Friday, April 17, 2015

Palm Coast to Jacksonville

April 10-14

Days 150-154

Our arrival back at Palm Coast Marina early Friday morning means we have just one more day on our car rental, with lots of stuff to get done. Jess needs to get the oil changed in the engines so that he can take the old oil to Advance Auto for proper disposal. We also need to make a trip to Publix for groceries.  Everything gets accomplished with time to spare, which means we have time for one last ride up the coast and a nice supper out before we find ourselves back on foot. By Monday morning we are ready to hit the road (water) to continue our trip towards Jacksonville, where we will leave the ICW for another side trip down the St. John's River. The calendar is starting to worry us just a little. Days are flying by and we still have so many places that we want to visit along our way north. Knowing that we need to be cruising by the Statue of Liberty early in June is starting to put a bit of pressure on us. At our top speed it is rather difficult to hurry too much. 

A nice walk along the beach near Marineland, before having a good meal at the Oasis Restaurant in St. Augustine. 

After our trip back to north Alabama last week, I have been a little disappointed in the beauty of springtime in Florida. The many flowering trees that always signal the end of winter in Alabama just don't exist here. Other than the trees getting a little greener there is not a lot happening here to herald the coming spring. I guess the many blooming flowers that we have enjoyed all winter make up for some of this difference.

There are miles and miles of walking trails in Palm Coast.  We were able to enjoy this beautiful walk along the ICW on Sunday morning.  If you look closely you will see one of the many squirrels that live here perched in the crook of the tree branches.  He was very entertaining as he tried to get our attention, obviously looking for a handout.  The squirrels came out onto the walkway to greet us all along the way, someone is definitely carrying peanuts in their pockets.

One of the best things about Florida that we have found, is their concern for providing wonderful walking trails so that everyone can enjoy being outdoors.  Getting a little exercise is no problem when we are able to enjoy this beautiful scenery.

This big guy moored in St. Augustine's harbor makes me realize how lucky I am to be making this trip in the 21st century.  I know for a fact I don't want to climb that rigging!

This is the stunning Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine.  We obviously could not see the lions from our perspective.  Sometimes traveling on the water gives us views that landlubbers don't see and sometimes it is the other way around.

We were experiencing one of many rain showers as we cruised by the fort at St. Augustine.
As Jess and I have both visited this area before, and we are anxious to get to the St. John's River, we decided to save another tour of the city for our next trip to Florida.

According to our charts this anchorage would provide us with a 4 mile nature walk.  If it exists we didn't exactly find it, but we did have a nice walk through the marshes.  We found thousands of tiny crabs, a few birds, and lots of bugs.  We actually didn't know how many bugs we found until the next day, when Jess started itching! 

This mega yacht building facility is located where the ICW enters the St. John's River east of Jacksonville. I don't think they have our next boat ready for us to pick up, so we will just keep trolling along.  The St. John's run south to north with quite a bit of current, so we are having a nice opportunity for sightseeing as we are only moving at about 6 mph.

This is the Napoleon Bonaparte Bridge, the first of many as we travel past Jacksonville. The only reason I could think of for naming it after him, was its comparison to a the hat that he wore. There is a lot of commercial traffic along the riverfront. 

This transport ship was unloading new Toyotas. They must have had at least 30 people driving them down the ramp, as fast as they were unloading them.

The waterfront area of Jacksonville is very pretty.  This picture shows the copper color of the water. The water is actually clear, but it is so dark that you can't see into it.

This is Jacksonville Landing. They provide a free dock for boaters to enjoy the entertainment along the riverfront. Jess says we are going to stop here on our way back so that we can eat at Hooters. Will let you know how that works out.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to inform you but that is not a nuclear power plant; although Florida has three, one is at Crystal River (north of Tarpon Springs), one at Homestead (near Miami) and the third at St. Lucie. A nuclear power plant would have similar cooling towers (water/steam) but no smoke-stack like the one in your photo. So the nuclear plant would have no emissions except steam; much better for the air and water than what you were passing - Tim