April 09, 2008
We left the marina at sunrise after refuelling and stocking up on food and more budweiser. We had read reports of more severe shoaling at the next inlet and so we spent ages studying current and tide tables and the charts, to work out the optimum time to pass through Matanzas Inlet. All that preparation paid off, and/or we got lucky, as we passed through without a hitch, thank goodness. The ICW winds through many isolated areas of open marsh and rivers like Mosquito Lagoon, Cabbage Swamp and Alligator Creek, with not a mosquito, cabbage of alligator to be seen, but loads of porpoise and birds; it is quite lovely.
Arrived in St Augustine, the oldest city in america, and anchored for the night after our longest day of transit 58 miles. We were knackered, all that fresh air and focusing. It is a historic city with a restored spanish quarter and the huge Castillo de San Marcos overlooking the harbor; all of which we saw when we first visited there 20 years ago last February. We rented a shack on the beach, back when we were kids, so long ago! Im sure we looked out at the boats anchored here and dreamt of being on one of them; still hard to believe we actually did it. If you zoom in on the map you can see the sailboats anchored.
We had a visitor that evening, a bird landed on the bimini top, covering the cockpit and pitter pattered around till he peered through the vinyl section at us. Ive tried to identify it online, and it could be a snowy plover, but it could also be a common thrush, who knows. He was not at all scared and dickie had him feeding from his hand in no time at all, it turns out we both have inner birders! The next morning lying in the V-berth we heard the familiar pitter patter and there he was again, peering down at us through the open hatch above our heads; must have been looking for his breakfast.