Our next longer-term destination was Cumberland Island, Georgia, so we decided to go back up the ICW and slowly work our way through the marshlands of north Florida. The first day out of St Augustine we didn't go far, just about 15 miles north, to anchor at Pine Island, an uninhabited island in an oxbow off the channel. How relaxing! Just us and the birds. So quiet after the bustle of the city.
Next we thought we'd try Fernandina Beach at the FL/GA border. We had to cross the St. Johns River, dodging container and ro-ro ships to continue up Sisters Creek, but made it without incident. Then we had to deal with very skinny or no water as we passed Amelia Island at super low tide (it being a full moon). If we do that again, we'll wait for high tide. The town of Fernandina is flanked by huge industrial plants (paper?) that are noisy, ugly, and smelly. After just having been in paradise, we couldn't imagine anchoring there, so we went up Bells River into the marsh a ways. But, even with the distance, we were still offended by the view and the noise. So, though we'd heard the town was nice, we were too put off. We decided to skip it and leave first thing in the morning for Cumberland Island, a national park. Upon arrival at Cumberland, we were rewarded with natural beauty and a serene anchorage. Stay tuned...
Pine Island: +30° 3' 4.92", -81° 21' 54.66"
Bells River: +30° 40' 46.56", -81° 28' 48.60"
Cumberland Island, GA: +30° 46' 4.20", -81° 28' 16.74"