NOV 2009 Sarah and I left St Augustine about an hour behind Randy and Ellen on Bella. At the first bridge south we came to a screeching halt as the depth board showed 61'! Sixty five is the supposed minimum height on all intercoastal bridges. We stood off for another half hour with a french boat that was around 63' mastheight. They had lost their electronics earlier on another low bridge. An hour or so later we slowly transited beneath the bridge as the frenchman talked us thru on his VHF. We continued on till we got about 68 miles and dropped a hook for evening. Next morning we continued on to Daytona Beach and anchored with Bella for the evening behind a spit in the ICW. The next morning Randy and I were tightening my belt and the mount cracked. I spent another day in Daytona getting it welded and the dinghy motor died. Sarah got it running and I cleared the water outlet and she ran fine the rest of the winter!. Sarah and I were getting weary of the low water and constant drone of the engine so we motored south to Titusville anchored off Cape Canaveral...a launch went right over us that afternoon. Next morning we fueled up in the Canaveral Canal...entered the locks with a manattee and headed out to sea south for West Palm. We set out around 11 from the Cape Canaveral inlet sea buoy with soft Northerly breeze. The day was beautiful and we wondered why we spent so much time motoring the ICW. That evening a few lines of squalls swept over us. Sarah was asleep as I sat in the cockpit while Alobar steered herself south in the tropical rains. Around 0300 I noticed a light east of me at sea racing north, she passed by a few miles out. A few minutes later it approached me from the North Lights flashing in the pooring rain, it was a Custums patrol. He motored alongside , asked a few questions and motored off wishing me a safe trip....Scared the shit out of me! We arrived at inlet to West Palm at dawn and took the sails down and motored into Lake Werth past Peanut island and grabbed an empty mooring of the pompous homes of the east side of West Palm. Sarah made breakfast and we went for a dinghy ride and a swim... We dicided to wait her for Randy and Ellen who were now a few days behind motoring down the ICW.
Well I left Oriental on 3Nov and headed down to Beaufort Inlet at the Outer Banks...My crew of Mary, John and Greg Lawton and Sarah aboard..Offshore around 6AM on the 4rth we sailed for 2 nights and arrived off Savannah in near gale conditions. We hove to at 4 AM and waited for dawn and then motorsailed thru 25-30kt head winds into a little creek called St Augustine Creek. There I discovered my first problem! My port 37gal fuel tank was leaking...Sarah my crew became Sarah the "diesel Bitch"...We cleaned up the mess and stink and headed south to Killkenny Creek in Georgia ICW. Another creek with lots of wildlife and reeds!
Randy, my close friend and diesel mechanic to boot was also in his S/V Bella all the way. Greg went offshore with them and decided to stay with them as long as Ellen, Randy's wife fed him and kept him warm in their Pilothouse....what a woos Lawton was.
The Lawton boys were getting restless so we stopped at a Marina (with a Jacuzzi) for 2 days of foul weather. We shopped, resupplied and Sarah waited on the Capt as mates are supposed to do. Mary's mom was in the hospital so we had to start thinking about her departure and the Lawton boys were close to their deadline for being home. John had winter chores still to do and Greg had a wife home in Alaska to tend to. We headed south on the ICW to San Fernadino Beach and holed up there in 35kt NW winds bashing me against the T-dock for two long nights. We finally left and got to St Augustine to wait for RANDY AND ELLEN WHO WERE LAYING UP ON ANCHOR FOR TWO DAYS IN A CREEK. The lawton's left as did mary and now Sarah and I were taking her south to meet everyone for Thanksgiving and on to Nassau for Xmas
This is my dad's blog. He is the Captain of a Lord Nelson sailboat named ALOBAR. I set this up for him, and soon he will be doing these posts himself about his life on the boat. Until then though, I have the honour of the first post, and get to tell you that my dad is unique, fun and adventurous. He is a free spirit. He sold his house a few years ago to move onto ALOBAR, and is now heading down to the Carribean for the winter. He dreams big dreams, as my little sis would say, and has taught us to do the same. He is one of my best friends, and I am really proud of him, out there living his dream. (and it doesnt hurt to have a free place to stay in the Carribean either.) So we hope you enjoy this, his account of his adventures.