Amelia Island Fernandina Beach FL
12 December 2011
Jim & Dede Rain & Windy
Well well well, we are in Sunny Florida!! Well we are in Florida but it's NOT sunny! It is overcast and raining--Ho yea and the wind is blowing a gale -20-30 knots'! Our trip across from Cumberland Island was enjoyable and very short --only 10 miles. So when we arrived here on Saturday morning we had all day to bike around and visit the town. It was sunny but cool (as usual) about 65 degrees. We made it across to the beach on the Atlantic, rode up and down the old town streets with Victorian era style homes. The weather began to turn a little nasty -sprinkles and building wind. They almost cancelled the Christmas Parade -but the rain held off and the town came to life with school band and dancing schools parading along with fire trucks and police cars blazing horns and sirens announcing Santa's arrival. We enjoyed the show -both on the street and sidewalks--did a bit of shopping -drank coffee ate pastries and ice cream etc etc.... . . Sunday morning the weather had gone downhill even more and my questioning about going to church or getting underway were answered with the Lord sending a 30 kt 'breeze' to say 'church guys'!! So church we did -by chance the service we attended at St Peters included breakfast!! He does take care of us!!
The weather did not improve and we opted to stay another day. My bike developed two flat tires so off I went on Dede's bike to Wal-Mart for a patch kit. Bought some stuff called "Slime' that patches the tire and adds air!! In only three hours I had both bikes up and running--so we did a little more touring of the town--and a lot more shopping. Today -Monday -the weather has not gotten any better so we are still here--bikes ready for riding -but the rain is coming down in buckets and the wind is still 20 out of the NE.. Too nasty to even go down the dock -however seeing as we are here and the boat needs work to lay here up before Thursday -we took the day to 'clean and store' for our winter layup. We expect that in the next three day we will somehow get the last 47 miles of our journey down to Jacksonville in time to tie up and catch a 7:05 pm flight home!!!! IF we get going tomorrow all is well--if we get going on Wednesday it's close---If we go on Thursday morning we will need to be underway at dawn and pray for a fair wind and tide.. However the weather forecast IS for the wind and rain to abate tonight -slow clearing Tues/Wed/ Thurs and then and typical Florida weather 68-75 bright and sunny 5-10 Kt s sw winds through to Christmas! Please note we leave Florida just in time to avoid getting a sunburn!!
Dede's take is a bit different than mine:
Well, this is morning #4…and weather is finally clearing-at least enough so we can get underway. (10-15 cloudy srill coolk and damp) Amelia Island is Florida’s Golden Isle which the French visited, the Spanish developed, the English named and the Americans “tamed.: It is the only US location to have been under eight different flags – French, Spanish, English, Spanish, Patriots, Green Cross of Florida, Mexican Rebel Flag, United States, and Confederate and back to the US! As we approached Amelia Isle, the Spanish influence is immediately obvious in its’ architecture. Fernandina’s historic district retains the evidence of the greatest period of prosperity. In the early 20th century the shrimping industry was found here, in the 30s, two pulp mills arrived, w/the trains going back and forth near the waterfront. The Omni Armelia Island Plantation and the Ritz-Carlton have tried to restore it as a resort. The small town reminds me of Wickford: with 3 full days of rain, cold and nasty winds, we got a chance to stroll it frequently!! Some of the commerce buildings look run-down; and the “historic” home section (we did a walking tour) are not as grandeur as the others we visited in SC and GA. As has been our experience, we visited some of the very old churches: the Episcopal Church from the early 1800s, w/their gorgeous pipe organ. I was invited to view their sacasatry windows – called the “cherub” windows, There design is one of multiple cherub faces, in a bright yellow/mustard color; their significance is the representation of the devastation of the yellow fever plaque! We also visited the Methodist Church-again, early 1800s-and were treated to the ringing of the Christmas Hand Bells. We are underway this morning to Jacksonville – where we plan to leave our boat and head home for the holidays. My bathing suits have NOT been worn, and my shorts have seen the “light of day” but twice! Friends have told us, to experience warm weather; the untold rule is to be in Vero Beach by Thanksgiving!! Would have LOVED warmer weather MORE of the time, but I would not have missed our experiences w/the places and people for all the money!! What an incredible journey! Stay tuned for our “lay-up” in Ortega River Yacht Club, Jacksonville…