Thursday, April 3, 2014

St. Augustine - on a mooring

St Augustine has many pedestrian only walkways, much like a European town
We had intended to anchor at Ft Matanzas but since we soldered on yesterday to Daytona we could make St. Augustine by 3:30. We are expecting company on Friday so by being here today, we can get into a dock first thing in the morning and be ready for a visit.

We needed fuel and in looking at the dock we discovered that 3/4 of it was taken up by a river cruise ship! We discussed the approach since there was not a lot of room and the ship stuck out a good 30 ft from the dock. Ann was at the helm and she approached the dock at a 45 degree angle, into the current, which resulted in the boat crabbing sideways to the dock. At the last minute she gunned the boat in forward into the current and swung the wheel over to port, bringing the boat parallel to the dock where the dockhands grabbed the lines for a starboard tie up. When I paid for the fuel, all three men in the dockhouse complimented Ann on her handling of the boat. They see a lot of dockings and many are not pretty given the current and wind conditions here.

Not a mall, just downtown St. Augustine
So now we were faced with a 15 kt wind pushing us against the dock and a 2 kt current pushing us towards the river cruise ship. How to get off the dock? There was no room to back out like we did last year at Fernandina so we put two 16 inch round fenders hanging off the most aft rail, ran a line from the aft cleat to the dock and Ann put the boat into reverse. This resulted in the bow being pushed out against the wind and after obtaining a good angle, Ann shoved the throttle into forward and I brought the aft line aboard. Ann handles the boat more than I do nowadays.

The winds tonight were supposed to be less than 10 kts but it's been blowing 15 to 20 instead! The current through here runs up to 2 kts and when the wind blows counter to the current, there's lot of bobbing around. Hopefully, things will settle down later tonight. I asked the dockhand the time of the morning slack current, it's 7:40, so we'll pick up a dock then. There's not a lot of room for maneuvering by the docks with the 2 kt current.


Greg said...

You have a great site. I sail out of New Bedford, MA, but live in Northwestern, CT. Wife and I in late 50's. We're both still working. Boat is a sound Ericson 25+, 5' draft. Don't know in this lifetime that I'll ever have the time to bring the boat down the east coast in one fell swoop, so am wondering about doing it in discrete chunks. A week at a time, a weekend at a time. Realize it could take a long time, but I'm thinking of trying. Interested in thoughts on places to lay over (cheaply), either at anchor, mooring or dock for possibly weeks at a time. I know this is not the way that you do it, but it sounds like you might have some ideas. A little crazy, I know.

Bob423 said...

I greg,

I can certainly recommend Titusville Municipal Marina in Florida. At only $10/ft for a month, it's a bargain. I haven't looked into other places but I'll do so over the next few days. On your first leg you'll need to reach the Chesapeake where you'll have a wide choice of marinas - you can look at Active Captain for recommendations but I'll look too. After the Chesapeake, you'll need some place in North Carolina, then South Carolina but from there you ought to reach Florida. Keep in touch and dream!