SYL tied up in slip 44 at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina just after 1PM florida time.   We thought about taking a mooring ball, but we want to see the town tonight so stepping off the dock is favorable to a windy dinghy ride.  GOOD choice… the people and facility here are both superb.  Large concrete floating docks, very helpful and knowledgeable marina personel….  every one I have met welcomed us to St. Augustine and offered assistance.  You can tell right away if “there is a light on” inside someones brain when you first meet them.  To explain my point…. the far end of the spectrum would be the large teenage girl that takes your money at KFC.  Normally she cares a hundred times less about your life than she does the itch shes scratching behind her ear with her greasy fingers……  the lights are “OFF” if you know what I mean.  No matter what you say or do… you cannot affect that persons life.  I’m just saying… some people are on, some are off to the outside world…. here they are ON!  In St. Augustine everybody we have met so far.. even the guys fishing next door in a bass boat have been absolutely gracious.

The North wind is blowing today.   We left Pine Island with a slight 1 knot or less counter current in the ICW but a 6 to 10 knot cold North wind behind us.  With only 14 miles to go I drew out the jib and ran one engine.  We managed just under 5 knots… good enough as we piddled around waiting on the current to switch…. our jib cancelled out the slow Northbound current nicely.   The “Bridge of Lions” marking St. Augustine’s town center opens on the half hour so we meandered below the bridge for 20 minutes waiting for the 1PM opening.  The wonderful marina is located on the South side of the historic bridge.

Plugged into shore power, Linda fired up the convection oven and reheated some of her home made pizza and assembled some great nachos….  We are warm, tied up facing the cold North wind so it and the waves go right around us without effect.  Pretty nice I have to say……

The slip is a bit expensive (70 bucks with power) so the meal we ate on board helped cancel out dock fees.   Another meal or two onboard and we will be back to even.  Walking right off the boat into town is certainly a big plus.  Here in St. Augustine where getting off the boat is a big part of the attraction docking seems to be a good choice, given the freindliness and grace of the people… it’s an excellent choice.

8PM   The famous “City of Lights” here is nice, but not as good as I expected…. especially after seeing J’ville at night.  The art and tourist shops are better here, and more of both but  the “dockside” feel of Jacksonville is pretty special.  If your travelling by car… I’d vote for St. Augustine, if by boat it’s a toss up. 

This place has a quaint New Orleans feel to it, small pubs and courtyards… almost hidden restraunts off the main drag… brick streets, but it’s by far cleaner and less risquet than the big easy.  The party atmosphere is here…. but instead of strip shows on Bourbon Street they have museum quality artwork and more eclectic shops than you could ever visit in a day.  We saved the second half of St. George Street for tomorrow.  

Tomorrow we will ride the trolley about town and hear about the city’s history.  All the shop owners and restrauneurs are just genuinely so happy you are here.  It’s a very comfortable and welcome feel.  St. Augustine… so far I am impressed.

SYL   Rusty

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