Wednesday, March 16, 2011

If we leave this early will they still call us snowbirds?

After crossing Shuttle Launch off our bucket list we pulled away from Titusville still shocked and amazed that we had seen Discovery fly.  Unfortunately it was really time to finish up our stay in Florida and begin to get up the coast.  As we started to think back on it, we could not believe that we had been in Florida for FOUR months.  When you think that this trip will take us a year it is sort of strange to think we gave up that much time to just one state.  This figure of four months is actually skewed by the fact that we stopped for a month in Marathon, we have come to learn that the locals consider this a whole different country.  None the less we think it is time to try out another state.  After leaving Titusville we stopped in two great anchorages, first being Rockhouse Creek and then Fort Matanzas.  What was amazing at both of these anchorages was that the landscape and vegetation had begun to change in such a way that it was beginning to feel more like home to us.  We loved looking at the moors as we sat on Blues top deck and watched the sun go down.  When we anchored off of Fort Matanzas we were right by the ferry path that takes the visitors to the fort.  As we were concerned that we were in the way, we asked the Ranger if we were ok.  She promptly told us we were fine and we even received several compliments on our boat from visiting tourists.  I couldn't resit saying how excited I was that we had finally found a group of tourists in Florida with good taste.  Let's just say that went over like a fart in church.   That night a huge wildfire burning in the area was choking us and leaving ash all over our boat.  We began to wonder if it was so smart to be there but thankfully a heavy rain came and the wind shifted allowing us breath a little better.  From the fort we had a short run up to St. Augustine.  A friend of the family kindly let us stay at the St. Augustine Marine Center where we were a short walk to downtown St. Augustine.  Amazed and pleased is a great way to describe how we felt to be in such a wonderful historical town.  The architecture and history were a most welcome sight.  After walking around the first day we decided to do the ultimate touristy thing and ride one of the trolleys.  The trolley was well worth it as we got to listen to the history of the area and visit some of the museums.    St. Augustine is a stop not to be missed.  Epping Forest Yacht Club was our next stop.  We had met a wonderful couple in Canada on a boat named Benelle.  I had actually helped fix their dingy engine which had fallen victim to the dreaded affects of Ethanol.  We had kept in contact and they invited us to stay at their absolutely beautiful yacht club.  The people who worked and lived at and around the yacht club were amazingly welcoming to us and once again renewed our faith in the boating community.  Josh and Jan were the ultimate hosts and had us over to dinner and drinks as well as lending us their truck to borrow for a day of sightseeing and provisioning.  Besides their company the best gift they gave us were some wonderful fresh bagels  as we were saying our goodbyes.  It is hard in the south to find any place with bagels.  From here we hit our last stop in  Florida- Fernandina Beach.  We were originally going to anchor off of Cumberland Island but the winds were so strong we decided to head in and we were glad we did as Fernandina is a wonderful little community.  We heard the best time to be here is at the end of April for the Shrimp Festival but you better get there early as is is a big crowd.  On our run up to Fernandina we learned that it is no joke about following the Magenta sailing line and going on a rising tide.  Drawing a little less than four feet we more than once bumped and pushed our way along the bottom.  To our friends behind us who draw more than us- Hug the Magenta and go on a rising tide.  Well the time has finally come for us to say Good Bye to Florida and Hello Georgia, the temperature is dropping and the winds are picking up but we are excited to be headed home.

If you painted this Lighthouse white we could have been on Nantucket

It was amazing to watch a pod of dolphins swim through the anchorage at sunset

This cloud of smoke was from the brush fire burning near by

View of Fort Matanzas from our boat

The old streets of St. Augustine are beautiful with the moss hanging off the trees

On our trolley tour we went to the old jail.

Old historical downtown St. Augustine

Many weddings take place in this famous courtyard

These wonderful fountains can be found throughout the city

Check out the amazing landscaping
This old store has been around since the beginning of the city

There are many beautiful churches in downtown

This winery has a great tasting to enjoy for free at the end of the tour
Anna fell in love with this fountain and said if she ever lives in the south she wants one like it

The buildings on the right are a part of Flagler College

You can't see it from this angle.  Behind these trees is the College pool and sand volleyball court
The Walrus.  This boat is beyond belief.  Custom made at the St. Augustine Marine Center.  She is for sale, check her out on Yacht world.

Can you say repower. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

These St Augustine fishing trawlers are also built here at the St. Augustine Marine Center.  You should see the mold for this hull.  It is just huge!

With a 250 ton railway here, it seems no boat is to small.

This guy was getting repowered.

These Transmissions are almost three feet in diameter.

One of the molds for the St Augustine Trawler.
The view of St. Augustine from the ICW

This cross in downtown St. Augustine is actually taller than the arch in St. Louis

You see all kinds of things on the ICW

You have to hang one of these from your ICW man cave

The St. John river that takes you up to Jacksonville is a true shipping port

This is just one of the big boys that we passed on the St. John

As you leave the boat and head up to the Epping Yacht Club this is the beautiful front view of the mansion

The plantings around the Yacht club are beautiful

This is the front entrance to the beautiful mansion at Epping Forest

The estate was once owned by the Dupont family.  This building housed a perpetual motion machine that was designed by one of the Duponts.
These gates guard the boats

No detail is spared at this yacht club.  This is the base to the flag pole

Our hosts in Jacksonville- Josh and Jan

You can actually smell the coffee in the air as you come past this plant in Jacksonville

I guess this is where the big boys get their work done.
For some unknown reason Anna was drawn to this fellow

Downtown Fernandina

This Pirate guards the downtown of Fernandina

Crossing these train tracks going into Fernandina Beach reminded me of crossing the tracks at good old G-burg

Our final shot as we leave a Florida Marina for Georgia


  1. Great photos, nice write-up. Thanks!

  2. If it isn't on your list already you've got to hit Oriental NC. I don't know why but it's a great little town.