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The First Mate's Journal
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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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An Osprey
12/16/2008, Saint Augustine, Fl anchorage (29o53.314 x –081 18.463)

We decided to stay today to clean up the waterline and scuff marks from coming into the marina dock. This was a day of straightening up inside and out. We’ll move on tomorrow. Watched an osprey hunt from the top of another boat’s mast. He caught a small snake or long fish, then took it over to the boom of another boat and proceeded to eat it on top of their sail cover. The fog bank is rolling in from the Atlantic – amazing to see it approach the bridge and then enclose it this evening. It’s very thick and opaque.

12/18/2008 | Emily Curry
I am so jealous. They are predicting a huge storm for tomorrow 6-12" of snow, so we are all hoping and praying for a snow day.

I was driving the other day and I thought, "I haven't checked Pat's blog yet." It looks like things are going well.

Happy Holidays!
St Augustine
12/15/2008, Saint Augustine, Fl anchorage (29o53.314 x –081 18.463)

After showers we went into town again to find cards for the grandkids and walked over to the college and the fort. Flagler College, formerly a hotel, has a Spanish Renaissance style and includes 79 Tiffany stained glass windows and an electrical system that was designed for the building by Thomas Edison! The fort – Castillo de San Marcos dates back to 1672 - was continually shooting off its canons during the weekend and it was interesting to see the walls are made of coquina and tile. Beautiful stonework. The city itself, has beautiful architecture, dating back to the 1500’s and with all the little white lights at night, it positively glows. December is a good time to visit Saint Augustine. Going back into town toward evening to mail the cards and have dinner, we ran into Sea Sharp and The Dove at the dock. It was nice to chat with them both & sounds like we’re all planning on leaving tomorrow or the next day to go further south.

We ended up eating at a place called Scarlett Ohara’s. The place looked like it could have been set in Gone with the Wind. They had some beautiful portraits of the characters from the movies. We got to watch the news and eat in a Gone with the Wind décor.

St Augustine
12/14/2008, Saint Augustine, Fl anchorage (29o53.314 x –081 18.463)

Wow, sometime during the night it warmed up and instead of tugging for the blankets we were both throwing them on each other to get them off of our own bodies! Got up and it was already in the upper 60’s. Went up top with my coffee, without shivering, and really felt like I was in Florida.

After we finished having coffee, we went ashore (using our $10 dingy dock pass again) in search of a Winn Dixie store across the bridge. The Bridge of Lions is currently under construction and a temporary bridge spans the waterway while they rebuild the old one. It’s supposed to be a spectacular looking bridge that dates back to the twenties with a set of marble lions; paws balanced on spheres that guard each side of the bridge. The lions are currently in a warehouse until the bridge reconstruction is complete - so I never got to see them. But if we pass this way again – hopefully I’ll get to see them. After an almost mile walk, with no Winn Dixie in sight, I asked a lady that we passed if there was one there (we were in a residential area and it didn’t look right) and she said no, so the one that Mapquest said was there – wasn’t. She said there was a smaller one about 6 blocks down but it was more expensive, less stocked, and closed on Sundays. So we headed back across the bridge and went in search of the one that was a mile away from the City Marina. There were two that were outside of the old town – one about a mile away and another about 2 miles away that was next to a West Marine. Needless to say, we opted for the closer one and used the city map to try and find it. We ended up at the other one near West Marine and a shopping mall and before shopping decided we needed lunch so sat outside at a Checkers Burger place with pop, hotdogs and burgers before shopping.

In the store we met a couple that were also from Michigan. She noticed my Saugatuck T-shirt and stopped to chat with us (Laurel and Bob). They’re in the marina right down the block from here at Oyster Creek marina in a catamaran that is a bright yellow – called Sunburst. It’s funny because I saw them pass by when they came through the bridge and brought the boat to Wayne’s attention as they passed. They are also teachers from the Grand Rapids area and are heading south. I’ve never been on a catamaran before – I’m going to have to check one out one of these days, I can’t imagine what they’re like to sail, only that they’d be fast – probably handle much differently, but definitely faster than our little cork.

We called a taxi to take us back to the boat (thank goodness – I’d be crippled lugging the groceries back two miles, not to mention having the food get warm) and after putting the food away, I still wasn’t hungry after the two burgers so Wayne got the leftover pizza and tuna salad for dinner tonight. I feel my knee stiffening back up and aching and I’m sure Wayne’s feeling the walk today too…

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