Now available on Amazon in large format 11″ x 8.5″ coffee table style book or Kindle ebook version via the link below. It is 360 pages with over 500 colour photos of our five month, 6000 mile voyage in a borrowed 26′ boat on America’s inland waterways.
Captained the good ship Aristocat on Friday for my return to the workforce. Poignant day as we scattered the ashes for a wonderful extended family celebrating the life of their grandfather, father and brother. Photo below shows me with my excellent cruise director, hostess and deckie Helen.
I have enjoyed the last two weeks staying with Ela L’il bear#1 daughter and Lucas in Victoria BC. The manuscript is coming along really well and will be published on Amazon in both kindle and hard copy coffee table sized book versions prior to Christmas.
Ela and Lucas took me out for Fathers Day breakfast this morning. The Australian timing for Fathers Day is different than in North America, but I’m happy to run with Sunday 4th of September. The rest of the day is spent bottling the brew Lucas and me started last Monday. Bear is arriving on Wednesday and then our family will be reunited.
We gingerly took Gracie up the Ortega River south of Jacksonville to her home for the next six weeks or so. Lamb’s Yacht Centre is a full service marina that will haul her out next week, paint her bottom and do a full service on her engine. We will spend the next few days cleaning her up before we get a hire car on Saturday and go to Clearwater to revisit our friends Dale and Marsha. Gracie’s owners will still be on the western side of the country and will return to pick her up in October.
So our waterborne journey is winding up and there will be no more daily blogs. I will get myself to Victoria BC, Canada to visit my daughter arriving a bit ahead of my wife who is coming over from Brisbane in the first week of Seotember. Deveen will be meeting his wife around then too, but in their case that will be in New Orleans.
You can see Gracie’s position in the SW corner of the air photo below with the city of Jacksonville in the NE corner which is where we were last night. The Ortega River flows into the St. John’s River just south of the city.
Another great night with new friends. Don and Erin joined us for sundowners on the dock and when it started to rain Bob and Sue also joined us onboard Gracie. Erin cooked us a pasta meal onboard their immaculate Baba 40 yacht that Deveen has fallen in love with. Erin sent us this dawn photo from our dock at St Augustine looking across to the harbormaster’s tower.
At 3pm we crossed our wake and are now at Jacksonville Landing, going to celebrate somewhat tonight. Five months and one day, 6000 miles culminating in a final large day, epic journey and a good serving of feeling contented.
Spent the morning sightseeing this beautiful city. Above is the Hotel Ponce de Leon built in 1888 by Henry Flagler. Flagler was a wealthy hotelier, railway magnate and co founder of Standard Oil along with John D. Rockefeller. When opened the building was equipped with electric lights installed by none other than Thomas Edison, who was a friend of Flagler. The building is now a university known as Flagler College.
The Castillo de San Marco stands at the entrance to the harbour at Matanzas Bay and was built commencing in 1672 taking 23 years to complete. It is made from quarried blocks of soft seashells, laid out in the sun for a year known as coquina. It is surrounded by a dry moat and has cannonball damage on the seaward wall. It was built after Sir Francis Drake attacked an earlier wooden fort on the same site.
Here we are at the oldest town in the USA and it looks and feels like Spain, probably because the Spaniards first settled it in 1565. Nice and handy to downtown at the Municipal Marina, we are only 30 miles away from crossing our wake and completing the Great Loop. That is scheduled for Tuesday.
We had a milk shake in Georgie’s Diner, all stainless steel carriage like on the outside and neat US diner style on the inside.