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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jacksonville & Huckins visit.

We left St. Augustine and cruised up to Mayport to Morningstar Marina. Yuck! Bathrooms were office bathrooms and there were no showers or other services. Current just about did us in. Super moon has created incredible currents. Dock hand didn't know how to handle the current and when I asked him to cut us loose and let us start over he expressed he had no knife! Bad news! We finally were tied up on the outer dock. Not good! But every bad thing brings good people and Ken and Jean Powell from Ontario were delightful! Can you imagine traveling the world in a sailboat for 12 years! Their boat is for sail and they are looking to return to Ontario after all this time. So interesting!

Jacksonville Landing was a significant improvement. Current from the river and the tide was extreme, but docking was directly downtown and Adrienne, our daughter, flew in from Connecticut to cruise with us for 10 days. She will leave on April 2nd and we will begin our cruise with Erica and Joe, our son. Erica and Joe (angels from heaven) will have Buddy, our devil Labrador mix with them. Buddy has been in Michigan for the last 90 days. Erica and Joe have a chocolate lab who is Buddy's favorite. Hopefully, he will be glad to see us, including BooBoo!

Jacksonville Landing is a development downtown of restaurants, retail stores and other stores. We really enjoyed the location. Adrienne and I had a phenomenal run along the boardwalk which ran West for about 2 miles. Good run! Needed that!

For the first time we saw foam form in the water along the dock. The salt and wind forms a foam that runs along the dock with the current. If the fenders that protect the boat are large and run down directly to the water, the foam is trapped and collects next to the boat and creates a mess! We are learning at every stop!

It was here that we learned the water pump had a problem :( We had replaced the water pump in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, so this was indeed a surprise.) Without the fresh water pump, we have no water anywhere on the boat. No toilets, no sink water....bad news. Jim decided we should go to a marina near West Marina on the Ortega River and he could fix the water pump. OK!

We "landed" at the Marina at Ortega River. Incredibly nice marina which is located about a 1/2 mile from West Marine. We purchased a new pump of a different brand (oh, oh) and he began the process. This meant new connections, lines and lots of work, but the old pump was a from the "olden days" and made a lot of noise. The new pump had a lot of psi supply of water. What we did not know was it was too much psi action! Once it was connected (a big enough process), the pump blew out a number of connections on the boat. Jim replaced them all with help from our neighbor Ralph

. Jim then removed the pump and purchased a water pump with less power. Maybe Crawdad needed it anyway as our boat was manufactured in 1986. Jim even thought for a while we had blown out the hot water heater. Thank goodness that was not the case. Ended up it was the valve on the hot water heater that need to be replaced. (thank goodness)

The two days at the luxury marina was lovely for some of us!! though we rode on our bikes to West Marine at least 8 times. We got to know the staff at West Marine in Jacksonville and would recommend John to anyone!!

We left on Sunday to cruise up the Johns River. (finally!) First stop Green Cove Springs. Our mail is delivered to a mail service, St. Brendans Isle, at Green Cove Springs. We cruised into Green Cove Springs, looking for the City dock (recommended by our cruise guide) and found shallow water instead. Not stopping there! Maybe we don't have the correct location. Wouldn't be the first time!

The Huckins spotted at the Ortega Landing Marina. The co-owner is from Holland, MI.
During our stay on the Ortega River, I happened upon a Huckins. One had been tied at the dock at Vero Beach and I was intrigued. When we visited our friends at a neighboring marina, they told us about the Huckins Yacht Yard located only a few doors from our marina.  On our bikes!
Joe, the security guard who loves his job!
Do you think they would take a trade for a Grand Banks?
The patterns haven't changed in over 50 years.

The teak on the boats in the shop gives Jim a challenge with our teak. Go Jim! You can do it!

The shop hasn't changed since the 30's.
Fairfoam Flyer. Perfection.

 We were amazed at the boats in the yard. Some older, some new. Difficult to tell the difference as the design has changed very little. Fairform Flyer! Gorgeous! Our friends from SeaSea told us they might give us a tour. Saturday morning? Give it a try!  We knocked on the door and an older man came to the door. Interested! Come on in!

The tour was amazing. We climbed on a boat under renovation. The wooden hull is encased in fiberglass and requires other changes as the weight is redistributed. We found out our tour guide was the security guard! He had been there forever and had seen it all! He showed us the patterns, pictures of boats constructed and the boats in the building presently under renovation. Our lucky day! We will be looking for more Huckins along the way up the ICW.

1 comment:

  1. WOW! Know the fresh water pump fun...had a new Shurflow put in before we left in August. It went out here in FL and Shurflo sent us a new one. We're still on a mooring here in Ft. Lauderdale waiting for a weather window to the Bahamas.