June 14 Daytona to St. Augustine

Bob got up early and saw this beautiful sunrise.

We had only 50.2 miles to go to get to our final destination–St. Augustine–today.  It was another warm one with not a cloud in the sky.  As we left Daytona at 8:30, we passed under the beautifully designed Sea Breeze Bridge.  Note the artwork at the base of the pillars.

The waterway narrowed quite a bit, but it gave us an opportunity to look at all the interesting homes along the shore and then there was this!  We didn’t even think it was floating.

North of Ormond Beach the hull hit something hard at cruise speed with a big clunk!!  Yikes!!  We slowed down and looked behind us, but we couldn’t see a thing.  It may have been a high spot under the water??  A manatee??  Bob did notice it went from 10 feet to 6 feet in water depth, but that depth is usually not a problem for us.  Either way, the boat ran fine after that, but it sure scared us!! 

In a narrow section of the ICW, a catamaran sailboat was sitting broadside in the middle of the channel.  We slowed down to pass and saw a Border Patrol boat pull up behind us to check them out.  It wasn’t long before they pulled off at high speed with 4-300 Mercury motors on the back.  Bye-bye!

Around 11:30, we entered the dreaded Mantanzas Pass where shoaling is a constant problem and the current runs fast.

It’s always important to check the latest local knowledge authority to find out the current conditions for passage through it.  In the 4 other times we’ve come this way, we’ve always seen boats make mistakes and end up grounded.  We didn’t want to be one of those!  We motored very slowly and checked the water depths constantly.

Halfway along the passage, we saw the remains of the Ft. Matanzas.  It was once a Spanish outpost and is now a national monument.

We finally made it through without any problems.  Whew!  A dolphin came along to lighten the seriousness of our mood by jumping through our wake.  He was having fun and so were we watching him.  As we neared St. Augustine, we could see the familiar skyline in the distance.

The marina sat at the base of the Bridge of Lions.

As we neared the marina, we could see the distinctive black and white lighthouse.  The last time we were here, I took a tour of it and had a great view of the area from the top.

We pulled into the marina at 12:30 after a 4 hour ride. 

We took a slip near the bridge and got all tied up.  We rested in the AC before checking in at the marina office.

Bob went to check in and pick up the bilge pump switch that arrived by UPS today, while I took Auggie to shore.  We were all extremely hot and tired from the ride, so after we both returned to the boat, we settled in to relax a bit.  Bob had to cook our pork chops on the stove since a few stray showers moved in right about dinner time.  We got the boat closed up in time and had dinner.  By the time dinner was over, the sky had cleared and I was able to take Auggie for his evening walk.  We walked along the breakwater in town as the sky darkened.  We went back to the boat before it rained again and relaxed before calling it a night. After the rain, the sky turned orange and yellow with a beautiful sunset.

We’ll be here for 4 days so we have plenty of time to explore in the days to come.

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