We’re hanging out in Camachee Cove marina waiting for some nasty weather to move through. It’s overcast, chilly and windy. Bleh!
We left Jekyll Island on Monday for the hop across the state border to Fernandina Beach in Florida. At first I didn’t think we could leave because we awoke to heavy fog. It lifted and cleared up nicely. At least the trip across the St. Andrews Sound where you have to go practically out in the ocean to avoid a shoal was uneventful.
Arriving at the Fernandina Harbor marina they directed us to the inside of their face dock. We werent’ thrilled about being on the inside and, as expected, it proved to be an adventure leaving the next morning. We scored some fresh shrimp from the seafood place nearby and had a less than memorable meal at Peppers, the Mexican restaurant that we liked on our last trip. That one’s off the list!
After the aforementioned adventure backing out of the Fernandina marina we motored with the current to the St. John’s river where it reversed and was miserably against us for a long time. Oh, and we also ran into another heavy fog bank near Jacksonville. Thankfully, it wasn’t too big. I think we’ve had more fog in Georgia and Florida than all last summer in Maine!
We were chugging along at around 4 knots when I suddenly noticed a tug’s AIS signal coming north. He announced on the radio that he was approaching the bridge just ahead of us. I called him to ask if we should proceed through the bridge or wait. He told us to come through since there was more room in the channel on the south side. What we didn’t count on was the fierce current at the bridge. We slowed down to 2 knots under full throttle with the huge tug/barge approaching with the current and telling us on the radio that we better hurry up. Yikes, that was scary! As our hearts stopped racing we both agreed to never try to beat a tug/barge again!
Continuing on our way, we picked up a little speed with the tide change. All afternoon we heard the Coast Guard approaching boats for safety inspections. We’ve never been boarded so I fully expected them to catch up with us but they never did. We also heard the CG berate an 80+ foot motor yacht offshore for going too fast in the Atlantic Right Whale protection zone. The captain claimed that he was from Las Vegas and didn’t know about the speed restriction but on further examination admitted to making this trip in the past. He got a safety inspection for his punishment. Besides, the CG is announcing the speed restrictions every hour on the VHF!
We originally planned to take a mooring in St. Augustine but several factors changed our minds. We couldn’t make the Bridge of Lions before sundown and there was bad weather coming through for the next few days. It didn’t take too much to convince us to go into Camachee Cove marina, one of our favorite spots.
As we were walking over for dinner at the marina restaurant we saw our friends Georgie and Mike (Alcyon). They have been for a while getting their windlass replaced. Georgie invited me along the next day for a shopping extravaganza with Carolyn (Spirit), another cruiser from Annapolis who has a condo and car here.
It was a fun day of shopping and lunch at a beautiful mall near Jacksonville. What a great way to get off the boat on a rainy, yucky day. Skip stayed aboard and changed the oil (another chore that I was happy to miss!)
In the evening we met Gigi and Vic (Sea Turtle) at MoJo’s barbecue restaurant in the historic district of St. Augustine. They’ve been here for 5 weeks getting an engine problem fixed on their new motorboat. It was fun catching up and we hope to see them again in Vero.
Gigi and Vic
If it clears up we’ll leave tomorrow for Daytona.