St. Augustine to Fernandina

On this day, we were off to one of our favorite places, Fernandina Beach (Amelia Island). It is such a pretty town and there is so much there to enjoy.

Our day began nicely. This was the view we had overnight diectly from our stern. Nice!

And this was the little boat that came in just to the right of our view.... it was probably 90-100 feet long....

When we woke up the next morning, we discovered we had been joined by another boat just to our left on the face dock behind us ---- PIRATES! We were sure to be very quiet going out so we wouldn't wake them. Everyone knows an angry pirate is not a friendly pirate.   ;-)

We passed by an inlet going out (below) and there were probably 30 dolphins in every direction.

We heard an interesting radio transmission about an hour out. The "Bridge of Lyons", out of St. Augustine, which we had just crossed under an hour before, was experiencing a technical failure. Apparently, only one side of the bridge span would open. We were so glad we had gotten through before that because that bridge has a lot of current associated with it and it can be tricky depending on tide. It is a must open bridge (because of height) for us, so only half of it opening would have been very narrow in the strong current that morning.

The boat traffic was very busy today, being Saturday. It was a beautiful day so there were dozens of little buzzing ski boats all around. We even saw one guy on waterskis. (sorry, they were too fast for a picture) We have never seen that before! The ICW is typically too narrow to waterski. But the guy we saw didn't seem to care in the least.

Along our trek, we saw a bald eagle nestled in a tree..... see the blob in the tree? In binoculars, it was definitely a bald eagle. We were made aware of it by our travel-mate of the day, S/V Antares, whom we followed most of the day.

Our day was filled with bridges - I think it was 6 in all, maybe it was 7.  Most were 65 footers, and of course the "Bridge of Lyons" mentioned earlier. But... later on,  one was in the 20 foot range.  We would have had only about 1 foot of clearance on this one. That's too close for our comfort so we asked for an opening. The bridge tender agreed, too close a call - better safe than sorry that time.

Very close to the end of our day, we had to traverse the St John's River, which is a very large body of water and often has large commercial traffic. Indeed, just as we were hitting a bit of a crossroads there, we came really close to a giant tanker ship. It had to literally cross in front of us. I swear, this was the longest one I have ever seen. It was enormous. The name was the "Honorable Henry Jackman" out of Nassau. It doesn't look very close in the picture, but (trust me) it was a lot closer than it appears here.

Finally, our day came to an end and we tied up on the outside face dock at Fernandina Beach. We got to hang out there for 2 nights. It was time for an extra rest day and we couldn't think of a better place to enjoy one.