#102 Fernandina Beach, FL to St. Simons Island, GA

Fernandina Beach Florida

Written by The Crew

Rev writes all the posts as "The Crew" at What Yacht To Do. It's just part of the First Mate duties. That list just keeps growing...

June 27, 2020

After unexpectedly spending a whole week in Fernandina Beach due to mechanical issues, we were finally ready to head north to Saint Simons Island, Georgia.

I was so excited to get to another state!

We have been in Florida (ok, not we, but our boat has) since December 8, 2019.

It’s time for a change.

So, we got fuel and headed north on the ICW.

We said goodbye to the paper mill to the south and the giant Bella Vita and of course, all the construction at the Fernandina Harbor Marina.

They were continuing to rebuild the docks after all the hurricane damage.

The day was beautiful.

The weather was perfect.

I didn’t expect to see this cruise ship there.

I’m so ready for this COVID-19 business to pass so those ships can be out there in the ocean where they belong.

Not only was there a paper mill on the south side of the marina but there was also one on the north side.

Oh yeah.

It was smelly at times.

As we continued on, we saw a fort on the land next to the inlet to the Atlantic.

We could have chosen to take the inlet out to the ocean and then get up to Savannah in record time.

But the waves weren’t cooperating and so we took the ICW all the way.

There was a strange structure up ahead in the water.

Strange buildings all around.

Ships hanging out.

What is this?!?

Well, it’s the King’s Bay Naval Base.

And submarines drive into that structure to de-magnetize the vessel.

It’s a giant degausser.

There were a few ships around in the area to make sure we didn’t do anything crazy.

And of course, we didn’t.

Next, we saw some kind of barge up ahead.

Sam called the captain to get a pass.

For some reason, he couldn’t hear him respond.

It’s still cool passing barges.

Even though it was much smaller than the ones we saw coming down the rivers.

Then we came across a camp of some kind.

It’s summer and there should be lots of kids or campers around but it was like a ghost town.

Again.

I’m ready for everything to return back to normal.

By this time, we had crossed over into Georgia.

And the land seemed to have self made beaches in unexpected places.

Sam had taken great pains to plan our route today.

He downloaded Bob 423’s routes and tracks onto the Garmin chart plotter and on the Verizon phone.

And we left Fernandina Beach at the perfect time to arrive at the lowest point of the trip on a high tide.

I’m really impressed with him.

And Sam is really impressed with Bob 423.

Well, we have a new burgee on the front of the Here’s To Us!!

We joined the Marine Trawler Owners Association (MTOA) even though we have a cruiser, they let us in!

I love their mascot.

It’s a turtle.

And even though it goes against my need for speed, I like the concept of slowing down.

Look at this beautiful, white, sandy beach!

Isn’t it incredible?

I was really surprised to see it right here in Georgia.

I also loved seeing a few shrimp boats today.

It seemed like there were several beaches in Georgia as we traveled up the Intracoastal Waterway.

It’s a great day to be on the water.

This really caught my eye.

A water park?

An amusement park?

Whatever it is, it looks like fun.

We saw a few sailboats anchored out near a marina.

The marina was Jekyll Harbor Marina located right next to the Jekyll Island bridge over Highway 520.

I still get excited about going under a bridge.

It’s the perspective of seeing it from this side.

I can’t get enough!

Then, we continue riding past Jekyll Island.

It is a place that I would like to stop at someday.

Maybe on the next loop!

We saw a bit of traffic as we continued up the ICW.

Although looking at these pictures, you’d never suspect it.

We were enjoying the scenery as we went.

Then, we came upon a barge that we anchored.

Why?

We had heard about a boat near St. Simons Island that was stuck.

Was this it?

It didn’t look stuck.

It just looks like a barge.

Then, we saw it!

We found out that it was a huge cargo ship hauling 4,000 new cars capsized.

Thankfully, all the crew members bailed or were rescued.

It’s a tragedy but cars can be replaced.

It was exciting to finally see the marina in the distance!

I was ready to get there.

Morning Star Marina office and showers are located on the second floor of this community.

It seemed like a short night but we made the best of it.

I would have loved to stay in Saint Simons Island longer.

I guess we’re going to have to be turtles in this part of Georgia next time.

Can you pick out the Here’s to Us!! on the fuel dock down there?

Well, docked four boats back was Tiger Wood’s yacht.

See it peaking out back there?

His boat is called Privacy but I’m not sure that he gets a lot of it.

Security was tight.

We heard he was on his way to a tournament in Hilton Head.

What a way to travel, huh?

We are only staying one night here because we sold our house in Texas and have to get back and pack our stuff, find a storage facility and close in eight days.

That shouldn’t be too hard.

Right?

Our Thoughts

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4 Comments

  1. Great segment in spite of having to rush North to the 32 Degree line! Lots of interesting things on this leg of your adventure on America’s Great Loop.

    Reply
    • Yes, rushing is never a good thing. I feel like we missed a lot. That’s another reason that we decided a long time ago that we are going to have to do the loop again!

      Reply
  2. Hi Rev & Sam, That car carrier has been there since last September 2019, we were there in October & they were still deciding how they were going to take care of removing the Golden Ray.This link shows the inside of the Golden Ray:
    https://www.thedrive.com/news/32318/see-inside-the-car-carrier-ship-thats-been-capsized-off-the-georgia-coast-for-months
    There are a lot of places on the outskirts of Jekyll Island where there are new cars parked & ready to be moved.
    You have to go back next time & explore Jekyll Island, it is a very neat place. One of the Beaches is Driftwood Beach & there are huge pieces of driftwood. There is over 26 miles of walking/bike paths throughout the Island. The Water Park you saw is Summer Waves Water Park. Sea Turtles lay their eggs between May and July. These eggs hatch between late July and early October. They have a lighting ordinance on the Beach area because the Sea turtles can be disoriented by light.
    The first time we were there we walked from our hotel to Tortuga Jack’s Restaurant on the Beach path while it was still light. Walking back, it was totally dark. It was at the end of October, so thank goodness for the flashlight on our cell phone!
    St Simon’s is a very neat island also. Beautiful Golf Courses & a very fun place for dining & shopping. So cool you got to see Tiger’s Yacht. Cheers!!!

    Reply
    • Hi Patti! I knew we were missing some great spots on Jekyll Island! We will definitely put it on our list of places to see next time. I would have loved staying at Saint Simons longer, too, but that is for another time as well. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

      Reply

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