Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 22-10-2021, 18:08   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: NE Florida
Boat: CSY 44
Posts: 25
Green Cove Springs to St. Augustine

OK, here we go!

Background - We (my wife and I) are taking our new to us CSY 44 (5' water draft, 56' air draft) from Green Cove Springs to St. Augustine. We are experienced west coast cruising sailboat sailors but the east coast is all new to us...and so is the boat. So we have been fixing up and making her our own at Green Cove and we are ready to head toward the ocean. I have done my due diligence in boat and trip preparation and this move is considered a shakedown as this will be the furthest / longest we've taken her thus far.

With that, we are looking for advice and tips from sailors with experience and local knowledge of this specific trip from Green Cove to St. Augustine. We want to leave on an outgoing tide in a weeks time. We want to travel during the day and take 2 days. First day from Green Cove to Jacksonville area and overnight on the boat (personal recommendations?) then a second day to St. Augustine.

I have done my own preparation with Coast Pilot, day sails with other sailors, etc. and getting familiar with the area, but we are looking for any tips and advice someone might want to share. I am particularly interested in recommendation for a half way point stop the first night. Also interested on insights of taking ICW vs. the coast and the nuances of St. Augustine inlet. All info however great or small welcome and appreciated! If you've read this far thank you in advance and we appreciate your help.
duetto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2021, 04:21   #2
Registered User
 
OldManMirage's Avatar

Join Date: May 2017
Location: NE Florida
Boat: Trying to patiently wait for my next boat...30ish retirement cruiser ?
Posts: 382
Re: Green Cove Springs to St. Augustine

Good morning duetto. I have sailed in and around Jacksonville for the last 30 years, and I've made the trip to St. Augustine and back many times. At your end, one of my favorite little coves to overnight is just past the Shands bridge there in Green Cove, so I've made that part of trip several times too.

With your waterline you'll make better speed than I ever did with the boats I've had. That being said, what I would recommend is to get an early start from Green Cove so you can come all the way through downtown Jacksonville and get past the Dames Point bridge to be able to anchor that night tucked around the east corner of Blount Island. You'll have to deal with the Main Street bridge on the way, so check if they have any restrictions on opening, usually it's on demand except during rush hour.

That also assumes you want to just anchor out for the night. The bottom there is just mud but the holding is good, I've never had a problem, current is not excessive. There are a few marinas out there too, but I am unfamiliar with them and their availability. I'm sure there would a spot somewhere if that's what you need/want.

This positions you for a short and easy trip out the Jetties the next morning and straight down the coast to St. Augustine. Again, with your speed probably less than 6 hours depending on wind and current and whether you get to sail or have to motor. If the weather forces you to stay inside the ICW, you are looking at a long day of motoring, probably double the amount of time. But with your boat - as long as you feel comfortable doing so - I would go outside.

The St. Augustine inlet can get a bit rough depending on tides and wind, and you want to take care to stay well offshore until you can get lined up on the entrance, as there are shoals to either side. Again, with your size it should not be a problem. Once inside, there are mooring fields or marinas to choose from.

If you go to my YouTube channel and watch the video "Oldman and Miss Mirage on the Ocean," its essentially the same trip, and would give you "some" ideas of what its like. You will see me turn back from trying to leave St. Augustine for my return trip because the winds and waves were just too much to make progress against in my Cape Dory 28. But that shouldn't concern you, nor deter you from going that route. If I'd had a CSY44, it would have made all the difference !

Let me know if you have other questions, feel free to PM me too.

Good luck, it should be fun !
__________________
Old Man and Miss Mirage
YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb6...I8nmW3cFgpkzzg
OldManMirage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2021, 04:31   #3
Registered User
 
LittleWing77's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 2,373
Re: Green Cove Springs to St. Augustine

OldMan's advice above is great, as usual.

Without knowing that sailing area at all (I've always been sailing past it), I would suggest identifying bailout harbours on your route. Yes, it will probably be an easy, uneventful sail, but if, say, someone gets injured, excessively seasick or weather comes up that the two of you can't/don't want to handle, it's good practice to already have identified a couple of backup bailout points along your intended route and what those harbours' entrance restrictions are.

Just a thought,
Fair winds,
LittleWing77
LittleWing77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2021, 05:20   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2018
Boat: 50ft Custom Fast Catamaran
Posts: 5,445
Re: Green Cove Springs to St. Augustine

One little tidbit to add. Everything else has been covered.

If you do the ICW, the makers are tricky to sight upon entering it when you leave the St Johns River. Then they are tricky again when the ICW merges with the St Augustine inlet and takes a hard turn to starboard to head toward the 4 lions bridge in st Augustine.

