Ok, so now it’s the next morning and we plan to shove off at 8:00am, about an hour before high tide. We fire up the engines early and let them warm up, getting good flow from both cooling outlets. Once again, Randy from the marina is there to help us cast off and we head back out toward St Andrews Sound. It’s cold, down in the 40’s and Cindy and I are both bundled up in our Hot Chili’s and fleeces. The sky is clear and the sun is just beginning to clear the east side of Jekyll Island. As we pass the two mile mark (me checking the cooling flow on both engines every few minutes) a couple of dolphins appear off our bow, breaching the water as they play. One even sticks his tail up out of the water and I swear seems to wave at us! We take it as a good sign.
Georgia’s Intercoastal Waterway
We follow the ICW buoys out into the sound, riding the last of the outgoing tide and then enter the Cumberland River between Cumberland Island and the mainland. The engines are humming along beautifully and Cindy and I both start to relax and enjoy the ride. She’s steering the boat and I’ve got the binoculars, scanning for the ATONs (Aids TO Navigation) that keep us in the channel and off of the bottom and keeping a sharp eye out for crab pots. The sun is heating up our eisenglass cockpit enclosure and we’re soon shedding our fleece outer layers. We’re seeing more and more porpoises and as we pass an open beach on the island we spot three of Cumberland’s famous wild horses. These feral horses are thought to be descended from horses the English brought to Cumberland back in the 1700’s. The waterway is empty besides us and the sky is blue. We glide along the lowland Georgia marshes enjoying the day. Missy, our little Yorkie pup, seems to feel right at home, even with the steady hum of the twin diesels reverberating throughout the boat. She trots around the boat in her doggie life vest, checking out the scenery.
As we approach the end of the Cumberland River, we pass King’s Bay Naval Base, home of the Atlantic Trident ballistic missile submarine fleet. We steer carefully, avoiding the restricted areas. A small naval vessel put out from the base but all they do is station themselves between us and the base and wave at us.
King’s Bay Naval Station
Passing beyond the naval base we entered Cumberland Sound and then veered off into the Amelia River and then tie up at the facedock at the Fernandina Harbor Marina (which will figure prominently in the next post).
Fernandina Harbor Marina
Fernandina Beach is a charming little town at the northern end of Amelia Island, Florida. Cindy and I wandered over to the Crab Trap for a long overdue lunch and then took Missy for a walk through the downtown area so she could get off the boat and enjoy the sunshine.
Crab Trap Restaurant
After the two previous days’ disappointments, Tuesday could not have gone better. If every day on this trip is as wonderful this, we’ll be sold on the sailing lifestyle.
Missy Kissing The Statue
Total Miles Traveled: 36