Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Friday-Sunday, November 22-24, 2013

November 22nd

We woke up this morning in Palm Cove Marina and both of us expected to see Al and Colette.  To our dismay, we remembered that they are on the train heading home to Connecticut. :((  We checked the tide chart and knew that we would have plenty of water in the channel around 8 am.  So we planned on leaving as soon as I called to make reservations for a mooring ball at the south field at St Augustine. Once again, we knew the winds were expected to blow strong again Saturday through Sunday and we didn't want to take the chance of anchoring.  Unfortunately the balls at the south field were all reserved as well as all the docks at the municipal dock.  They did have a few mooring balls available at the north field but that area is open to the St Augustine Inlet and I was told it would be very, very rough!  I reserved a ball for 3 nights as a backup while I called other marinas.  Dick from Willoway had mentioned weeks ago that Camanchee Cove Yacht Harbor was a great place to I called....and yes they could accommodate us for 3-4 nights. 

Great, now I need to remember to cancel the mooring ball sometime today.  We motored out of the channel at 8:30 planning on a 28 mile day to St Augustine.  What a glorious, sunny day.  So different than the gloomy, rainy day on Wednesday!  The best part of today was motoring down the Cabbage Swamp Canal...and then bump....where did that come from?  Who would have thought we'd find land in the middle of the 15 foot deep canal? It happened so quick that we hit, popped over, and continued on before we could do anything!  This canal is 10 miles long.

At the beginning of this stretch, the homes on the east side were spectacular! As we progressed further south, the older, smaller, houses prevailed.  Across from the homes on the west side of the canal is nothing but the Cabbage Swamp. The Cabbage Swamp is named after the cabbage palmetto.  Native Indians came to this swamp to collect  the cabbage palmetto because it was a source of food for them.


Soon we approached the Vilano Beach Bridge.  We had to exit the ICW just north of the bridge and proceed  west into the clearly marked channel of Camachee Cove at around 1:15.  The dock master put us in a 60 foot dock between two 60 foot yachts.  Boy do we look tiny!!  This is a very big marina with 3 different
shower/washer/dryer facilities.  It also has a lounge, a marina store, a pool, and the Kingfish Grill.  We walked around to get some exercise and to check things out.  Not sure how much per foot this place charges.  Hopefully not more than $1.80 a foot. Many of these marinas give 10-20% discounts for having a Boat US membership. 

The walk to the Kingfish Grill and the pool by the grill.
Picnic tables at Kingfish Grill
Happy Hours II in the background!
Our plans for tomorrow are to visit St Augustine.  My one and only trip here was with my family when I was about 13 years old.  The only thing I remember is visiting the fort!  Hopefully we can catch a bus or walk.


November 23rd
The thorn between two roses in the background!
After breakfast, we grabbed the backpack and walked the circumference of the huge marina over to the 'First Mate' marine store.  Chuck wanted to buy a spare filter and FSR. (Al do you remember what this cleaner is really called? LOL) While there, I asked the gentleman about taking a bus or walking into town.  He got a map and routed an easy way to get into St Augustine.....2 miles....which will probably turn out to be more like 4 miles.  Before it was all said and done, this guy gave us his wife's personal VIP card to get 2-$20 trolley passes for free.  We walked to the Historic Trolley Station which was 1 mile and got our 2 passes but they were actually $35 each!!  What a deal and what a nice man!!

We rode the trolley for almost the entire 1.5 hour circuit to scope out what we might want to see. We finally decided to exit the trolley at the Castillo de San Marcos fort to walk around.  From there, we walked through the historic district and down King St because we wanted to go to the San Sebastian Winery for its free wine tasting.  The last trolley left the town at 4:30, so we made sure to pick up the trolley at the winery around 4:00.  This is a great way to see the highlights of the city. The trolley drivers are very knowledgeable about the city's history.  When you purchase a ticket, you can ride the trolley for 3 consecutive days. 

