Well, I’m sitting in Fort Matanzas anchorage trying to figure out how to make this blog a little better organized. Who knew how complicated websites can be? Maybe in my later years I’ll take  a course and make it pretty.  For now, I’ll just continue with the “scroll” system.


David and I got “splashed on 30Jan from St. Mary’s Boatyard by Rocky and his amazingly military-style efficient team.  I had arrived on the 28th late in Orlando and David picked me up for a late drive to the boatyard. The next day I spent purging and re-organizing the boat . David had done his own re-organizing and it was spotless but my v-berth storage was a mess and we had some provisioning that was missing. So after the big purge, we visited the local Walmart and Dollar-tree and picked up a few items. David checked in with Rocky (the owner of this amazing boatyard) and he confirmed we were on the list for launching on Tuesday the next day. 


I admit I had some mixed feelings as  we had some rough times after launching in Sept. 2022 and spending almost 9 months on the boat. As we had not tested the boat before launching, due to late in the season and canals closing for the winter, we had to do the trials enroute. This meant difficult repairs underway with no cars in the middle of no-where. I learned one thing, David is a genius mcgyver and has the ability to create solutions under extreme pressure without the proper equipment. 

This year, I climb aboard knowing TC is an amazing vessel. It is stable in strong winds and high seas. It handles quickly which is great at times but not so great in locks where you want a slow boat. TC is snakey as the our brilliant sailmaker Andy Roper mentioned.  Not to mention one of the lockmasters remarked that TC was “badass” and they see tons of boats.  David wanted to change the name right then and there to “Badass” to my amusement.

Leaving St. Mary's Boatyard and sailing offshore to St. Augustine

The launch went without a hitch.  The berth we are dropped into was surrounded by boats and very very shallow water. David had to steer out to starboard and then Rocky had to pull the bow with the springline to turn us quickly about 90degrees and then I had to recover the rope before it fouled the propeller.  The motor started at first turn and we were off into deep water heading to our anchorage just inside the inlet-Little Tiger island anchorage.  We made it and anchored ready to head out early morning offshore to get to St. Augustine , a 47nm sail.  The sail was amazing. We broke our record and hit 9.8 knots , our hull speed max is supposed to be in the 7 to 8 knot range! Plus we only had our main sail up, and we still don’t have any reefs as we hope to get them put in when we arrive in Vero. TC was stable and super fast, it almost kept up to a beautiful 50someft Benetto that eventually caught up to us. 


Dolphins in the canal on the way to our first anchorage Fort Matanzas. They are hunting as they come up frequently and dive. 


The entrance to St. Augustine in 30km/h winds from NW was harrowing. The Benetto had trouble taking it’s foresail down and as I steered into the wind, David worked fast to bring the sail down.  The waves were about 10ft on each side as the clashed with the wind and shallow sandreefs on either side of the inlet.  We slowly inched in and anchored safely at the south side of Verano Bridge anchorage at around 4.25pm. David was in his happy place after an amazing fast and powerful sail. St. Augustine is a place to come and visit if you want to feel like you are in Spain. It’s the oldest settled city in the United states – early 1500s. The architecture is amazing. 


The next day, we decided to take the inter-coastal waterway as this part of the coast is long and has no inlets to come inside should we need to . Also the wind was going to be week and I didn’t feel like a 14 hr motorsail to New Smyrna. The waterway is comfortable and in low winds is actually as fast if not faster than motoring offshore. The fact that we stopped at Fort Matanzas anchorage for a few days of historical excursions and long walks on powdery white sandy beach marked the start of our relaxation and adventure season.  Up until this stop , we had been working and prepping, I,  at home and David a month in the boatyard. 



  Look Ma, no hands!!!





The anchorage in Fort Matanzas was tricky. We implemented our new anchoring procedure. I was on the helm and David was at the bow controlling the anchor. He finally realized the value of my little radios and we could communicate much more effectively to set the anchor. Sometimes it gets tricky. This anchorage is tricky, much like Bras D’Or lakes this is an inlet pocket so the tide and current clash and its hard to predict where TC will move once it is in neutral. But we anchored close to the north and deeper side and then went onshore to catch the 2:30pm tour of the Fort Matanzas, the only fortified watchtower in the US.  This fort basically protected Florida (and that encompassed almost the entire easter shore of US in those days as the inlet was St. Augustine’s weak point and back door for invading English and or French soldiers.  The State Park interpreter was like a Shakespearan actor with yelling and hand movements , I felt like I was in the battles myself!

People in the ferry heading to the Fort admired TC as they passed by.


  The flag on Fort Matanzas is of the spanish military flag who settled Florida in the early 1500s.  They were tough!

Today, 4Feb, David fixed a tiny leak in a little valve and I started working on my Medicinal Herbalist course online. We prepped for a storm that never came. Tomorrow we hope to get through the exit (very very shallow ) and get to Daytona or New Smyrna. 


We were boarded by the Coastguard US and our documents checked. They are super polite and professional. They warned us of a storm system but we saw it pass north of us hitting Jacksonville.  The next day we headed to Daytona Beach as it has some viable anchorages.  We ended up arriving on Monday the 5th and anchored just in time at the Bethune Park anchorage, to meet a big wind storm.  There is a hurricane Lee forming and we are getting the wind . The night was tense as we hoped our anchor wouldn’t fail. We have a 60lb spade anchor.  Well, it held all through the night with gusts of up to 80km/h. The boat was pitching a bit but our anchor alarm showed, we didn’t move backwards. The next day winds were still in the 30s and 40s with gusts up to 60km/h. One sailboat near us dragged and crashed into another sailboat before the older man could free his boat and his anchor was able to grab the mud again. We were helpless to assist as the dinghy was too weak to battle the winds and waves. I can’t imagine what it would have been like offshore if it was so rough inside the canal!

We chose to stay put another day as the winds are still gusting, even if not as strong. We are in no rush and the inlet coming up, Ponce de Leon inlet at New Smyrna is pretty shallow. If the gust hits at the wrong time, it could push the boat into a sandbar. We decided to play it safe and do chores and set up computer systems. 


We bought our US decal (34 $) to sail in the US (Coastguard never asked about it ) and I downloaded some new weather apps on my phone. I’m using my old phone exclusively for AquaMap. We have it downloaded as well on my tablet and David’s phone.  We also have Navionics and Garmin downloaded. Today David connected the Garmin to his phone so he can manipulate the navigation from his phone rather than the screen connected to the companionway opening. 


We are running out of provisions and I’ve resorted to eating some barley and lentil salad, which is far from my meat and vegie and fruit diet. I can’t wait to have a hot shower and get some vegies and fruit!! I think we will have to wait until Vero Beach as New Smyrna anchorages are not really easy to access stores when you don’t have a car. I have come up with a great spelt/almond flour pancake recipe  as well and if you add some honey and cinnamon, its like having a donut with coffee! 








Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>