Friday, May 23, 2008

St. Augustine, FL to Fernandina Beach, FL

Thursday, May 22, 2008
We left Comachee Marina at 8:45 AM heading to Fernandina Beach, FL. The temperature were in the low 80s with some cloud cover. Winds were westerly 5-10 and the seas were a calm 1-2. It was smooth traveling on the outside.

Leaving the marina and looking over to historic St. Augustine.

Historic downtown

Wooden Cross On the Shore of St. Augustine

U.S. Warship 80 Heading To Jacksonville, FL.

Tate taking one last glance over the charts for Captain Kevin

"Island Hopper's" initial approach into Fernandina Beach, FL.

We arrived at Fernandina Harbor Marina at 12:20 PM. We made great time on the outside today.

Boats docked at Fernandina Harbor Marina

Fernandina Beach, FL

Fernandina Beach is a captivating small town. The cheery downtown has almost a Disney flavor to it...but it's real. Tree lined streets and ornate facades suggest a trio into our past, while the fleet of shrimp boat along the St. Marys reminds visitors that this town is alive and thriving. While under Spanish ownership, most of what Fernandina attracted was riff-raff. Smugglers and pirates carried out their shady trades in the St. Marys River and Cumberland Sound. Runaway slaves hid out in this area, and rogues, rapscallions, and scalawags also made it their haunt. The Spaniards seemed to have little interest in such a place, but somebody wanted it - President James Madison. In fact, he wanted all of Florida. A group of Madison's revolutionaries captured Fernandina in 1812. The vagabond Gregor McGregor, with assistance from some revolutionaries in the mid-Atlantic region, advanced on Fernandina as the Spanish surrendered with nary a word. Florida was independent, but not for long. Mexican pirate Luis Aury recaptured Fernandina within a week, making it a pirate sanctuary. This lasted until December of 1817 when the United States took over the territory. No fewer than eight different flags have flown above Fernandina, making it the most diversely disputed parcel of land in the nation. The pirate influence is evident today as you see many statues of pirates throughout the town.

Fernandina Today

Centre Street's brick sidewalks more than beckon visitors to take a stroll. The town's historic district, a showcase of Victorian architecture , spans 50 blocks. Much of Fernandina's history of ever-changing political control and culture is captured within the Amelia Island Museum of History.

Downtown Fernandina

Tina & Dick Devoe aboard "Island Hopper"

Tina and Dick Devoe came aboard "Island Hopper" at 5:00 PM for cocktails. They later drove us through the town and then out to Amelia Island where they live in The Plantation. We went to their beautiful new home on a golf course. The Plantation is a gorgeous with lush foliage and many canopies of trees. It is unlike most of Florida, with a Hilton Head feel. They then took us to a local outdoor seafood restaurant where we had a wonderful meal with great company.

1 comment:

Anne Barnes said...

Happy to see my old friend Dick Devoe enjoying a glass of wine in a wonderful environment. I only knew him a short time, but we had some fun moments in Frankfurt and Venice. If you ever see him again, please tell him I came across this blog and was pleased to hear he was well and happy - Anne Barnes