I’m very happy to announce that Mavis arrived safely in Stuart, FL a few days ago after a mostly offshore voyage of 1129 nautical miles from Long Island. We actually began this trip back in late September by sailing from West Sayville to Belhaven, NC where we left the boat for a few weeks at the excellent Dowry Creek Marina to let the Atlantic Hurricane season wind down. We returned to the boat about two weeks ago and continued down the coast hitting the following ports of call but not really staying anywhere very long. We did spend 3 nights in Brunswick, GA letting some weather move through but aside from that we stopped for one night only everywhere else:
West Sayville, NY – 9/24/21
Belhaven, NC – 9/27/21
Oriental, NC – 10/22/21
Charleston, SC – 10/25/21
Brunswick, GA – 10/28/21
Fernandina Beach, FL – 10/30/21
St. Augustine, FL – 10/31/21
Vero Beach, FL – 11/2/21
Stuart, FL – 11/3/21
We covered the remaining miles very quickly and with the exception of a rather sporty and exciting overnight passage from Charleston to Brunswick had smooth seas and great weather. That passage brought us right through the middle of a ridiculous 70 or so ships anchored off of Savannah waiting to be unloaded. It was pretty eerie to sail through them and even though they were spaced about 2 miles apart, we passed a few of them closer than I would have liked.
Even though this is now Mavis’ 3rd trip down the coast, and I’m getting pretty comfortable with the run, it certainly hasn’t become boring. In fact, I managed to unlock a few achievements on this run. First, we’ve been sailing much farther offshore and staying out there longer than before. This trip featured two offshore runs of over 250 nautical miles keeping us offshore for over two days each. We started out by sailing directly from the Fire Island Inlet to Cape Charles, VA where we entered the lower Chesapeake Bay and continued inside the ICW to Belhaven, NC.
The second long offshore run also featured a first for me… rounding Cape Fear and the notorious Frying Pan Shoals… The “Graveyard of the Atlantic.” Sailing from the Beaufort Inlet in NC out and around the shoals to Charleston, SC required us to voyage about 35 miles off the coast. It was out there, in the clear waters off the shoals that another first happened. We brought our first Mahi Mahi on board! After trying for years to catch fish on the boat and dragging lures for literally hundreds of miles, it seems I have finally figured out the right combination of lures, trolling speed, location, etc. Or maybe I just got lucky. We actually hooked two nice “schoolies” but were only successful in landing one. We didn’t have a gaff on board but after losing the first one I remembered I had my pole spear on the boat. The second fish was not as lucky and made an excellent meal!
I need to take a moment to thank my great and salty friend Robert Sheldon for his service as crew and making this epic voyage possible. There aren’t many friends you can ask to drop everything to go on an insane adventure like this but Rob was (literally) on board when I first started putting the plan to go south again together over the summer.
I also need to thank my better half, Cynthia Fox for holding down the fort and keeping the wheels on the bus while I was out goofing around for weeks at a time moving the boat for the season. I’m looking forward to spending lots of quality time together this winter in Florida. Hopefully, we’ll also return to the Bahamas too!