Friday, March 29, 2019

St. Augustine to Fernandina Beach

3 - nights anchored
2 - runs aground
1 - scrape
1 - months on the voyage (really??!!)

We didn't plan on getting this far today. We thought we'd stop in Jacksonville Beach, which would have been a 4 hour day. But we hear there's a nifty little farmer's market in Brunswick (our next stop) on Saturdays. We pushed today in hopes of seeing it tomorrow. We dig little farmer's markets.

Up early, we did our coffee and cereal, and headed out, pronto. We had to stop right away to pump out. They offered pump outs at our marina, but it was a bit funky, and after the last incident, I just wanted to leave. Right in the city of St. Augustine is their own marina, and they offer free pump outs to anyone. We did have to wait, giving us an opportunity to practice the "stay right here, despite the tide and wind and current" maneuver. But once a spot opened up on the dock, we slid right in and did our thing. Then, we headed up the river.

Farewell, fort of St. Augustine
Our journey was uneventful but full of interesting and challenging developments. Firstly, we had to cross a commercial channel as we passed by Jacksonville. We crisscrossed paths with a tug, and, man, did he make a wake! Next, while coming up river, a cruise ship (albeit a small one) was coming down. Lastly, given some of the weather we've been having some of our electronic data is out of date. Russ has been following another cruiser named Bob423 who makes current maps while he and his wife travel up and down the ICW. Occasionally we'd switch to those waypoints when they differed from our Navionics. Quite the voyage.

We anchored just outside Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. This might be the last time we stop in Florida. I haven't been out of the state since we drove in last October to buy the boat.

Hey, that's us!! This was sent to us from another looper
who snapped it as we passed them.
Shout out to Jill Kristy and her crew, the Spurlocks.
The marina here was pretty damaged by hurricane Irma a couple of years ago. They plan on reopening this summer. But there are no mooring balls (I really wanted to try that for a change over anchoring) and no convenient place to park the dinghy for dogs. Well, we did find a spot and took the dogs for a long walk. When we returned, however, someone was moving our dinghy since we parked in their spot. We profusely apologized. She was kind, but a bit irked. I can't blame her.

While on the walk, however, we got to see a little bit of the darling town here, full of restaurants, shops, and tourist to-dos. We've seen so many towns in Florida struggling to make that happen we couldn't help but wonder how this one succeeded. Kudos to them. We wished we could stay longer.

Independence. She travels the ICW
carrying about 100 guests. Who knew?
Darling downtown Fernandina Beach

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