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Coral Encrusted Crab Trap

Yesterday, we observed our anchored neighbor trying to retrieve his anchor as he was leaving St. Augustine Harbor. His anchor was apparently caught on something on the bottom of the anchorage, and he had to hire a diver to retrieve it for him. We had purposefully anchored on the north side of the Bridge of Lions, after reading in the Cruiser’s Guide the south side of the bridge presented problems with anchors dragging and debris from wreckages.  But…after observing our neighbor and his dilemma, we tried to shake off our concerns for a similar problem when it would be time for us to leave this superficially beautiful anchorage.  Having said that… this morning was our time to see what awaited us as we weighed anchored.

Our anchor did indeed come up okay with the help of our battery powered “windless”, a device that pulls up the anchor rode (line) and anchor.  However, attached to our anchor was a coral encrusted three foot square crab trap.  It took Gary half an hour to get it off our anchor, losing our boat hook in the process ( a necessary piece of equipment for boaters).  Thanks to his valiant labor, we did not have to call for assistance.

Bridge of Lions repair

Bridge of Lions and temporary Lift Bridge

After idling White Swan around St. Augustine harbor while Gary accomplished the task at hand, we finally left via the historic bascule bridge, Bridge of Lions.  Repair of this historic bridge is in process, so a temporary lift bridge is accommodating the boat traffic, as the bascule bridge is left open during the extension repairs.

Our trip south was uneventful.  We were quite warm with our heater running and our enclosed cockpit.  Having slept through two freezing cold nights anchored at St. Augustine, motoring down the ICW with heat was a pleasure.  During the trip, I saw what I thought were four white swans.  I got the camera and went outside the cockpit to take their picture and I was surprised to find they were not swans, but white pelicans.  These were the first we have seen.  We started seeing brown pelicans as far north as the southern part of the Chesapeake Bay.   One unique difference in the character of the two is the white pelicans do not dive like the brown ones do.  To feed themselves, they work together as a team, flapping their wings in the water to herd the fish into a group where they cobble them up.  Nature is a continual source of amazement and wonder.  We love watching the brown pelicans dive for their feasts.  They dive so close to the shore, and are going so fast in their dive, they look like they would knock themselves silly in the process.  However, they survive the dive and continue to do it over and over again, making their antics an enjoyable sight for their spectators.

We arrived at Dayton Beach, made it through two bascule bridges, and arrived at the Halifax Harbor Marina fuel dock, in good form. After fueling up and pumping out the head, we rented a boat slip for the night as tonight is to bring another night of freezing temps. We chose this marina for two reasons: one, we’d be through the two bascule bridges, and not have to contend with them in the morning; and, two, there is a West Marine store here where we can purchase a replacement boat hook. Having a laundry very near our boat slip was a bonus, and I got to do a couple loads of laundry. YEAH!!!


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