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Tuesday, November 22, 2022

St. Augustine. Remind me not to be here.

Dramatic dawns
Don't get me wrong, I love the little city of St. Augustine. I just don't like to boat here. Every time we're here some drama ensues.

The currents here are crazy harsh, which is interesting because the tidal swing is only 4-5 feet. After being in Maine, where the tides are 8-10 feet, you'd think this would be a piece of cake. But, St. Augustine! The currents are brutal. Mix in holidays and hurricanes, and the place is nothing short of a zoo.

This is kind of our fault since we didn't time this well. We were looking for a place to be for Thanksgiving, and St. Augustine had space (between holidays and hurricanes, everything south of here is also a zoo!). We booked a week on the ball of the municipal marina, and a week in Marker 8, the small marina just on the other side of the Lion Bridge. Today was the day we were to move.

Oh, sure, no one was here when THAT 
pic was taken. Stuffed now!
We took a walk to Marker 8 yesterday to see where they might put us. We'd been there before and know it can be a thing getting docked (current!). They gave us our slip assignment but someone was currently in it. Not usually a thing, but that meant we couldn't arrive early in the morning, which would have been helpful.

Moreover, given the 2 hurricanes this summer one of their piers is damaged, so we can't stay on it to, say, wait. I got the sense the other one isn't great either since they will not let anyone dock during an out-going tide. "It's too dangerous." We either dock during an in-coming tide or slack. 

From the bridge we watched them bring in a
barge with a crane. Needed to fix their break
wall, damaged during Nicole.
The high tide was at 6:49 am this morning and the low tide 1:16. Thus, most of the day was shot; we couldn't get into the slip until 2 pm. That, of course, meant dealing with the winds which are around 20 knots.

So we thought, "What if we stayed an extra day on the ball? We can move tomorrow AM at slack without winds!" Ha. The Municipal Marina was stuffed. They, too, had damage from the hurricanes which limited their space. There was a 20 boat waitlist for balls. TWENTY! FOR THE BALLS! So, no. We gotta go. 

We left the ball at 11 am and traveled to the north side of the bridge to drop a hook. The winds and tide did not agree with each other, so we tried a number of spots only to twist and slosh close to boats around us. I cannot stress enough how packed everything is. After our third try we found a decent spot where we could wait until 2 pm. By then it was around noon.

At 1:45 we noticed the slip was empty and started to make our way there. The marina even called to confirm it was a good time to go.

It took 2 tries since we weren't quite to slack yet. The turbulent current swayed us one way, then another, making us need to reset once. Nailed it on the second try. 

Now we go do the holiday thing.

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