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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Docked at OYCM

The town of Fernandina Beach is comfortable and quaint.  We thoroughly enjoy our time there.  When we arrived last Sunday, we could not get the phone to work and finally tested it out on Shari just after 8 am.  The call put her on notice that we were back, which in turn set us up for a surprise visit from her and Paul.  We told her that we were going to get some sleep and then call her back.  We laid down about noon and were still sleeping about 3 pm when I heard a knock on the hull and Shari's voice.  I stuck my head out and saw Shari, Paul and Fred, plus some guy - a look alike for the tennis player Agassi - who helped them get to our mooring.  Paul encountered an oar mishap in his sport yak. Agassi guy was giving Shari a ride to our boat and found himself in the midst of rescuing Paul and Fred!  Fred and Paul were safe, albeit a little wet.

Shari was so thoughtful to bring us fruit and our favorite cereal - plus cracker jacks.  She is always thinking of others - and we are thankful to be on the receiving end!

Our check-in on Monday was pleasant as usual - another reason we like Fernandina.  After our face to face interview, the customs officer took the time to pull up our Local Boater Option (LBO) applications and complete the process for us.  We now have our registration numbers, which will allow us to call in upon touching U.S. land, and eliminate or reduce the need to meet face to face. 

We timed our departure from the dock on Sister's Creek such that we would ride the max flood current all the way up the St. John's River.  Most of the trip we were at 1,100 RPM, barely above idle, and still moving six knots.  What a joy to have the current for us and not against us.  A Canadian flagged boat joined up with us on the St. John's and was with us all the way to the Main Street Bridge.  While we waited between the Main Street Bridge and the FEC RR Bridge, we asked them where they were headed.  They were from Quebec, so language was difficult.  Once through the FEC RR Bridge, we ascertained that they were headed for Fernandina Beach.  Myron called them back on the radio and let them know that they were no longer on the ICW but on the St. John's River and that they missed their turn about 15 miles back.  He suggested they tie up at that Jacksonville Landing, a free dock for the night, and then ride the current back down the river to the ICW the next day.  Last we saw them they were conferring in their cockpit and headed back to the FEC RR Bridge.

Paul caught up with us on Gretel at the Main Street Bridge and then jumped on board after we were through the FEC.  Auto Paul drove Hold Fast up to the Ortega River Bridge and jumped back on Gretel to meet us at the docks.  A heads up here: Ortega Bridge is only opening one leaf right now, we fit through but it always looks like we will not as we drive up on it!  We were tied up in our old slip by 3 pm on Tuesday.  We caught up with our buddies on the docks and suddenly felt exhausted.  It was another early night, followed by a day of errands.  I am finally forcing myself to break away from the projects and get an update to everyone.  We are in safe.  We are also in project mode - our usual state of frenzy when we pay to be tied to land!

In general, our plans to are continue north...soon.  No further detail at this point.  It all depends upon projects, weather and the possiblity of a young man joining us as crew.

I will leave you with that tantalizing tidbit until it all comes to pass!

Love to all,
Dena

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{GMST}30|16.499|N|081|42.951|W|Docked|{GEND}

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