Wednesday, April 11, 2007

December 19

December 19. On our way by 0700. Hauling the new anchor has been a labor of love, it bites the bottom hard and brings up a bucket load of whatever the bottoms made of. Christy drives the boat forward while I take in the slack with the anchor windlass and wash the chain with the anchor wash down pump. We make an efficient team deploying and recovering the anchor.

Today’s trip was a long motor sail all the way to Saint Augustine. We made good time in spite of adverse current for more than half the day. The bridges today were treacherous as the current was ripping through against us as we went under 3 of them. At the first one when Non Linear was about half way through his boat suddenly veered hard to port and at first I thought maybe he fell asleep at the wheel, but then I realized just how fierce the current was. When it was our turn we were making good progress but the current practically stopped us dead, adding power was frustrating as the boat slowly made its way forward against the water. At the second 2 bridges I stayed back a little further and let John get out of the way before we came through as fast as Veranda could go.

Entering the harbor in front of the Castillo de San Marcos has been a goal of mine for a great many years and to finally accomplish this under sail was very gratifying. We circled a few times to check the depths of the spots available to us. After anchoring we decided that we really didn’t have enough room to swing about because of the proximity of the other boats so we raised anchor and picked a new spot. There’s a lot of room near a huge steel ketch rigged boat in the center of the anchorage so we picked a spot near her stern and dropped the anchor again.

Anchoring now is very different than anything we were used too back in New Jersey. Most of the anchorages are very much influenced by current flow and a good anchor set is crucial. Every six hours the boats in the anchorage all slowly turn about and face the current in unison as if guided by some unknown choreographer.

After the boat was well set we dinghied into town and took a quick tour of the town with the dogs. We didn’t dilly dally as we wanted to see how the boats around us were going to be swinging at the next change of tide at 2150 hours.

All went well and we retired happy in knowing that we didn’t have to be up at the crack of dawn to follow “that guy”.

Boat name of the day was a power boat named Ophelia Phanny. Odd lot, those power boaters.

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