On the Way to Fernadina

The fleet had many choices between St. Simons Island and our next marina rendezvous at Fernandina Harbor Marina on Amelia Island. Each boat could pick their favorite way to pass the holiday: staying at St. Simons Island and renting a car to visit the St. Marys Cruiser’s Thanksgiving, moving to Fernandina Beach with the same strategy, anchoring at quiet and scenic Cumberland Island National Seashore, or moving to St. Marys harbor to join the scores of other boats gathered for the festivities.

But first, any move between St. Simons Island and Amelia Island required crossing St. Andrews Sound, the open ocean stretch between Jekyll Island and Little Cumberland Island.  St. Andrews Sound, charted with a channel that goes nearly due east out into the ocean before hairpin-turning nearly due west, can be a piece of cake. We’ve seen it flat calm. But we’ve also (mistakenly) crossed it with six-foot seas. Today was a middle day, a bit lively, but no problem as long as all the jerry jugs were lashed down. Here’s s/v Valiant and s/v Kinship on the downhill ride after the turning mark. Before that mark, let’s just say that I couldn’t target the camera on them with our catamaran sway…

St Andrews Sound Valiant Kinship

About half the fleet wanted to see Cumberland Island, an incredibly beautiful unspoiled barrier island with miles of trails through maritime forest, endless sand beaches, and its famous wild horses. And yes, they are wild—just ask Cristina Sison on lead boat m/v Tadhana, who had one charge her and her beagle puppy without provocation! Amy Wargo on s/v Full Circle and Charlene Gelineau on s/v Ithaka safely strolled the trails through the live oaks.

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Most of the fleet was also treated to a rare sighting: a submarine docked at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base. The ICW channel passes surprisingly close to the base, but picket boats protect the facility and stand ready and armed, bow out, as each boat passes by. I took this low-profile telephoto shot from inside the companionway, so as to not get those young men with automatic weapons too alarmed.

Kings Bay Sub

And, of course, there was Thankgiving Day. Most of the fleet attended the 15th annual St. Marys Cruiser’s Thanksgiving. Here is our talented Jere Lahey on s/v Do Wah Diddy Diddy singing at the Seagle’s Saloon as part of the holiday festivities: IMG_3016.

 

{Photos #2, #3, and movie by Gil & Charlene Gelineau on s/v Ithaka.}

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