After Beaufort, we had planned on winding our way down the east coast and eventually stopping in Daytona Beach to visit James’ parents. We called them while we were in Beaufort and found out that James’ brother, whom we hadn’t seen in five years, would be visiting in a few days. We looked at our charts and realized we could make it in a two-day sail offshore, so we planned for that. Unfortunately, that meant skipping Jacksonville and St. Augustine (and visiting some friends), and the weather reports were iffy. The morning we left, the report said 3-5 ft seas, with winds 20-25 kts. We thought, “OK, 3-5 we can take,” because it was supposed to die down the next day.
Well, we left Port Royal Landing Marina at about 8AM with the tide, and the winds were pretty strong. However, once we got out into the Port Royal Sound, the seas were definitely NOT 3-5. We decided to give it a chance, thinking that maybe things would settle out once we got clear of all of the shallow water and shoals around the entrance. NOPE!! We found ourselves in 10 ft sustained seas all morning, with swells up to 12-13 ft. The boat took it well, and the swells had a nice periodicity to them, but it was not something to be out in if one had the choice.
So we plotted a course to the next inlet: the Savannah River. Once inside, we had a pleasant ride down the ICW for the rest of the afternoon, and found a quiet place to anchor just inside the Osabaw Sound for the evening.
We planned to go outside the next morning, but there was a small craft advisory in effect, and those “3-5 ft.” waves were still out there until the afternoon. So we stayed on the ICW, and headed south until later on in the day, and then we we ducked outside to the Atlantic at Sapelo Sound. After that, it was an uneventful transit, and we got into Daytona Beach on Monday afternoon.
Once in Daytona, we had a three terrific days visiting family. We also had access to a car, which made it possible to run around and shop. Besides the requisite visits to the supermarket and West Marine, we were turned on
to a terrific store called Surplus Unlimited Marine Liquidators, thanks to our friend, Captain Carl, who we visited in Port Royal. We walked out of there with a TON of stuff that we needed , including an anchor, anchor chain chain, and boarding ladder for our dinghy, a safety throwing line (brand new, $16!) and a ton of assorted hardware for some projects we’ve been meaning to do.
The storefront was more traditional, however there was a back door that led to a treasure trove of assorted surplus parts, and boxes of extras that came off of old boats that were either auctioned or sold.
This is where I found gold. As I was walking through the store earlier, I was looking for courtesy flags for the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic. I had found a new courtesy flag for the Bahamas for $7.95 which was a great deal. However, this new find was above and beyond anything I could imagine.
It was a small canvas bag with the name “Javillons” French-knotted onto the bag. It was SO quaint, SO old-school, SO “I remember learning how to French knot when I was a Girl Scout and actually got a badge for it, OH how times have changed because I am CERTAIN Girl Scouts don’t learn how to French knot any more!”
It was a bag full of courtesy flags… a bag full of someone’s sailing memories, and it was wonderful. Someone’s previous ports of call, and grand adventures… places I hope to visit on Octopussy some day. To me, it was a bag full of my dreams. But, they are near-dreams or “goals”– places I can get to, and plan to get to in the near future. I have the means to get to all of these places, and it really is only matter of whether or not I want to, or which way the wind is blowing at the time.
So, first off, it had a fairly recent courtesy flag for the Bahamas, so I put the new one in the package back on the shelf… but that’s not why I bought this bag of flags.
It had WONDERFUL old and homemade courtesy flags. You don’t hand stitch a Portuguese flag with a hand-colored armillary sphere unless you’re going there. Same thing: there was a hand-stitched Moroccan flag that obviously flew for quite a while from someone’s halyard because it was threadbare on the fly side.
In addition, there were also some antique-looking courtesy flags for the BVIs and a British Red Ensign. They had hemp lanyards and toggles. They were made of cotton, and were very old. VERY COOL!!!
In addition, there were contemporary courtesy flags for France and The Netherlands, which we hope to use next year after crossing the Atlantic with the ARC Europe. And, oddly enough, there was also a courtesy flag for the Conch Republic!
The latter we saw as an omen, because after arriving in Daytona Beach, we had a crazy idea and thought about going to the Keys for a little first, before going to the Bahamas. So that settled it: Key West, here we come!!!