Friday, March 29, 2013

St. Augustine to Sisters Creek

Good evening! Today is March 29th and we are heading up the East coast. The weather could not have been better for cruising the Atlantic ICW, sunny about 72 clear, calm smooth water and blue skys....ummmmm.
One last picture of St Augustine as we head toward the Atlantic about 930 on Friday.
This is the view of the fort from the water. Our stay here was very good. More Looper friends caught up with us and we enjoyed visiting with everybody for docktails on Thursday evening. But let me tell you a little about St. Augustine first. Bill and I had a couple of opportunities to stroll the streets and see the sights. We had very good food at a couple of unique restaurants  The Picture above is Castillo de San Marcos National Monument built in 1672 by the Spanish. St Augustine was founded in 1565. The architecture in the whole town is amazing.
Motes and drawbridges.
Watch towers.

Bill and I did not go into the fort it was pretty crowded with lots of people with children because of spring break. 
This sigh tells about the living coast and is posted on the grounds.
Colonial St Augustine has a walking tour.
Kind of sad to say but the area is very commercial there are even businesses in the old houses.
This is a coffee shop.
This is a cannon in front of the old church.
Flagler College.
This building was interesting but pictures cannot describe it I cannot even begin to tell you all the decor here. Its pink with mosaic tiles of blue and ornate doors and windows. 
 I loved the charm of the old town.
Even the windows are cute.
These 2 guys were building wooden boats from this pile of wood here in the foreground. 

On Thursday about noon we walked across the lions bridge with Craig and Barbra from Blue Heron and ate at O'steens there was a 40 minute wait to be seated so... 

Everybody checked mail! Then, we ate the best fried shrimp. I had BBQ pork. We enjoyed hearing about their Loop adventures.

Ok! so enough of telling about our visit to St Augustine this is the Atlantic Ocean we turned north in front of this small island beach and headed up the AICW  

In the inlet the water was swirling in great big swirls I tried to catch one for you before our wake from Proud Lady messed it up. 
Waters at St. Augustine Inlet 

The scenery between the St Johns River and St Augustine is very flat and swampy, we passed several fishing boats. Passed under 7 bridges.

Dolphins racing Proud Lady

This beautiful home near Palm Valley 
Palm Valley Bridge then the Beach Blvd. bridge then the Atlantic Blvd bridge then this next bridge was like opening the gate to fast water.

As we neared the St. Johns River the current picked up it looked like currents were pushing the boats under this bridge. Proud Lady picked up speed I think she loved the pace, as we sped about 9 knots instead of the 6 we usually travel. The Tolomato River enters into the St John's we were a little anxious about watching the markers and traffic I helped Bill navigate across into the Sisters Creek.

Here are some of the big vessels that travel this area the inlet into the Atlantic is to the East.
But we made it just fine. Dropped the anchor.
We set the anchor and watched the tide go out. The moon has been full and the tides are like 6 to 8 feet high to low. It amazes me how the tides and moon works together. 
In the sky above the us in front of our anchorage is a blimp.
It says U.S. Navy I bet I have at least 10 pictures of the Blimp.
It dropped so low the crab pots were out of water.
Bill and I enjoy sitting on the sun deck before supper. I made steak, potatoes and muffins. The trip today was very uneventful but so beautiful, it took us a little bit to wind down after a day of cruising but tomorrow we are heading to Cumberland Island so I hope to share more with you all again. Love you lots, Joy

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Going Coastal.... Cocoa to St. Augustine

March 25th 2013

While it is still fresh in my mind and I am not too tired to post I would love to tell about Cocoa to St. Augustine, I am sorry I didn't write sooner on the blog but cruising wears us (Bill and I) out. New rule for us no more than 40 to 50 miles a day  and I will share with you why later. 

Leaving Cocoa about 830 am on March 25th, sunny cool around 60 and very windy, water is choppy but no white caps. 
In this picture the shuttle is on display near Titusville, Florida on the Indian River.

