$3.9999999 / gallon!

Gotta love this! (Including taxes!)

Doctor’s Lake Marina, St Johns River FL

Savannah, “Sav” is a sweetheart, and Dale is pretty cool too!
We’ve got some pretty big, slow moving, T-Boomers coming through. So we figured a covered slip here at Doctor’s Lake Marina would be a good play.

Our planned destination was Green Cove Springs, but it is very exposed. Maybe tomorrow, if the weather is better.

Today’s passage.
That planet is believed to be Uranus.
Click to see video above.

“Butler Beach G-43” anchorage mm 786.2

We were on our way to St. Augustine, but were not going to make it in time for a 2:00pm Zoom meeting. So, several cruising guides showed this to be an anchorage (but no reviews).

We decided to try it out! Observations.

1. We saw only 4.2 feet of water here at mid tide. We didn’t dare going further down.

2 . There was wake from the nearby ICW.

We anchored very close to the long private wharfs as that’s where depth was was barely adequate. After a second meeting at 4:00pm we were off to Salt Run anchorage near the Conch House in St. Augustine.

Bottom Line is this: While “it worked” it may not be a suitable for us or others next time through.

Unfortunately, our Dual-Transducer Raymarine Axiom chart plotter which creates nice bottom contour lines, has been on the fritz, so we could not get a thorough bathymetry picture for you. Our older OEM depth sounder works fine.

Hammock Beach Marina

Right across the ICW from Palm Coast Marina’s fixed docks and [uncomfortably] narrow fingers, the larger Hammock Beach Marina with cement floating docks was worth a try. They have a swimming pool and great amenities for “normal” rates $2.25 + electric. We took the shuttle to their other property nearby for dinner at the private club, Atlantic Grill. Finally, a place with food as good as Shelly’s cooking! Great service.

Tnx Tim V ! For correction.

Click above for video of a 12” sea turtleAt the docks here.
Best waiter ever! Patrick at Atlantic Grill.

Dinner overlooking golf course.
The bench where Shelly was sitting while waiting for the shuttle to the other property with restaurants . The automated sprinkler system messed up that plan!

Lilian became a fast friend

This family was fun to chat with!

Daytona Beach anchorages

There are several popular anchorages on the ICW Halifax River passing thru Daytona Beach. They tides do cause a reciprocating current. Different hull types react to this differently. For example our trawler reacts to tidal currents differently than, say, a full keel sailboat if the same length.

More to follow on this post.

Itinerary for the next week or two.

Not shown in order… here are the next “Routes” programmed into our chart plotter . We don’t usually program this far in advance. But we been anchoring out a lot, and for most of the month of May we’ll be in a resort marina…. AND we’ll have our CAR!!!

Today we left Cooks Creek at mile marker ICW (mm) 893.5

It was a short ride to Daytona Beach mm 829.

Tomorrow, we will leave at 8:00am to make Hammock Beach Marina by noon. It appears to be a very nice place with a swimming pool and laundry facilities. The smell of dirty laundry is tough after a couple weeks.


We’ll have our own pics tomorrow.

Then will come one of the anchorages in St Augustine. mm 778. Notice the mm mile markers are getting smaller. Where is mile ZERO? Answer is below!

North of St Augustine, we will exit the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW mm 740) and make Blount Island in the St Johns River.

We hope to explore a bit more of the St Johns River in the weeks ahead. Most of the passages detailed above are less than 2 hours each. So we should be able to fit some of them in them on work days either at sunrise or before sunset., depending on my appointments.

The ICW or Intra Coastal Waterway begins in Norfolk VA (mm zero) and goes all the way to Brownsville TX. Check back as this blog post is not done yet!!!

May: Port 32 Ortega Landing, Jacksonville FL

We have booked the month of May in one of our favorite marinas which was home for 3 months last year. We’ll have our car, we’ll get all doctored up and dentisted, and enjoy the pool and hot tub. St John’s River is our hailing port, so this is as close to having a “home” as we’ve got! LOL


It’s a great place!

We’ll also get to go swimming at the YMCA pool in JAX.

We’ve got just under 300 miles to go in 20 days. Doable. We’ll have to leave a couple days early in late May to get north of the 32nd parallel for the hurricane season starting June 1. (NOAA does not allow hurricanes north of latitude 32°. So many yacht insurance policies call for policy holders to north of 32° from June 1 to November 1.

Mara Lago

Mara Lago this hour, as seen from ICW mm 1024.6
This shows today’s chop better than the first.

