Sunday, April 17, 2016

St Augustine - Still here and a walk through town

Lots of ornaments for your garden
We woke up this morning to a driving rain with winds 20 to 25 kts. Looking on the radar it wasn't due to end for another two hours. We are in the next to last dock in a U shaped portion of the dockage system. With a 20 kt wind pushing us into the "bottom" of the U, it would have been a very difficult exit, especially with two small  boats docked in our way. So we just decided to stay yet another day. After noon time the winds seldom dropped below 20 kt, the anchorage area was all whitecaps. We've never seem such a spat of foul weather! I suppose it's related to the weakening El Nino which still has a punch evidently.

A happy tree?
For those wishing to go outside to head north, the winds have produced 6 to 9 ft waves with an occasional wave to 11 ft, all from the north. Now that's tough sledding. I can't imagine attempting that passage. So there are still a ton of boats holed up waiting for better weather, including us. The St Augustine mooring field and docks were completely filled up over the weekend, no room at the inn. When someone inquired if Fernandina had open docks (the next stop north) the reply was that they were sold out too. However, the weather is supposed to calm down on Monday when we plan on finally heading north.

Here's where all the wind is coming from1
So for entertainment I worked on the windlass. The windlass sleeve which fits into the fiberglass hole where the chain descends into the chain locker had a bulge in it, partially obstructing the drop of the chain and causing it to bind and stopping the windlass. I got out my trusty Dremel which had an extension attached so I could reach the anchor hole sleeve and I ground the bulge out. A hint, if you ever want to cruise the ICW or take your boat more than 50 miles from your marina, be sure to have a Dremel on board, they are lifesavers for all sorts of things. A universal tool for fixing things that go wrong on a boat.

St Augustine sunset
For the rest of the day we decided to just enjoy St Augustine. The day was sunny and warm as long as you stayed out of the 20+ kt winds. So we just strolled downtown and enjoyed the sights. We plan (once again!) to leave at 7:00 am to make the 7:30 bridge opening and hopefully make the Fernandina  anchorage by 3:30 pm. If you have any leverage with the weather gods, please feel free to entreat them for calm weather on Monday..