FROM: The Captain –
Conditions: Overcast, occasional showers. Winds light and variable.
Distance traveled: 49.6 nautical miles
Time underway: 6 hours 20 minutes
Average Speed: 10 knots
Max Speed: 17.6 knots
Fuel used: 42 gallons
We awakened to a gray day in St A but no snow (!) and the temps remained relatively mild at around 50. It was much calmer for our departure than our arrival with no wind and slack current as we pulled out of that tricky channel and back into the ICW.
We delayed our departure to time our arrival at a problem area about fifteen miles away by the Mantanza inlet on a rising tide. But we also needed to account for St. Augustine’s Bridge Of Lions bridge which opens on demand only on the hour and half hour. We thought we’d be able to squeak under by lowering our antennas but there just wasn’t enough clearance. Fortunately, we were pulling up to the bridge at two minutes to ten and the tender started the lifting process as soon as we hailed him.
As a side note, traveling down the Intra Coastal Waterway you encounter many bridges that cross it. Both motor yachts and sailing vessels need to pass under these bridges, so their height is a key issue. Many of the fixed bridges are 65′ which means motor yachts have no problem and most sailing vessels have no problem. However, there are plenty of lift or swing bridges that are 27 feet and under when they are closed. If we lower our antennas OLOH requires a minimum of 24′ so for any bridge with a closed clearance of less than that requires us to request an opening. The bridges on the ICW that need to be opened to accommodate boaters have bridge tenders who we call on our VHF radio to request an opening. When you are approaching a bridge you call the bridge tender to inform them of your vessel’s name and your position relative to the bridge and to either request an opening if openings are “on demand” or to let them know that you are standing by for their next opening if they are on a schedule (ie. every half-hour). Often they will ask you what your hailing port is as they keep records of who comes and goes on the waterway.
It was another day with a lot of slow-going which was just fine. There is still so much evidence of the damage Hurricane Matthew wrought on the area in 2016 with lots of derelict boats that have yet to be removed and a lot of reconstruction underway. And the sightseeing never gets old…From the writer’s desk: The pelican perched on the piling perfectly. The slip to the shed on the ramshackle shore was a surely a sight.
We always enjoy seeing the variety of waterfront homes we pass – lots of architectural eye-candy and houses for every taste.
Some light showers began at around 11am and hit us on and off for the rest of our ride down to Daytona Beach. All in all, an uneventful and very pleasant ride.
We tied up at Halifax Harbor Marina which is the municipal marina in Daytona Beach. Excellent floating docks, very friendly and professional service on the radio and at our slip-side check-in (the marina office is almost a two mile walk from where our slip is). Jasper got a good walk but there was no dragging us to an office in search of treats this time around.
The southerly trek continues tomorrow. See you out there…
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