Friday, February 22, 2019

Picking It Back Up

Nope — haven't written anything in a while, haven't taken any pics to speak of either, however, we've made the best of our time. Christmas in Jupiter was great; much better weather than Christmas in Memphis,  and it was cool hangin' out on the boat up in Georgia. Mel's been hankering for some fall weather and Brunswick/St Simons did serve that up from time to time.

St Simons Sound Sunset

We rode out the thankfully benign hurricane season at Brunswick Landing then moved over to St Simons Island and Morningstar Marina for their view and breeze. We like spending time in Glynn County, the local culture is comfortable and the local restaurants are good— especially after Labor Day.

Maggie Mae's downtown Brunswick serves a blue-ribbon country style breakfast and the service is sincerely old school southern. Fox's Pizza is good too, but never pass up Willy's Wee-Nee Wagon and their Pork Chop Sandwich. It's in the hood which gives it authenticity and street cred. (Some cruisers we spoke with scoffed at Willy's but if you're into geniune cultural experiences, you've got to go to Willy's Wee-Nee Wagon.) Out on the island is Southern Soul BBQ and it's truly fine. At the marina is Coastal Kitchen serving their version of Shrimp and Grits. The Half Shell, Halyards, Barbara Jeans, and Benny's Red Barn - All Good!
Though it's 350 miles up the boring and sometimes treacherous I-95, we made the trip several times a month to check on the boat and boater buddies. It was a nice break from S Florida's summer heat.

We took advantage of our time in Brunswick/St Simons and made a few interior changes. Nothing major but the slight update made a surprising difference.

The ladies at Overall Upholstery on the island did a good job of recovering our Salon bar stools.

We considered home-porting Istaboa at Morningstar Marina, and she will probably soon return, but several maintenance jobs are needed and it's great place to stay if we decide to take on the house project in Jupiter, so we picked a good day and started the milk run back south.

Last year on our trip north we ran outside in the ocean. This year on the way back down we took the slower more complicated route and stopped at several marinas to take care of a little business. A layover in St Augustine followed by a short run and a few days stay at Palm Coast Marina. (We really like little Palm Coast Marina, Rosey, the Harbormaster, is a kind person and a pleasure to be around. We watched the NFL playoffs there.)

Then with the purpose of finding warmer weather we pushed rather quickly to Daytona and Cocoa Village.
Leaving Cocoa was somewhat exciting. As was predicted, a nasty weather front was pushing through and in the blink of an eye a nice day turned into a raging storm.
Off to the west we watched the blow heading our way with a vengeance, soon dark skies covered us and blacked out all sunlight, the wind was crazy, and it was raining sideways; on board, our instruments were indicating gusts of 50+. Luckily we were in a wide area of the ICW and our electronics were working as they should — for an hour or so we couldn't see much more than the bow of the boat but with an eye on the radar and chartplotter we slowly followed our old track lines. Then as quickly as it started, the storm passed and the sun came back out, though the harsh northwest wind remained all day.
Next up was Harbour Isle Marina - Ft Pierce, a quick bite at Chucks Seafood, and the following morning we cast off for home, Old Port Cove.
All in all, a nice, comfortable little run. Istaboa seemed to enjoy it, she hummed along, never missing a beat. It was a pleasure to be aboard, cocooned in her warm dry wheelhouse, during the bad weather we encountered leaving Cocoa Village. She heeled a bit during the big gusts but nothing more.

So now we're home, Istaboa's tied up at OPC, we're diggin' the Jupiter weather, happy, and as far as we know, healthy.

Boat Projects
A new venturi windshield, new lifelines, new dock lines, and a new spare anchor rode hatch. I feel carpet will be replaced soon and there's a bottom job in our future.
Over the years, we've found that Istaboa treats us like we treat her - She's been kind to us so we reciprocate.

Good Music
On long beach walks, a favorite diversion, this guy has been in my ears lately. Michael Franti. Very positive, very kind, a good mash-up of reggae/jazz/funk/folk and hip-hop.
Feel good music with a cause.

Cut from Wikipedia
Michael Franti & Spearhead, a band that blends hip hop with a variety of other styles including funk, reggae, jazz, folk, and rock. He is also an outspoken supporter for a wide spectrum of peace and social justice issues.

Worth a listen

So what's next for Crew Istaboa? We're not sure yet... surprised? After finishing a couple more boat projects, we sense a good stiff boat trip is in our future. In the meantime though... we're content.

Good beach, good music, good food, life's good.