St Augustine to Palm Coast
After two nine-hour days on the water, it was good… no, great… to have a rare short day. We wanted to keep moving as long as the weather agreed but we didn’t want to arrive in Stuart before the end of the coming weekend’s boat show there. So we opted for an easy 28-mile day that took us from St. Augustine to Palm Coast, Florida in just three hours twenty-five minutes, fifteen of which were spent waiting for a bridge that we didn’t think we’d have to open. We burned a mere 18 gallons of fuel in the process thanks to a fair tide most of the way.
The ride from there was beautiful and very straight forward. Even one notoriously bad spot on the ICW by Matanzas Inlet was a pleasure to transit having just been dredged. We were in t-shirts on the bridge enjoying the warming temperatures (71 by the time we arrived at 11:25 am) and finally saw the greens and blues come out in the water, a relief from the brown that has been with us since New York.
There’s not a whole lot in Palm Coast within walking distance of the marina but that was just fine with us. It was more of a strategic stop in terms of distance than anything else. There is the European Village about a ten-minute walk away (think Florida courtyard shopping center with a “European” theme). It has a variety of restaurants and for the first time in a very long time, we had Indian food which, other than Tim’s, has been hard to find. But we found it in a European Village. And it was truly excellent.
So if you’re ever in Palm Coast and love or want to try Indian food, we wholeheartedly recommend 5th Element. With our bellies full and leftovers in tow, we returned to OLOH for a good night’s sleep before moving on down the coast the following morning.
Palm Coast To Titusville
Shaking up our usual stops along this stretch of our adventure, while based on timing and logistics, was also so we could have at least a couple of new experiences. Palm Coast was the first and bringing OLOH to Titusville was the second. Ordinarily we would stop at Halifax Harbor in Daytona but because of our starting position in Palm Coast, it made sense to put more miles under our keel and pass through Daytona and get to the Space Coast. The ride between these two ports is as straight-forward as ICW cruising gets making for one of our most enjoyable and stress-free days yet. By and large, we are now past the “notorious” problem areas of the ICW. We covered the seventy-six miles in exactly eight hours, averaging 8.5 knots with a lot of no-wake zones, topping out at 18 knots.
Titusville Marina is a great stop. It’s a municipal marina but privately managed and one of the best run municipal marinas we’ve encountered with incredibly friendly service. While there’s not much to do within walking distance, there are a couple of big, wonderful parks nearby and a vibrant cruising community at the marina.
One of the high points of the stop for the Captain was finally meeting Bob Sherer, otherwise, known as Bob423. We’ve referenced Bob several times in our blog and owe him a debt of gratitude. Also from the Hudson River Valley, Bob and his wife have been cruising the ICW since 2010 on Fleetwing, their Beneteau 423 sailboat. Years ago on our first ICW trip during the proliferation of the excellent marine crowd-sourcing utility Active Captain, we noticed a number of very detailed entries for problem spots authored by Bob423. Carefully following his guidance we have always successfully navigated the ICW without ever touching bottom. Bob blogs about and publishes an annual book on cruising the ICW and is Waterway Guide’s ICW editor, all while continuing to post his findings, his actual tracks and maintain a very popular and helpful ICW Facebook Group among a few other pursuits. Have you ever asked a retired person how they fill their days? Bob has no problem answering that question. Knowing that Fleetwing would be tied up in Titusville, the Captain was very much looking forward to shaking his hand and saying. “thank you.”
While in Titusville, the sun was hot and the wind was stiff making our decision to stay for two nights an easy one. We’ll follow Bob423 out of the marina next and make way for Vero Beach. See you out there!
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