We are back in Jacksonville after a wonderful two weeks exploring the St. Johns River. We are anchored for the holiday on the south side of the river, east of the bridges (map), just a stone's throw from the Chart House, where we have Christmas dinner reservations. We'll tender ashore there tomorrow evening and tie up in the one tiny corner of the city dock which is not reserved for the water taxi.
Tuesday evening we wrapped up the more scenic portion of our cruise and tied up at Corky Bells Steak and Seafood (map) in East Palatka, just across the river from where we stopped on the southbound trip. The food was decent, the drafts were cold, and you can't beat the convenience of a deep-water dock, which we had to ourselves the whole night. In the morning we walked across the street to the grocery store for a handful of provisions, and I picked up two gallons of gas for the dinghy at the station next door.
Vector at the dock at Corky Bells, from their deck, on a calm river.
Yesterday we retraced our route back to Green Cove Springs from Palatka. We had figured to find a way to get back to our mail service one last time before they closed for the holidays, but our friends Rod and Pauline offered to pick it up for us when they went up to get their own mail during the day, so we did not need to find a dock for the scooter. Instead we anchored just a couple of hundred feet off the city docks downtown (map), and we tendered in for dinner at d'Fontana again.
This morning we zipped over to our old digs at Reynolds park in the dinghy to have coffee with Rod and Pauline aboard Two By Two and collect our mail from them. We had a nice chat and hope to run into them again later in the season. We got back to Vector just in time to deck the tender and weigh anchor for downtown Jacksonville.
We might just as well have stayed another night at Green Cove Springs, but I did not know if there might be any holiday delays getting through the railroad bridge, and I really wanted to be on this side of the bridge tomorrow. It's just as well, because we can use a day of downtime without having to move the boat on Christmas day; tonight we'll be having leftovers aboard.
Vector, good to the last drop. Taken from the south river walk, with Maxwell House in the background. We have quite the brown mustache from the tannic waters of the St. Johns.
I expect we'll move over to the free city docks at Metropolitan Park on Saturday. They have a pumpout there, and we'll take on water as well as top up the batteries. We'll put a scooter down so we can load up on provisions for our upcoming guests, who arrive on Wednesday. We're not yet sure if we'll pick them up here, or a bit further south along the ICW. I'll be spending the next couple of days working on routes, parking, and ground transportation.
In the meantime, we wish all our readers a most joyful holiday, whichever one you celebrate. I'll get at least one more regular blog post in before our guests arrive, and I might even upload a technical post or two that I've been working on in the background.