Last week it was Key Biscayne (Richard Nixon’s fave), this week it’s Mara Lago. Rest assured, it wasn’t intentional or by design. I guess we agree with them on ONE thing: these are beautiful places on this planet.

In the first pic, it looks like a LOT of cars are parked on the lawn just north of the tennis courts. Must be a big Easter dinner or something. ((Kosher Ham I figure.))

Pelican Harbor

Our second time anchoring here. ICW mm 1042.2
I believe we are in the town of Highland Beach FL.
Evidently, it may have a second name. Though all other references to this place call it Pelican Harbor.

We found good holding here. Some wake from the traffic on the ICW will make its way in here during the day, especially on weekends. So, it “looks” like the perfect anchorage; it falls just short of that, but still ranks high on our list.

There a few places on the ICW where 25 mph speeds are allowed. In a few, both sides of the canal have cement walls. So the wave energy just bounces off the walls (both sides) and come back into the ICW. There is an amazing amount of wave energy coming at boats from every angle. UNFORTUNATELY this segment of the ICW, by Pelican Harbor, fits this characteristic trait. So, it makes this anchorage earn a 4 instead of a 5.

Close Call!

Southern Florida is not known for courteous boaters, nor a high level of seamanship.

The skipper of this wake boarding boat was preparing to pull his wake-boarder up out of the water going to the LEFT. So to avoid any chance of collision, I altered our course to starboard to pass ASTERN of him, giving him and his wake boarder plenty of room.

To my amazement, he gunned it just as we approached, turned sharply to his left and completed a 180° turn directly in front of us!

Geez… everyone was lucky we were only going idle speed, so I was able to yell and stop.

It could have been disastrous. I have no idea if the skipper knew I was even in the area. Instead letting someone else be the spotter, so he can drive the boat, I suspect everyone’s attention was on the wake boarder in the water.

There were about a dozen boats anchored nearby, so we slowed down. Obviously these folks are oblivious to waking an anchorage.

This was the middle of the day on a Wednesday. Reportedly, it gets worse on the weekends.

My Wyze Cam v3 Pro cameras usually record video and saves it to the micro SD card. For some reason that video was not retained, but the “AI human person” trigger kicked in so at least I have a still pic to share with you all.

Everywhere: expect the unexpected, but that is even more important in Southern FL!

The yellow arrow shows where we slowed down, and where the near miss incident occurred.

No Name Cove, Key Biscayne FL

Surrounded by Bill Baggs State Park, this is the ideal anchorage! (unless you want peace and quiet). Protected from weather in all directions.
“The Cleat” is a hopping place tonight!
There are some 40’ and one 50’ yachts in here, several sailboats (who draw more than us). So we felt confident poking our nose in to see if there was room for us. No problem lol even on a weekend! Feeling lucky.
Today’s short passage. 5.6 sm in an hour.
Bright night with the moon up!
Moon setting to the west.
Tuesday’s sunset.

Shelly and I are really close to calling this cove “Our Favorite” … on par with Shellerina’s Rock

Crandon Park Marina

Ray’s persistent neck pain was becoming an issue. It was not getting better with several strategies that usually work. This week, it was getting worse! Shelly said, “We gotta get you into a doctor.” Can’t do that from an anchorage! So we had to find a slip for a few nights.

Blue Dot shows where we stayed for three nights at this Miami-Dade run marina.

As you get into Southern Florida you run into the following characteristics:

Marina’s are more expensive ($5-$8 per foot)

Marinas are full, often needing reservations weeks in advance.

Boaters are less courteous, waking is very common. So you need to prepare the salon and galley for a rough ride… even if you are only going a few miles on the ICW.

But we learned that Miami-Dade County owns several marinas that are in the area. One of them, with a very reasonable rate of $2.10/ foot… it was close… and they could take us for 3 nights!!! That gave us access to Lyft and Urgent Care physicians in the area. One even had x-ray imaging on-site.

With no appointment, we got in. Diagnosis was a left Trapezius muscle that has been spasm-ing for weeks. X-rays and two injections (muscle relaxer and anti/inflammatory) were given to confirm. X-rays were normal, and the shots helped. So some pills for muscle relaxers were prescribed.

One amazing thing we found was an appliance that would dispense my Rx right there in the lobby/waiting room!!! We didn’t have to Lyft or Uber to a CVS, then Uber/Lyft back to the boat.

We signed up for three nights (Wed, Thur, Fri) because we did not know how easy it was going to be to see a doctor.

This strategy also enabled us to meet up with co-worker Janet Pincus and BF Lawrence for dinner… strategy worked! We had a great time at an Argentine restaurant nearby Friday night. Sorry, we forgot to take a team photo!