Thursday, February 9, 2017

St. Augustine to Daytona Beach - 2017

--Blogpost written by Bob

This blogpost covers three nights in St. Augustine (two full days) and one day traveling to Daytona Beach.  

St. Augustine

From the beginning of this trip we planned to stop in St. Augustine for a couple days or more.  (Before our engine seized up in SC we had a slip reservation for the entire month of December.)

This was St. Augustine on the morning of February 7, 2017.
The city of St. Augustine is on the left side of this
image, the Bridge of Lions on the right side.

St. Augustine is very much like my (adopted) hometown of Annapolis, Maryland.  I could very easily live here.  The following photographs tell the story of our visit here:

The dinghy dock at St. Augustine Municipal Marina can get
crowded, even out of season like it is.  Maggie
is on the dock in front of our dinghy.

This was our first stop in St. Augustine: Pizza Time
makes the second best pizza in the U.S.A.,
according to TripAdvisor.

On a side street off the Saint George Street there was
an accordion player with his side kick, Poncho.

This is a side street off of Saint George Street--I am surprised that I
was able to capture this image with no people on the street!

This is Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the
United States.  It dates back to 1672 when Florida
was part of the Spanish Empire.  The
structure on the upper corner
is called a garita.


We ended up spending three nights on a mooring ($25/night) in St. Augustine.  We spent too much money here--not on the mooring, but on all the eating out and shopping we did.  I bought a hat called the RealDeal--it is made from recycled tarps from Brazilian cargo trucks.  The good thing about it is that I can't mess it up.  It is imperfect, to say the least.

This is the Real Deal hat I bought in St. Augustine. It is made 
from recycled tarps from Brazilian cargo trucks.


This photograph was taken before sunrise.  The sailboats are
moored in the mooring field in St. Augustine.  This was
the morning of our last full day in 

St. Augustine, February 8.

The last couple days I noticed that one of our battery banks (#1) was not holding a charge for very long--it is the oldest set of batteries and ones that I planned on replacing when we get back to Annapolis in the summer.   (I'm wondering if a short within one of our old batteries caused our battery charger to fail back in Rockville.)  Since this battery bank represents a little less than half of our reserve electrical power, I am considering replacing them when we are in Vero Beach (three to four days from now).  I located a dealer for Oasis Firefly batteries (to match the batteries in our other battery bank) in Fort Lauderdale but the batteries are on back order and won't arrive until the end of February.  So, I called Coastal Climate Control in Bowie, MD and they had two in stock--it cost $150 to ship them to Vero Beach where we will meet up with them.  They are scheduled to arrive on Monday.

St. Augustine to Daytona Beach

Knowing that we have a 50-mile day ahead of us today, we got an early start, leaving our mooring at 7:30 AM.  (Today, high tides are at 6 AM and 6:30 PM but, hopefully, the state of the tide won't make much difference to us since Florida waterways are well maintained.).  We start off today with a 20-mile run down the Matanzas River to the Metanzas Inlet and then a 30-mile run of dredged ICW channel to Daytona Beach.

The scenery changes below St. Augustine.  There is less marsh
and more scrub trees on sandy spits of land.

This is the L.B. Knox Bridge that opened for us today.  We
went through three bridges that had to open (on
our signal) and five fixed bridges today.

As I've mentioned previously, I did this exact same trip 25 years ago.  One of the changes that stand out in my mind is the drastic reduction in bascule bridges and swing bridges.  Most are now fixed bridges.  This makes the trip much faster but there is a certain charm in requesting openings from the bridges.

Today we had two dolphins that followed our boat for
about a mile.  They split time surfacing for air.

Most of the day today we were cruising at 2500 RPM and doing 7.5 knots, measured on our GPS.  The new prop makes a world of difference in our cruising speed!  We anchored just off the ICW in Daytona Beach at 2 PM.

This is an image from our anchorage just off the ICW looking back
at all the bridges in Daytona Beach.  The crane in the middle
of the picture is demolishing an old bascule bridge.

Our day today was sunny and a pleasant 75 degrees.  It could not have been any better!

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