Fernandina Beach is another of those stops that "Everybody" makes along the Cruiser Highway. After leaving Jacksonville, we discovered that we were missing a card for our Chart Plotter for this part of the East Coast (I know, how did THAT happen?) and we would have to wait for a few days for the new one to arrive. Fernandina Beach, with it's inexpensive mooring field and close proximity to the Florida/Georgia border, looked like a great place to hang out!
The marina is just on the other side of the ICW from the mooring field with this long fuel and transient dock. Even with the strong reversing currents that run through here, it's an easy on/easy off stop for fuel, water and pump out services.
We unloaded our bikes and parked them near the dinghy dock so that we could get around town a little quicker, although the main street runs just up from the marina, so we're right in the middle of the entertainment. The grocery store, however, is a couple of miles away so having the bicycles was VERY nice. We ended up staying just over a week here before moving on. We had great wi-fi and lots of things to do to pass the time.
We enjoyed the beautiful sunsets every day. There was nothing to restrict our view with the wide open landscape to the West of our mooring field. The dolphin rolled lazily at the water's surface adding to the gorgeous scene.
|Mud Flats where there had been water!|
We parked the dinghy at the dock and left for a few hours... and when we returned, we had THIS!
|See the mud there at the edge of the dock?|
|It left a trail of slimy icky muddy water...|
We learned our lesson and parked at the OTHER dinghy dock where there was plenty of water all day.
|A quiet space tucked in between two buildings...|
|The Palace - Florida's Oldest Bar|
We found a little bakery on Atlantic Avenue that had the most wonderful Sticky Buns EVER. Ok so I've never had a sticky bun... but I'm sure that these are the BEST!
We ended up having breakfast here about half of the days we were here... We discovered that they also make a muffin that is very much like carrot cake, which is Bruce's favorite. They were scrumscious... My rationale is that since we were riding our bikes to get here, it didn't matter if we ate pastries for breakfast every day...
We had a little bit of shopping to do while we were here. We don't do a lot of that in our travels since we have no room for nick-nacks on the boat... But my daughter's upcoming birthday gave us the excuse. We found a sweet set of pearls from China that seemed like just the thing...
The trip to the Post Office to mail off that package was even a treat. We have visited several communities who still use their old old Post Offices.
Entering these quiet halls produces a sense of reverence in me. I can almost feel the multitude of people who have come and gone here through the years... leaving their presence in the air. I know, strange... But the place just had a historical feel to it that was palpable.
We stopped for lunch at Sandy Bottoms. We had a nice lunch overlooking the Atlantic and wondered if the waters were so stirred up because of the shifting shoals that reach out for miles from here. Sandy Bottoms serves a side dish we've never had before... Fried Baked Potatoes. They bake the potatoes, then cut them into chunks and coat them in a light covering, then briefly deep fry them. It was pretty good...
|Why does this Lifeguard look to be about 12 years old?...|
|Angel Food Cake with strawberries and Amaretto Chocolate Liqueur.|
Amelia Island Lighthouse Tour. The lighthouse is Florida's oldest continually working light and it is very rustic.
They only offer a limited schedule of tours and we were lucky to be here during one of them. We rode the shuttle from the Community Center to the lighthouse. This site is set apart from the other lighthouses we've visited, (and there have been many...) by their lighthouse keeper, Helen O'Hagan Sintes. Helen is a third generation keeper and has lived in this lighthouse for her entire life. She is in her 80s and still climbs the stairs daily.
I'm not sure that I would have been able to climb them even IF we had been given the opportunity...
While we were in the neighborhood, we detoured to the entrance of Fort Clinch... but unfortunately we put it off this trip. The miles we had already traveled plus the additional three mile bike ride to get to the fort were more than I could do at the moment. Will have to save this one for our next visit here...
We got our new map card and would have been ready to get out of Florida... Our insurance premium goes down the moment we cross the Florida/Georgia Border... and it's just moments away... But, we were delayed by some back pain that I experienced for about a solid five days. Luckily, we had something for it and I was able to get over it enough to pull my weight, so to speak on board and we were only delayed by a couple of days.