Restless of Auckland
Roland and Consie Lennox-King
Sun 31 Mar 2019 18:43


22 Feb we flew from Auckland, via Houston to Washington, where cousin Caroline picked us up at midnight and drove us to their home for a few happy days together. There was still snow lying around in lumps, and it was cold.
We rented a car and drove south, picking up our friend David from Scotland on the way to Restless in Deltaville, she was already in the water. We paid the bill for work done over the 5 months of storage, and set off south down the Intra-Coastal Waterways (ICW) on 3 March with icy cold winds, in abnormally cold conditions, with snow predicted.

We have found in the past that 50 miles of motoring a day is all we can do on the ICW, because of the bridges opening times to suit road traffic.
We anchored near Norfolk on the first night, near Albemarle Sound the next night, in the Alligator Pungo River the third night, at Oriental town dock on the 4th night, at Beaufort on the 5th night, Mile Hammock Bay on the 6th night, and at St. James, Southport on the 7th night, having done about 350 miles. It was very cold and we were eating hot soups and Caroline’s home made-fruit cake along the way.

8 March was our 45th wedding anniversary, and we were very happy to stay a few nights with David’s friends Craig and Ann in St James. What is life without Champagne? So we celebrated new friendships together, and went to Ivan’s Bar, which is in the movie ‘Safe Haven’ and had an Italian meal together.

11.3 we set off from Southport along the Calabash Creek and the Waccamaw River to Georgetown, passing swamp land and sand dunes, with dolphins and turtles, a lot of birdlife: pelicans, storks, loons, ducks, cormorants, herons, gulls, bald eagles and osprey. The estuaries were so silted up that even a towboat struggled to get us off a sandbar. There were huge antebellum plantation houses as we neared Charleston, (Antebellum meaning pre- civil war). We stopped overnight in the City Marina, Charleston, where we refueled, and took their free van into town. We walked through the city markets and past brightly painted  buildings and cobbled streets, and historic homes with covered verandas, stopped at the sign marking the old Slave market, where slaves were sold from the 1770s until around 1856. We ended up in an Irish pub, where we celebrated St. Patrick’s day singing along with an Irish guitarist.

We motored south from Charleston down the Ashepoo Creek, near Savannah; we were anchored in Rock Creek when we heard the news of the terrorist shootings in Christchurch. We anchored in New Teakettle Creek, and the next night by Dungeness island, before crossing the Georgia border into Florida. The houses along the banks of the rivers are enormous, and of every style imaginable, and many have docks with hydraulic lifts for their boats. There was a lot of damage after the hurricanes, and many boats tossed ashore or sunk.

18.3 We followed the Tolomato river to St Augustine, Florida, where the bridgemaster for the Bridge of Lions opened so we could tie up in the City marina for the night. We walked through St. Augustine’s streets, and had a pizza, but nowhere could we find bread or milk in this tourist city, first settled by the Spanish in 1565.
19.3 we eventually found a Spanish bakery, so after hot showers and laundry, we set off south again. The day grew colder and windier as we motored alongside the Atlantic beaches, and we were very glad to get a berth in the Marineland Marina for a bouncy windy night. 20.3 we motored under many bridges, holding our breaths on the high spring tides, just clearing with our 62ft mast. Some bridges swing or lift open, some operators time their openings to suit us, others suit themselves, and we have to wait an hour, reversing against the current. We passed Daytona Beach and New Smyrna beach, where the bridgemaster held us up for half an hour. 20.3 we motored down the Halifax river, where the canal diggers had dug a trench, leaving spoil islands now covered in trees and birdlife, in very shallow water. In our efforts to find an anchorage for the night we went aground twice and found ourselves motoring 77 nmiles in the day, to anchor in the dark at Titusville, near Cape Canaveral.
21.3 we motored another 73 miles to Vero Beach, where we had been at Christmas 2005, with Olivia, before sailing to the Bahamas with Gilbert and Olivia.
22.3 was a long day waiting and timing our 63 nmiles to reach 8 opening bridges and 5 fixed ones, and we anchored in North Palm Beach, by Peanut Island, where the Kennedy family had their underground nuclear shelter.
23.3 we set off into the Atlantic, with hundreds of superyachts and powerboats, for the last part of our trip to Ft. Lauderdale. We had now done over 1,200 nmiles of motoring.
We motored into Ft. Lauderdale, went to the fuel dock, and picked up another friend, David, who lives here and knows the narrow waterways. He guided us past the bridges and canals into a dock by the Davie Blvd Bridge, where we tied up by our friend Jill’s house, and would stay here while we got our liferaft serviced, and a few other jobs, and provision and fill up with water for the trip to the Bahamas and the Caribbean, setting off around 4 April with David and Keir.
Our plan is to spend the next 2 months sailing through the Caribbean, ending up  in Grenada. Olivia is planning to join us early May for a fortnight, sadly Shenton cannot get time off. Gilbert, Pip, Emmeline and Frederick are joining us mid-May, to sail to Grenada, and we will put Restless away for the hurricane season in early June.