Tomorrow morning at slack tide Second Star will depart St. Augustine, Florida. Our stay has been productive and fulfilling. A long list of boat projects was shortened, Susan’s son David visited, and we fell in with a group of like-minded sailors and boaters. The marina at which we spent most of our time was nicer than any we have ever visited, with large stable docks, clean and comfortable shower facilities, affordable laundry, and best of all friendly and welcoming staff. Finding this marina is a story unto itself and has its roots in our Dismal Swamp Canal days. More on that coming soon.

Tomorrow will be a long day as we plan to reach Daytona, about 45 nautical miles south. With St Augustine low temperatures forecast to be in the mid 30s for the next couple of days, we hope Daytona and then Titusville will be warmer.

Visiting the Bahamas is still a possibility. The main issue is timing. Those who are fully vaccinated need to have a negative Covid Antigen test not more than 72 hours before arriving in the Bahamas and a Bahamian Health Visa. For cruise ship and airline passengers with a scheduled departure time, this is a pretty easy task. For sailors, not so much. Testing sites are often drive-in only and are not easily accessible for those without cars, most cruisers. The other big issue is the weather. Safely crossing the Gulf Stream in a small boat requires a very specific weather window. Thus within 72 hours a Bahamas bound cruiser must find a testing site, get the test and results, apply for a Health Visa (and wait for 24 to 48 hours for approval), and sail 10 hours to the Bahamas all the while hoping the weather window stays open, an iffy proposition.

This afternoon FedEx made the process a bit easier by delivering six Rapid Result Proctored Antigen Tests. Having these tests removes a big hurdle and increases the likelihood of our being able to visit the Bahamas.

When we left Fair Haven some six months ago, we thought we would be crossing the Gulf Stream by late January or early February, that thought has long since passed. The changing entry requirements and the delightful experiences we have had here in St Augustine have pushed any departure date further into the year and into better weather. We are comfortable with the circumstances as they are.

With our plans decisively written in sand, we await the next high tide.

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