13 December 2021: St Augustine At Last!
13 December 2021
Pine Island, FL, USA
St Augustine, FL, USA
Cumulative Mileage (NM)
Crew on Board
Skipper, first mate, chef, entertainment and more; I guess that is solo sailing for you!
GENERAL WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
Overcast, grey and wintery.
Blustery and colddddddd
It was a brief 12 nautical mile trip into St Augustine. I had could not quite make it from my previous anchorage all the way to St Augustine in daylight and I had a mooring reservation so needed to be there on a specific day.
St Augustine was busy this time of year as it is known for its Christmas lights and festivities (as well as a lot of history). So I was lucky to get a mooring reservation at all, especially important given the anchorage had a reputation for poor holding. And I was able to stay almost an entire week. I was so excited for as my good friends George and Mary were here.
There is something to be said for the hugs from familiar faces when you are doing something hard!
George and I had met on the docks at Brewers Cowesset in Rhode Island back in 2018 when I was preparing to depart on my last boat. And we had kept in touch as any time I was in Rhode Island after that I would stop by the docks and often find George! And getting to know Mary was a total privilege that without George I would not have had the chance to do. The two of them together really made me laugh and lifted my spirits!
It did not hurt that they were totally foodies and wanted to share all the food experiences of St Augustine with me (too many delicious foods to name). And I even managed to convince them to let me cook for them one night too.
We met up with another Rhode Island boat and friends, SV Mojo, with Tom and Kim aboard as well as their Rhode Island crew Tom and Laura for dinner at George and Mary’s favourite Mexican restaurant (well, we meet at the docks and all seven of us piled into George’s truck). Laura had wanted to meet me since hearing there was a female solo sailor at East Greenwich Yacht Club but my quick departure after finding a boat meant we missed each other! It was great to all get to hang out as a group!
A real Rhode Island comfort brought to me in Florida!
I had been shipping ALL of my post and Amazon packages to George and Mary’s house all down the coast. Since I left Connecticut only a couple days after buying the boat there was a lot needed and wanted! A literal stack of Christmas presents waiting for me in this Christmassy town (I still cannot believe George and Mary never complained about the sheer number of parcels accumulating at their house). They also lent me their car for an entire day of provisioning and George helped me to change my coolant and drop it off at a disposal site.
I squeezed in an afternoon to put Tala’s name and home port on the transom now she was a Canadian registered boat and the decals had arrived in the post! Thanks to Ed in Rhode Island who I was video chatting before I got started and gave me all his best tips!
George and Mary and I also took the local trolley tour, a Christmassy themed trolly tour with hot apple cider and Christmas carols and so many holiday lights! Not the typical historical trolley tour you do, but something that was definitely needed to remind me Christmas was coming.
I stayed in St Augustine as long as my budget would allow – the moorings were not cheap – and then planned to continue south. I used their oil disposal for an oil change (so I would get enough hours on the engine to do the oil sample I wanted to do which had come in the mail with the assistance of the boys in the office at Brewers Cowesset in Rhode Island) and used their lawns to spread out my spare sails and see if they were in a condition that was good enough to justify keeping them.
One more parcel was supposed to arrive in the mail, but there was an anchorage south of town for the light winds coming that was close to George and Mary’s and they could drop it off. So I dropped the ball, passed through the bridge, filled fuel and water and carried on my merry way.
“Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends.”
– H. Jackson Brown Jr.