Grand Bahama to St Augustine Florida
Chris and Penny Manley
Mon 6 Jun 2016 17:50
We left Grand Bahama at 06.15 on Thursday 2nd June. We had decided to go to St Augustine, Florida as there was very little wind so we would be motor sailing most if not all the way, so we would be at sea for about 30 hours.
The motor/sail was as expected. We had routing information from Chris Parker, the weatherman, about the gulf stream. When we were in the main gulf stream we were doing 9-10 knots. Chris decided to change the route slightly which had the unfortunate effect of taking us out of the gulf stream and so we slowed up. Having anticipated we would arrive in St Augustine around lunch time, we actually arrived at 16.30!
The St Augustine Municipal Marina, where we had booked a place, is situated on the south side of the Bridge of Lions. The bridge is a bascule bridge which opens every half hour on the hour and the half hour. We arrived on the north side and knew that it doesn’t open at 17.00, so we would have an hour to wait, so we picked up on of the buoys that belong to the marina. Took us about 3 attempts as the current that runs through the waterway can get up to 4 knots. Eventually managed it. We then had to phone Customs and Border Protection to tell them we had arrived, and we have to go the following morning (Saturday) to physically check in and get our cruising permit. After this we will move into the marina.
Checking in took us two and a half hours from leaving the boat to getting back to the boat. It took us 20 minutes to find a taxi to take us out to the airport where CBP is based. We were at the airport for one and a half hours, and we were the only people checking in. We were warned that a plane was due in and that would take priority, but we were done before he arrived.
When we got back we got the boat ready for going into the marina. We went through the bridge at 15.30, which should have been slack water, but it was still running quite fast plus the wind had increased. But got into the fuel dock and then our slip without mishap, so we were pleased with that.
St Augustine is the oldest city in the US. It is a very pretty town, but things like supermarkets are a 10 minute taxi ride out of town. The town was established by the Spanish in 1565. It was invaded by Sir Francis Drake in 1586, and then by pirates about 80 years later. Florida has been under British control, Spanish control, and in 1845 Florida became the 27th state of the Union. In the 1960’s St Augustine played a major role in the Civil Rights and Equality movement.
originally the Ponce de Lion Hotel, now a Liberal Arts College.
The wild life in the marina, an egret fishing. The water is being churned up by fish