Moving Lady Margaret over to Sadler Point Marina in Jacksonville, Florida to pull her out of the water for repairs and modifications. The starboard engine will only go up to 1500 rpm and then smoke like a train. Will replace it at Sadler with a freshly rebuilt engine and then rebuild it and keep it around as a spare. The port engine will go above 2100 pulling the starboard engine after it kicking and screaming.0900 Left the slip. Noticed that at idle I am only doing 3 knots… hmm.. it was 5 before. Both engines up to 1500 rpm and only 9.8 knots… hmm… it was 12 before. Looked over the side to make sure I wasn’t dragging the dock behind me or such and noticed that the bottom has grown a grass skirt. (note to self: scrub bottom of boat if it sits longer than 3 weeks). The water is so healthy at the slip that anything grows here, and the fish are huge. 0926 calculated that the St Johns sea buoy arrival will be at 1345.
1017 noticed the same group of dolphins, I’ve seen this pod so many times, this seems to be their typical workday. I’m actually beginning to recognize a few of the pranksters and will have to come up with names. They only played in the wake for a couple of minutes (guess I wasn’t going fast enough for them).
1045 noticed mylar balloons laying on top of the water, picked them up so nothing eats them. 1055 Noticed a large splash in the water that actually left a wake. Too big to be dolphins, might have been a large manta ray breaking the surface. 1057 Noticed some spray about 2 miles away in the middle of nowhere adjusted course to see what it is. 1059 Noticed it again, and then the water moved… Could it be??? 1101 WHALES!!! too cool… Got closer and one surfaced to breath about 300 yards away. My first whale encounter and this pegged my coolness meter. I saw most of his back (kinda like a dolphin breathing sleekly) and then he dove deeper hearing me coming up on him. This showed me his enormous rear fluke (probably 12 feet wide). The days don’t get any prettier than this… 1400 Arrived at the sea buoy and proceeded up river. Along the way watched a small pod of dolphins jumping and playing in the bow wake of a harbor tug. 1530 Arrived at the Jacksonville Landing for Thanksgiving.