Saturday, March 29, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014 Amelia Island Yacht Basin

Palm Cove Channel
Marsh lands next to our dock
 Our plans for today are to leave Palm Cove Marina with enough water so we don't get stuck and get to Amelia Island Yacht Basin by late afternoon. The night before,  we figured  the longest it would take us would be a little less than 6 hours. So, if we left Palm Cove at 10 am, we not only would catch a slack current at our first bridge but get to the marina 2 hours after low tide....perfect planning and timing! Yeah right!!  Part of our plan worked....we did motor under the Atlantic Boulevard Bridge at slack tide.  This was a good thing because today the
current is to be 11 kts at maximum ebb! Wow, I can't even imagine motoring into that current!!!  It was a short trip into and across the St John River and through the Sisters Creek Lift Bridge.
Boatyard at the junction of St John River and Sisters Creeik
The second part of our planned failed immensely! We picked up a strong wind blowing and pushing our stern as well as strong currents in our favor.  Even slowing down to navigate the tricky water and shoals from Nassau Sound through South Amelia River....touch and go... and just drifting, we got too our destination at 2 pm.  This isn't good since low tide in this area today is 1:54 pm.  We just can't believe that we're 2.5 hours early!!  And, we can't continue pushing north to Fernandina Beach because the next 4 miles is Rayonier Reach( Kingsley Creek) and due to its depth, we need to be passing through there at mid rising tide.  Obviously, our only two choices would be to find a  deep enough area
 off the ICW to anchor or drift around for a few hours.  Chuck didn't want to anchor in the MUD, so we drifted up to the bridge, and motored every so slowing into a strong current until 3:45 and then turn 180 degrees and drift back to Twin Bridges and the Kingsley Creek Railroad Bridge...right next to each other!  We actually passed two barges while tooling around during our wait!

Kingsley RR Bridge-open until train comes
At 4:20, I hailed the marina twice on channel 16 and they didn't respond so I gave Debra a call.  I told her we weren't waiting until 5 but coming through their channel now.  We had no problems at 2.5 hours after low tide and Debra had a dock hand waiting to take our lines.

Just a note,..  Active Captain has become our ICW Bible to help us navigate through some of the trouble spots along the way.  A sailboat motoring about 2 miles ahead of us  today, grounded in the South Amelia River.  A trawler passing by did readings for this sailboat and also asked that captain if he had any electronic  Well, this same sailboat got ground again in the Rayonier Reach. Calling Tow Boat US or Seatow ahead of a trouble spot and asking for their advise on navigating an area is also a good move!

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