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  • sailorstacey

Crossing the Border

November 16, 2018

We bid Owen goodbye on the dock at 08:30, after checking to be sure that his flight had not been cancelled. A foot of snow had fallen in Vermont and throughout the northeast. In Charleston, it was cold and sunny and the marine weather for the next few days looked promising. If we were to make it to Florida in time to join my brothers for Thanksgiving, we would need to get outside for some longer runs.

We untied at 08:45 at slack tide and motored through the channel. Winds were blowing 10-15 kts out of the northeast.  Once we made our turn after the jetties, we put up sail, and set our course at 220 degrees, motor sailing to maintain a speed of 7-8 kts. We sailed all day and overnight, under the brilliant multitude of stars and a half moon. Christoph took a long watch, let me sleep for a stretch of nearly 5 hours; I got up before 03:00 and took the helm, allowing him a little more sleep.

We arrived at Fernandina Beach at 0500, guided through the long channel by the welcoming lights of flashing red and green buoys. We dropped anchor at 05:45, before reaching the city anchorage, where Active Captain had warned of hurricane damage and beached boats. We slept soundly until 9, then continued down the channel into the city anchorage, passing one beached sailboat. We joined several boats at anchor. 

My son Sam texted me, asking if we wanted to Face Time. Yes! We watched with delight as adorable Juniper walked across the play room to Daddy, over and over, laughing with pride. We could hear Mommy drilling upstairs, hanging bookshelves in Juniper's room. June pulled on Sam’s leg to stand up and kept going. We heard her newest words: bib and kitty. We explained that Opa and I were drinking coffee on our sailboat while she drank her cashew milk. She leaned her head against Daddy’s shoulder and buried her face in his chest. I miss her.

We took the dinghy to shore and ate lunch at the restaurant on the dock, sitting outside with a view of the water and the anchored boats. The bright sun illuminated the laid back town, which offers plenty of restaurants and clothing stores; a great bookstore where I browsed for a while; a coffee shop across the street, where Christoph enjoyed an expresso as a singer-songwriter crooned; and a real hardware store. There was a fresh seafood market, but no supermarket within walking distance.  We would be able to make do for a few more days. I bought freshly caught tuna at the fish market, and we headed back to the boat to watch the sunset and grill our fish.

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