Nothing to be afraid of, just something to be ready for (not down below peeing ha ha ha ).
__________________
Epoxy can kill me like a kid smelling peanuts across the lunch room. Even the freshly machined dust from cured epoxy. Please don’t suggest using it.
Chotu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2021, 05:50   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Salish Sea in summer/Puerto Vallarta in the winter - no boat just sun and beaches!
Boat: Ganley 30 Junk
Posts: 110
Re: Green Cove Springs to St. Augustine

I don't know the time of the outgoing tide you are going to catch, but 7 years ago when I did that same trip, there was a railroad bridge right in downtown Jacksonville that had to open to let me "escape" and get out to the ocean. It was very early in the morning and that bridge had posted opening hours, and we were way early. My crew member fortunately used to work for the rr and he knew the number of the dispatch office. The bridge operator was persuaded to break his slumber 2 hours early and open the bridge for us. So beware of early hours (unless you have a friend at the rr!), and look for a guidebook that has all of the bridge info. You will need it going down the ICW! St. Augustine is beautiful - enjoy. Outside in the ocean on another trip headed back to Green Cove Springs, we encountered a long line of oil tankers headed south - one every 20 minutes - another little hazard to watch out for. They have good navigation practices though, and you just have to stay out of their lane on the "freeway."
PaulSommers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2021, 06:09   #6
Registered User
 
OldManMirage's Avatar

Join Date: May 2017
Location: NE Florida
Boat: Trying to patiently wait for my next boat...30ish retirement cruiser ?
Posts: 382
Re: Green Cove Springs to St. Augustine

Paul is right, there is a railroad bridge downtown. It is normally open and only closes when a train comes. That said, I have been "stuck" a few times waiting for them to move through.

Chotu is right about channel markers. I would add the turn south into the ICW from the St. Johns is also a good one to pay attention to, the currents can be funny. You've got the river current which varies direction according to the tides, and it's dumping in or out of the ICW, again depending on tides. And don't think you can cut across, pay attention to the markers and stay in the channel ! A chart plotter makes this pretty easy.

Also, not to repeat myself but the trip down the coast to St. Augustine is what I recommend. It would be fairly quick. it's only about 30 nautical miles or so. If you can make 6 knots that's 5 hours inlet to inlet. And you only have to be a few miles offshore. Heck, I never even lost cellphone coverage. As long as the weather is decent you would have no problem.
__________________
Old Man and Miss Mirage
YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb6...I8nmW3cFgpkzzg
OldManMirage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2021, 06:30   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Flagler County, FL, USA, Earth
Boat: Lagoon 380
Posts: 272
Green Cove Springs to St. Augustine

Deja vous: I bought our boat just last spring, and my very first sail trip was the delivery from Jax to st aug. we did the ocean route. Yes, some inlet tidal current, but nothing special. None of my crew had done this route before.
As always, my advice for FL east coast boaters is: “avoid the weekends”.
team karst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2021, 06:31   #8
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 8,371
Images: 1
Re: Green Cove Springs to St. Augustine

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldManMirage View Post
.........
"....... come all the way through downtown Jacksonville and get past the Dames Point bridge to be able to anchor that night tucked around the east corner of Blount Island. ......................
................. If the weather forces you to stay inside the ICW, you are looking at a long day of motoring, probably double the amount of time....... "
..........
Like OldManMirage this is also my home port area and his recommended anchorage is my favorite on this route. If you anchor in this "Old River" meander on the east side of Blount Island, I would suggest that you leave the St. Johns closer to Little Marsh Island opposed to Blount Island. If you proceed to a point about fifty yards beyond the Manatee sign you'll be anchoring in about fifteen feet of sandy/mud bottom. I usually stay about the same distance off the houses as the Manatee sign.

If the weather doesn't favor the offshore ride, don't hesitate to take the ICW. As you won't be heading out to the ocean or back in the ICW trip is less distant and not slower. If time comes to be short, you may consider a nice anchorage just south of Pine Island. Enter favoring the Pine Island side and there's no need to proceed beyond the first 100 yds. as there's shoaling beyond.
__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2021, 06:53   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2019
Boat: Beneteau 432, C&C Landfall 42, Roberts Offshore 38
Posts: 3,155
Re: Green Cove Springs to St. Augustine

You can also chug down the ICW from J'ville to St. Aug. It's an easy trip, with no surprises
Besides, the above anchorage recommendations, a stopping place could be Beach Marine on the ICW. From here it's about a 5-6 hr trip on the ICW depending on tides.

Where the St. Johns River merges with the ICW can be tricky. There has been dredging in this area to ease current flow for shipping. You need to keep looking backwards to make sure you are in the channel, as river current can sweep you off your track without you being aware of it.

