Day 86, Year 10: Passage to FL, Day 6—Fernandina to Jacksonville
Date: Sunday, January 4, 2015
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Late Day Squall, High near 80 degrees F, SW Wind
Latitude: 30 23.692 N
Longitude: 081 27.420 W
Location: At Anchor Just N of Sisters Creek Bridge, Jacksonville, FL
Miles Traveled: 19.8 Nautical Miles

Today was another short day, but not quite as short as yesterday. We traveled 20 miles down the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) from Florida’s northernmost city, Fernandina Beach, to the more familiar northern Florida city of Jacksonville. Actually we are on the northern fringes of the city and will cross the St. John’s River and on to Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, and then St. Augustine tomorrow. Floridians call this part of the state the “First Coast” as it was settled first. St. Augustine, founded in 1565, is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the United States. Mark has been there but I have not, so we are hoping to arrive early enough tomorrow afternoon to do a little exploring. Depending on what we find out from phone calls to dinghy motor repair places in St. Augustine in the morning, we might have our afternoon filled with boat work instead of getting to do the tourist thing. It sure would be wonderful to get our dinghy motor repaired. But since neither Sea Turtle or Windbird has a dinghy with a motor, we are going to pick up moorings at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina and take advantage of their shuttle service. Mark and Lee worked on Lee’s propane dinghy motor this afternoon, but they made no progress. The representative from the manufacturer in California talked with Lee again today and will call first thing West Coast time tomorrow to let us know where in Florida we can take the motor for repairs. Just in case that might be St. Augustine, we will get started at 7 am tomorrow morning. We are anchored just north of the Sisters Creek ‘fixed’ Bridge. We will call at 7 am and hope they will open the bridge for us right away so we can get started on our 37 mile trek. There is a another bridge about five miles down the way that we want to go under at slack tide around 8 am. So for that reason and for getting to St. Augustine ASAP to find dinghy motor repair possibilities, the early departure is a necessity.

Today’s trip took us through some beautiful marsh grass country. As we traveled down the Amelia River this morning we kept seeing loads of big white birds gathered on little strips of sand at the edge of the grassland. They looked like pelicans, but I had never seen white ones before. When I looked them up, I found that they are American white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) who spend their winters south and their summers in the interior of North America. They are definitely the first ‘snowbirds’ we have encountered here in Florida. We are sure to see many more.

150204 Day 86 Passage to Florida–Day 6, Fernandina to Jacksonville
Day 87, Year 10: Passage to FL, Day 7—Jacksonville to St. Augustine
Day 85, Year 10: Passage to FL, Day 5—Georgia to Florida