Last blog was on the 13th…. MANATEES DAY!

From Titusville we made our way North to Daytona Beach to yet another marina … Halifax River Marina, we stayed there some 3 days to wait out bad weather…. That’s when Montreal got all that snow and New York 8 inches of rain in one day… a record !!!

Daytona Beach was a good place to get my restowing seriously underway so now all our dry goods are stored as previously explained and even our clothes are packed….. we have so much clothing on board it is insane…. We had some to start with from cruising on Lake Champlain then brought more as we started phase one to Baltimore and then more again when we flew down to Balto ….. I counted for myself only 26 short sleeve t-shirts, 13 long sleeve ones.. I did not know I owned that many… I probably wore the same 6 the whole time in the Bahamas!!!! David was not much better and I think he has more shoes on board than Imelda Marcos !!!! so it is a good thing we are renting a car to drive back as it is ALL going home and we will start fresh and hopefully streamlined next season!!!!

We left Daytona just as the sun was peaking over the landscape ... a beautiful crisp morning ...we bundled up with fleece and jackets but still in shorts and no socks ...after all this IS Florida!!!

The next leg of the trip, Daytona Beach to St. Augustine was uneventful… except for the fact that we were stopped and boarded by the Florida Law Enforcement.. (the cops), it was quite impressive, their boat followed us and as we slowed down one officer came on board , he asked to see the boat’s documents, asked about our safety gear, fire extinguishers, PFDs, VHF etc. but was most interested in our holding tank setup….we have a “Y” valve which was fortunately in the proper position ie to the holding tank and not overboard….

He said that it should be locked in that position… so I produced a little plastic tie and that made us all legal !!!! he was a nice chap and gave me permission to take his picture for our blog then called his partner to come and pick him up...

The weather had been great clear blue skies and a nice gentle breeze…. We arrived at St. Augustine Municipal Marina ...they did not roll out the red carpet but came pretty close with this blue mat... I think they were hoping we would buy it!!!

They are located just South of the Bridge of Lions…which was in a bad state of repair, so it was decided to redo it…. In order not to interrupt traffic, they first built a new bridge, a temporary one, then demolished the original bridge, they are now in the process of rebuilding it, as there are four small historic looking towers which belong to the original bridge which they wish to preserve and then they will tear down the temporary bridge…. WOW !!!

St Augustine is one of the oldest settlements in America, founded in 1565 by the Spanish, they have the oldest wooden schoolhouse in America… it is very quaint, charming and full of history…. We have promised ourselves to spend an extra day here next time and visit all the interesting sites.

We had a very good supper in a nice pub the “1A1” which had been recommended by a charming couple , Pat and Lloyd, who were walking the docks, looking at boats, as we all do… we then went in search of our ice cream place which was closed so off to bead early as we had another early start this morning.

This lovely cormorant was on our dock as we pulled away....doing what cormorants seem to do most of the time when they are not in the water...dry their wings!!!!

We have been underway since 0715 as we wanted to make the 0730 Bridge of Lions opening…failing to do so we would have been stuck until 0900 as it does not open during rush hour, we have been traveling in this smoke all morning ….

David finally asked one of the bridge masters what it was and we were told that there is a fire in GEORGIA !!!! Must be a very big fire ….I hope it is not where we are going!!!!!

This evening, we are planning to stop in Fernandina Beach and will most likely anchor as we did on the way down….sorry this is not more interesting …so I will stop for now as my eyes are stinging from the smoke.

We actually docked at the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina as we needed fuel and I picked up a brochure on Manetees.... the calves are 3 to 4 feet and weigh 60 to 70 lbs at birth.... now, that's some baby to push out but on the other end the mama is likely to be 13 feet long and could weigh as much as 3000 lbs... the pamphlet also said you should not touch them....ooops ! I hope my friend will not squeal on me.... after all SHE did turn on her back to have her belly rubbed!!

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