The further north we sail, the more the scenery changes. Creeks and rivers connected by narrow land cuts plus large scale human development are being replaced with long, open sounds and wide rivers with sparsely populated areas. Marshes and shallow channels characterise north eastern Florida.
Yesterday, we sailed a very narrow and meandering passage to reach our destination, Jacksonville free dock. The tidal stream gods were against us again – we sailed into an ebb tide most of the way.
There is not much room for error. Vigilance and attention to the placement of channel markers, referring to mariner notes, plus checking and re-checking tidal stream information are mandatory. Here, tidal streams run at up to 6 knots with 8 foot tides.
Today we have delayed our departure by 6 hours to enable us to sail through some very shallow passages and reach our destination of Amelia Island on a rising tide. We passed several dredging operations.
Amelia Island is an enchanting island, which comes with much history. We borrowed the marina’s courtesy car and went sightseeing. We drove down gorgeous lanes to Fort Clinch, nestled on the north side of the island. It provided safety and security in the Civil War, Spanish American War and Second World War.
The historic town of Fernandina Beach is a very picturesque town. The old buildings have been beautifully preserved. The movie Pippi Longstocking was filmed here. We came across The Palace – Florida’s Oldest Bar. For those of you who know our local pub “The Palace”, there are some similarities! Next door is the Decantery – Nice, very nice! Our thirst was slackened: Mark with a dirty martini and me with a cappuccino!
Such is Life!