#43 Ft. Pierce - Vero Beach - Merritt Island - New Smyrna - Fernandina Beach - Savannah, GA - Wild Dunes

An evening at anchor
As we've traveled north this month we've had myriads of reunions with friends in various cities.  It's so delightful to recap our lives since our last visit.  Each of them is so hospitable and gracious with dock accommodations, transportation, and many other offerings that are such a gift to us sea urchins.
An obscure nest in a Sabal Palm
St. Augustine
The proverbial "they" say that there is always something broken on your boat---you just don't know it yet.  While in Ft. Pierce and Vero we had our inflatable dingy repaired so it would hold air again. Land dwellers use cars for transportation and cruisers use their dinks. If any of you cruisers need dingy repair we have the guy for you in Vero.
We were leading a parade of MTOA trawlers through Haul Over Canal north of Merritt Island
Easter morning
Doesn't that look like a Resurrection sky!
Our only planned destination for the month was the MTOA (Marine Trawlers Owners Association) Rendezvous in Fernandina Beach, FL.  We arrived on the 15th and had a marvelous time reuniting with old friends and soaking up so much information as it relates to cruising and living-aboard in seemingly endless seminars and workshops.  Our reservations were for a week but we had a 3 day departure delay because of weather.  Not a bad place to be "stuck".  As cruisers, we realize that all of our plans are cast in Jello so we've learned to roll with the punches and as the hackneyed saying goes, "it is what it is." 
The Historic District of Fernandina Beach is a 50 block area located at the north end of Amelia Island and recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.  The town was originally established in 1811, has the distinction of being the last Spanish city platted in the Western Hemisphere, and was named for King Ferdinand VII of Spain.  In 1853, the town site moved just south to take advantage of the new Florida Railroad that we talked about from our time spent in Marathon---remember Flagler's Folly?  The original town is now called Old Town Fernandina and celebrated its 200th anniversary last year.

Before the many historic building lined the streets, pirates roamed the town and Amelia Island.  The likes of Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, Pierre and Jean LaFitte, Calico Jack Rackham, Stede Bonnett, and others called on the relative safe haven of Fernandina Harbor at some point.

Pirate use of the island came to a head in 1817 when Frenchman Luis-Michel Aury took control of Fernandina Harbor.  It took US forces more than 3 months to capture Aury, who is said to have left behind  buried treasure.  It's never been found but his ghost still haunts Third Street.

As the area became more popular with boats and ships, the Amelia Island Lighthouse was first lit in 1839 using materials from the former Cumberland Island Lighthouse.  A new lantern in 1881 brought it to a height of 64' and it remains the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in Florida.  This island, with its historical and natural assets, is living history at its best!

One of the MTOA activities was a Pub Crawl taking those thirsty for history to 3 downtown pubs providing insight into some of the town's history.  The Palace Saloon, an icon on the corner of the main drag, opened in 1903 and is Florida's longest-operating saloon.  Adolphus Busch of Anheuser-Bush fame reportedly helped design the elegant bar still used today and inhabited by a frequently seen ghost.  Fernandina is such a charming and delightful town that exudes Southern hospitality.  We had outstanding routes for cycling/walking/running.

So what good did our exercise do???  We savored every tiny morsel!

Both are our views in a serene anchorage

At the risk of boring you with trivia, we're often asked about fuel consumption. We have been cruising full-time for 3 years 4 1 /2 months.  When we're at anchor we use the generator to charge the batteries, for the microwave, stove/oven, and heat/ac. The two main engines burn a total of 3 gallons of diesel an hour; we have averaged 2.5 statute miles per gallon at a speed of 7.4 statute miles per hour. So far we've traveled 10,256 statue miles (8,968 nautical miles).
Charleston's Ravnel Bridge connecting the penninsula with Mt. Pleasant

Our intentions are to arrive Charleston/Mt. Pleasant/Isle of Palms/Wild Dunes today but there are two things we can never predict to be simultaneous. One is when we'll arrive at a destination and the other is where we'll be at a particular time.  Currently, we're underway headed north to our slip in Wild Dunes and our hope is to arrive there this afternoon. 
Charleston Harbor

We'll be there about 3 days--just long enough to wash the boat, change the oil, do laundry, and reprovision then we're off again with NY and Canada in our cross-hairs.  You'll hear from us again May 31!
Church Creek, SC, anchorage
Bill and Laura cruising aboard Kindred Spirit III, Grand Banks Classic 42


Char said…
Hope your trip up northward to NY & Canada is a good and safe one!! Perhaps I can link up with you on your way back south?? Charmaine

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