St. Augustine to Vero Beach, Déjà Vu

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!

A view out the St. Augustine inlet later in the morning, minus the fog. What a difference!

A view out the St. Augustine inlet later in the morning, minus the fog. What a difference!

The shrimpers tie up to these "dolphins" (no, I don't know why they are called dolphins) to wait for the Bridge of Lions to open.

The shrimpers tie up to these “dolphins” (no, I don’t know why they are called dolphins) to wait for the Bridge of Lions to open.

 We were anchored off of two famous St. Augustine sights.

The Great Cross of St. Augustine

The Great Cross of St. Augustine

Castillo de San Marcos, the fort.

Castillo de San Marcos, the fort.

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

Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine

Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine

The top of Flagler College. We fondly remembered our tour of the college. Fascinating architecture.

The top of Flagler College. We fondly remembered our tour of the college. Fascinating architecture.

Cruising buddies always talk about the Sailors Exchange, so we walked to the other side of the city to check it out for ourselves.

A consignment marine shop – boat stuff everywhere!!! I had my eye on that orange Japanese glass float hanging from the ceiling. Sure would like nice with my other ones at home………. No can do –storage issues.

A consignment marine shop – boat stuff everywhere!!! I had my eye on that orange Japanese glass float hanging from the ceiling (top picture). Sure would look nice displayed with my other ones at home………. No can do –storage issues.

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.

Kindred Spirit and Hi-Flite anchored in St. Augustine

Kindred Spirit and Hi-Flite anchored in St. Augustine

Group selfie of Dale, Al, Cori, and me.

Group selfie of Dale, Al, Cori, and me.

Cori's homemade ("boatmaade"?) caramels

Cori’s homemade (“boatmade”?) caramels

 

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!!

In the early morning light, it is easy to think the board read instead of feet. Isn't it??

In the early morning light, it is easy to think the board read 18 feet instead of 19 feet. Isn’t it??The little tiny line below 17 is the 18 foot mark. The water is actually at 19 feet, but I could only see the top of the 19 which could look like 18 feet……………..

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.

It doesn't matter what the height is for this bridge! When a barge is coming through, you wait. Barges have first dibs.

It doesn’t matter what the height is for this bridge! When a barge is coming through, you wait. Barges have first dibs.

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??

Have to say that it was so neat to have friends come out to wave to us!! Bruce, Tracy, and Maggie May.

Have to say that it was so neat to have friends come out to wave to us!! Bruce, Tracy, and Maggie May.

Dinner guests on Kindred Spirit. What an enjoyable evening we all had catching up our news.

Dinner guests on Kindred Spirit. What an enjoyable evening we all had catching up our news.

 

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.

Broadway Bridge in Daytona - the only bridge with real artwork for us boaters to view.

Broadway Bridge in Daytona – the only bridge with real artwork for us boaters to view.

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…..

The Memorial Bridge in Daytona is a 21-foot bascule bridge. AND this time we did wait.

The Memorial Bridge in Daytona is a 21-foot bascule bridge. AND this time we did wait.

This tug is still docked here right on the ICW. WE looked closer this time and read the name, Tutahaco. She was a large harbor tug commissioned into the Navy in 1945, serving in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean for almost 30 years. Is it someone's home now? Love the Pink panther touch!

This tug is still docked here right on the ICW. WE looked closer this time and read the name, Tutahaco. She was a large harbor tug commissioned into the Navy in 1945, serving in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean for almost 30 years. Is it someone’s home now? Love the Pink panther touch!

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.

Sunrise over Daytona

Sunrise over Daytona

 

It is surprising to see so many abandoned boats along the sides of the ICW. Surprising and a little sad.

It is surprising to see so many abandoned boats along the sides of the ICW. Surprising and a little sad.

These were two of the cutest little boats. Very unique.

These were two of the cutest little boats. Very unique.

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.

This little spit of land extended some distance and was covered in pelicans.

This little spit of an island extended some distance and was covered in a pod of pelicans.

A closer look at the pelicans on that spit of land.

A closer look at the pelicans on this little island.

At the every end of this same spit of land, was one lonely white pelican. WE couldn't help but wonder if he was being ostracized or chose to have some alone time.

