Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sorry about the delay in return; Wednesday Edition

Ok, my bad. I have been slacking on this blog, and I know that there are nice readers who tune in daily for whatever I happen to be typing.

Last on the big trip story; We are in Guadeloupe, partying with Pierre Louis and others on our sailboats. I will return to that later...

Today is a a brief description of a decent weekend on the St Johns River. After the last post we cleaned up and packed an overnight bag. The Barco was going to be occupied, one way or another. The weather was getting cooler, and the grey clouds looked a bit ominous. No matter; A day on the boat beats a day in front of the tv.

Arrived at the boat about 1300, loaded up and untied lines. The boat was readied, fuel and fluids checked and decidedly prepared, we were. Started motors and pulled out with a Northerly wind pushing us off the dock. I managed to not hit any pilings and we were underway by 1400.

We passed NAS Jax and I decided to do a pass by of the Navy Jax Yacht Club, I knew they were preparing for the Change of Command to be held at 1900. I noticed some scurrying about but did not try to contact them. They would have tried to talk us into pulling in and joining the festivities. The winds were beginning to pick up and I decided to just pass by and head South.

This is an eagle that was actively hunting fish. He had just grabbed a skate, which turned out to be too large to carry. The skate broke free in flight and did a tumble crash into the water. Note the clouds.

We cleared out of the marina bound for either Collee Cove or Six Mile Creek. This would mean either anchoring or a dock, depending what the winds were doing.

Once again, we were practically alone on the river. There were maybe three other boats on the river, and they were sailboats enjoying the steady breeze. I was feeling a little envious, but I was in an enclosed flybridge and was not feeling any of the wind.

I was reading a little Florida history, and got this little tidbit about William Bartram, famous for exploring the St Johns river in 1775 of whom the Hwy 13 road is named "Bartram Trail". Interesting person, he was known to the Timucuan Indians as "Puc-Puggy", which meant 'Flower Hunter'. Bartram owned a plantation between Six Mile Creek and the East bank of the St Johns River. Too cool!

Puc-Puggy muddied his boots in this swamp! Trying always to be close to history, yes we am.

When we reached Green Cove Springs, we revelled in the clear skies that had opened for us. Funny how the weather will do this on the St Johns River, it will be overcast at Jacksonville but get twenty miles down range and it is a new day.

This is a look behind us:

We arrived as sun was setting and tied up at Outback Crab Shack finding an almost empty dock for our travels. The beautiful sunset was in the trees as a pair of couples walked by and looked us over curiously, but left us alone save one brave soul who had to ask what we were up to.

"Here for Dinner..."

Walked the 25 yard stretch to the restaurant, checked in and ordered. Two pounds of crab and a dozen oysters for SWWBO, while I had a burger and fries. Add the bar tab (another 25 bucks) and we did the whole experience for about 75 bucks. Not bad considering if we had docked at the St Augustine City Marina we would have been clipped for $80.00 just for dockage!

Returned to a warm boat where we started up the generator for heat and had a quick bottle of Montand for starlit nightcaps. We secured the genny and commenced snooze operations at 2100. We left a quarter bottle of bubbly up on deck, a most satisfactory Saturday night out on the town!

Reveille was promptly at the crack of 0730, a pot of coffee was started while we took in lines off the dock. Underway precisely at 0800, with the Spousal Unit undocking us with skill. We headed out to a sunshiny river while I was below making belgian waffles on the Presto Waffle Iron.

Here is a view from the flybridge of the River and the Shands (Green Cove Springs) Bridge;

As we traveled North, with a Southerly breeze following, the clouds started piling up and the weather began to look disagreeable. Our dock was getting a vicious little cross wind but I was determined to dock with one approach. I came in with our nose pointing about 45 degrees to the right and crabbing, but we managed to not hit any pilings. As soon as the port stern spring line was secured I straightened up the boat with a tiny goose on the starboard throttle.

We looked like experts, there. If only for a second.

Great weekend.

1 comment:

Buck said...

Great weekend.

No doubt. Great telling of it, too.