We cast off at 7:45 am and decided to take the run to Saint Augustine in the ocean…gulp. We headed out St. Mary’s Inlet with light winds from the North. We had our sails up a little past 8am. We were both totally jazzed since most of the trip has been on the ICW and there have been very few opportunities to sail on this “sailing journey”.
We turned south and had a running wind blowing 10-13 knots. Sailing with a running wind has (for whatever reason), been our most challenging point of sail. We struggle with speed, jibes, etc. (all you Salty Dog’s out there…we’d love to hear from you with any tips/tricks). Today was really no different. We started out with our main and head sails out, but quickly decided to pull the head sail back in as it was just blocking the wind and the winds were shifty and we couldn’t maintain wing on wing.
Once we pulled the head sail in and adjusted the main, we picked up to 4.2 – 4.8 knots…mostly in the 4.2 range. The wind was still shifting slightly and we had an accidental jibe (yikes!), so Craig rigged a line from the boom to a cleat to prevent any further jibing. This worked well and we sailed along, pretty effortlessly for a few hours, albeit still on the lower end of our speed range.
We decided around 11am to give in to the motor, when we realized based on our GPS position and speed, that it would take until after 8pm to get in Saint Augustine and we didn’t want to navigate the inlet in the dark. Nor were we ready for our first overnight solo sail.
We motored along in the ocean in 3-5 foot seas. It was quite nice out there…we saw several fishing boats, and a few motor yachts, but no other sailboats for the rest of the day.
We arrived to Saint Augustine, just before sunset. The inlet was challenging – pretty narrow, with rocks and breakers on either side, with a few aground sail boats to remind us to stay alert.
Craig did a great job navigating in and we picked up a mooring ball in the new Municipal Marina Mooring Field. We watched the sunset on the back of the boat and a wedding that was happening on a sailboat passing by.
We headed into town on our dinghy and had a great night. We stopped for appetizers at the historic Casa Monica Hotel, had dinner while listening to a great pianist at Rhetts and wrapped up the evening with Desert at a little outdoor place across from the Municipal Marina…they had a fantastic guitarist….(Sue if you are reading you’ll notice all I pretty much did today was eat….I have my work cut out for me when I get back…oy vayy….:-)…lol).
We got back to the boat around 11pm and got to bed thinking we would get up and out early. When we woke up, we both decided, that we really loved Saint Augustine the night before and we wanted to explore the town a little more. This is one of the coolest cities in Florida…lots of history, beautiful architecture and good food (what more could you ask for). Great company…that’s what…(more on that in a minute).
So we spent the morning on the boat working and around lunch time headed into town to find a place to eat. We stopped in the little store at the Marina and bumped into Craig’s cousin Bobby…what!…this wouldn’t be weird if he lived here, but he lives in Sewell, NJ. He was vacationing with his Mom – Aunt Joanne. We were all shocked to run into each other and had a great lunch catching up at the Conch House.
Craig and I spent another great night moored out and got an email from our friend and boat broker Brian Winter that Kokomo – another boat from our marina – was moored two boats over. Small world!!
All in all, we had two great nights and a wonderful afternoon in Saint Augustine. We will definitely be back to this city sometime soon.
Daily Rundown and Lessons Learned
- Fernandina Beach, FL (M716.8) to Saint Augustine, FL (M777.7)
- 60.9 NM traveled
- Always file your float plan before heading out….especially if you are going in the ocean (we did!!)
- The world is small!!
- When you find a place you like…take time to explore a little. We did and got the added bonus of running into Bobby and Aunt Joanne. If we had left at 6am we would have missed them all together and missed a great opportunity to reconnect.