The reason for the short drive to Jacksonville on Friday is that we had a date to see another boat. Yes, we did buy the Why Knot and that has not changed. But we were going to take a look at a Great Harbor GH-47 trawler that was brought down from the Norfolk, VA area for the winter and it was going to be docked at a marina in Green Cove, Florida, just down the St. Johns river from Jacksonville. This particular GH-47 is called Vegas Girl and it is a boat that I have actually known about for quite some time. It is a 2009 and the most recently built GH-47 by Great Harbor. I have known about it in fact for a long enough time that it's picture has graced my computer desktop just like Why Knot has. Lisa had found out that it was now in our neck of the woods and arranged for us to take a look at her. The GH-47 is the boat that we aspire to eventually get. And it is a beauty. The GH series of trawlers are kind of chubby looking and the general opinion is that they are very much an acquired taste. But the opinion on it's capabilities, accouterments, live-aboard-ability, economy, sea worthiness and general passage-maker-ness is universally positive. We were very excited about this opportunity and the real thing did not disappoint at all! Vegas Girl is a beauty. First of all she is in absolutely pristine condition. Gorgeous. Up to this time I had only seen many pictures of her and other 47s. But seeing one face to face was a BIG highlight of the entire trip. Perhaps what impressed me the most was that Vegas Girl is only two feet longer than Why Knot (47 feet versus 45 feet) and they both have a 15 foot beam. But the GH-47 has so much more room and more of a feel of massiveness than other boats. Very impressive.
We stayed in Jacksonville Friday night. Nuff said. Sorry to say that even though we stayed at a hotel on the wide St. Johns River right across from downtown Jacksonville, and that was a pretty vista we were wholly unimpressed. The hotel room had a nice comfy bed but that was about it. Move on.
We woke up very early on Saturday morning and got on the road. We made good time on up into Georgia through Macon, Atlanta and other small burgs along the way. The time and miles passed very quickly and we soon found ourselves in Nashville TN mid-afternoon. We futzed around there for awhile. We saw the Grand Ole Opry (snore) located in Opryland (even more of a snore) and we headed north on I-24 in search of a hotel as Nashville was going to be our stopping point for the night. But we had made such good time up to there and since it turned out we had only 290 miles to go to St. Louis we pushed on. We pulled into the driveway about 9 pm, for a total of 877 miles in 17 hours. Whew.
So here we are for a few short weeks as we do some final preparation work before we head down to Why Knot and start our Great Loop adventure.