Friday, May 10, 2013

Cumberland Island to Jacksonville, in Photos

Yesterday was an absolutely perfect day.  Light winds, sunny skies, and temps a moderate 85 degrees. Yes, that's right.  Our blood has thinned, and I start thinking about a jacket when the temperature drops below 75 degrees.

We were ready to get underway at an unbelievable 8:30 AM, quite a feat for us, especially considering that we had to Whaler the dogs in to shore for potty break.  What caused us grief was trying to unplug the 80 pound Manson Supreme from Cumberland's muddy bottom.  But after about twenty minutes, we finally had it secure and were underway.

As usual, I took a bunch of photos to share.

Twilight the night before.  That's the secret sub base.

Fernandina Beach.

This guy caught a small shark.

Don't poke your finger along the waterline.  You'll make a hole and the boat will sink.

Olivia was so tired that she fell asleep like that.

Friggin' Pelican mating dance.  The guy on the left thought he was pretty hot.  The lady on the right didn't seem too impressed.  Typical.

Don't like to bottom paint?

At first I thought it was an eagle.  It was an Osprey, maybe an immature one.

This knucklehead was about to pass that sailboat on a turn, with us approaching.

No, I'm not name calling.  See?

Pam liked this boat.

We stopped at Sister's Creek Bridge because the tide board said we had 22 feet of clearance.  We air draft 22 feet, so we called the bridge.  He said there was 4 more feet in the middle, for 26.  There was a boat approaching as we were doing our bridge dance, so we waited.  It was Summer Wind, a blog I've been following for a couple of years now.  Hey, Dick and Elle, your blog is long overdue!  Time for an update!

For my landlubber friends, see the white vertical board?  That tells you what the bridge clearance is as the tide changes.

Looks low.

We left Sisters Creek and hit the St. Johns River at exactly the wrong time, halfway to low tide.  We had a lot of current against us as the St. Johns River was emptying out.

It was flowing at three knots.  But we've dealt with strong currents before.  No big deal.  While our speed through the water was a constant 8 knots, our speed over ground was down to 4.8 at times.

Pam liked this house.

Jacksonville Port.

Uh oh.  Look what's coming up from behind.  No, not the little boat.  The one behind it.

We had lots of dolphins.  So many that I was sure Chevy was going to jump off the boat.  Notice the cool water turbulence from his dorsal fin.  Enlarge the pic to see it better.

Another Friggin' Pelican.

Our Navi-Nut (patent pending) worked flawlessly.  As usual.

Epiphany called for a slow pass, always appreciated.

Home of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jacksonville Landing's free dock is just past that blue lift bridge, at the orange roofs on the right.  This is a great spot because of all the restaurants.  We spent half the money we saved in marina fees at Fionn MacCool's Irish Pub.   

I had predicted a 3:30 PM arrival.  I'm good.

Honey Fitz, JFK's presidential yacht, which is making a fund raising tour for charities, passed by.

What a gorgeous boat.

Notice the Boys & Girls Club flag.  They'll be doing fund raisers for the clubs all up and down the east coast, giving rides.  Look for it.

The flag pole on Honey Fitz.

Drift Away.

Thought I'd try some hand held night shots.   

The lights were beautiful.

Olivia was on sensory overload though.

And just when I thought the evening was over...

I saw Pam at Fionn MacCool's ordering a chocolate dessert.

Jacksonville is a great stop, but be prepared for something completely different from, say, the seclusion of Cumberland Island.  Jacksonville is hopping.  Pam sat on the bow and listened to live rock music, and then sat on the stern and listened to a rock/Irish group.  People were dining just a few yards from Drift Away, so we were challenged in keeping the dogs from barking hello to everyone.  But as I'm sitting here at 6 AM writing this, the colorful lights are dancing on the water as the city awakens.  Certainly worth the stop.

And don't worry about the current.  The St. Johns River flows both ways, due to the river's current and the tide.  Sometimes it's flowing pretty good, sometimes it's slack.  I think current makes docking easier, actually.  When Pam and I passed under the lift bridge and needed to head to the dock wall, we had about two knots against us.  I just idled Drift Away in forward gear and slowly drifted to the dock wall, barely making forward progress and mostly just slid sideways until we nudged up against it.  Easy.

Today it's the final 25 mile push to Green Cove Springs.  It should be an easy day.


  1. Excellent morning coffee read,Dave. Thanks.

  2. Glad to see the Navi Nut in action again!! It looks a little rusty though...

  3. At least it NEVER gets below 75 in Bleeker Dave so you should be ok. NOT!!! You and Pam are going to FREEZE!

  4. Glad to see the Navi-Nut (Patent pending) still functions after such a LOOOOONG period of non-use!