Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Back at home
Barco has just returned home. We departed on Monday at about 1145, we were late so we ran the twin diesels at 80% (2200 rpm), running at ten knots with destination of Jacksonville Landing. Once there, we picked up She Who Will Be Obeyed outside Hooter's and continued our forty mile run to Fernandina.
City Marina at Fernandina is about as close to Georgia as one can get. You can see the Sub Base in the distance, and the local paper plant reminds one of the smell that used to permeate North Florida. We picked up 226 gallons of diesel and the Marina staff was kind enough to allow us to stay the night at the fuel dock. We enjoyed some sunset G&T's, waited for some business associates to come by for dinner.
We repaired to "Moon River Pizza" and ordered a couple of pitchers and pies. Moon River has the best pizza at the finest prices. A very Bohemian atmosphere, there is loud alternative music and the staff is required to have covered their skin with ink and have the craziest hair-do's since the seventies. Five of us dined and caught a decent buzz from the beer and wine, all under fifty bucks. Big spenders!
Back to the boat by 2200 and had final nightcaps. Taps was about 2300.
Fernandina is an example of what I consider to be old Florida. It has a history of having been ruled by eight flags and there is an old fort that has to be three hundred years old. There is a marker detailing the Revolutionary war invasion of British Northeast Florida. Apparently a small raider force of rebels attacked and trashed the town. Just good ol' boys...
Back to the old Florida bit; There is a small downtown, older buildings are the rule. I can see that it must have been quite a place before all the stupid t-shirt shops and quaint antique joints took over. "Look honey, we can sell our home here in New York, move to Fernandina and open a tourist shop and retire...."
This kind of thinking has wrecked a great small town. I can't stand to see all the pirate themed stores. Why can't we have some small lunch counters and a TG&Y? Maybe add in a couple of Shrimper's bars?
Nope. We have to have "quaint", surrounded by high youthful unemployment and middle aged provincial posers. We resemble that!
Nice little town ruined by progress and "Salt Life" signs.
After breakfast, we fired up the twin Perkins and departed quietly, heading South on the Intracoastal Waterway. Eight knots indicated and a good 12 knot breeze slowing us down. The only traffic we encountered was a tug and barge about half way to Jacksonville. And I ran aground while safely in the channel. One minute the water showed ten feet, then as I rounded a red marker the depth alarm started. I felt us touch on the bow, so I immediately pulled the props out of gear and allowed the boat to glance off of a silt mound. While doing this I was saying, "We're in the f%^&*n channel, look behind us and ahead." Like my whining really helps. It was as if I was trying to get absolution for messing up, but it really wasn't my fault. Just a "classic ICW" ran-out-of-water moment. And it was low tide, so I will remember that little lesson of humility.
Anyway, we hardly slowed down and I returned power up to 2000 rpm for the regular cruise and we continued the mission to return home.
Arrived at homeplate after a four hour journey. Not bad, we made good time. We lazed in the warm Florida sunshine and consumed cold Sierra Nevada's while watching a fisherman troll back and forth in Pirate's Cove.
Great week to be living in Florida!