Day 19 - Fernandina Beach, FL
19 April 2012 | Mooring ball in Fernandina Beach, FL
Thu 19 Apr 2012
Mooring ball in Fernandina Beach, FL
[photo: Nice home near downtown.]
After the tiring events of the day, it was a very early bedtime for the crew (just past 2000). The anchorage is a nice one except for the fact that the shipyard a quarter mile to the SE was working through the night and there was some very loud banging sporadically. It wasn’t enough to keep us awake, but it was definitely noticeable. Duane can’t stay in bed for more than 8 hours, so I was up at 0430.
After a leisurely morning, we weighed anchor and moved across the creek to the launch ramp where they have the only self-service pump-out station we have ever seen. It worked great and it was free; in mere minutes we were motoring up the creek against a moderate current. The waterway meandered quite a bit, so for every 5 miles we traveled, we were only about 3 miles closer to our destination. The scenery was pretty in a “low country” kind of way, but the clouds were building and we had little sun for the last half of the 4-hour run.
When we arrived at Fernandina Harbor Marina’s mooring field, we were glad we called early this morning for a reservation; there were precious few mooring balls left. Our arrival coincided with a rain shower, but there was a short lull just as I had to send Diane to the bow to pick up the mooring pennant. Just a minute after we were secure and the remaining stuff was brought below from the cockpit, the skies opened up and we had a drenching. This is a welcome thing as it washes all the salt off the boat and whatever dirt gets on the deck.
At first glance, definite turn-offs are the two very large industrial plants N and S of our location within a mile. Nevertheless, we got the bikes ashore with the dinghy and paid the registration fee. We left our showering gear in the dink for later so we didn’t have to make a second trip to take hot showers ashore (we are learning).
The downtown and surrounding residential neighborhoods near the marina are nice, but nothing special. There are many Victorian style homes in the area; some are noteworthy. The biking was pleasant due to the quiet streets and courteous motorists. When another rain storm threatened, we headed for an Irish Pub to sip a glass of ale while we waited. Diane asked me to try my smart phone to see if I could call up weather radar, and sure enough, I could. The storm would likely not hit us, so we headed back to the marina for a shower. Guess we drank that ale for nothing.
Adjacent to the showers is a seafood market where they sell part of the fresh catch from the many shrimp boats based here. We bought enough for dinner and then went back in the dinghy to Diva Di.
We were getting hungry, so Diane prepared a simple garden salad and I peeled and boiled the shrimp and made some pan garlic bread. With some cocktail sauce for the shrimp, they were delicious and surely tasted very fresh.
After dinner, we took the time to plan ahead another 4-5 days. We need to remember that things we skip on the way north are certainly candidates for the return trip.