2000, December 09-10 Golf and Power Boats
"December 9, 2000 - St. Augustine to Palm Coast"
After we leave St. Augustine, I saw a kingfisher and dolphins, and saw a great white heron catch a fish.
There is a helicopter swooping over the river like a dragonfly. Later I hear the CG talking to "Auxillary Aircraft". Wonder if the helo was it.
There's a schooner named PILGRIM back there where the helo is. She soon catches up to us when we slow up for the Crescent City Bridge. Bridge tender says he has us "in view" when we call, and estimates that we are 8 minutes out.
Bob pulled the jib in for the bridge and then put it back out, but the wind died. At 2:45 we are at the 790 mile mark and we have to get to 803, hopefully by 5, but the current is against us.
Tow Boat US sped by, and then stopped at Matanzas Inlet. We felt our way through carefully while they apparently waited hopefully for us to go aground. After we were through, PILGRIM, who had been following us, passed.
We are buzzed by power boats. They speed by, and turn around and speed back. We don't provide much fun for them - we make no wake waves to jump.
A tug without a tow named BIG ROY from Tampa passes us. (Bob says it's not really a tug, it's a really big trawler .)
I see an osprey on a dead tree. Later see quite a number of them, including one that flew by with a fish in its claws. Initially I thought they were bald eagles, but they have a black eye stripe. I also saw a pale grey and tan wading bird that I can't identify in the bird book - maybe a reddish egret.
When we pass Marineland Marina, it looks deserted. There are "No Trespassing" signs, and one that says the marina is closed as of 8/1/99.
We call Palm Coast Marina, and are told that they are going to have to put us on the fuel dock because they have no more space. I'm really miffed because we did make a reservation. Also it initially looks as if the advertised amenities (phone, cable, electricity) are not going to be available. They do get us cable and electricity, but not phone. They say there is a data port in the hotel.
PILGRIM has gotten there before us, and they've put them on the pool dock by the entrance. They are bigger than we are and wouldn't fit on the fuel dock. The marina people say that they are having a parade of boats the next day and some people have come in for it and some have unexpectedly stayed over. We tie up after 25.3 miles at 5.3 mph and 856 nm.
We call our son, but the connection isn't good. The transmission is throwing some fluid, and I ask the CSY group about it via email. Someone recommends transmission sealer.
They say that the hotel has reasonable meals, so we walk over there. The early bird specials (before 6) are pretty reasonable - we both had prime rib and it was about $12.00 @. The regular prices were twice as much. The patrons were a mixture of groups in wheelchairs, and families with children about 8-10 years old.
I dropped two rolls of film off, and used the data port in the pay phone to download e-mail. As I was doing that there were two young teens there (15) and I asked them what there was to do around there, and they said nothing. I said well why have a hotel here? They said there were **8** golf courses in the immediate development.
"December 10, 2000 - Palm Coast to Port Orange"
It was VERY foggy this morning.
Bob was up by 6:45 (the marina opens at 7), and I was up and dressed by then. Bob doesn't really want to leave in the fog. We get fuel and ice, and then I used their phone to get pocketmail because the pay phone refuses to talk to the pocketmail device. It will only download headers, not bodies.
We finally leave, but viz is really bad. Bob proceeds slowly. SEABIRD, a Mainship from Jacksonville comes up behind us but doesn't pass. A boat named SEADUCTION with a scuba flag painted on it does pass and SEABIRD follows them. SEADUCTION has passed us before.
We went past a canal to a defunct cement plant which is supposed to be a good anchorage, but I wasn't impressed. Glad I didn't anchor there. Actually there is now an active boat building plant down there now so it isn't just a deserted canal. We got to the L B Knox bridge, and they opened a little before we got there. It had an electronic clearance board (which had 11'2" on it). We think we see a manatee - something breaks the surface as if to breathe, but there's no fin like on dolphins. Don't see it again.
Next - the disaster at Port Orange