Its been clear and cold here in north FLA (30s at night, 50s day) so we've been moving ever southwards. We did make St. Augustine on Sunday, staying in the Salt Run anchorage (ICW mile 777), which was crowded with moored boats but had a great view of the Anastasia Lighthouse (above), a handy park with dock, and no tidal current, which was a nice change. We did have a 1-2 knot head current slowing us most of the day on Sunday.
To avoid more head-current, we got going early Monday and made a short run to Matanzas Inlet (mile 792), anchoring right off Fort Matanzas (below), which is a national monument. The fort was built by Spain in the 1700's to protect against a back-door attack on St Augustine, but the name Matanzas has a gruesome history dating back to 1565. It was a bit tricky getting into the inlet due to shoaling in the ICW there but we got some good advice from another boater and snaked our way in, dropping the big CQR anchor (which we've been using 90% of the time lately due to tidal currents) into a swift current.
We dinghied over to the national monument HQ, where we walked the nature trail boardwalk, and played on a sandy beach. After lunch aboard Spray we snoozed and read in the sun, then some more beach play.
Today we got an early start towards Daytona Beach. This time we had a knot or so of current helping us, and although it was cool, the strong sun coaxed us upstairs to drive from the flying bridge - very pleasant. We made great time and reached Daytona by 1 pm. Riggs was enjoying snoozing in sun so I decided to continue on another 10 miles to our current anchorage in New Smyrna Beach (mile 847). My brother Steve should be impressed that we traveled 55 miles today. Once again we're in strong tidal current, just off the ICW channel. We've already been to shore to empty Riggs and explore downtown. Time to make supper. Tomorrow: an easy 30-mile run down to Titusville FLA.