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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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Fort Matanza
12/17/2008, Saint Augustine to Matanzas Fort anchorage (N29o42.992; W081o14.349) on the Matanzas River Inlet 2:45pm

The fog bank that rolled in from the Atlantic Ocean last night stayed with us all morning. We were finally able to weigh anchor after noon o'clock which meant we weren't able to go very far so we anchored in the Matanzas river inlet, in front of the fort, in 13-15 feet of water (s.t.m. 792.4) The current here is strong - running out at 1.6 knots (we're approaching low tide). Neat looking fort (in the picture) but after reading the history - kind of gruesome. Matanzas means slaughter in Spanish and more than 300 French Huguenots were killed where the fort stands in 1565. I guess that a group of them left their settlement somewhere near Jacksonville to attack the Spanish at Saint Augustine. They evidently got lost and shipwrecked here near the inlet and when the Spanish discovered them, on the beach, they demanded that they surrender and renounce their protestant ways (and change to Catholicism). They did surrender but when they refused to renounce their faith, the founder of St Augustine (Pedro Menendez de Aviles) ordered their deaths. They were bound and led behind the sand dunes and all summarily stabbed to death. The fort was then erected sometime after that to guard St Augustine's from further attacks that might come through Matanzas Inlet.

The surf sounds loud from where we're anchored. There's a ferry (free) that runs from across the beach over to the fort. They give a tour of the place and the history (once again gruesome). An osprey flew overhead with a small fish. Is this guy following us? Stay away from our mast and boom. Gorgeous birds...

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.

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