Tuesday, December 6, 2016

12/5 and 12/6 North from St. Augustine to St. John's River

12/5 We were up and ready to go real early.  The tide was going to be low slack tide at 6:28 a.m.  One issue at St. Augustine is that the current can be very strong.  The day before we saw many vessels struggle to leave the dock without hitting anything.  Also, if we needed to have the bridge open, it opened only every 1/2 hour and not on demand until 8:30 a.m.  We actually had to wait for first light.  But John had the coffee made.  We easily slipped away from the dock.  The height board on the bridge was 23 feet so we slipped under the bridge too. 
It was still dawn as we passed the St. Augustine Inlet and Light.
Because we got such an early start, we were at the St. John's Inlet in Jacksonville by about 11 a.m.  This home looked out over the inlet.  
We looked at the weather for the night and for 12/6.  We decided to keep going to our second stop in Jacksonville.  The mouth of the St. John's River is a very busy port.  We were followed in by an ocean going container ship.  Here we saw a huge dry dock with a ship being serviced.

Although it is a river,  the St. John's River is about 2 miles wide.  Eventually, Jacksonville came into view.  The arena of the Jacksonville Jaguars is on the water too.  We went directly to the Ortega River Marina.  Our plan is to stay here for a few days for weather; then we will travel further up the St. John's.  When we return this way, we will leave the boat here and fly from the Jacksonville airport for Christmas. 

It was a good plan to take some weather days.  During the night, the rain, thunder, lightning, and wind started.  It was a torrential rain that lasted until about noon.  On the news, they said they got 2 months of rain in 24 hours.  It gave the boat a good cleaning.   We went to Metro Diner for lunch.  They had been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  Both John and I had the turkey pot pie with a biscuit crust.   It was really good with plenty to take home for supper.  Eating local is one of the joys of the Great Loop.  I did 4 loads of laundry, including the sheets.

The Publix, CVS and a Stein Mart are just up the street too.  This is a very nice marina.  The people and services are very nice.  I am glad we are here.

Lat 30 degrees 16.54 North
Long 81 degrees 42.96 West

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