St. Augustine, FL ICW Cruise
From Blythe Island Regional Park,
to Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor, St. Augustine, FL
April to 14 April 2017
It was Spring Break for most
of the schools in Columbia and six boats and 14 people from LMPS were ready to
start the seven-day cruise to St. Augustine, FL. But this cruise started some
two months earlier when P/C Mike Kirk, AP, P/C David Allen, SN and I took a
two-day trip to Georgia and Florida to plan what towns we would visit and where
we would stay each night. This was quite a challenge due to several of our usual
marinas were severely damaged from Hurricane Matthew. At
3:00 p.m. on day two everything was planned; reservations and rates were made
with the marinas and we were heading back to Columbia.
As with most cruises, there is
always something that causes a delay and this one was no different. One of LMPS
newest members TK Tripathy and his family had a fuel problem with their tow
truck. But nothing was going to stop them from going on the cruise. The truck
was towed from Lake Wateree to the dealership in Columbia. On Saturday, he
learned that the dealership did not have a diesel mechanic on duty. So, the
truck was towed to another repair shop, the problem was diagnosed and they found
one parts store that had the part. While KT was helping to get his truck
repaired, the others had started the five-hour drive to Blythe Island Park. Once
the boats were launched, we took a short cruise to Brunswick Landing Marina
where we were warmly welcomed by the entire marina staff. After walking through
the old town of Brunswick, we decided on where we were going to dine. After
supper, we received a call from KT informing us that the truck was repaired and
he, Gayle and their two sons would be at the marina by 9:00 a.m. on Sunday. He
proved to be a man of his word and caught up with Chuck and Teresa Clark,
Charles and Stephanie Heath, Kathy and Danny Glenn, Mike Kirk and Angie Tronco
and Diane and Charlie Bruce.
Sunday, Mike took the lead and
we cruised 60 miles to Morningstar-Mayport Marina, in Mayport, FL. This was not
one of your typical Morningstar marinas, this was more of a commercial marina.
Within walking distance from the marina is the Singleton Seafood Shack. “Shack”
may have been an overstated description; however, the food was good and everyone
enjoyed laughing at KT’s stories.
Mike took the lead again on
Monday and lead us on a 39-mile cruise to Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor located
just north of downtown St. Augustine, FL. Once everyone was in their slips,
different groups headed in different directions. For the next two days, we
explored every part of downtown St. Augustine and some even had time to visit
The Old Fort.
Wednesday, we started our
return cruise. Diane and I took the lead for the next 67 miles to the little
town of St. Mary’s, GA. The waterfront business is mostly owned by the Lang
family and so we stayed at Lang’s Marina and ate at Lang’s Seafood Restaurant.
The seafood was good but nothing compared to the River View Restaurant that had
the best desserts and pastries that we had ever eaten. Yes, that was the
consensus of everyone.
Before departing St. Mary’s,
most of us piled in two cruisers and ventured over to Cumberland Island. The
Island is well known for the wild horses that roam the land. We went to the
north end of the island to get a tour of the Carnegie Mansion, but not before
watching the horses grazing the marshland on the south end. I could write on and
on about the history, but I suggest that you take time and look it up on Google.
We left St. Mary’s after refueling with the feeling that we would miss this
little town that’s history goes back to the 1700s.
Chuck lead the next 28-mile leg
to Jekyll Harbor Marina. This is a small quiet marina located right on the ICW
with a newly renovated restaurant. We checked in with Zachary’s Riverhouse
Restaurant only to learn that if we wanted to eat there we needed to make
reservations before 6:00 pm. We did and before we finished eating, the entire
restaurant was completely filled. It was a nice way to end our cruise.
On Friday, we departed the
marina and headed back to the Blythe Island Park where we loaded our cruisers
and headed home.
Until next year’s spring break.
P/C Charlie Bruce SN-CN