I'd recommend making an easy, no fuss 3 day trip out of it.
Tides on the St. Johns river can very by about 6 hours from GCS to mouth of river.
So somewhere along the line you are bound to have adverse currents.

Day 1....GCS to some spot in J'ville, there are several locations downtown as well as elsewhere. Because of the variability of the tides, this can take all day. There are some bridges here, that will have to open for you, so brings an unknown time delay into the picture.
Day 2.....J'ville to Beach Marine. As above, figure all day. Treat yourself to dinner there.
Day 3.....Beach Marine to St. Aug. If you leave by 8 am, you'll be there for lunch.

Going offshore does not make sense for this trip. You've got quite a ways to make it out the St. Johns jetties, and if the wind is against the tide this can be a rough area.
Same for coming into St. A from offshore. That is a tricky inlet. Many shoals. It also adds considerable distance to the trip.

I've done several sailboat races from J'ville to St. A. It's pretty much an all day trip. This time of the year, weather is a big ???

My vote....take the ICW...make it a fun trip. If the boat is new to you, it will give you time to sort it out.
MicHughV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2021, 08:30   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Steinhatchee, FL
Posts: 169
Re: Green Cove Springs to St. Augustine

All very good advice. Try not to schedule it on the weekend or during rush hour. Check for any restrictions on bridge openings. Get through Jax before you stop. There's really no reason to stop south of the city if you are starting from Green Cove Springs. Offshore will be a lot more fun but don't hesitate to stay in the ditch (and it really is a ditch along that stretch) if the weather is at all worrisome.



Be safe and have fun!
Be Free is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2021, 08:58   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2019
Boat: Beneteau 432, C&C Landfall 42, Roberts Offshore 38
Posts: 3,155
Re: Green Cove Springs to St. Augustine

make sure you diesel fuel tank is topped off, or carry some spare diesel fuel containers.....3 days of potential motoring will burn up some fuel..
Beach Marine has a fuel dock, but elsewhere on your trip, getting fuel may be problematic until you get to St. A.
MicHughV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2021, 09:06   #12
Registered User
 
OldManMirage's Avatar

Join Date: May 2017
Location: NE Florida
Boat: Trying to patiently wait for my next boat...30ish retirement cruiser ?
Posts: 382
Re: Green Cove Springs to St. Augustine

duetto, what is your time frame on this trip ? Depending on what day of the week it falls on I might be able to do the offshore part with you, if you would like an extra able-bodied sailor along. You wouldn't need me if you decided to take the ICW. I would arrange my own transportation. Shoot me a PM if interested.
__________________
Old Man and Miss Mirage
YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb6...I8nmW3cFgpkzzg
OldManMirage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2021, 09:36   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: On Barnegat Bay in NJ
Boat: Hunter 40.5 and C+C36
Posts: 169
Re: Green Cove Springs to St. Augustine

I have made the trip many times using the ICW. Sea Tow advised me not to use the ocean route for the St Augustine inlet had wrecked several boats. What I can add to the the advice already given is a good half way anchorage. When you get to the ICW go North through the Three Sisters Bridge only several hundred feet and anchor on the E side. This is opposite what looks like a community boat ramp. There is room for 3-4 boats. The bridge opens on request to continue to St Augustine.
j.g.evans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2021, 10:35   #14
Registered User
 
iyamwhatiyam's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Atlantic Beach, FL
Boat: Catalina 30
Posts: 208
Re: Green Cove Springs to St. Augustine

Should you decide to take the ICW, I have learned two things about that route.
1. Go with the tides. I would arrive at the entrance to the ICW at low tide. The low going high will push you through the ICW as it floods. The flood enters the ICW at the St Johns and St Aug inlet. Once you’re at the halfway point the receding tide should take you to St Aug as the water flows out through the inlet. Hope that makes sense, a more experienced sailor may be able to clarify.
2. Stay east of Marker 52. I’ve soft grounded twice on the west of it. It’s nice and wide there so don’t be tempted. Again, the tides. Oh yeah, I only draft 4 ft.
iyamwhatiyam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2021, 11:32   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 468
Re: Green Cove Springs to St. Augustine

I think I know which boat you guys bought as I'm in the same marina (we're the family with 5 kids). Being as your boat has been docked for many years, I'd take things slow! I agree with McHughV - the time it takes to motor out past the jetties and then back in, the ICW is about the same amount of time - but it is motoring all day which some don't like.
sailingunity is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Crew Wanted: Freeport Bahamas to Green Green Cove Springs FishyBiz Crew Archives 7 03-07-2016 11:12
Crew Wanted: Green Cove Springs to St. Augustine Snowgoose71 Crew Archives 1 12-01-2016 14:30
Holland Marine, Green Cove Springs, FL Laymen Product or Service Reviews & Evaluations 10 20-04-2011 04:33

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:47.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.