Where were you 40 years ago? Spring break, Daytona Beach 1977 on a bus tour from Stout Menomonie WI to Daytona Beach. Fast Forward: Daytona area 2017 . Cruising the ICW on a Mainship Trawler!
Who knew all the adventures those 40 years would bring.
Our route kept us on the ICW side of the beaches; quiet, no traffic, empty hotels and piers. We didn’t cross to the Atlantic beach side, but the area brought back memories as we cruised through.
April 16 and we are cruising toward northern Florida.
This ICW winds through connecting rivers- Indian River, Ponce De Leon River, Haulover canal, and Halifax River. Occasionally a straight cut connects two rivers and we cruise through a narrow ditch with docks and homes on both sides. The route requires all eyes on the buoys to avoid leaving the channel and going aground. Occasionally we hear a radio call to Sea Tow from a boat that did just that.
HAULOVER CANAL AT PONCE DE LEON INLET
One spot was particularly interesting- so nice to see folks enjoying the water- fishing, kayaking, families boating. The canal that connected two rivers as moved further east was called Haulover Canal. It went under a lift bridge and gave us multiple sightings of dolphins and manatee.
READING ON BOARD
The laundry is typically the spot for marina book exchanges. Its hard to resist a random summer read. A few books read along the way… The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, The Bourne Enigma by Robert Ludlum; Nora Roberts books and even Lee Child’s Jack Reacher – Never Go Back. The book shelf is full, plus a few downloaded from our local library keeps the supply going.
St Augustine Easter Weekend
Visit our “Historical district” is becoming the common theme at towns along the coast. We have noticed that grocery stores are usually not located in “historical districts”. It was about 1.5 miles hike to a Publix, with the bonus of a West Marine next door. After shopping, we called for an Uber ride to get back to the marina. St Augustine is the nations oldest city. The historical notes reflect the Spanish settlers, Pirates, the Revolutionary war, colonial times , civil war, and more.
HISTORIC GEORGE STREET
The oldest wooden school house is on display here. It was hard to determine if it was original or replica- very good condition!
Despite a fire that destroyed many buildings years ago , St Augustine has been able preserve or replicate a colonial era downtown district. Dinner at O.C . Whites we met a few other boaters at the next table who recruited us to join the MTOC (Marine Trawler Owners Association) – a boating club that provides resources and discounts for cruisers all along the coast.
Too many historic sights to choose from; we found just walking around and people watching was a good choice. Many attractions have ticket prices of $12 to $40; at risk of sounding cheap – we need to pick and choose what museum, sight or tour gives the most bang for the buck. The pirate cruise looked very popular- The crew put on a colorful and entertaining pirate show prior to departure. If we weren’t on our own boat, I would be buying a ticket to the Pirate boat!
BRICKS AND MONUMENTS
The south loves their monuments and statues! Here is Henry Flagler in front of his building. He built the railroad to Key West and was instrumental in development of the area in the early 1900’s.
Bricks must have been big business ; and today recycled bricks would be valuable. Many bricks have the mfg imprinted on them. Bricks make up streets and buildings on every block. Even new buildings are being faced to look old. And old buildings are being repaired with red bricks to match the old.
We could easily spend more time in St Augustine. Moving along and taking advantage of cruising the rivers with perfect weather makes more sense. There is a long list of historical cities to visit over the next few months!
As usual, we will follow this stay at a marina with a few nights at anchor. Hoping to get a better feel for anchoring with tides- and knowing how much rode to lay out in anticipation of the 7 foot tide swing. Stay tuned!