Next St. Augustine

It was a very gray day but no rain. We had low, thin clouds and low winds.

Being Saturday, we had even more southbound traffic. And twice we ran across some very unusual commercial traffic. Here we encountered a couple of tugs transporting 500' of pipe. This one came at a time when we were even more appreciative of having AIS (the electronic tool that identifies other vessels in the area). They were approaching us around a blind curve and just before we had to go through a narrow bridge channel. Having seen them, we pulled over and waited until they went by so we could proceed safely.

Soon thereafter, we encountered this monster of a barge. It was crazy wide and crawling along a barely 2 knots in a very narrow channel called Fox cut. In this case, the captain was kind enough to call out his positioning periodically on the radio because he appreciated the danger of his vessel using up most of the entire channel.

 

We also ran across a Saturday rowing club out training...

And we picked up this very ambitious kayaker. We first saw him drafting behind another boat coming towards us. Shortly he switched across the channel and drafted behind us. He hung along with us for at least a half-hour and we were moving at 7.5 knots!

Toward the end of the day, we had to make our way through the Mantanzas Inlet section of the ICW. It is always extremely shallow and gnarly with tight, very confusing turns only partially marked. It is a notoriously difficult place to navigate. At the narrowest, most challenging turn was a sailboat just out of channel and aground. Oh boy!

 Sorry I didn't get any any pictures for you of that but we were too busy doing what needed to be done to get through. All eyes front!

We did just fine and came into St. Augustine without incident. Tomorrow's another day......