Jacksonville Florida
SYL is at Jackson Landing in the middle of town, the big floating dock provided by the city is free. We tied up in front of Sushi KoJa where we had lunch and dinner yesterday. The food and prices are quite good, I expect we will repeat the process before we leave.

Jacksonville is a historic port town built around the St.John’s river. The city founders did a great job of building “on the water” attractions and activities. It truly is a boat friendly place, I imagine the summer is packed with boats and waterside events at the outdoor bandstand here in the middle of Jackson Landing. The Gator Bowl (3 miles down river) also has a park and free docks right next to the stadium. They love their Jacksonville Jaguars.

Across the river on the South shore is a cultural center, science museum and from what we can see from here nice fountains and other attractions. The fellow that plans the lighting here must be a fun guy. They don’t just make it where you can see to get around Jacksonville…. they use every color light you can imagine splashed on the bridges and tall buildings to create a truly picturesque nightscape. I didn’t know Jacksonville was such a “destination” I’m glad we came.

Last night I did find out a trick you should know when docking alongside in the river. Tie your boat up facing up river…… I know it sounds obvious, but the current flows strongly in both directions here. Last night we bucked a bit tied stern to the current. Today I’m going to move 50 yards up the river close to a gazebo that juts out into the water. I imagine the current will be easier tucked in behind the outcropping.

Well, my coffee is on the table. We had some rain last night with the passing front and it’s still cloudy but the winds are down around 10 and the sky is getting lighter. I’m hoping for a nice weather day.

5:30PM      The day did clear nicely.  Linda and I untied and made our way across the river….. we filled up with gas and looked at the science museum.  It was OK but nothing to write home about.   We re-tied SYL back at Jacksonville Landing about 70 yards up river from our previous spot.  After more sushi I hopped the skyway to the convention center for the boat show.  The show was OK, but as I expected it was mostly flats, wakeboard and fishing boats with a few trailerable cruisers in the mix.  I always enjoy boat shows no matter what the size.   I spent about 2 hours then wanedered back to the boat.  I brought us some spicy wings and onion rings in for dinner so Linda didn’t have to cook.

After careful study…… the thing I like best about Jacksonville is the free eventside docking, the second thing would be the varied places to eat right here on the water.   We almost always did take out and ate on our boat.  One of the places told me to call it in and they would deliver to the boat.  That’s pretty cool.   My third favorite thing about Jacksonville is the Maratime Museum.  The waterfront is a very popular jogging location… so people watching us watching them is also part of the fun.   The few that stop and talk are enjoyable.  I like sharing stories with other people and how where they live.  I’ll talk to anybody about anything.. I like to smear happiness and joy on anybody that will stand still long enough. 

A couple that tied up at the dock a bit ago just came by.   They have a mid 1980’s 41′ DeFever powerboat.   I met them when I went over to help them tie up.  That’s the part of cruising we like best…. the people.

We might leave here tomorrow afternoon.  My research tells me St. Augustine has a trolley tour of town and their “city of lights” ends Tuesday night.  It looks like something we may want to see.  After a run to the grocery, we will probably wait for a favorable tide (around noon) then move down the river 15 miles to the mouth, then Sunday make the run either inside on the ICW or outside depending on weather to St. Augustine.

Sea Yawl Later !!   Rusty

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