Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fernandina and Jacksonville Beach, FL ICW M 748 Dec. 1-4, 2011

Welcome to Fernandina Harbor Marina
Shrimp on Parade, 2009

Fernandina Beach, downtown historic district
Directly across from the marina
Fernandina Beach was charming. The municipal marina is convenient, on the ICW, in the middle of the historic district. We enjoyed the history and Spanish architecture in homage to King Ferdinand but we never made it to the beach or the resorts on the other side of the island. There is always the return trip! Two days were enough for winds to settle down and for us to walk a lot, but by Friday Dec. 2 we were anxious to move on. Temps have warmed up considerably (we had 30s overnight while here) but you can tell we aren't in Jersey anymore, it is generally warm and it's December.

Fernandina Beach

It was a joint decision to pass on visiting Jacksonville until spring and move on to Jacksonville Beach just as a lay over. The bridges were a time challenge on this trip- we cleared the first bridge of the day fine but had to sail up and back for three hours to clear a second bridge that had settled just a bit, enough that we needed a lower tide to get under it. That mast has become our pride and our curse. Note to self: there is nothing here in Jacksonville Beach but a safe spot in a storm, though I enjoyed the day sewing and Rick read all day. We actually had to stay here an extra day because we could not reserve a slip in St. Augustine for Saturday night. Tonight, several boats from this marina left decorated with Christmas lights and we realized tonight was the boat parade of lights in St. Augustine, hence no slips available. The boats looked great but we are skittish about rigging lights to the mast, etc. Call us purists or safety freaks, we can't do it. We'll be in St. Augustine Sunday Dec. 4 and we look forward to the history there.

Post Office
Fernandina Beach
From the fountain at the Post Office

Blue Heron and Great Egret across from our boat here at
Jacksonville Beach, Beach Marina.
Note the low tide in the background.
It's the 4-9 foot tides that determine our departures,
bridge travel and docking schedules.