April 1, 2016 – Friday – Hidden Harbor Marina to Jim King Park Courtesy Dock in the outskirts of Jacksonville – 43.3 statute miles traveled.

We were ready to go early but the tide was down and we were moored the second boat in with a side tie. We felt it was likely the strip of water between the boat behind us and the shore was too shallow and narrow to leave so had to wait until that boat left.

We knew they were leaving that morning and the did finally pull out at around 0830 so we were able to leave the dock at 0835 to head down the San Sebastian River and back into the AICW and St. Augustine Harbor. We crossed St. Augustine Inlet (from the Atlantic) and headed up the Tolomata River, part of the AICW. This joins the Cabbage Swamp Canal that leads to Pablo Creek which empties into the St. John’s River. We crossed the St. Johns River leaving the city of Jacksonville to the west and headed up Sisters Creek, a continuation of the AICW.

A half mile up Sisters is a side channel with a very nice new floating courtesy dock. We were aiming for this all day as our end point but were expecting it to be full and that we would have to find an anchorage. Rounding the corner we found only one catamaran sailboat with a couple from Ontario aboard. The dock easily had room for at least six boats in the 40 foot range so I pulled in down the dock a ways leaving them the privacy but making sure there was space for another boat to moor between us if needed. It turned out we two were the only boats overnight.

The Canadian fellow helped us with lines while docking and then we settled in. It had been cloudy all day but the temperature was in the eighties and there was a small breeze. It was comfortable to sit in the cockpit and read until the wind died and then we discovered that it was now bug season again. We were finally driven inside where we used the little twelve volt fan we have to provide comfort. With no wind the screened windows and hatch didn’t provide much air movement.

Soon a guy came by to welcome us and ask if we needed anything. He was a volunteer greeter and presented us with his card which read “The Greeter at Jim King Marina – Paying forward the kindness of others – Trips to where ever you need: Supplies, Airport, Grocery Stores. We said the only thing we needed was some ice for our cooler and he kindly took me to a nearby RV park where I was able to purchase the cheapest ice we have found on the trip (20 lbs for $1.50). What an interesting fellow and we certainly appreciated his kindness.

The rest of the evening was spent reading, talking and enjoying another gourmet dinner prepared by the head chef and first mate, Vicki.

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