Jacksonville to St. Augustines, Florida

Dec. 3rd, 2008

Florida is experiencing a bit of a cold spell this week. We actually had to turn the heat on in the boat last night! We can’t complain too much considering that we left much colder temperatures in Canada.

In Jacksonville we were at a marina located on the Intracoastal Waterway. We had two options either head south on the ICW to St. Augustine or head a bit north to the St. John’s river out to the Atlantic, then head south.

 

Calm seas on the Atlantic.

Calm seas on the Atlantic.

 

We looked at the charts and determined that it was more complicated to go down the ICW. During low tide there were areas of the ICW that would be too shallow for the draft of our boat. During high tide we would have to watch our mast height in relation to the tide and the height of the many 65’ bridges. The forecast for the ocean was calm with 1’ – 2’ seas. We determined that going coastal would be less stressful. On our way out the St. John’s river we just barely cleared two bridges with only about one foot to spare.

 

The kids named this dolphin Flap Jax (short for Jacksonville).

The kids named this dolphin Flap Jax (short for Jacksonville).

 

The kids were excited to be moving on the water again, so they were both standing on the bow when six dolphins swam approximately twenty feet in front of our boat. The kids were thrilled as they whistled, squealed and banged the hull to attract more dolphins. To our surprised we were surrounded by dolphins all the way to the ocean. Once on open water we did not see them anymore.  Heading down the coast we had to watch out for the many fishing boats in the area. After watching a pretty sunset, and after a couple games of crazy eights with the kids, we headed in towards the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine.

We called ahead so the bridge master was expecting us, and the draw bridge was raised for us to pass  through. Once in St. Augustine we went to a nearby seafood restaurant and enjoyed a nice dinner. This is a beautiful town, the oldest city in the US, with an authentic Old World look, completely lit up with lights. During dinner we had a view of horse drawn carriages taking people for rides. Alexander was sleepy during dinner, but he completely perked up when the horses went by. In the morning we headed out to town, had breakfast in a nice bakery with free Wi-Fi and uploaded our blog. Today we plan to head further south. 

 

Lift Bridge in St. Augustine

Lift Bridge in St. Augustine

 

In Florida boaters love to decorate their boats for Christmas.

In Florida boaters love to decorate their boats for Christmas.

 

Christmas Decorations in St. Augustine.

Christmas Decorations in St. Augustine.

A St. Augustine fort all light up.

A St. Augustine fort.

s/v Black Diamond

I have been boating for over 25 years, at the age of 43, this is more than half of my life time. Starting out with a number of smaller power boats, then switching to sail about 8 years ago. I have sailed various boats from wind surfers, dinghies (lasers), keel boats from 26 to 45 foot yachts. I live in the area of Toronto Canada and sail mostly on Lake Ontario. I have been racing yachts for the past 7 years. I have also entered many long distance races such as the Fort Lauderdale to Charleston, completed in 2 days 8 hours, we received 4th place in division, 8 minutes in PHRF behind a 3rd place trophy. Then 4 times finishing the Susan Hood, a 75 mile over night race, 4 times entered in the Lake Ontario 300 the worlds longest fresh water race, a 308 knotical mile race around the perimeter of Lake Ontario. My crew and I on Black Diamond finished in 2 days 12 hours in 2009. In 2009, delivering the boat back up to Canada from the Bahamas we entered in a couple of interesting races, one from Fort Lauderdale to Charleston described as a sled ride up the gulf stream, the Charleston race week regatta series and the New Year's Day Staniel Cay Regatta in the Exumas, Bahamas. This race we came in 2nd over entire fleet, only lost by 3 minutes in a 2 hour race to a 47 footer. This was a boat for boat race, no PHRF scoring. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So cast off the bowline, Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain Blue water experience include yacht deliveries from the Abacos, Bahamas to Charleston South Carolina 2006. This delivery was a non-stop, 3 and half days, total of 500 miles. We crossed parts of the Bermuda Triangle, and during most of the delivery were over 200 miles offshore. The delivery of Black Diamond a 40 foot Jeanneau racer/cruiser has been delivered to New York City and then offshore to Florida and the Bahamas from Toronto, Canada. This delivery from NYC to Florida was completed 100 miles offshore, for a distance of over a 1000 miles non-stop to Jacksonville, Florida. Completed in what might be a cruisers record of 5 days 3 hours non-stop offshore. This fall my family and I added another 500 miles of sailing throughout much of the Bahamas. Spending 6 weeks aboard Black Diamond sailing the Abacos, Nassau and the Exumas. I then sailed the boat back to New York, completely offshore, entered a few races along the way, and back to Toronto through the Hudson River and Erie Canal. During the 2009 season, we sailed Black Diamond off the dock 148 different days out of 365, winning the Vacant Dock award the second year in a row. Most recently, 2011, completed the delivery of friends boat Tracey & Nilson Ruiz, from Tortoal, BVI to New York. Tortola to Georgetown Bahamas in 5 days non-stop. Last leg from Charleston to New York over the momorial day long week-end non-stop Friday to Monday in 4 days. All completed safe and sound without incedent. Need any deliveries let me know. I am also an Open Water Certified diver and an active member of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron, certifications included Power/Sail boat handling, Seamanship Sail, Piloting/charting, GPS Navigation, Extended Offshore Cruising and a VHF Radio operation license. I hope to further my education, qualifications and experience in long distance cruising and racing. One of my goals is to obtain a commercial Captains License. Feel free to contact me at er@radonicrodgers.com

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1 Response

  1. Brian Snooks says:

    Hi Ed & Roxanne!
    Love reading the updates and looking at the photos…this is an experience of a lifetime and one the boys will never forget! We are excited for you and wish you the best in your travels. God speed,

    Brian & Alana

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