We cast off this morning at 6:42am knowing we were just a few miles from crossing into Florida. Although happy we’d almost made our goal, the reality of our adventure ending set in slowly.
As we first set off, St. Andrew’s sound was giving us a tough time and we spotted an alternate route. We ended up taking a creek called Floyd Creek to avoid the chop and got through just fine.
There was no official Florida Georgia border sign on the water to mark our crossing but once we docked up at a Jacksonville marina and stepped off the boat, the reality of our success set in.
Although it still doesn’t feel real, my dad and I had officially built a wooden boat and floated it from New York to Florida. Through years of hard work and planning that sentence above started a dream, became a plan and ended a reality. Major setback after major setback plagued the potential of this trip but somehow we remedied those and managed a go at it.
If it weren’t for my grandpas own teen adventure from New York to Florida in a fixed up boat, I would have never considered the trip and I couldn’t have asked for a better adventure. Although an adventure, what made this trip special was fulfilling a family legacy after my grandpas unexpected passing last year. For those who don’t know, last September, my dad and I left on this same trip from Hudson, NY passing Croton On The Hudson (exactly where my grandpa started his trip) and after exiting New York harbor, and diving into Manasquan inlet, we then learned he had passed unexpectedly. He was amped we were recreating his trip and followed the building process of the boat meticulously throughout.
So, I’m beyond proud I can type the words that our trip, in my grandpa, Jerry Comcowich’s remembrance, is complete and his teen trip successfully replicated. I wish he could’ve seen us step off the dock into Florida.
We managed to make it through many potential dangerous stretches of the Atlantic coast in our home made wooden boat: New York Harbor, Delaware Bay and the Chesapeake Bay to name a few. We certainly lucked out with weather allowing us a safe passage. And, by some miracle, it only rained on us for a total of four hours the entire trip. Many times rain seemed imminent the following day and somehow we would always avoid it despite definitive precipitation forecasts.
The last twelve days were the adventure of a lifetime and I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to have made this trip. Like I said before, I really could not have asked for a better, more meaningful adventure.
I’ve learned so much about boating these last two weeks and I hope to harness and continue to improve upon captaining for many years aboard trusty Quatuor II.
Thank you everyone who’s been reading the blog. After long days it’s sometimes taken some will power to write that day’s recap but I’m beyond glad I did so since now I have a detailed record to look back on for years to come.
No matter what, I’ll always have a hell of a story to tell about that time I took a boat from New York to Florida. Although, my trip wasn’t quite as crazy as my grandpas version (hitchhiking to his brothers wedding in Colorado mid trip and hitchhiking back then systematically going bridge to bridge asking if his boat “Le Quatuor” (hence my Quatuor II) had passed under it looking to reunite with his boat and friends on it. They then sold the boat and hitchhiked back home to New York).
Well I’ll leave it there. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m grateful we made it through safe while having a great time. As we currently drive southbound to Florida after flying one way to New Jersey to grab the trailer in order to pick the boat up and drive it back to Massachusetts I’ll spare you boredom with subsequent details.
I’ll close by sharing some advice my grandpa gave me in an email a few days before our September 2020 trip that was then put on hold for his passing: He wrote to me “Take Good Risks. And don’t fear failure. Life will be an exciting adventure.”
Sincerely, thank you everyone for following, Ross, Dad and Quatuor II out