We're three days out of our debacle in Charleston, and everything is good, mostly... Currently, we're stuck in the mud just off the ICW channel in Buttermilk Sound, Georgia waiting for the tide to rise so we can move to an area with deeper water to anchor. No big deal.
This is our third day in a row of raising the anchor at dawn. motoring all day, and dropping it at dusk to make good time down to southern Florida. It's paying off. We're just a day from the border of the sunshine state. During our long motor today, we were able to fly the jib for about an hour while crossing a wide open sound with good wind direction. It was a nice change of pace, since the last time we did any actual sailing was back in the Chesapeake Bay.
I looked back at my cruising log and realized we've been traveling every day for the past two weeks. But as I mentioned in the past, it's not all work :-) We've been amazed by how beautiful and secluded much of the journey has been. I assumed we would encounter houses, docks, bridges, and strip malls everywhere we looked all the way down. Not the case. Despite hugging the coastline of one of the most densely populated places in the world, the ICW offers a wide array of wildlife and scenic vistas.
For example, in Virginia, a bald eagle swooped down and caught a fish right off our bow. Our national bird has been plentiful all the way down. I delved into my Dad's Audubon Society Nature Guide for the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts to identify some of the critters we've run across. We've noted gulls, terns, pelicans, egrets, herons, woodpeckers, osprey, and cormorant, to name some of the birds. In a bay in Virginia, there were thousands of jellyfish. We've seen goats living on islands and deer along the banks. Our favorite creature, though, is the bottlenose dolphin. Since first spotting one back in North Carolina, we've seen them on a daily basis. They never fail to brighten our mood.
We even met an unwanted guest who appeared to be looking for a new home. He climbed up an outflow pipe into our sink while we were in a swamp in South Carolina. Dana made me catch and release him back into the wild.
The shorelines along the waterways we've traversed are amazingly beautiful. Ranging from swampland and marshes to palm tree lined shores.
Upon reaching florida, I'm expecting lots more palm trees, sun, and warmth. I know many of you reading this are grappling with winter's cold breath, snow and all. I feel for you ;-)