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Miss Norma gets out of St. Augustine as the morning light is breaking. It won't be long before we will part ways on our journey North.

Northbound ’19 – Travel Day 9: St. Augustine, Fl to St Simons, GA

Conditions: Sunny and clouds, windy, cool then warm then hot.  Winds SSE 10- 15 mph, ICW calm, 2-4 foot swells crossing St Andrews.

Distance traveled: 103 statute miles

Time underway: 10 hours 17 minutes

Average Speed: 9 kts

Max Speed: 17.4 kts

Fuel used: 100 gallons

This leg was the beginning of a new phase on this trip as we were happy to welcome our dear friend, Captain Sean.  We met Sean at Stock Island Marina in Key West last year where he was the Captain of the sailing yacht commissioned by General George Patton, the When And If.  Sean was with the boat while we were down there again this year and when we all figured out that the beginning of the time he was planning to take off this spring coincided with our adventure up the ICW, something he’s never done before, we all decided it would be great to have him aboard with us for a couple of weeks (besides, Jasper loves him).  You’ll also be seeing some of his great photos in these entries.  Welcome aboard Sean!

Up and at ’em nice and early! Sean starts his first morning crewing on OLOH.

It was a beautiful, misty morning in St. Augustine when we shoved off from the marina at 6:50 am.  We witnessed a gorgeous sunrise and believe we saw a big Eagle Ray at play shortly after our departure to send us on our way for the day.

Camachee Cove Departure
Morning has broken, like the first morning.
Thanks to the crew of Arietta for this great shot of the sunrise over OLOH during a nice slow pass as we all got underway.

We were initially unsure of how to handle this leg of our trip.  The next logical stop for us would have been Fernandina which, unfortunately, had its marina destroyed in a storm a few years ago and the repairs have not yet been completed.  We had considered anchoring in the area but got mixed reports on our ability to land our tender at a dock for Jasper.  We decided that we would continue north and push into Jekyll Island in Georgia.  This is a section of the trip we have always done offshore because of a number of known problem areas on the ICW but the conditions in the ocean were well beyond our tolerance levels.  So we did our homework and were excited for a new adventure into new waters for us.  It was also a big day in that we were crossing our first state line of this journey.

For the most part, it was a really nice, easy going day with long stretches of slow going including more than six miles through Palm Valley where the waterside homes got bigger and bigger the closer we got to Jacksonville.
All along this route, there are beautiful, open expanses of unspoiled marshlands teeming with birds.

While we started out the day bucking the current, we ended up with a favorable current for most of the day.  Technically speaking for those who care, we were seeing 10 knots at less than 1,000 RPM’s on our engines as we entered Cumberland Sound in Georgia and, on average, saw better than 1 mpg for the day.  Not bad for a sixty footer.

Jasper expressed his displeasure with the paper plant in Fernandina by barking at it as we passed.
Fernandina Marina still under repair in the foreground of this great, little town.
Just off of Fernandina, Sean got a shot of Lynx, a Tall Ship he had spent two nights aboard in the Chesapeake. He used his pirate’s lens to capture the shot!
While the rest of the crew high-fived as we crossed the Florida-Georgia line, this is how Jasper expressed his excitement despite the fact that Captain A.J. naturally programmed Willie Nelson’s Georgia On My Mind to fire up as we moved out of Florida.
Two tugs push what looks to be like dredging equipment as we crossed St. Mary’s River into Georgia. We radioed them to arrange for passing and they were appreciative. It’s good to remember the simple fact these folks are out there doing good, hard work.

We negotiated the various problem areas without issue thanks to the vast amount of crowd-sourced knowledge available to us.  Sean quickly and easily settled into being our sounding board, pouring over all the info as we went along.  One of the notorious spots is Jekyll Creek, just north of the marina where we had made a reservation.  It’s an area only to be traveled by deeper draft boats near or at high tide.  Because we would be arriving at high tide we realized it made more sense to push through, rather than have to wait until late the next day to be able to leave.  Once we confirmed there was a spot for us in St Simons, the next logical stop, we decided to press on to Morningstar Marina Golden Isles.

Thanks anyway Jekyll Harbor Marina. We’ll see you another time.
Past Jekyll Island there was dredging going on which, we can speak for all who travel the ICW, we are very grateful for.
The Brunswick suspension bridge looms in the distance. That’s not one we’ll have to cross under.
First Dog on deck, eager to get to shore!
All hands and paws on deck – Morningstar Marina arrival.
Good boy Jasper. A well-deserved walk after 10+ hours on the water.

More tides to play and decisions on our next destination to be made, but we’ll continue along the ICW through Georgia.

See you out there…

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And that concludes your OLOH instructions. M/Y OLOH back to 1-6.

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