We awoke to the wake of leaving boats early the next morning and got underway. We chose to do the leg to St. Augustine up the Intracoastal. We passed some amazing homes at the water's edge, beautiful open fields, and had lots of dolphin encounters. I navigated my first bridge solo and each girl had time at the helm. One of the highlights of the day was the dolphins that swam with us for awhile right alongside the boat, so close that the girls decided to feed them some of our squid fishing bait. The dolphins loved the squid so much that they stayed where it had been thrown. Shortly after the dolphins, we came across a pile of manatee. We were first concerned they might be beached but soon realized they were most likely making baby manatees. Andrew circled around and we watched fins and flippers move over the water. Baby manatees would approach our boat, it was a pretty spectacular encounter.
|Girls on the Intracoastal - pile of manatee in the background :)|
It was an easy walk to dinner and a fun evening of stories and laughter. Everyone enjoyed the boat tour and we all relaxed with drinks in the helm while the kids played down below. Andrew's brother, Richard and his wife Samantha decided to spend the night on the boat with us. It was fun having our first slumber party on board.
|Coffee before heading home.|
|First mooring field, first tow - and we haven't even made it home yet :)|
We waited for the 9am opening of the bridge and were on our way home.
|Bridge of Lions behind us.|
Again it felt like an accomplishment when we reached the Dames Point Bridge but Andrew said he didn't have the heart to tell me that we were only halfway.
That final leg was the longest of the whole trip, I think. I went below and packed up for easy disembarking. The only highlights of St. Johns travel was passing our first cruise ship - we felt so tiny beside it but passengers waved at the girls, so fun.
Also, we got to see our tug boats at work - pretty cool.
We arrived at Arlington Marina after 9pm. It was so dark it was difficult to even take photos of the girls to celebrate making it home. It was so late and we were so tired, it was almost anti-climatic but everyone did their best to be enthusiastic :) We were relieved to be home and proud to have completed such a journey. Richard met us at the dock and ran us home. We had planned a steak dinner with Rich & Sam to celebrate but we all took a rain check and headed to bed.
|Arlington Marina and Matthew's Bridge - we are home!|