Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday, March 30, 2014 Still in Amelia Island Yacht Basin!

The high gusty winds and the water slapping on our transom woke me up before 7 am.  Unless things settle, it looks like we're staying right where we are!  Wow, it's now 9:30 am and the winds are blowing even harder.  They are gusting 30 + and Happy Hours II is heeling at the dock.  These winds are cool because they are coming from the WNW to N.   The sun needs to shine to warm everything up!!
our ride!
We walked up to the office to let Debra know we are still here!  LOL  I asked her if anything was in walking distance from the  :(  ...but she checked on the courtesy pickup truck and it was available for 2 hours.  Yeah, this must be our lucky day!!  We can explore the surrounding area by truck... and we actually had it from 11-2:00.

When we left the marina, we turned right onto A1A.    This highway goes back over the Twin Bridges that we motored under on Friday.  A super Wal Mart is 4 miles to the west and I think this is called Piney Island.  We thought we best provision while we have a vehicle.  Who knows when we'll have this opportunity again.   When we finished shopping, we headed back to the boat to stow our groceries.  It didn't take us long and soon we were back in the Ram Pickup heading in the opposite direction on A1A.  We are not going into Fernandina Beach to walk the marina along the ICW and the historic district.  Historic houses, buildings, and cute little shops are all located in close proximity to the ICW.

We saw some friendly pelicans near the Fernandina Municipal Marina and the cafe there.  In town, we crossed over Florida's First Atlantic to Gulf RR and went into Florida's Oldest Saloon.

part of historic Fernandina Beach
When it got close to 2 pm, we knew we needed to take the pickup back to the marina.  We stopped to put fuel in the truck but Debra told has we shouldn't's a courtesy for their crusiers!  Oh well, we wanted them to know that we appreciated their gesture.  It got us off Happy Hours II for awhile.

Low tide is at 3:32 today and we are sitting on the bottom!  It's hard to believe that so much mud is left exposed in this channel at low tide.  The Sheriff's boat tried to motor out through the channel at this time.  He had his 2-250 hp motors raised and he came to a complete stop...he was in the mud.  After backing off the mud,  the Sheriff had his boat very close to ours...stern to stern.  Chuck caught his lines and cleated him to our dock so he could wait for 1 hour until the water started to come back into the marina.  He said that in 15 years, this is the lowest he's every seen the water in the marina basin. Plus, west winds always suck more water out of Amelia Island Yacht Basin.  The tide is slowly on the rise, so hopefully the Sheriff doesn't have to be anywhere in a hurry!!

sand exposed along our dock
While we're sitting in our cockpit watching all the channel action, we hear sv/Grace call Tow Boat US and then the Sheriff.  Apparently he's gone through Rayonier Reach at dead low tide and is hung up on R14.  I hailed him to give him Captain Rick's number.  Debra had just given me this Tow Boat Captain's number when we turned the pickup in. The sailboat captain said that he got grounded between R14 and G1 and just worked his way off. He was trying to hail someone to give him directions to navigate through this area.  I told him we've been talking to some locals about the best way to get through that area since we knew it was a trouble spot.  We were told to stay 100 feet from G1 when making the bend to starboard and continue 100 feet off the south shore.  Sv/Grace was going to try it....he hailed us back later to thank us because it worked!  He found deep enough water there to continue on his travels.  Why he would attempt that area at low tide is beyond us!  I guess we don't have to worry about passing through there tomorrow morning at 2 hours before high tide!!

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