Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fort Matanzas at anchor

Only one span was working here - careful, careful....
St Augustine was a nice place to visit, we’ll certainly stop on the way back in the spring. We didn’t have far to go today, just about 12 miles to Fort Matanzas, an old Spanish fort. The anchorage is completely protected and perfectly calm but the depths are not on the chart. You have to read guides like Active Captain or Captain Bob to even know of the anchorage. We’ve found that Active Captain has consistently had the best advice on entering and leaving anchorages. In the case of Fort Matanzas, the advice of Captain Bob was incorrect and would result in a grounding if followed at anywhere near low tide. In fact, we saw one boat turn as advised by Captain Bob and he was motionless for several minutes until he powered forward to clear the bar and that was with a 3.5 foot tide. We had no problems.

Sunset over Ft Hatanzas
This anchorage has ocean access and we’re eager to try that out Monday. You can dink down to the beach and cross over the dunes to the ocean. There was a rip tide advisory issued for today due to a storm out at sea sending in waves in the 5 to 7 foot range – but would not be going in the water anyway.

We took Hoolie in tonight around 7:00 and around here it’s pitch black. When we went to the beach we had scouted out earlier, there was a large bird huddled up on the beach. He wasn’t moving. We couldn’t tell if he was asleep or injured or even dead. Hoolie went bananas. He wanted to investigate but we wanted no part of that. So we paddled down the beach to another spot but all Hoolie was interested in was going back up the beach to see the bird – meanwhile he wasn’t doing his business. While all that is going on, Ann sees something moving in the water (she’s thinking alligator) but when we shine the light on the water, it turns out to be a school of little fish. With all this commotion, we’ve had enough – done or not done – we call Hoolie back to the dink and we hurry back to Fleetwing.

Back in the boat, Hoolie is in disgrace. He’s curled up under the table and then by the galley sink, far from Ann who’s disgusted with him. However, they finally make up and now are side by side on the divan. Hope Hoolie makes it through the night…