Monday/Tuesday Apr 20/21 On the Atlantic

Written by Jack van Ommen on April 21st, 2009
Monday Morning:
After last night’s Tuna Sashimi feast, I retired early. Managed to catch a number of hours of sleep between sticking my head out of the cabin and checking my position on the laptop.

The wind direction and strength flip flopped all over the place. For quite a few hours I was sailing wing on wing with the light 150% genova poled out and the main all the way up. Hitting 7 plus knots of speed.

Tuesday Morning:

This was meant to go out last night but after my phone call to you I found my head on the laptop. Dead tired. Woke up early. The last of the moon was up over the illuminated bridge, here in Jacksonville across the St.John’s River; the picture shall be available.

I am back in that same municipal Marina, where I left from last July. It turns out that this is free moorage for 72 hours. I understood from the previous visit that the Jacksonville city fathers had not quite figure out how to run this marina. There are also some river front docks, down town, that are also free for short stay.


Moon over St.John's River

Sunday evening’s fabulous sail with the full main and poled out big genoa had to come down in stages, with the Southerly building, till I was down to just a double reefed mainsail. I passed St. Augustine in the middle of the night and entered the St. John’s River entrance at 9.30 a.m. Then it was an uphill battle against a strong S.W. and a strong ebb. Just the engine alone I would not have made any progress at all,

I motorsailed with a double reefed main in about 20 knots of wind with heavier gusts off the banks. It tore the two top slugs out of the mast track and that caused a lot of nasty vibration in the rig. The wind was coming nearly straight down the river so I had to keep tacking across the shipping lanes. It took me 7 hours to go the 14 miles to Jacksonville.

I left messages with Green Cove Springs Marina but they never returned my calls. So, I still do not know if I making the trip up river for nothing because if they have no room for me (which I was warned about by another boat there now) I nee to move elsewhere. Though in the last mail I had from Crystal at GCSM, in February, she said they would make room for me. Stay tuned.

Jeannine would have liked me to do the haul out in West Norfolk, Sean is out at sea for the next 6 months and I’d be company. But I like the facilities in Green Cove and I know my way there and the support system in the neighborhood, etc. And living on the boat I’d probably will put in more hours and get it done without losing the weather window across the Atlantic, like what happened to me last year.


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