Monday, January 5, 2015

Fernandina Beach Back to Jacksonville

After leaving the state line we headed south with the intention of finding a nice hidey hole for the next couple of days.

We ducked into a little creek thinking we would wait out the bad weather and dropped the anchor.  When we awoke the next morning...Yikes!  Low tide revealed we almost landed on a shelf of oyster shells!

 About 2 hours later it looked like this! We were right at the edge.

We were swinging around on the anchor with the changing current and the next tide we landed on the bank and spend 6 hours at a 20 degree angle. We didn't like the idea of hanging out here dealing with the shifting currents and the weather was slated to be crap for the next week or better. So we took the dinghy to a nearby marina, got 10 gallons of diesel and weighed anchor to set off for downtown Jacksonville for Christmas.

It wasn't a particularly bad day for cruising, just not much sun. It wasn't too cold or windy.  We were just ahead of the rain for most of the day.  It finally caught up to us at the end of the day as we crept further up the St. Johns River in Jacksonville bucking a 4 knot current.

A wall of rain in front of us.  Where is Radar?

LOL  Down below where it's nice and dry! 
Radar:  "Dumb humans don't know to get out of the rain!"

  We ran out of daylight and cruised into the darkness trying to reach an anchorage Carter found on the chart. Dodging barges and container ships all the way up the St. John's, we finally  dropped anchor behind  Exchange Island about 10 pm. 

It was getting time for some re-provisioning so the Captain got out the digital satellite imagery (google maps)  to locate the nearest grocery store that we could get to by dingy.  Turns out it was just around the corner so the next morning we weighed anchor and went up Little Potsdam Creek and dropped anchor by the bridge. From there we could land the dinghy and hike 2 blocks  to a Publix, (where shopping is a pleasure).  Heading in we saw that the creek wasn't too nice to someone!

The bridge where we anchored and landed the dinghy made a nice picture.

With grocery shopping out of the way, we got up the next morning and set out for Jacksonville Landing where we read that could tie up to the dock for free for up to 3 days. Upon arrival we decided this was not the place to stay. Lots of chop banging us against the dock, a wicked current, and too many tourists.  .  

The St. Johns River has a lot of shipping activity.

They were off loading vehicles from this ship.

Tugs are everywhere and very busy here.

More high smog industry.

We decided to investigate a marina we passed by on the way to Jacksonville Landing, got the dockmasters phone number, made a call and voila, we are in a great marina for the next month. I was relieved that our situation is settled for the next few weeks.

You can see the Arc's solar panels on the left side of this picture and the stadium on the right side of the picture.  The Tennessee Volunteers will be playing in the bowl game against Ohio on January 2nd.   This will be a great location to explore downtown Jacksonville which is how we plan to spend Christmas day.

Merry Christmas!

Captain Carter and Diane

Saint Augustine to Fernandina Beach - Florida / George State Line

We departed Saint Augustine on the 18th and proceeded north on the ICW heading toward Fernandina Beach and the FL/GA state line.  It was a nice day, in other words, not too cold and/or windy.

The Fort at Saint Augustine

Saint Augustine is such a quaint old town.

The Atlantic Ocean at the Inlet

The scenery reminds us of the Florida panhandle and we guess it's because we are at equal latitudes.

Carter, Radar and I paddled over to the spoils island we anchored by this evening.  
Taking Radar for his daily shore leave is a big part of our day.

I didn't expect to see such a beautiful cactus on this little spoils island!

Picture postcard scenery!

A truly beautiful anchorage.

The Archimedes, The Spirit of Ellen Peterson and Radar.

"Ok, I'm ready to go back to the Arc now."

We continued on toward the FL/GA state line and arrived in Fernandina Beach just after sunset. We dropped anchor next to an interesting character.  It looked like the guy was trying to frame up an apartment on top of his boat with wood he found in a dumpster. But I guess it's working for him. 

I love the dog waiting faithfully for his master to return.  He and Radar had a few chats.

Another quaint harbor town.

A shrimp boat at low tide.  Don't know what this guy's story is but many sailors do this intentionally so they can scrape the bottom of the boat.  High tide rolls back in and the boat is floating again.  Carter saw a great place to beach the Arc and do the very same and we are discussing coming back here after the holidays to spruce up the freeboard paint a little before leaving the area..

This is definitely an industrial part of town.

This was some stinky, foul air for sure.

A fort on the Florida side of the state line.

Around this buoy and it's done.  The state line of Florida and Georgia. 

We toasted this achievement with hot coffee because is it was too early and way too cold for wine.  The weather was forecast to turn bad with a couple days of rain in site.  We turned around and headed back to find a nice hidey hole to hunker down in and wait it out.  We got about 8 miles or so south ducked into a little bayou right at sunset running on the battery at that point.