Other sites in St Augustine
City Gates
First School House

                 City Market
Lightner Museum
Casa Monica

Ponce De Leon Hotel
Ponce De Leon Hotel
now Flagler College

Henry Flagler
Gate to the Flagler College
Fountain at the Flagler College

                               Pictures of San Sebastian Winery!

On our walk back to the marina from the trolley station, we decided to walk to the highest point on the Vilano Beach Bridge.   What an awesome view to the north and south on the ICW, as well as east to Vilano Beach and the ocean! After getting back to the boat and relaxing, we walked the circumference of the marina again for fish and chips at the Kingfish Grill.  The mahi-mahi was excellent!!

Looking north on the ICW
Looking south on the ICW

Looking east toward the ocean
Sitting in the cockpit and ready to call it a day, we are being entertained by the reggae band that is playing at the marina's Marlin Club.  It can't get much better than this...good food, balmy temperatures, and great music!!  To top the day off right, our friends from mv/Mighty Fine called to see where we were and to let us know that they just had pulled in this afternoon at Rivers' Edge Marina on the San Sebastian River....1/2 mile from the St Augustine historic district.

November 24th
Boy did the winds blow last night...and they are still blowing like stink!  This is expected all day...25-30 kts.  We decided to see if we could get the courtesy car and go to Walmart shopping.  When we walked to the office, we found out that the car was available for anytime today.  What luck!  We took it immediately and had it for an extra 15 minutes.  All we had to do was get it back to the marina by 2:00 and put some fuel in it.  The gal manning the office gave us a map with directions which turned out to be a right, a short left, a right and another left.  This took us out and around the historic part of St Augustine to the plazas. 

On our way, there were 4 people walking along the road.  I turned to look and here it was Brian and Jane from sv/Mar-a-Lago and Craig and Donna from mv/Mighty Fine.  They had pulled in yesterday up the San Sebastian River at Rivers Edge Marina.  This marina is suppose to be 1/2 mile from the historic area of St Augustine.  We pulled over and offered them a lift but they wanted to walk.  It was great to see them again!  I think the last we were together was in the Solomans.  Jane and Brian were planning on staying at this marina through Thanksgiving but Craig and Donna were leaving tomorrow for Palm Coast. 

We made it to Walmart and back and put $10 in the tank.  Since we still had quite a bit of time left, we stopped at the Trolley Station to buy tickets for the Holly Trolley ($9 ea) tour tonight, and then we decided to drive over the Vilano Beach Bridge.  Once over to the barrier island, we found a parking lot for the closest beach.  We wanted to see what the ocean was was really rough!  People were in their cars parked out on the beach just watching the waves crashing onto the sand.  When we checked, it was almost 2:00 and time to take the car back to the marina and stow our provisions.

After I finished doing the laundry, we bundled up with all intentions on walking back to the Trolley Station.  While walking around the circumference to get to the road, I had a brilliant idea!  Let's check to see if the car is available.  The office was just getting ready to close, but the car was just sitting there!  We checked it out and were told since we were the last of the day, we could bring the car back whenever!!

We picked the shuttle bus up at the trolley station where it shuttled us to the Visitor's Center.  Here's where we got in line and were given our special glasses, official sticker, coupons, and the Holly Trolley.  The glasses were really cool....they made the lights look like snowflakes.  The trolley was all decked out with white lights and the driver dressed for Christmas with Christmas music playing for us to sing along with!  What a fun night!  St Augustine had their official lighting ceremony the night before and this was the first night of the Holly Trolley.   Imagine....6 car loads of people caroling while riding up and down the roads with funky glasses on their faces and shouting "Merry Christmas" to everyone we passed...and we were only one of the many trolleys!! It was fabulous.  St Augustine boasts to having the most Christmas lights on display.  There are over 2 million white lights.  At one stopped, we were given hot or cold cider and a huge sugar cookie.  It definitely was a fun night, even though it was a bit chilly when the wind blew from the direction of the water.

Once back to the care, we were ready to high tail it to our boat and turn the heater on and eat some hot soup!!

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see you guys are in "sunny FL".
    Happy Thanksgiving!