Back on the move
11/28/2007, Fernandina Beach, FL
Sunday, November 25
After organizing for departure, we said good by to the marshes of St. Mary's at about 9:30 and traveled about nine miles to Fernandina Beach, Florida where we took a mooring. It was another grey, cool and windy day . The sun tried to poke through in the afternoon but never really made it.
We went to shore to pay our $15 mooring fee and walked main street before returning to the boat about 5.
Our plan is to work south tomorrow afternoon and hope to get some laundry finished in the morning.
Stone crab claws
Mike and Kathy
11/26/2007, St. Mary's, GA
Saturday...St. Mary's - November 24
Although we were planning on leaving here today and heading over to Fernandina Beach, which is about 9 miles away, it was cloudy and windy and not a day for moving. I took a bag of garbage over to the park and was shocked at the height of the tide. With a full moon approaching and easterly winds all night, the tide was about 3 feet higher that normal, covering parking lots near the water.
One of my items on the "to do list" is to get the oil changed soon. In fact, I began the process the other day only to find that there were no oil filters on Sapphire. Since there was a group going to Jacksonville today, I ask our neighbor Lenny to pick me up a couple. Then while listening to the Turkey Net, I found that Ken ( a local nice guy) was meeting a couple of guys to make a run to Walmart so I returned to the dinghy dock and rode along to pick up a couple of filters.
Meanwhile, Kathy was working on sewing up covers for our new jerry cans. When I returned from NAPA, we were off to town again to go to the Farmers Market... except that there was no farm produce. What they did have however were fresh shrimp, fish, and crabs. We replenished our stock of shrimp and purchased some stone crab claws which were highly recommended.
Returning to Sapphire, we ran into Helen and Doug from Morning Glory and were reminded of happy hour at five. Kathy spent the afternoon finishing the covers and I spent an hour talking to Mike on Valkyrie. Mike is from Maine and was kind enough to share some of his favorite anchorages.
Back on Sapphire we put together some small ham and cheese sandwiches to take to Happy Hour and headed to town. We had a nice time talking to folks. There are very few novices here and most of the people know each other . Although they are nice, it's a little weird constantly meeting new folks.
The wind was blowing and howling when we returned to the boat, but was down considerably before we went to bed.
Mike and Kathy
11/25/2007, St. Mary's, GA
St Mary's Thanksgiving day...
Thanksgiving dawned rainy. It was the first bad weather we have seen in weeks. I made breakfast and we called our families with holiday greetings. There was an oyster roast scheduled for 11:30 so we put our salad together, gathered up our utensils and donned our rain gear to make the trip to town in a steady rain.
The Seagle Hotel is on the order of the Winter Inn but with more dining rooms. Although I'm not exactly sure, I think that there were seven dining areas not including the patio in the rear. As we entered the main dining area from the street Jim from Solitaire flagged down Kathy, pointing to the best table in the house. He had been on the set up crew in the morning and had reserved us the corner table facing the River.
The oyster roast was held in an open area next to the patio in back. Burlap bags of oysters were hauled in and then scrubbed with a brush and hose. They were then transferred to a grill and cooked....There was a large table in the center of the area lined with oyster shucking knives where the roasted oysters were placed. Then is was shuck , add a little cocktail sauce and eat. The oysters are steamed in their own juices and were amazing.
About that time the rain stopped and the sun came out. We were asked to form a line in the street to enter the room where the buffet was set up. Given the number (there was seating for 282) we all made it through the line without much trouble. As you can imagine, the variety of food was amazing. Everyone whipped up their favorite recipes.
It was windy in the afternoon and there was a little excitement when a boat dragged anchor and was headed for the dinghy dock. We had a wonderful meal with Nancy and Jim and returned to the boat sometime after 3pm.
For about 2 hours the tide and the wind were at odds which made the boats in our neighborhood swing without a pattern On top of that people were crammed in here and had anchored way too close to each other. In normal situations that in not a problem because the boats swing in unison.... however, in this case boats were out of sync and narrowly missing each other. Everyone was on deck watching and a few boats had to move to avoid collisions.
Kathy here- Speaking of the strange tidal/current thing, I have noticed that when at anchor, we are not necessarily out of the wind, as we would be in Michigan. I like to sit outside, be it on the porch or in the cockpit. Sometimes when it is a little chilly as it has been lately at times, I think I can sit in the cockpit and be warm in the sun out of the wind. Wrong! I can sit in the sun, but the wind may be blowing right at me (brrr). Just another observation . . .
Today we learned that there were 96 boats at anchor, 11 in the marina and 325 (Mike and I are having a little dispute about this number, but there were A LOT ) people were fed. Everything went very smoothly and the food was delicious.