Sunday, March 18, 2012

FERNANDINA BEACH - Northernmost City in Florida

Trip Day:         14        Latitude:            30°40.19' N                      Locks Today:    0
Miles Today:    32        Longitude:     081°28.22' W                      Locks Total:     6
Total Miles:    497        Location:          Fernandina Beach, FL / Amelia Island
We got underway at 9:00 after a light breakfast at "The Galley" at Palm Cove Marina.  We entered the Saint John’s River at 10:15 am with a strong current against us.  At noon navigation was a bit challenging at the southern tip of Amelia Island where several rivers flowed into Nassau Sound. 

Fernandina Beach, which is on Amelia Island, is Florida’s northernmost city.  It was discovered in 1562 by the French explorer Jean Ribault who named it Isle de Mai, then later settled by the Spanish in 1567 who renamed it Santa Maria and built Fort San Fernando.  In 1702, the British captured the island and named it Amelia Island in honor of King George II’s daughter.

Eight different flags have flown over Amelia Island and in the early years, pirates and smugglers used it as their stronghold; later, during Prohibition, rum-runners did the same. As we run up the Amelia Island coast we are under sail and enjoying the marsh lands on each side of the ICW.  

Early afternoon we picked up our mooring across the channel from the historic old town in view of the shrimp boats.

We will go ashore this afternoon, then catch the Gator game at the Palace Saloon, the oldest tavern in Florida. 

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