Jekyll Island, GA to St.Augustine, FL
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 35
We departed from Jekyll Island at 0645 hours with our planned destination for the day being St. Augustine, FL. We would be traveling inside in the ICW for the entire day... forecast for offshore in the Atlantic was for 3-5 foot seas increasing to 4-6 foot seas... nothing we really wanted to forego.
Crossing the St. Andrew Sound Inlet was a little rough... we saw the 3-4 foot waves at the outer most section... but once we turned and headed down the Cumberland River alongside Cumberland Island it calmed right down. First time we have been past Cumberland Island and did not see any horses on the beach... was looking forward to seeing them as we always do when we are in this area.
Not much boat traffic today at all... a few local small boats and a couple of sailboats... actually thinking about it there were several power boats that passed us heading south... did not look like cruisers though... more like delivery captains delivering boats south.
Was really funny just after crossing the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, FL we switched from having the current with us to against us at just over 2 knots... slowed us down to 4.3 knots... what was funny was a SeaTow boat approached us and hailed us on the VHF... informing us that this was a no wake zone... the current ripping through the area was making more wake than we were... besides we only making just over 4 knots... any slower and I would of had trouble steering the boat in the current... told the SeaTow captain that I was only making 4.3 knots and if he checked my wake he would see it was minimal... even at full cruise we put out a wake less than a foot high... just funny when we get yelled at for speeding and making a wake... just can't do it... wish I could make a wake at times for pay back to some these sport fish that pass you and they can make a wake... :)
The current was really ripping out and we had some interesting current in two spots... the Pablo Creek Bridge and the B.B. McCormick Bridge... both place the waterway narrows to just the span of the bridge opening and going through the Pablo Creek Bridge the current was over 4 knots against us... we slowed down to 2.3 knots as we passed under the bridge.. the B.B. McCormick Bridge was not as bad but close... slowing us down to 3.6 knots... the interesting part was not just the velocity of the current but the turbulence it creates and the effect it has on the boat... just before the Pablo Creek Bridge the turbulence was wicked... causing SAILS to actually roll back and forth about 20 degrees... keeps you on your toes steering towards a bridge when this is happening... :)
About two hours before St. Augustine we experienced increased winds... most likely what was in the forecast that was increasing the seas to 4-6 feet... had steady winds over 25 knots with a lot of gusts to over 30 knots... and of course this was right as the sun was setting and getting dark... sunset at 1735 hours and we had these winds for the next hour or so... they did slow down to 15 ro 20 knots as headed up Matanzas River toward the Bridge of Lions at St. Augustine. We do not have to open this bridge and can clear it by lowering the antennas and mast... we planned to anchor outside the mooring field just south of the bridge.
We navigated through the mooring field and to a location outside the mooring field and close to shore and as close to the St. Augustine City Marina as possible so the dingy ride to walk Beecha would be minimal. We anchored... ate dinner... I took Beecha to land for a walk and we sat and watched TV... it was 2200 hours and a dinghy approached the stern shining a flashlight in the back door... I got up and went outside and to see what was what... the dinghy had two men on it from the St. Augustine City Marina and they were informing me that we could not anchor here and we would have to take a mooring ball... he said he had one ball left in the far southern end of the mooring field and we would have to take it and then come in to the marina in the morning to register and pay... I acknowledged him and we prepared to pull the anchor and move... :(
After raising the anchor I really did not want to try and navigate through the crowed mooring field so we headed back out toward the ICW and figured we would go a little further south and anchor in San Sebastian River. The marina hailed me on the VHF to tell me that I was not headed in the right direction to get the open mooring ball... I informed him that we were not taking the mooring and were heading further south to anchor. He apologized for having to ask us to leave where we were but that a boat near us on a mooring had complained to them that they feared we might drag anchor into them... I told him not to worry about it... this was first for us... getting kicked out an anchorage... :)
We proceeded back to the ICW and south to San Sebastian River and anchored just outside the channel off of St. Augustine Marine Center at approximate coordinates N29°52.561', W081°18.864'
Again the current was against us more than it was in our favor. We traveled for 12 hours and 45 minutes covering 80.57 nautical miles and averaging 6.32 knots.
Trip totals to date:
Distance: 1281.26 nautical miles
Hours: 201 hours 41 minutes
Avg Spd: 6.35 knots
Days not moving: 12