We eagerly anticipated our November 1st departure as a nasty cold front complete with gale storm warnings was due that evening. We had just enough time to arrive at our marina near St. Augustine for the stormy weather. Wait … our insurance policy doesn’t allow us to cross into Florida until after 12:00noon on the 1st! Back to the insurance underwriters – of course they’ll let us leave 4 hours early (in sunny & calm weather) to arrive at a safer location?? Nope! So that left us stuck up the creek for another 1 1/2 days of high winds. Our anchor drag app shows our twirling path over our 1 1/2 weeks anchored in the Brickhill River as the strong wind & current fought each other.
Yeah!! Finally made it to St. Augustine on November 3rd! Time to relax & enjoy St. Augustine for a few days. Nope! Remnants of Hurricane Eta coming our way?!? Better hurry up & zoom to our protected marina in Vero Beach. We were booked beginning on the 15th anyway with doctor & dentist appointments scheduled. So 4 days enjoying St. Augustine was replaced by a single afternoon rushed $275.00 grocery store trip (it’s been weeks!). Early spaghetti models showed everywhere in Florida was in the possible path of Eta. While not arriving as a hurricane, an enormous area of moderate winds & many, many days of rain predicted. We’ll be relieved to be at our protected marina in Vero Beach & think will just hide out until 2020 is over!
After over a week, we have started talking to the wood storks, so they are likely talking about us! Obtaining insurance company approval to cross over their magical George/Florida line a few days early (before our November 1 date) is usually no problem, but not this year! “Since we have had a very active storm season this year…” the underwriters turned us down flat. Kinda silly as once the remnants of Hurricane Zeta went by (missing us by hundreds of miles), there is zero chance of another tropical storm forming, developing & arriving here in the remaining 3 days, so?? Instead, we remain anchored up a somewhat exposed marsh creek (actually the Brickhill River) with winds gusting to 25 knots from Zeta affects along with a cold front, followed by a 2nd cold front on Saturday with rain & winds again gusting over 25 knots. No … our boat is much safer here in a creek, than the low winds at our completely protected marina we have booked 60 miles away in St. Augustine, Florida (which also would have also gotten us further away from any Zeta affects)! Oh well …
Hot! It’s been 15+ degrees above normal this week (high 80’s & humid) & we’re running low on fresh food & water, but we’ve been thoroughly entertained by all of our friends. We have taken hundreds of photos & there is a show of some kind every time we look out. In addition to the dozens of wood storks, Roseate spoonbills, herons, we feature hundreds of egrets, a kettle of black vultures (although they are beginning to circle us!), other birds of all types, a manatee & a pod of dolphins (including a Mom & baby) frolicking about.
Oh, and then there are the Cumberland Island feral horses. While popular myth holds that the horses arrived on the island sometime in the 16th century with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, the experts believe that it is unlikely any of those horses survived. It is more likely these 150 – 200 horses descend from horses brought to the island in the 18th century by the English. Pictured in the background is the Plum Orchard estate. Completed in 1898 for George Carnegie (yes, of the extremely wealthy Carnegie family), it was continually enlarged & improved thru 1906. We scored a mansion tour a few years ago & the interior is stunning, including 3 custom Tiffany lamps said to be worth potentially several million dollars. The “latest” technology included an early refrigeration system, an indoor swimming pool, squash court, elevator & the best of everything money could buy. The estate & the entire Cumberland Island is part of the National Park Service & can only be reached by boat or ferry – highly recommended!