On Saturday morning, April 18, Nelson’s sister Loretta joined us for our trip to Jacksonville. What a beautiful day for traveling on the water. It was a bit windy and a little cool due to the wind. But, we had a great trip. Loretta is the only person who has joined us on our trip thus far. We loved having her with us. We made a sailor our of her. She loved the peace and quiet of the sailboat. We did a lot of talking all day. She enjoyed seeing the beautiful homes and birds and ducks all along the ICW. We arrived in Jacksonville at Beach Marina around 2:00. After getting the boat in the slip and secured, we met her husband, Mac at the Marina Café for sandwiches for lunch. Nelson had his usual shrimp and I enjoyed a hamburger for the first time in quite a while.
We then packed some clothes and headed to their house to stay until Tuesday after the thunderstorms. We helped Loretta celebrate her birthday Friday night with her son, Danny, his wife, Heather, and two girls, Carolina and Erin. We went to the Longhorn Steak house. A very good steak meal for most of us. We had the waiters sing Happy Birthday to Loretta. She was surprised! They served her a chocolate sundae. We all enjoyed a taste. Danny and Heather let the girls spend the night with us at Mac and Loretta’s house. We enjoyed listening to Caroline read a very difficult book about Manatees. She reads with lots of expression and does great being that she is only in First grade. We watched Erin draw great pictures of herself. You should have seen those large, long eye lashes.
. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Loretta!” Today is Sunday and it is really her birthday. This morning, Loretta and Danny went with Nelson and me to the Jacksonville Boat Show. It was not very big like Miami, but we managed to find several things to buy Danny said it reminded him of a Flea Market with boats in the background. Nelson and I am suckers, we can always be persuaded into buying something. We only looked at the 350 Catalina sail boat like ours. There were very few changes since we got ours.
That night, Loretta, Mac, Nelson, and I went out for dinner at the Piccadilly Café. We had fried chicken since we never have it on the boat. It was very good.
We had planned to leave on Monday morning but the weather was not very good and they were forecasting thunderstorms with high winds so we decided to stay one more day. Loretta and I went to the Mall shopping just to get out of the house. I did not buy anything but she found a pretty green shirt and pants and another pretty top to wear with navy pants. Later, we all went to Outback for steaks to celebrate our leaving. They took us back to the boat Tuesday morning after breakfast and we soon got underway again heading north. Our first day back on the water was a very nice one. We had the sun out and some winds to keep us cool. We traveled about 50 miles and anchored south of Jekyll Island and north from Cumberland Island. We had strong winds and a light rain during the night but we were so tried that we slept right through it. On Wednesday morning, we pulled our anchor and motor sailed to Brunswick, GA. We arrived at the Brunswick City Marina by 1:00 and pulled into the slip where we met our friends Ed and Connie Dooley. Their boat is also docked here for the winter but they live in Washington, DC. They come as often as possible to enjoy playing golf and staying on their boat. They did not know it until they arrived recently but their boat had been hit by lightning and it knocked out all their electrical equipment. Talking about stress, they really do have it. We are so sorry that this has happened and hope they can get it all fixed and again get to enjoy their boat. They wanted to take it back up north, but will have to wait until they can get the repairs done before leaving. After getting our boat secure, they took us over to St. Simons Island for dinner. We had delicious seafood right on the water front and also enjoyed seeing the big ship come by carrying new cars the states port authority. It was so big. It looked like a condo on the water. We enjoyed spending time with Connie and Ed and said our Goodbyes this morning at breakfast downtown Brunswick. We left going north about 10:00am. After coming through the Brunswick Bridge, we saw a helicopter hovering over a boat out in the water. As we got closer, we realized it was the Coast Guard practicing lowering a basket to the boat and then pulling it back up to the helicopter. It was quite interesting. We were aground at the mouth of Mud Creek today but managed to get ourselves off. The water was very shallow all the way through as the tide was low. We were glad to see the tide come in around 2:00 as we had several other shallow creeks to come through. We touched bottom several times but kept on going. We traveled until 7:30 tonight. We are now anchored just off the ICW in Cattle Pen Creek. It is very dark out here but the winds have died down and it is very quiet. We plan to get up early in the morning and continue our journey north.