St. Augustine Florida - anchor's away!

We lifted anchor this morning (Thursday) and headed south a bit to the St. Augustine inlet, via the ICW.  There are horror stories about this inlet, and I'm sure on a choppy day, the rumors hold true. 
But on the calm day we had, we had no problem seeing all of the buoys that clearly mark the round-about channel leading to the Bridge of Lions (a draw bridge that opens every 30 minutes) and right up to the Municipal Marina.  We decided  to cough up some cash and stay in a slip tonight.  There are loads of amenities to take advantage of here (yes, we could've used a mooring ball and only spent 1/4 of the price of the slip but we ARE on vacation!) - and we've already used the showers and their unlimited hot water *, topped off the water tank, washed the boat and did 2.5 loads of laundry ($1.50/wash and $1.50/dry).  And obviously the good wifi signal - per the 3 blogs posting over the next 24 hours, while we sail.  

Tomorrow we'll take advantage of the free pump out service (they come suck the poop out of your holding tank).  Then we're - you guessed it - heading south!  We could jump on the outside and run in the ocean down to Ponce Inlet, or we could cruise on down the ICW and anchor out.  Have to check the seas/winds again to decide for sure.  Could be a 10hr day with a potential post-sunset achor in a sketchy inlet (this is the one where we almost got stuck on a sandbar with our Captain during delivery this summer...).  That's really the only place for us to get back to the inside to anchor if we choose the ocean path. But we'd likely get to do some actual sailing.  If we stay in the ICW, we can see a part we've not seen yet, and should be able to easily find an anchorage before dark, regardless of whether or not we make it all the way to Ponce/Daytona.  Decisions, decisions.

In the meantime, we also took advantage of being in a very sailor-friendly city and walked a couple of miles over to the Sailor's Exchange:

They have a crap-ton of used gear.  Not much that we needed at the moment, but it's good to know it's here.  And this put me in Sunbrella heaven:

I grabbed 3 yards of the blue Sunbrella ($24 total!) that I prefer over the bright charter blue that Luna Sea is covered in.  It matches the logo.  (tip - pick colors for your logo that are actually available in Sunbrella and a coordinated life is much easier)  One day I will create large cloth versions of our logo for the sail bag and our two cockpit chairs - and whatever else I can sew them onto!  And we'd like to one day replace the bright blue sacrificial on the jib with this color as well.  Eventually all traces of the Moorings will be eliminated.  One day. 

Before heading back to the boat for dinner, we hiked across town to a local bead shop.  I was able to pick up some locally handmade polymer beads and can't wait to work them into some of the jewelry pieces.  I love being able to collect shells and beads and other bits from here and there.  It's like there will always be a bit of this trip floating around in the world somewhere.  

*In my excitement, I accidentally grabbed the conditioner instead of the shampoo when I headed to the showers this morning.  And the water is really soft.  So my hair actually felt dirtier than before my shower.  I ended up in a pony tail all day - just like I'd taken a 30 second boat shower.  Oh well.  Lesson learned!

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