17 April 2015
Today is just as cloudy as yesterday, but there is no wind. It was easy to back off the dock and spin around to head north. The tide was against us until we got past the St. Johns river and into the Sister River. Doing steady 1,800 RPM we watched our speed go from 7.4 knots to 9.7 knots. (Our average at 1,800 is about 8.1 knots. So it’s a healthy 1.6 knots when the current gets going.
There were some shallow spots on the way up the Sister River where there was less than 4′ below the keel. With the tide swing of about 6 feet that would be a problem for boats coming through at low tide.
A few boats and some birds was all that was keeping us company on the trip. Just outside of Amelia City Susan saw a crab on the surface swimming as fast as it could. She then looked forward and saw the huge pod of dolphins and birds feeding. I guess it was the all you can eat Crab Buffet.
We docked at the Amelia Island Yacht Harbor. It’s well off the ICW so there isn’t much current, and we are back to floating docks. The dock hands got us tied off and I got a ride to the other side of the marina to the office. In addition to the docks they have a huge dry stack business.
And they are super nice people. We were able to get a ride downtown with Bill the marina manager.
Amelia Island has been on my todo list. My sister has been doing a charity event called Curts Ride for Cancer https://www.facebook.com/curts.ride for the last few years. The starting point on their 620 mile is Amelia Island (last stop is the “Southern Most Point In the US”). It looks great from their pictures. Since we’ve done from Key West to here, I wanted to spend a little time. She gave us good tips on places to go, and we headed off.
First was Cafe Karibo, one of the local brewpubs in town. I had two of their three beers (down from 29 the day before). We had a great lunch there, the place was jammed.
Walking down the main street we hit a number of different places. There is a pirate theme to downtown with three differen pirate places (avast ya dog, turn over your Master Card!). We checked out the Ameila harbor which was pretty well silted in. They are doing their annual dredging project, according to the curator of the Shrimp Museum, they pull between 250-300 dump truck loads out every year. I think Mother Nature is trying to tell them something.
The town is called Fernandina, it’s one of the oldest towns in Florida. It has a rich heritage of early Spanish settlers and a pretty good Shrimping industry today. The town has stayed small the three big industries are tourism, the local government and the pulp mill at the end of the island. It’s a little weird seeing a power plant to the left, harbor center and pulp plant to the right as you look out to the water. We saw tree truck on the way into town, it reminded us of the cardboard plant in Mississippi.
One of the places we stopped in was the Antique Mall, a full square block of everything you ever wanted. Things were from my kids childhood through things my Grandmother had. About ½ we hit “junk overload” and it was downhill from there.
We got a ride back to the dock and there was an Adventure Craft at the end for sale. I tracked down the broker ( next dock over) and chatted with him. Next over was a nice Bayliner 4550 (the older sister to the 4588) and we chatted for awhile. We meet the nicest people on Bayliners!
Dinner tonight was at the on site eatery “The Galley” The recommendation was the smoked fish / cheese dip, it was wonderful. The view is out across the marina, a very nice setting for dinner. We had a great time, Amelia was a great place to visit.
When I was texting my sister, she has decided she and her husband will do Curt’s Ride again. (So I think the Loop is hard, but a 620 mile bike ride in 10 days is just crazy talk). But if you have a few dollars from your trip, they will take the contribution!)