next night we anchored at Cumberland Island. Finally, on May 17th we arrived at our destination in Brunswick, Georgia.
Brunswick Landing Marina is stretched out over about a mile from end to end, and in the middle is a very nice clubhouse. It houses a large library for cruisers to borrow and drop off books, free laundry facilities, and, best of all, a very large gathering room and screened in porch where happy hours take place every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Wine is provided by the marina and everyone brings a snack to share. Also provided every day from 8 AM to 12 AM, is beer on tap. Needless to say, most gatherings get a good crowd. Since we have been here, we have also attended a dinghy raft up, where 16 dinghies met up the river and drifted back toward the marina during sunset, as well as a potluck dinner on the last Sunday of the month, and a southern barbeque provided by the marina for Memorial Day. During the day, there always seem to be people in the clubhouse, in the morning, doing yoga, and later, bringing projects they are working on, or simply enjoying the air conditioning, the TVs, or just the conversation.
So, here we will stay for a while. John has been working on getting the boat ship shape for its eventual sale, although he would tell you that he isn’t make the progress that he hoped for yet. I have been walking through town exploring, not yet photographing the sights, but that will happen soon. It has felt like we needed a little time to get settled, a little time to adjust to the feeling that we are at the end of our adventure. However, until the day the boat is sold, we will continue living Life on AfterMath and treasuring our days, one at a time.