Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fernandina Beach (Amelia Island), FL

I seem to have skipped over the week we spent at Fernandina mooring field. The highlight was probably Fort Clinch State Park.  I'll get to that.  Here's what I had written, for posterity sake.

We've officially entered Florida, the sunshine state. It's overcast.  We dinghied over to the marina in rain jackets to check in and have lunch. Because of the wind and current, we got soaked on the way back to the boat. After playing on the internet awhile (yeah!  Wirie wifi extender picks up the marina wifi!), we dug out the foul weather gear (that we haven't used since the Chesapeake!) for the ride back to take showers.

It's still overcast but we decide to walk to the grocery store--it's only 2.5 miles, with a stop at Burger King for good measure. We grab the basics for a beef stew (Captain will whip this up in the pressure cooker and it will feed us for 3 days).

Water conservation has kicked up a notch, since we are hoping to limit our marina visits from here on out. The laundry bucket has been pressed into service. I fill it with river water to pre-rinse the dirtier dishes ie. French press. We are just above half tank, so we'll take the water jerry cans in on the dinghy tomorrow and fill them at the dock (5 gal jerry can x 3 = 15 gallons. Main water tank holds 80 gallons/15 = 5 trips--best to not wait until the last minute).

With another day of overcast, Captain starts to get a little picky about electricity.  He decides our salon light, that hasn't been changed to LED is a no-go, so I drag out the battery powered lantern (I thought was a gag gift). Then he hobbles together a new salon fixture, out of a spare LED strip and switch. "Yes, we're impressed."

Canoe with outriggers, wheels & an enclosed cockpit (sunken sailboat in the background)

A view of the solar panel & water jug

There is a sunken sailboat in the mooring field which reminds me of the one in Charleston. The Captain still wants to buy a "for sale" sign ("showings at low tide")!  We've also seen this "maritime engineering marvel" a few times.  A canoe with outriggers, a bimini, a solar panel and later, a jug of water.  Oh, and of course, a dog.

Me cell phone is still dead, so day 2 is AT&T. I need to keep reminding myself that, from now on, errands are like scavenger hunts. 
AT&T dude:  "Charging port is corroded. We can upgrade you to a new phone?"  
Me:  I don't want a new phone.  
AT&T:  "You could take it to the Apple store?"  
Me:  Where's that?  
AT&T: "Jacksonville."  
Me:  We don't have a car.  
AT&T:  "You could take it to cell phone rescue?"  
Where's that?  
He points down the road.
We swing through Publix, the liquor store and scout out the propane place on the way back. DH drops me at the boat, picks up the propane bottle and heads back out. 

The Captain:  Do you refill propane bottles here?
Propane dude:  "No.  We wholesale, but you can take it to one of our customers." 
Captain:  Where's that?
Propane:  "Try back down the road at T-Ray restaurant."
Captain at T-Ray:  Can you refill a propane bottle?
T-Ray:  "After the lunch rush. Leave it out back and come back after 2:30."

We head back out to find the cell phone repair shop.  We end up halfway to the grocery store before we realize we went the wrong way. After backtracking, we end up in the part of town where "bike friendly" results in sidewalks that suddenly end in curbs or worse, stairs. Phone ResQ can fix it for $65 and tell me to come back tonight, so we head back out to find the propane bottle.  We retire to the boat for dinner & a little tv. They call to let me know my phone is done (Cumberland pics were saved!) so we dinghy back to dock.  Bike back over.  Bike back.  Dinghy back.  Less than an hour :-)  Not sure we could have done much better in a car.

Fishing pier at Fort Clinch
Fort Clinch State Park:  It was a relatively easy 2 mile bike ride out to the park ($2/each entry fee), then another two mile, beautiful, shady ride out to the fort.  We paid another $2/each to walk around the fort.  We had the place to ourselves, except for a few volunteers. On the bike ride back, we swung out to the fishing pier.  We walked to the end and after a wager, I got out my phone for an official measurement--1/2 mile long!  It was a great view of the inlet we would be leaving out of the next day.  A passerby told us he's seen submarines coming through the inlet for Kings Bay, complete with an aerial escort.

Fernandina Beach & break water

This wasn't a bad stay.  We like the $20/day mooring fields because they give us access to laundry, showers, water and the dinghy dock.  However, we quickly tire of the tourist towns.  The fridge is full, so we are ready to move on.

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