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Southbound ’17 – Travel Day 26: St. Augustine, Fl To Daytona Beach, Fl

Southbound ’17 – Travel Day 26: St. Augustine, Fl to Daytona Beach, Fl

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

The ability to use a hose has been a novelty since the bomb cyclone hit and this morning it was the first thing the Captain did before departure… gotta get those windows clean!

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.

Passing St. Augustine inlet from the Atlantic to the ICW. There’s a good current pushing in here, but this shot was really about the sandy beach that suddenly made us feel like we were Florida.
Shoaling is a constant issue on the ICW so dredging is happening in many areas – which is a wonderful thing if you are traveling these waterways! This dredge was stationed by the St. Augustine inlet just prior to the Bridge Of Lions Bridge
Approaching the Bridge Of Lions Bridge – we thought we’d get under by lowering our antennas but it looked like it was going to be a bit tight.  As we arrived just before an opening window we hailed the tender who was happy to oblige us and kept us moving without delay.


As we passed the bridge, Jasper found a pillow (no surprise) and literally fell asleep. His favorite spot is on the bridge lounge.

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 were trying to figure out what was bigger, the house or the boat!
We always make a point of slowing down whenever there are other boats on the water near us. This working crew yelled their thanks to us as we passed by.
There is beauty in balance.

Only one half of this bridge was operational – a bit skinny getting through.

This was a particularly skinny (shallow) area that we passed through and while it was hard to capture, there were at least 40 dolphins that were popping out around us. It was easy to be distracted…but we weren’t!
Ghost-ship. This sailboat pretty clearly looks like it had been abandoned.  There’s a lot of that on the waterway.

We always enjoy seeing the variety of waterfront homes we pass – lots of architectural eye-candy and houses for every taste.

These folks get a mention for the great design of their boathouse!
Come on! Who wouldn’t want to hang out here?!

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.

The last couple of miles were a slow-go as we followed the paddle tour-boat “Lady Dolphin.” Just as we went through our last bridge of the day the captain hailed us and said, “we’re just meandering around and takin’ our time bub so feel free to come on by…” So we did.
The nice mosaics on these bridge pilings were worth a shot 🙂
On the approach to Halifax Harbor Marina, Daytona Beach.

Our slip for the night dead-ahead.

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.

We ended our day by having a wonderful dinner with our new friends, Steve and Claudia Jackson (and dogs Lucy and Jackson) who are on the beautiful Nordhavn Ranger and traveling south as well. They graciously treated us to a delicious meal and hours of great conversation at the Chart House Restaurant that’s walking distance from the marina.  Thanks S & C – meeting new friends like you are a big part of why we love this lifestyle as much as we do.

The southerly trek continues tomorrow.  See you out there…

Please be sure to subscribe to the blog on the top right of this page to get notified when updates are posted.  And please leave any comments or questions below – we love to hear from you & know that you’re along for the ride!  You can also follow us on Twitter at @MYOLOH and for plenty more pictures and video find us on Instagram.  And the M/Y OLOH Facebook Page is live so please like us & follow us there as well.  

This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. Wow! Wonderful post of pictures. I love seeing the homes and boathouses! You do a beautiful job of capturing the day!
  2. The highly anticipated crossroad of Stuart Florida awaits OLOH tomorrow afternoon! What will OLOH do? Will OLOH continue south to the earthquakes and blue waters of the Caribbean? Turn to port to the post-Irma Reggae of the Bahamas? or Turn to Starboard through the bowels of Florida trekking to the highly sought after boating playground and green waters of the West Coast of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico... (as well as the prospect of meeting "Out of Africa" at South Seas Island Resort). This exciting event to be broadcast live on Thursday 1/11. Drum roll please!....

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