22 December 2017 | St. Augustine
Tod / cloudy
In the category of "plans of mice and men..." we got up before the sun to leave our pretty Anchorage at first light. I awoke at 3:30a to pee and looked out the port. Clear night. Fell back asleep. The alarm woke me at 6:45 and the lightening sky was very pretty. However, towards the sound, inlet, there was some fog. No worries, thought I. It will burn off as we get there. Wrong! We lifted up anchor and went about 1-1/2 miles before we were completely socked in in fog. We pulled to the side of the ICW and put down the anchor to wait it out. All we could do. No radar and no visuals. There were multiple alerts from tugs as they moved around the various waterways, making me concerned we were not out of the way enough. We did end up being passed by a tug as he kept to the deeper green side of the waterway.
The fog lifted around 9am and we were back underway. We were hoping to make a marina just north of St. Augustine which was about 50 miles. A long way with a shortened day that was already short. As luck had it, the current gave us a push the entire way with gps speeds in the 7 knot range and then 8.6 on the Tolomato River portion. We passed through Palm Cut with stately mansions that, while opulent, were more tasteful than those around Myrtle Beach. We had a dolphin escort much of the way and even had displays of sheer playfulness as dolphin jumped up, out of the water, as if trying to walk on their tail, before crashing back down! I only saw that in dolphin shows with a trainer before. Awesome!
The waterway in Florida is deeper, but there were still a couple of trouble spots. Crossing the St. John's River the CG had relocated the ICW so it no longer followed the path of deep water on my charts, installing new floating marks. However, one follows the real world marks, not the charts and there was plenty of water. By the way, I had upgraded my charts to the latest version prior to leaving so this change was very new.
It was a long trip but made pleasant with the multitude of wildlife we saw. Speaking about wildlife, we would see what looked like a pile of snow on the side of the waterway. It was really a pile of white pelicans. Not exactly sure what was going on but I think we may be seeing a bunch of little white pelicans in the near future. Hmmm.
We arrived at Camache Cove Marina around 4pm. About an hour before low tide. The entrance to the marina is tricky, narrow with rock jetties protecting you from the ferocious current sliding past on the river. You definitely need power and luck to make it in to the narrow channel and quick reactions to readjust your heading (you end up being in a 45 degree angle entering) when the current suddenly is gone. The marina staff inform you about what to expect but wow! We arrived and docked without any drama (yeah!), Took on fuel and water but need to pump out in St. Augustine where they have a boat that comes to you.
We went to the marinas store to buy a new boat hook as Anne had broken ours unsnagging the anchor chain as we were raising it in heavy current and winds the other day. No real drama, just need new equipment. They only had the fancy hook ends for an interchangeable pole system that would have ended up costing over $100. They ordered a regular hook from West Marine which will arrive first thing the next day.
We ate dinner at the on site restaurant. We both ordered the specials (there were two). Mine was pretty good but Anne's selection lacked seasoning. They were interesting combinations of seafood and (in Anne's case) pasta but the sauce could use more seasoning. She brought some back and will perform her magic on it before we see it again another day. We had a pleasant night and happily hit the sack, tired after a long day.
On Friday, we are off to the marina where we pick up a mooring ball for a week. Gabi and Levi arrive on Saturday and are staying at a motel just on the other side of the Bridge of Lions. We are looking forward to seeing them.