Tuesday 10 Dec, St. Augustine FL day 4: Day 2 cycling in the wonderfully warm weather. It’s actually hot!
As soon as he wakes up, Glen heads straight for the laptop and the electrical cupboard by the nav station. He received yet more communication from his EmpirBus friend and is keen to upload a new configuration. Once done, the panel lights are working again. This has been an ongoing issue for such a long time, what a relief to have it solved at last. One captain is happy this morning.
Then he heads ashore to meet Tim, the OCC Port Officer. Our last delivery from Defender has arrived yesterday and Tim kindly brought it over. Now that we are no longer pinned pending shipments, we can look ahead to our travel plans. PredictWind reconfirms nor’easter coming in for the next few days, so we decide to remain here in St. Augustine till weekend, for the next weather window.
We feel no more pressure with regards to our moving plans, and want to make the most of this beautiful day. So the bikes go in the dinghy again and we head ashore for another cycle tour.
Whilst on the jetty putting the bikes together, Glen drops the allen-key which finds the only thin crack in the jetty concrete and falls through with a muffled “plop” into the water. He really does have great skills at dropping tools when near water! A trip back to Cloudy Bay solves the issue (he brings back about 100 allen-keys!) and we are on our way.
This time we go through the town towards the airport, aiming to find the “most beautiful street in St. Augustine”. It is a lovely street with a canopy of old trees with dangling Spanish moss. We remembered this street from our trolley tour last year, and we do manage to find it eventually. Very quiet today, and it is indeed still beautiful.
From there we head over the Francis & Mary Usina Bridge towards the beach, to the north of St. Augustine this time. We thought it might be a bit dodgy to cycle over this bridge, but same as yesterday, there was a side lane for pedestrians and cyclists. Quite a few braver cyclists are going on the main lanes of the bridge, but we are pussies and stick to the safe lane.
Soon after the bridge we come across a Publix hyper market and get curious to go check it out. As expected, very well stocked groceries and fresh produce, we’ll definitely fill our fridges and freezer from here before leaving.
The beach road is very busy with cars and we need to be extra careful. All the properties here have prime position right next to the beach, and it takes us a while till we actually find a street between them that has access to the Vilano Beach. Definitely warmer than yesterday, so we are not surprised to see a fair number of people on the beach, sunbathing. The beach stretches all the way to the horizon, enveloped in the mist from the crashing surf. Quite wild.
Back to the main road we decide to make a u-turn and head back to town, to cycle in the shade and explore areas we haven’t seen yet. We are actually getting a bit too hot … hard to believe after our last weeks of teeth-chattering.
Heading towards the west side of St. Augustine and looking for a place to have a drink in the cool, we come across Back 40, a small house with lovely food smells coming from inside. Can’t resist these inviting aromas so “just a drink” turns into lunch too. Delicious shrimps quesadilla and Thai shrimps salad.
Mid-afternoon by now and the sun is still very intense. Need more cooling time and the nearby West Marine provides the extra break. We weren’t planning to buy anything, but we do walk out with few feet of dyneema, a small solar panel, cable wraps, fishing line and almost $100 less in our pockets. Hmmm, we thought our boat spending were over 🙁
Taking quieter back roads we finally manage to return to the old town by 5pm. Still very warm and we feel a bit cycled-out, so back to the dinghy we go, arriving to Cloudy Bay just at the sun goes down. We clean the bikes, put them back under our berth and declare we are glad we decided not to sell them.
In the evening I make a lemon cake which takes longer to bake than the generator charging cycle of the batteries. First time we use the bread maker on inverter, and we learn it draws 18Ah. Hm, not bad.
We then relax and make plans to re-anchor early morning, closer to the bridge to get some better shelter. Tomorrow the strong wind is coming and we could get a bit beaten about out here direct in line with channel to the sea. We’ll likely be wind bound for next couple of days.