At the very end of this same island, was one lonely white pelican. We couldn’t help but wonder if he was being ostracized or chose to have some “alone time.”

The lighthouse at Ponce de Leon Inlet over the ICW.

The lighthouse at Ponce de Leon Inlet.

This was not a sight that we liked. As we passed an anchorage off to the side of the ICW, we noticed this Canadian sailboat. A closer look (we did recognize the name) and we saw that the American courtesy flag was upside down. Just don't see how that could be done by mistake.

This was not a sight that we liked. As we passed an anchorage off to the side of the ICW, we noticed this Canadian sailboat. A closer look (we did recognize the name) and we saw that the American courtesy flag was upside down. Just don’t see how that could be done by mistake.UPDATE: the very next day after I posted this blog, I saw this same boat in Vero Beach not far from our mooring. The US flag was flying properly, right side up. Soooo ….perhaps it had been s mistake. OR did the captain read my blog???? 😉

Dolphins are everywhere  in the ICW. And we are still enjoying them each and every time.

A few dolphin photos. This was all in one place - they're all around us!

These dolphins were  all in one place, around us! I decided it would be worth trying to take a few photos.

dolphins face

Look at the dolphin on the left!!!!!! First time I ever caught a photo of a dolphin’s face.

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.

Before the entrance to little Hauler Canal, we could see the Allenhurst (bascule) Bridge opening and closing over tree tops.

Before the entrance to little Haulover Canal, we could see the Allenhurst (bascule) Bridge opening and closing over tree tops.

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.

Entering Hauler Canal behind another trawler.

Taking the sharp right turn to enter Haulover Canal behind another trawler.

Hauler is known for great fishing. Since it was a Saturday, and a beautiful day, there was a whole lot of fishing going on - on the shore, in boats, in kayaks.

Haulover is known for great fishing. Since it was a Saturday, and a beautiful day, there was a whole lot of fishing going on – on the shore, in boats, in kayaks.

Good-bye Haulover Canal and Allenhurst Bridge!

Good-bye Haulover Canal and Allenhurst Bridge!

Sailboats behind us taking advantage of the good breeze. We do miss those moments of swiftly moving along in the quiet breezes.

Sailboats behind us taking advantage of the good breeze. We do miss those moments of moving along swiftly and quietly with the breezes.

The Kennedy Space Center off in the distance, but clearly visible from the ICW.

The Kennedy Space Center off in the distance, but clearly visible from the ICW.

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!”

Anthony scooted over by dinghy to say hello in person and snap a pic for Facebook.

Anthony scooted over by dinghy to say hello in person and snap a pic for Facebook.

Kindred Spirit anchored in Eau Gallie. We weren't that alone - there were plenty of sailboats there for the SSCA GAM.

Kindred Spirit anchored in Eau Gallie. We weren’t that alone – there were plenty of sailboats there for the SSCA GAM.

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.

There are many, many boats to oggle and gawk at on the ICW, and this one was definitely one of a kind. At least we thought it was one of a kind until we saw something very similar under construction just a short way ahead. Hmmm, anyone want a pirate boat of their very own?? ARGHH!

There are many, many boats to oggle and gawk at on the ICW, and this one was definitely one of a kind. At least we thought it was one of a kind until we saw something very similar under construction just a short way beyond. Hmmm, anyone want a pirate boat of their very own?? ARGHH!

The ICW can be quiet with just nature along each side.

The ICW can be quiet with just nature along each side.

And then there are some highly civilized sections

And then there are some sections where man has definitely had an impact.

 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.

Following the markers on the chart plotter looks like we will go under the bridge or hit the bridge.

Following the markers on the chart plotter looks like we will go under the bridge or hit the bridge.

Making our port turn towards the entrance to Vero City Beach Marina. Easy once you know what to expect.

Making our port turn towards the entrance to Vero City Beach Marina. Easy once you know what to expect.

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.

SYC boats an cruisers together again - AL, Michele, Sue, Dave, Marcia, and Dan.

SYC boats and cruisers together again – Al, Michele, Sue, Dave, Marcia, and Dan.

One thought on “St. Augustine to Vero Beach, Déjà Vu

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