North of Jacksonville

April 29, Saturday, Day 19; St. Augustine to Jacksonville area

We left from our three day stay at River’s Edge Marina in St. Augustine this morning (with everything working!). Dirk took us out of the boat slip with some help from the marina and friends and we traveled north through the heart of St. Augustine that we’d visited few days earlier.

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The St. Augustine Bridge of Lions is a landmark but also controversial for boatersdue to the reduced opening schedule. It only opens every hour and a half to reduce traffic backups, but creating boating backups. Oh well… We came at the right time and didn’t have a problem.

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We passed the old fort as we traveled north.

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Initially it was quite windy and it was difficult to hold a course on the wide rivers north of St. Augustine. We passed the ocean inlet where a huge dredger was working.

Later it narrowed into a smaller river populated with similar docks in front of houses for quite a long stretch. When the left side of the river became wild, the homes on the right became fancier and the docks more elaborate, complete with bars, patio furniture, and multiple raised motor boats. (I was trying to image docks like this on Lake Boon.) There was one stretch of 6 miles with one of these homes after another. Now this is Saturday, and in all of those 6 miles we saw maybe 3 children and 10 adults. All that nice outdoor space and where is everyone? Perhaps there was an event in town (Point Vedra Beach).

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When we approached Jacksonville on St John’s River we encountered a strong current going under major bridges and then in the junction of a number of rivers as we moved north.

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I was disappointed that the Jacksonville water front isn’t on the ICW – I would have liked to see it – but it was getting toward mid afternoon and it wasn’t in our plans to take a side trip.

As we cruised up the ICW from the Jacksonville area the river (now Sister’s Creek) was a challenge to follow since the markers are far pretty apart. Unfortunately we ran aground in an area that looked to be in the ICW channel, with a result that the port propeller now shutters a bit. (Note: We were told that everyone runs aground at least once, but we hoped to beat the odds!). So off to a marina tomorrow to have it checked out and possibly switch propellers. Alas!

We are now anchored out in a quiet area off of Little Amelia River at the junction of Alligator Creek. Neat names – right?

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