Lots of fog and rain in Green Cove Springs – we were socked in until Tuesday.  Here’s what a foggy FL sunset looks like.P1120191

I use the term “sunset” loosely – we haven’t actually seen the sun.  They might want to consider renaming it the UN-sunshine state.  Here’s what we saw of the St. John’s River on the way north to Jacksonville on Tuesday – nothing.


That’s the day we finally said good-bye Green Cove Springs. 


We’d met a lot of interesting cruisers there.  Lots of old timers.  Also a Dutch couple who have been across the Atlantic three times.  They call the trip from FL to the Bahamas a “hop,” not a “crossing” – that being reserved for the trans-Atlantic passage.  A gorgeous young couple from Brazil could have both been models.  They bought their boat in Annapolis and are just starting a circumnavigation, while they also learn to sail. 

We motored in the fog to Jacksonville, where there are bridges.  One high one and then a railroad bridge that is almost always open, like this.


But when we got close, Goldwin noticed a flashing red light, with a sign.  Binoculars helped us read:  “Caution,” which stayed on the screen for about 3-4 seconds, and then more words for not quite a second that we couldn’t make out – at first.  Then, like first graders, we both read slowly, in unison:  “Bridge closing.”  Yikes, turn around.  Down came the bridge and this tiny train crawled over.


Finally, the bridge went back up.


Next was the Main Street Bridge.  Normally open upon request, they were doing maintenance and it was only opening about four times a day.  We had to wait an hour – tied to a free dock in downtown Jacksonville, right next to Hooters.


Finally open:


We were headed for free floating docks east of the bridges and thought we’d found them, so we tied up and plugged in.  But we hadn’t found the free docks – we were at, possibly, docks for a condominium nearby.  Luckily nobody bothered us and we had a quiet night with free electric.  Nice.  Warm.

We left early – watched container ships being loaded:


From JAX, we headed east on the St. John’s river to where it intersects the Intercoastal Waterway, ICW, and turned south.  It was a long and very cold day down the ICW to St. Augustine.  [It’s easy to forget , sitting in a nice office in D.C. with hot and cold running water, that the trip is not all fruity rum drinks and beach bars.]  We stood outside and steered for almost 9 hours; a strong bitter north wind, mostly on our backs.  But no snow.


I’d brought some fleece jackets and other clothes for cold weather – and I put them ALL on.

Here’s a picture of a house I remembered from our 2013 trip north:


In case you can’t read the name on the wooden board tacked to the porch, it’s:  Basshole. 

So we arrived at St. Augustine last night – made the 4:30 opening of the Bridge of Lions and are on a mooring at the municipal marina.  Fortunately, we have a diesel heater.  We’re hoping for sun tomorrow. 

3 thoughts on “Starting South

  1. So… what was the story Goldie told you so you had to tie up at Hooters for a couple of hours?
    Enjoy the warm weather, it was 12 below two days ago when I headed to work.

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