When we awoke in St. Augustine, a little later in the morning of the dreaded fog experience, the channel looked entirely different. I would have said “easy-peasy” if it had been daylight!
We were anchored off of two famous St. Augustine sights.
Ready to stretch our legs, we dinghied in to St. Augustine for a short visit. In 2013 we had thoroughly enjoyed our time here and explored almost everything. If you are interested in our thoughts about St. Augustine, just take a look at that older entry “St. Augustine, a City of History“
Cruising buddies always talk about the Sailors Exchange, so we walked to the other side of the city to check it out for ourselves.
Remember Hi-Flite, the welcoming vision that arose out of the fog as we anchored nearby? We compared voyages so far and future plans at our own little happy hour. We had met Cori and Dale this past summer at a picnic in Connecticut. They live aboard Hi-Flite and were cruising our New England waters.
Cori makes the most delicious caramels I have ever tasted – they should be illegal based on their addictive nature. She gave us some. Al only had one because I hid the others and ate them all myself. Is it possible that this could replace my Dove chocolates addiction????
We pulled up anchor at first light and nearly had our first fight of the entire voyage. Bridges can cause anxiety, but I thought those days were over now that we no longer have that big 58-foot stick (translate for dirt dwellers – mast on sailboat.) On the other hand, there can be more anxiety with the trawler because we now check the height of the bascule and swing bridges to see if we fill fit underneath without requesting an opening. With a sailboat there was no question and no “discussion” – you waited for the opening.
We missed the 7:00 am opening for the Bridge of Lions, officially listed as a 25 foot clearance. The Captain assured the Admiral (me) we could fit under the bridge. But the water was high, so as we approached, I took a photo with my camera and zoomed in on the picture so that I could read the board – No way, Captain!! 18 feet plus 4 more feet at the center equals 22 feet. We had measured and made a note on the flybridge that we needed 24 feet. The Captain tells the Admiral that our 24 feet includes a “buffer foot.” We will be ok – just watch as we get closer so that he can quickly turn about if it doesn’t look possible. The Admiral was not happy, 23 feet is still more than 22 feet. In the end, we were ok, IF you do not mind hearing your antennae scrape along the underside of a bridge. That’s a close call of the closest kind. Hindsight: I misread the board – it was actually 19 feet plus the 4 feet, equaling 23 feet. I declared that since the Captain had made his decision based on the information given, he was still wrong. Just lucky that my information was off by a foot!!
Anyway, we kissed and made up, and continued on. We were on our way to Vero Beach for Thanksgiving. From St. Augustine, that would take 3 days of 5-10 hours each day of traveling in Florida’s ICW. St. Augustine to Daytona. Daytona to Cocoa. Cocoa to Vero Beach. The plan was to anchor at Daytona Beach for the night.
Speaking of bridges, we passed below or through quite a few over these three days. Some high, some low, some just right.
Al got an email from our Bahama friends, Bruce and Tracy, who now live in Florida – perfect timing! As we passed their condo, which is directly on the ICW, they came out to wave. Their trawler, Miss Maggie lives at a dock just behind their building. What more could you want??
We made arrangements to have dinner together on board Kindred Spirit that evening in Daytona. Although it took us several more hours to reach the anchorage, it was only a 30-minute drive for Bruce and Tracy.
On our way south to Daytona, we enjoyed passing under the 65-foot highway bridge, Broadway Bridge (also known as Speedway Bridge) again. This bridge is a bridge with flair and style. The artwork on the bridge supports is made of mosaic panels, all in tiles ranging in size from 10 centimeters to 3 3/4-inch, featuring manatees, dolphins, and other nature scenes. I photographed it the last time, but couldn’t resist taking pictures again.
Lee Pharr, the designer, described the story of the mosaics, “The bridge rises and falls so we started with the marine life at the bottom of the bridge and progressed over the bridge with the plant life and animal life. We ended up with the eagle at the top of the bridge.” We have never seen the mosaic work on the upper part of the bridge where cars and people travel, just the lower supports. Maybe someday…..
With the clocks turned back now, a day of traveling can begin a little sooner (6:30 am for sure) but the light is gone much too soon. We try to be anchored by 4:30 – 5:00 pm.
Pelicans everywhere. A group of pelicans is called a squadron, pod, or a scoop.Or in this case, it looked like a convention, in human terms.
Dolphins are everywhere in the ICW. And we are still enjoying them each and every time.
Haulover Canal is always fun to transit. It is a manmade piece of the ICW that connects Mosquito Lagoon with the Indian River. It’s a short but nice little passage in the midst of the ICW.
Haulover Canal was a natural location for Native Americans and settlers to portage or “haul over” canoes and boats between the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon, two larger water regions. The first canal was hand dug by slaves and was only 3 feet deep. It was deepened and widened twice more in 1884 and the 1920s until the Army Corps finally blasted the coquina rock to its current depth.
We reached Cocoa too early to stop for the day, so we continued on to Melbourne (always have a back-up plan and be flexible.) We anchored in the Eau Gallie anchorage along with all of the sailboats attending the Seven Seas Cruising Association’s GAM (rather like a conference for cruisers, on the water.) We surprised our friends on Magnolia by anchoring just ahead of them and then calling to say hello. When we were asked where we were now, Al replied, “Right in front of you!”
Last day of the journey to Vero Beach was a shorter day. We had already done a 6.5 hour day , followed by a 10-hour day, so we expected to be in Vero within 5 hours.
The approach to the Vero Beach City Marina was disconcerting the first time we arrived here. You know it is supposed to be there, somewhere, but it feels like you are going to hit the bridge before you can make the turn into the little harbor. It’s not as bad as it looks on the chartplotter. Gotta trust your eyes more than the plotter.
And here we are – a wonderful déjà vu! Rafted together again on a mooring in Vero Beach with Cutting Class and san cles. Just like 2013, we are having an SYC reunion. We are going to have FUN.