We were getting ready for a trip to Montana when our boating neighbor wondered if we couldn’t squeeze in a trip with them and other neighbors to Daytona before we went west. We looked at the calendar and said, “heck, why not!”
Of the five boats going we were, of course always, the slowest! They were leaving Tuesday and running directly to Daytona, then leaving Friday and running all the way back. The crew on Sonas needed to leave Monday, overnight somewhere and meet up Tuesday, and then leave a day early Thursday and get back at the same time Friday!
So off we set Monday morning, down the AICW, through St Augustine to Palm Coast Marina. This usually isn’t a hardship for us as we love the marina, more so for the European Village and it’s restaurants nearby – especially the Indian restaurant. However every restaurant was closed on a Monday except one – the Red Koi. We had never eaten there before but decided to try it. It is a Hibachi restaurant and the food was very good and reasonably priced!
Next day, Tuesday, we made the short three hour run south and got to Halifax Harbor Marina in Daytona just after lunch. That evening, as we do on the first night at the dock on every cruise with other boaters, we had a docktail. This time on the back of Glen and Debbie Ross’s Prestige.
Next day we walked to Chef Pappa’s Cafe for an excellent lunch and then in the evening we had a special treat. The Daytona Tortugas (Cincinnati Red affiliate) play in Jackie Robinson Ballpark, known as The Jack, which is right next to Halifax Harbor Marina. Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit Tigers) were in town for a series so we bought tickets to the game. Which was also “The Gut Buster” – $17 for the entrance and all you could eat burgers, dogs, and pizza! The Tortugas won 5-0. I must say the group were very well behaved and only had one round of burgers – plus a couple of beers of course!
Come Thursday the other boats were staying for another night but Sonas was starting the trip back. We can make Daytona to home dock in one day but it is at least a nine hour cruise, so we chose to break it up. This time we had a slip reserved at Hammock Beach Marina. This 209 slip marina is part of the Hammock Beach Resort, which is a wonderful facility in Palm Coast. We had been there a number of times before. https://www.hammockbeach.com/
The marina is right on the ICW and there is a pool and Lures tapas bar right there. A free shuttle take you up to the main resort where there are four restaurants, a lazy river, pools and a wonderful Atlantic beach. We took the shuttle up to the resort and ate at the Atlantic Grill overlooking the ocean – and overlooking a wedding that was taking place right outside the restaurant!
Early next morning we made the six hour run through St Augustine and back to home port in Queens Harbour. Two of our fellow cruising boats coming up from Daytona caught up with us just south of home!
Some more photos: