Titusville (FL) to Brunswick (GA) / March 23 - April 4, 2015
March 23, 2015
We stayed in Titusville on King and Sharon’s boat "Blue Moon". It rained during the day (as expected). We took the opportunity to do some administrative tasks in the morning. Then, in the afternoon, Jasmine went onshore to take care of her needs. She urinated scarlet, red ... blood! King and Sharon arrived about 10 minutes after the incident. They just came back with a rental car that they had for a few days so they could do some sightseeing. King quickly drove us to a veterinary clinic not far from the marina. After an examination and a battery of tests, the vet told us that Jasmine probably hurt herself and that could have caused the internal bleeding. There was virtually only blood in her urine. The x-ray showed nothing, eliminating the risk of kidney & bladder stones. When we left the clinic we were still very worried. Jasmine had not complained of anything and we had not witnessed any injury or blow she could have received. The vet told us that if her situation did not improve in the next three days he would ultrasound her. King and Sharon offered for us to stay on Blue Moon while we waited. Thank you both for your great help, friendship and your generosity!!!
In the evening, we were invited to a musical party organized by Jane and Ben from "Old Rosie". This charming couple, from Owen Sound (Ontario), had invited other musicians to join them for a music and pizza party. The evening was enjoyable, but needless to say, we were very concerned about Jasmine and made several trips to see her.
24-25-26 March 2015
We stayed on "Blue Moon" in Titusville. There was no real improvement with Jasmine. Then on the 25th, little by little, we started to see small changes. We are not yet willing to travel by canoe with Jasmine. We feel she needs more time. King and Sharon had planned to leave today, but they let us decide what our plans would be before making their decision.
Originally, we had planned to meet King and Sharon (Blue Moon) and Cindy and Grant (As the Crow Flies) in South Daytona Beach on Friday. We had all met for the first time on the Illinois River in Hennepin. Since then, we have all kept in touch and have met up a few times. The last time we were all together was in Mobile (Alabama) in November. This weekend was the last opportunity for us all to be together one last time. Cindy and Grant will remain in the area for a few more weeks before returning to Ontario for a few months. However, they have friends who will arrive on Sunday for a week. King and Sharon will continue their journey to Canada, but likely at a different pace than ours.
We decided that it would be unwise to push on too early. We didn't want Jasmine to spend long hours on the water and under the sun. On the other hand, if we did not leave, we would miss the opportunity to be with the whole gang. So we decided to go aboard Blue Moon to Daytona on the 26th. Jasmine will be able to continue to rest and if her condition does deteriorate, it will be easier to get her to a veterinarian.
During the journey (which would have taken us two days by canoe) we travelled through a channel where there were at least fifty manatees. There were alligators too. Once we arrived at Seven Seas Marina, we were really happy to see our friends and to finally all be together.
27-28 March 2015
We spent two wonderful days with our friends. We had dinner aboard one boat, then the other; our friends preparing delicious dinners. We took care of the desserts. It was a beautiful weekend. Jasmine is better too. She has started to be herself again and her urine looks normal. She does not seem to force it, or show pain like she did at the beginning of the week. So, we plan to leave Sunday, as do King and Sharon.
March 29, 2015
We had planned to leave by canoe today, but the wind did not allow us to do so. "Blue Moon" was leaving today; Cindy and Grant welcomed their friends, and we had no place to pitch our tent. We therefore left with King and Sharon toward Marineland. The route was very pretty. We made a wise decision not to paddle today. The winds were very strong, and there was also a lot of traffic. We spent another beautiful day with King and Sharon, and we met some nice people at the Marineland Municipal Marina.
March 30, 2015
That's it, we are back in the canoe! Jasmine is doing well and we are all ready to paddle. We have gained weight in the last days with all the good food. King and Sharon also left for St. Augustine this morning. We met them again while they were moored to a buoy in St. Augustine. The city is beautiful and there are many festivities. St. Augustine celebrates 450 years this year. For the occasion, a replica of a Spanish ship is proudly moored in the marina, near the "Bridge of Lions". We would have liked to stay a few days and explore the town, but there is no place to camp. The day was superb! The water is beautiful in the estuary. The sun seemed to brighten all the colours and textures of the buildings. This town could have been somewhere in Europe.
March 31, 2015
Big day! We paddled 50km against the tide all day. With the various estuaries and inlets, it was not easy. It took us 10 hours to get to Dutton Island. However, the day was beautiful. Shortly after starting our paddling day, we were treated to an aerobatic show. We saw a big family of white pelicans and birds of different species. We saw rays, dolphins, sharks, deer ... there was plenty of life all around us. We loved our adventure!
April 1, 2015
A small paddling day to get to Huguenot Memorial Park, Jacksonville. We are here to make the next step easier. In front of us on the other side of the St. John River, there is a naval base. There is a lot of activity during the day with Blackhawk helicopters passing overhead regularly and a lot of large ships passing by in the river.
April 2, 2015
We are close to the border between Florida and Georgia, at a place named Tiger Island. It was a 42km paddling day. The landscape changed slowly. There are not as many mangrove along the shores, virtually none. The water is brown in the Intracoastal, but the scenery is beautiful. We paddled through areas where there are many islands made of oyster shells on which aquatic weeds grow. The tide is stronger too.
Tonight, the no-see-ems are omnipresent. We quickly hid in the tent. The tent, although red, appears completely black from the flies. Crazy!
April 3, 2015
We are in Georgia! We had trouble finding a place to camp today. We had forgotten that it was Easter weekend. Everything is booked everywhere! Nevertheless, we found a place available in a primitive camp on beautiful Cumberland Island. We stopped for the night at Brickhill Bluff. On the way, we had lunch at Plum Orchard on Cumberland Island. There is a beautiful and gigantic house in this location dating back to 1898. Everyone should visit this island! There is Spanish moss in a lush vegetation and lots of history here. They also have wild horses on the island.
During the day, we saw in the distance a naval base for the Trident submarines. The hangars are impressive.
April 4, 2015
We had the tide against us all day today, but it was a beautiful day. We had the choice to paddle 39km in the Intracoastal or take an alternative route of 50km. We finally decided to do the 50km for several reasons. The rivers are smaller, so perhaps the tide will be weaker. In addition, the winds were strong today, we would be more protected in small rivers. Plus we were going to see more flora and fauna as well … We are getting spoiled! We saw a wild boar, otter, dolphins, snakes, turtles, fish, birds ... What a great adventure in nature! By late afternoon, about 30 minutes before we arrived at the destination, we experienced a big rain storm. We were drenched! We had not even had the time to close our cockpits when it started to rain; we gave 100% effort to arrive as quickly as possible. We had about 2 inches of water in the canoe when we landed. Once our camp was set up and showers taken, we met a nice family from Quebec who gave us a bottle of wine for the evening. Thank you Laurier, Solange & Chloé!