Beaufort SC to Stuart FL

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Leaving Charleston Maritime Center, we usually run inside on the ICW to Beaufort SC. This takes two days and we will anchor our somewhere in the Stono Rover area and then make Beaufort SC the next day.  The tides in this area are 7 feet +/- 2 feet and you really have to watch the markers. Lucky for us, this was a calm peaceful run.

Welcome to Beaufort, South Carolina, another must stop town on the ICW.

Beaufort, SC

The main reason we stopped in this cute town was to visit with my cousin Randi who retired here since the last time we were here. We also wanted to catch up and see good friends Jeff and Marjorie, formerly of IP45 Far Niente. Like so many people say, cruising is all about the people you meet. We have kept in touch with many friends and family by stopping along our routes as we cruise. What a fun thing to do. (Apologies to those we missed by going offshore.)

Good friends Jeff and Marjorie connected with us for a fun night at the FISH CAMP
Look who we found? Randi and Chris, my cousin and his wife, who retired to Beaufort, SC to hunt and fish and golf 24/7. LOOK out deer, fish, and turf, Randi will clean UP!
It was really fun to show Randi and Chris our Island Packet 35 sailboat. Here is a selfie on the boat.

Beaufort SC Sunsets/Sunrises

When we are in Beaufort, SC,  I always see the most amazing sunrises lighting up this harbor. I take the best sunrise photos here every year. Take a look at these beautiful morning photos! WOW.

Beaufort SC sunrise on Island Spirit
Sunrise at Beaufort, SC
Sunrise on Island Spirit, Beaufort, SC
Beautiful Sunrise over Lady’s Island, SC as seen from Beaufort SC.

Offshore to Florida

Departing Beaufort SC we always run offshore. This requires running the Ebb current south 22 nm out Port Royal Sound to the sea buoy. Then turning south, we skip all of the Georgia ICW. At the GA/FL line we run in the St. Mary’s inlet and anchor off Fernandina. We were lucky to make this leg with great boat buddies. Laurie and Jim of IP350 KISMET….

Out to sea at Port Royal Sound and offshore to St. Mary’s inlet, FL.
Buddy boat IP350 KISMET sails out to sea at Port Royal with Island Spirit

This offshore run is always one of our favorites. It is a simple one-nighter where you make it to the sea buoy at late afternoon and then you arrive at the inlet in the morning. Beautiful sunsets and sunrises add to our enjoyment. Here is the sunset that night off Hilton Head, SC as we sailed south.

Offshore sailing sunsets are beautiful

ICW Fernandia to St. Augustine FL

We spent one quick day in Fernandina and then it was southbound on the ICW to Fort George National Park. Jim and Laurie told us about this really cool park, so we diverted up this side creek and anchored right off the park with them. What a fantastic place to take an audio tour and discover the fascinating history of The Kinglsley Plantation.

The Kingsley Plantation and Island Spirit as seen from our DJI Mavic Pro Drone

From Fort George, we next made St. Augustine, Florida, another wonderful city to stop and explore.  Heny Flagler made this one of his railroad stops and built a luxurious resort here in 1888. Now it is  Flagler College, a beautiful building to tour. There is more original Tiffany glass in this building than any where else in the world.

The Flagler College, St. Augustine
The Flagler College entrance, St. Augustine
The entrance foyer of the Flagler College, St. Augustine

St. Augustine Fun with Friends

While here in St. Augustine we had some amazing visits with dear friends. First off, one of my favorite students from my 34-year teaching career back on PA lives here and he wanted us to meet his son. What a joy this was! Thank you, Aaron, for making this happen!

We connected with Tina and Dr. Jon for a wonderful meal out on the town. Tina is the sister of our very dear friend back home, Anita.  They always make us feel so welcome when we visit.  Thank you, Tina and Jon!

Boat buddy Ceal linked up with at a local pub and we had time to catch up on all her happenings as she restores another yacht while living aboard. Ceal is an amazing sailor and we always enjoy our time with her. ( Sorry we missed mutual friends Bob and Jane of IP40 Voyaguer by only a few days.)

Our last day in St. Augustine we connected with our world traveling buddies on NEVERLAND, Cynthia and Jim. Here they are helping us with our scheme for a canal boat in Amsterdam and run it all thru Europe this upcoming summer. Look out, it may very well happen. We really admire these cruisers, they really know how to travel.

We also found our good friends on IP40 SAILIN SHOES, Tommy and Tracy as they arrived into town on their new to them IP 40. We helped Tommy and Tracy find their dream yacht and plan their retirement cruising dreams. What a joy now, after a year of work to be out here sailing and cruising with them. This is the best part of being a yacht broker with Whiteaker Yacht Sales. Radeen and I can help others buy their yacht and learn how to go off cruising. Tommy and Tracy are doing exactly that. Here we are together,  touring the National Park Castillo de San Marcos.

Vero Beach Buddies

After leaving St. Augustine, we made a required stop in Vero Beach where we toured the new home of Greg and Sharon. They are remodeling a really cool home in Vero Beach just a block off the beach. Sharon and Greg have the most creative and classiest taste when decorating. Their Island Packet 40 is the #1 most beautiful IP I have ever been on and their new home is turning out exactly the same way. Here is a picture of our pretty Ladies….

Sharon and Radeen out to dinner together is always fun with this team.

Our cruising mentor, Carey first took us south in 2011 and taught us how to enjoy Biscayne Bay and Coconut Grove. Then he taught us how to sail into the Bahamas and we all enjoyed the Abacos for several months. We caught up with Carie and Julie for a fun night out.

This is our mentor for cruising, Carey and Julie meet up in Vero

Off to Cocoa Village

Overall the years we have cruises south, our #1 best IP Friend and land support team has been Robert Wiley.  Every year we pass thru heading south or north, Bob is always there for us and he helps us with anything we need from moving cars north and south to picking up a new Samsung Tablet to sharing ice cream in the village.  Thank you Bob, we really appreciate your friendship and support:

Robert Wiley and Radeen and Hayden enjoy the ice cream parlor in Cocoa Village

The Final Push to Stuart FL

We departed Cocoa Village with our final push for STUART FLORIDA, our dream home away from home. This was another 4 day push down the ICW motoring in calm seas on the easy ICW. Here we are arriving OUR HAPPY PLACE…..STUART FLORIDA and Sunset Bay Marina.

Happy Hayden arriving his happy place Stuart, FL
Sunset Bay Marina at Sunset. So beautiful

Sunset Bay Marina, our Happy Place

This is our stopping point for Thanksgiving and Christmas, Sunset Bay Marina, Stuart Florida. WE LOVE THIS PLACE and we feel at home here. The marina is run so well. The facilities are perfect. The town is a dream, and our good friends of Mack Sails and Mack Yacht Services are here. Colin and Travis make us feel home here as well.

This blog post is a catch-up post as we are currently in Turks and Caicos and waiting for the weather to move onto USVI. We have been using Facebook as our live updates and you can follow us there at: https://www.facebook.com/svIslandSpirit/

The Map of this Leg: Beaufort SC to Stuart FL

Departed Beaufort, SC Nov 3, 2018 and arrived Stuart, FL Nov 16, 2018
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