C'est la Vie is a 1966 Charlie Morgan 34.

Her home port is Everglades City, FL. Our typical cruising area is Southwest Florida, the Florida Keys, the Southeastern Atlantic Seaboard, and the Bahamas. We are C'est la Vie's third owners and purchased her in 2005. We continue to maintain and update this classic vessel. Please post any questions or comments about C'est la Vie or our travels via the comment links below.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cold north winds aided in our 77NM day.

Despite the cold, north wimd, or perhaps motivated by the hope of moving south to warmer temps.  We rose to a dark thirty start out of the Matanzas' anchorage. The gusty wind was impractical for sailing because it constantly shifted from port to starboard off our stern.  Attempting to harness the wind would have required constant gibes in the stiff breeze.  So we motored on through Daytona and New Smyrna Beach. 

The image below is of Bud at the helm while passing Ponce Inlet.

Where luck did not favor us with wind it did grace us at all the draw bridges. In total we passed thru 5 draws yesterday and did not slow up for a single opening.

By late afternoon the winds finally worked in our favor.  We were able to motorsail a broad reach down Mosquito Lagoon and on to Titusville. We dropped the hook around 18:30.  Pleased with our 77NM day, average speed of 6 knots, and the promise of warm weather tomorrow.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cold Front

After clearing the Bridge of Lions we pushed on to one of Anne and I's favorite anchorages at Matanzas Inlet.

We set the hook with just enough daylight remaining to send Bud up the mast to secure a loose spreader boot in preparation for the forecasted high winds associated the a passing cold front.

Yesterday was the first time I donned shorts on this voyage.  The passage of the cold front delivered the promised 20+ knot winds along with a return to cool temps and a biting north wind.
We have remained bundled up this morning. 

The 20 knot wind are fortunately on our stern as we approach Daytona Beach.

Back on the inside, and still pushing south

After entering Florida we tied up for a night at Ferandina Harbor Marina.  This gave us the opportunity for hot showers, a dinner out, and a trip to the grocery store to re-provision. Keeping to our rhythm we were off the dock pre dawn and taking full advantage of the flooding tide's southward current.

We made the 14:30 opening at St. Augustine's Bridge of Lions.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Finally sailing back into Florida waters

C'est la Vie sailed back into Florida waters this afternoon.

For the first time since we began our voyage south just over a week ago, NOAA dropped the small craft advisories for the Atlantic waters in our area (NOAA considers any vessel under 65 feet a "small craft".) 

We began the day in Tea Kettle Creek.  By late morning we were approaching the Brunswick Bar Channel, and after listening to reports from other sailing vessels on the outside, we chose jump out for the afternoon leg to St. Mary's River inlet.

The offshore stretch proved more lumpy than expected, but it did knock and hour off our travel time and afford us the satisfaction of sailing back into Florida.

Tonight we are tied up at the Ferandina Beach Harbor.  Tomorrow we plan to return to the ICW and hopefully make St. Augustine or beyond.

Cruising the Georgia ICW

Our sprint down the ICW has now extended down into the infamous Georgia waters.  Land of the 9 foot tidal ranges and meandering, ill marked channels.  By moving dawn to dark we are continuing to cover about 60NM per day.  Sometimes we.even pause to enjoy the sunrises.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Worlds largest single masted sailing vessel.

What has a beam nearly twice C'est la Vie's length and mast that would reach end zone to end zone on a football field?

Marabella V, the worlds largest single masted sailing vessel - of course.  We passed her tied up at Thunderbolt Marine this morning. We saw the mast from Tybee Rodes, but thought it was a cell tower.

We are currently motoring south through the Skidaway Narrows.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Beaufort not Beaufort

Made good time yesterday covering 66NM,  by getting lucky with the tides and running dawn to dusk. 

We pushed hard to make the 11 am opening of the Ben Sawyer Bridge.  Passing the bridge, which only opens on the hour, provided us access to Charleston Harbor.  We made a quick transit of the harbor motorsailing under a full genny.  Unfortunately this would be the first and last time we set the sails on Sunday.  The remainder of our afternoon was spent motoring with a pack of sailboats southward in the ICW.

The daylight faded into a gorgeous low country sunset as we found an anchorage in the upper South Edisto River. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Myrtle Beach to Cape Romaine via the ICW

We continue to make progress south via the ICW despite gale warnings posted for the southeastern seaboard.  Yesterday's run Myrtle Beach to Cape Romaine covered 63NM.  The day started in the morning darkness.  By the time we had good visibility we were down in the beautiful Waccamaw River stretch of the ICW.

By mid afternoon we were making 8+ knots motorsailing down Winyah Bay under a full genny in stiff  north breezes. 

Making the turn west back into the ICW and Cape Romaine NWR, we furled the genny and motored the remaining 15NM to our anchorage at Five Fathom Creek.  During the last stretch Bud prepared a wonderful loaf of bread.

Out in the marsh grasses, Five Fathom Creek is a bit exposed, but the soft clay bottom provided good holding in 10 feet of water.  My only hesitation for endorsing the anchorage would be the shallow approach.  While well marked we still observed depths of 6 feet at mid-tide.  According to our resources the tide range in the area is around 5 feet.  This could make access at low tides impossible.

This morning, we were running before sunrise this morning and plan to anchor south of Charleston this evening.