A PERIPATETIC JOURNEY
not all who wander are lost
We left our Cumberland Island anchorage at daybreak to begin the day-long sail to St. Augustine, FL. Since it was Halloween (or just because the unused cookie mix had been sitting in the galley for an excruciatingly long time), Isla had pumpkin spice cookies on her mind. I don't have an 'after photo', but everyone thought the cookies were a big success.
After an uneventful sail, we arrived in St. Augustine around 4:00. We picked up our mooring - with a great view of the Castillo de San Marcos - and began to prepare for the night's festivities. Over the past few days, the kids had been brainstorming costumes, changing their minds, and having their hopes dashed by the reminder that we did not have a car and could not go to Target or a fabric store for supplies. In the end, Eoin dressed as a ninja, Isla dressed as a summer nymph, and Marin went as herself. We dinghied to shore, met up with the Alkemi crew, and the ten of us descended on MOJO Old City BBQ for a pre-festivities dinner. The cemetery full of gnarled old trees festooned with Spanish moss across the street was a fitting backdrop.
Once we finished eating, it was time to trick-or-treat. We found a street lined with moss-draped trees and beautiful old homes festively and creatively decorated for Halloween. At one house, the entire family was artfully posed as zombies on the porch and front yard, eliciting squeals of delight from both adults and kids. The kids' interest in trick-or-treating soon waned so we walked in the old city for a while, stopped for popsicles at The Hyppo, and headed back to the boats for a well-earned good night's sleep.
As we motored into the anchorage this afternoon, we received a warm welcome from our friends on SV Alkemi. We met the Lahues in Deltaville this past July, when they stayed for a week on their way to North Carolina. They have three boys, age 12, 10, and 8, and our two families connected instantly. Eoin, Marin, and Isla were thrilled to finally meet up with another 'kid boat!' Although we were sorry to see them leave Deltaville, we suspected we might meet up again someday - and that day was last Thursday at St. Simons! The kids had a happy and boisterous reunion while the adults caught up and compared notes on living aboard, boat schooling, boat repairs, and planned cruising routes. We spent two nights and a day at St. Simons where we did some boat schooling, went ashore for dinner, and visited with two additional couples we'd met in Deltaville who happened to be staying at a nearby marina on their way south.
On Saturday morning, both kid boats raised anchor for the short trip to Cumberland Island National Seashore. We had school on Sunday morning, then went ashore to explore the island. Feral horses live there and the kids were hoping to see some. Although there was plenty of evidence of them along the path across the island to the beach, we did not see any horses. Along the way, however, we were captivated by the lush southern forest and were treated to an armadillo sighting. On the beach we met up with our friends and the kids played in the water, buried each other in the sand, collected shells, and briefly adopted hermit crabs. And most exciting of all, a small band of horses wandered onto the beach quite close to us. When we returned to the other side of the island we found that the low tide had beached our dinghies quite far from the water's edge. It is amazing how heavy those little boats are and how sticky that river mud is!
We returned to the mother ships to prepare for the next day's early (before sunrise) departure. Next stop: St. Augustine!
We crossed over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel late in the afternoon of October 24 and watched the sun set over Hampton Roads. As we headed south, the wind and seas picked up, providing us with an exciting and busy night. The waves had calmed somewhat by the time we watched the sun rise over the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Later on Tuesday we rounded Cape Hatteras uneventfully and continued south. As we sailed closer to the blue waters of the Gulf Stream on Wednesday, we were visited by pod after pod of dolphins. One group played in our bow wakes for the better part of half an hour. All five of us rushed to the bow to watch them leap and play (thank goodness for autopilot!). Dolphins of many species continued to visit us off and on throughout the day. The ocean continued to calm during the day and we were treated to another beautiful sunset. Overnight we passed Charleston, SC and enjoyed another beautiful sunrise. We reached St. Simons Island, GA and dropped our anchor on Thursday afternoon, October 27.
McGlynn family 5 (Isla, Marin, Eoin, Kendall, and Brian) sailing Counting Stars