|The Norwegian Gem off Jacksonville, Florida|
Another idled and anchored cruise ship
We are tied up at Fernandina Harbor Marina on Amelia Island, right at the border of Florida and Georgia between here and Cumberland Island. We spent one night in St. Augustine and then headed back out into the calm ocean and came here today, bypassing Jacksonville altogether.
This is one of the nicest stops along the waterway because of the quaint little town of Fernandina Beach, which was thriving prior to the Coronavirus and seems to be gradually re-opening now. The docks were pretty much destroyed here by Hurricane Matthew in October of 2016. With a change of ownership, insurance claims, and complications of a property lease from the city of Fernandina Beach, it took almost four years for the marina to rebuild and finally re-open. When we passed here heading south in January, it was still closed, so we are delighted it is available again. The docks are built to last and very impressive.
Our plans have changed somewhat because we were headed to Jacksonville to have some work done at Lamb's boatyard there, but a call to them this week revealed the they are slammed with work, and could not get to us for several weeks. The same seems to be true of all of the boat repair businesses along the way. So the Lovely Laura Lee, who has work to do back home, will head back home in a rental car tomorrow while I spend the next three days or so getting the boat back to the Savannah area. We will likely get the work done partly at a yard in Savannah and partly at home at The Ford Plantation.
It has been a beautiful cruise, and I have rarely seen the ocean so calm for over a week. We again had afternoon thunderstorms today, but the worst of them passed south of us as we came in the inlet. The channel here is unusually large and deep because of the submarine base at St. Mary's.
We have now travelled nearly 1,000 nautical miles to get our boat to the Bahamas, have it quarantined there for four months, and then try to bring it home. While we are disappointed that the Bahamas cruise didn't work out, we are grateful that we have retained our health and that all of our family members have remained well during this horrible pandemic. And what's not to like about spending time cruising on the water, wherever we happen to be?