St. Augustine

We departed Cocoa after meeting friends Sue and Jim for breakfast Monday morning. They’ll also be heading north and we’ll meet up again when we arrive at Stansbury in several weeks. We met up with Luc on Innu as he exited the barge canal just north of Cocoa. We cruised together for a while until he forged ahead. His 53 Selene cruises a bit faster, and he was intent on making Daytona that evening. We made a plan to meet up in St. Augustine for dinner the following evening. A late departure put us in New Smyrna Beach at early evening where we opted to tie to the pier at the public park. Overnight stays are not allowed, but we were told by other cruisers that a late arrival and early departure would not be noticed, they seem to come calling if you stay longer than a simple overnight tie up. The dock is a semi-circular deal, not the easiest tie-up, but it’s a very nice spot next to the public park, easy to get the pups ashore and not have to launch and retrieve the dink. We were off early in the morning, destination St. Augustine.

Late in the afternoon we heard from Innu , who much to our surprise was trailing us by several miles. They got a late start in Daytona, and arrived at St. Augustine about an hour behind us. It worked out well for them, we ferried them to shore in our dink, so they didn’t need to launch theirs. Luc’s crew is Paul, also his business partner. Theirs is an interesting partnership that was forged over 17 years ago when they sailed together on a crossing to Bermuda, and after the experience, began in business together. They work and live in Montreal. Paul and his wife recently returned from Mexico where they travel in an RV, snowbirds of a different feather!

We did enjoy dinner with them in the Old Town, at Columbia, a Spanish restaurant. We had a very enjoyable dinner, and enjoyed hearing of Paul’s travels in Mexico and Europe. Innu departed in the morning, we bid our farewells and may see Luc again in Brunswick before he returns to Montreal.

We decided to stay at least another day, and will extend it to 3 nights before we continue north. One of our favorite stopovers, St. Augustine is a wonderful spot to visit. Our mooring is just north of the newly renovated Bridge of Lions, and we’ve been witness to the changes in the structure over the course of our several visits. Our time in December saw the completion of the work, with the construction barges towed away, and this visit we saw the finishing touches as the Lions that guard the bridge entrance were finally returned to their vigil after being removed for restoration. The bridge is a reconstruction of the original structure, it’s an impressive sight. We took the bikes ashore Friday morning and headed out to Sailor’s Exchange, a stop we nearly always visit here. It’s a consignment type operation- some manufacturer’s dead stock, lots of line and rope, some junk, some good finds if you go with a list, and even some things that aren’t expected. Plus the prices are all negotiable if you find something you know is overpriced, they’ll be happy to compromise. It was a good visit, I came out with some useful inexpensive finds for some upcoming refit work. We also hit the Winn Dixie to restock some depleted supplies. Weather here has been quite warm, with daytime temps in the high 80’s and nighttime lows in the upper 70’s. Another night here, we’ll likely enjoy some time strolling around the town in the evening. One nice thing about being in a tourist town- ice cream!

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