Florida....at last! Mile 778.6 ICW

Melvyn Brown
Wed 22 Dec 2010 21:47

29:53.5N 81:18.6


We left Brunswick on Monday morning with the intention of anchoring for two - possibly three - nights en route to St Augustine.  As we were motoring Melv claimed to have spotted white pelicans (native to Florida) and which we had previously decided would surely mark the start of the sunshine, however as we were still in Georgia I said he had imagined them and his case wasn’t helped by the fact we saw hundreds more brown pelicans, but no more white ones.  He accused me of being miffed because he had spotted them first.  On Monday night we anchored only a couple of miles from the state border and soon after we set off the next morning I trumped his white pelican….big time!












Our first view of The Sunshine State wasn’t quite how we imagined it would be (see picture).


We anchored for a second night just off the ICW channel, behind a patch of reeds which offered the opportunity for some bird watching.  We were poring over the book trying to identify them when we suddenly noticed the wind had changed direction and Zarafina had been blown onto the mud without us noticing!  The anchor was rapidly pulled up and we moved to the centre of the channel.  That’s how quickly it can happen.  Apparently if you run aground in the Florida Keys the authorities charge you to have a survey done to establish if you have damaged the bottom and for any reparation.  Possibly another example of Florida not actually wanting boaters.


Anyway we have ticked off: Kingfisher (they only have one); Little Blue Heron; Tricolour Heron; Great Egret; Snowy Egret; Great Blue Heron; Osprey (complete with fish in its talons) and – yes – white Pelicans!







As we set off this morning a Wharram self-build catamaran pulled out of an anchorage just ahead of us.  Melv always fancied building one, I always thought of it as the MFI of boats.


Today we motored down a very long, straight canal.  What a relief not to have to be checking buoys, depths, channels etc.  One side was expensive houses, the other “Cabbage Patch Swamp”.  There were some houses with For Sale signs – but not as many as we saw in South Carolina, for instance, which is perhaps surprising because Florida is at the top of the league for “Below The Water Line” property prices (negative equity to us).  There were canal side building plots for sale too and we saw the foundations being laid for large properties on two adjacent sites.


We arrived in St Augustine early this afternoon and having enjoyed a long, hot (and much needed) shower, we are now ready to hit the town.  It really does look very interesting from the water. 


One of the boats in the marina is skippered by a chap Melv last met up with in St Johns, Newfoundland.  My goodness what a lot of rope pulling tales they will have to swap!