This is the space center on the side of the building is giant American flag and the words NASA
the bay we are in is very large about 8 miles it takes Proud lady about an hour and a half to reach the canal. Near Cape Canaveral. We are traveling about 6 knots because of the wind. 
This is the entrance into the canal.
Entering Haulover Canal
Inside the canal feels very isolated but it has rustic beauty large rocks lining the canal banks, these folks are kayaking, there is a park about half way through this narrow passage, looks so fun. 
Spring break and these guys are fishing on rocks outside the canal. Proud Lady is now entering Mosquito Lagoon.
I don't know if you can see but up ahead is a tug boat and a tow boat with about 500 foot of pipe between them they called over the radio and will take this load through the canal other boats will have to hold up on the other side until they pass.
 Not far into Mosquito Lagoon I noticed a sunken vessel to add to my sunken vessel collection.
We arrived in New Smyrna late in the afternoon having traveled about 8 hours the city dock was busy and full, no place to park Proud Lady Sheeps head cutoff was crowded with small sailing craft so we headed up further to Rockhouse creek to anchor out for the night. It turned out to be a beautiful spot across from beautiful homes with an ocean view of breakers to our south, a lighthouse to the north/east. But, Bill and I were exhausted. I made hamburgers on our George Forman grill served with aisan cole slaw. We did our evening boat chores and called in the night early Bill with his West Marine catalog and I with a book that I was able to finish before sleep. Durning the night we got up and checked the anchor hold and position to make sure she held tight 2 or 3 times but the night went well.
Sun rise at Rockhouse creek.
The Atlantic 
Wish I could have gotten a clearer view of this lighthouse.
We left our anchorage about 8 10 am later than we wanted to and headed up the AICW toward Ponce De Leon inlet and toward Datona Beach the picture is Datona in the distance.
A fishing fleet 
The bridge Port Orange 
The terrain changes after Daytona to a more rocky areas some are very beautiful it looks like ancient volcano lava rock.
Then changes again to very marshy.
Over this bank you can see the Atlantic ocean its about 300 pm and we are entering low tide marshy area the wind is blowing in gusts.

Fort Matanzas, SO COOL! A Spanish fort left over from the Spanish occupation. I need to read more history.
A unique Bed and Breakfast.

Here is an example of the marsh land, the tide is out and the wind is blowing the rest of the water out at one point in our cruise our depth finder said 0.4 inches and Proud lady hesitated to move forward but My hero Captain Bill gently guided her in reverse and moved to deeper waters then we moved on I helped him navigate using Navtronics on the I stay in the narrow channels.. 

Another example of how the tides and wind effect boating in this area. There were some beautiful areas that we wished we lived there. There were areas I said why do people want to live here? 
Our approach to St Augustine see the dry area near Red triangle 20A,  but we stayed in the channel and made it into the yacht basin without any problem. BUT Then,
The current, wind and tide played and role in pushing us against a concrete pier as we entered out assigned slip at St Augustine, Thank God! for the rub rail and it is something Bill can repair himself. 
Proud lady is safe and sound in her slip its about 5:00pm  Our fees are paid we took nice hot showers and dressed for dinner. By 5:45 we were exploring the village for a place to relax and eat. A local fellow encouraged us to eat at JP Henley's Pub and Grub there were over 100 beer selections. I had the best cream soda and a Turkey sandwich with apple and cranberry that was Awesome! Bill ate a ruben and of all the beers he chose Michelob ultra. I would give this place a 5 on a scale of 1 to 5 it was good the service was great and we got to relax away from Proud Lady for a short time. By 700 pm we were doing our evening chores and again ready for night. Today March 26th we traveled 64 miles in the cold wind. Thus the new rule not to travel over 40 to 50 miles a day it wears us plum out.
I will get a better picture of the bridge here in St Augustine because we are sitting very near. There is so much to see and do it overwhelms me. So I will write more later, Love ya, JOY