We were lucky enough to have an America’s Great Loop Cruiser’s Association (AGLCA) fellow member in the next slip. We met Jacquelyn on the vessel “Elske” and chatted about moving north. They are from Fort Myers here in Florida and heading to Chesapeake Bay for their end destination this year. Next summer the Trent Severn and the north country are on their destination list. We exchanged boat cards (business cards with our names, boat and contact info). Hopefully we will meet up again sometime on our travels. Leaving the St. Augustine Marina we decided to fuel up with diesel not knowing what is available north of here due to the hurricane in November. The marina is a difficult one to maneuver in and out of due to wind and close quarters.
We set out on a hot breezy day. We fit nicely under the Bridge of Lions in St.Augustine. There was some slower driving areas along our route today but they had beautiful homes and boathouses to see. Also, we have noticed that there are fewer dolphins and pelicans as we head north. The buoys are in place now since the dredging has been done. In some places there are more buoys and deeper water So that’s a bonus.
We have set our sights on Jacksonville, FL as a stopover. They have a free dock available for 72 hours. Prior to Jacksonville we approach St. John’s Inlet where we notice currents have picked up. Not a lot for us as we have traveled the Niagara River but for those not used to it it might be unnerving. Upon approaching St. John’s inlet to the ocean we see some large homes and a few more boats. A Coast Guard boat is patrolling as well. The winds have started to pick up by this point.
It was a non eventful boating day and we found the free dock on the ICW. For those that wish to stop here it is NOT the dock right after the causeway with the boat ramp. This dock only has about a 7.5 ft high tide clearance. So at low tide you’ll only have about 3.5 feet under you. If you go further north along the ICW about 2 minutes there is a small inlet where a substantial dock awaits you. The depth of the water is approx. 17 ft at high tide. The tide fluctuates normally around 3 feet here so there is lots of water under your belly. Keep the slow speed manatee zone to your starboard on your way in. We went in about 6 pillars and had lots of depth. The area around is great for dogs but that is about it. This used to be a marina that the city purchased way back and now offers restrooms, walking paths that lead to no where and a great dock. We are thankful for it in these 20 mph easterlies.
We don’t have much to do after wandering around so we work on the next few nights that will be someplace around Jekyl Island, in Georgia.