Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fort Matanzas - at anchor

The fort protected the southern approach to St Augustine at one time

We made it through the shallow areas successfully by following the paths suggested by the local SeaTow operator. In both cases, the route was outside the ICW! It takes a little faith to depart from the comfort of the ICW magenta line and forge out into the unknown but the advice was true and we did better than following the magenta line! One would think that if the local SeaTow operator (any many of the locals) know of a better path around hazards, that the Coast Guard would just re-position the markers to take advantage of what the locals know to be true. Alas, that has not happened and many snowbirds continue to run aground right in the middle of the channel, one boat actually sunk! Active Captain did warm of the hazards however so we were aware of the problems and called the local SeaTow operator to find more details - which he happily provided.

We considered stopping at Marineland Marina which sounded interesting with a nature walk, kayaks and the Marineland shows. However, when the harbormaster warmed of shallow water to 5 ft we remembered back to whenever we're heard this spiel before that the depth quotes was usually the best possible ever seen at low tide, if that good. Today was a drain tide where the low was 0.8 ft below the usual low tide so there was no hope for us regardless of what the harbormaster said. He assured us that there were no "refrigerators or engine blocks" on the bottom, just soft mud and that we could "push through" - not for us.

Back of the boat, wine in hand, enjoying the sunset - what more to want?
With that we continued on to our usual anchorage in this area, Fort Matanzas  It's a better place anyway since, first of all it's free and second of all, it's more beautiful. We are the only boat in the anchorage and we have the sunset all to ourselves as well as a great view of the fort. The current does run through here! It's currently showing 1.8 kts on the knotmeter!! But the holding is good and we're secure with our 66lb Spade anchor with 60 ft of 3/8" BBB chain, no problem! Even with all the current, we are still just hanging on the chain after the current reversed - not even pulling on the anchor yet.

On Friday we're headed to Harbortown for a couple of days before moving on to Sadler Point Marina in Jacksonville for the installation of our new genset.