FL to CT Day 12
Fernandina Beach, FL to Jekyll Island, GA
We spent the last week in Fernandina Beach for the MTOA Southern Rendezvous and had a great time with our MTOA friends. You just can’t fully describe the experience, but now it’s time to return to reality and continue our trek north.
We departed from Fernandina Beach at 0730 and headed north on the ICW. Forecast for the day was WINDY… NE winds 20-25 knots with gusts 30-35 knots… and the forecast lived up to the actual conditions… VERY WINDY.
There is one inlet that we have to cross that with these winds can be very rough… St. Andrews Sound… coming south last year we had similar conditions and crossing was far from pleasant… so we opted to take an alternate route this trip… Floyd Creek, Satilla River, Dover Creek, Umbrella Creek… it’s marked as a alternate route to the ICW on the charts. Great part is it takes you around St. Andrews Sound in protected waters… bad thing was it was approaching low tide and there is at least one shallow area in Floyd Creek… we arrived to the shallow spot at about an hour before low tide and slowed to an idle… just before the markers A25 and A26 we grounded out… we tried a couple of alternate approaches to the markers but each approach ended in the same result… GROUNDED. So, we backtracked a few hundred yards and dropped the hook to wait for more water at 1130.
At approximately 1345 the tide had turned around and we had almost 1.5 feet more water than when we arrived at 1100…. 2.5 feet above MLW. We pulled the anchor and headed back toward A25 and A26… we approached at idle speed and move very slowly between the two markers… the depth sounder stopped and was flashing 5.0 LAST… meaning the last reading it was able to make was 5 feet and it was now shallower than that. We kept inching forward expecting to ground out again but shortly the depth sounder started displaying readings again… 5.3… 5.4… 5.5… 6.0… we made it past… we continued on with depths from 5.5 to 6.0 till we reached marker A24… then the depth increased dramatically… 12… 18… 25…. 30 feet… all was good at this point.
We continued on out into the Satilla River and then to the NW to Dover Creek… no real shallow water here… think the lowest I saw was 10 feet… we soon reached the Dover Cut which was very narrow… had some shallow water to begin with but the majority of the cut was deep. This cut dumped us into Umbrella Creek… a little shallow as we exited but deep enough to pass. The last section that was concerning me was the Umbrella Cut that took into Jekyll Sound… it was charted at 6 feet… however, when we passed through never saw less than 12 feet.
We headed east across Jekyll sound back toward the ICW… it was a little choppy… 2-4 foot waves and current on our bow… very slow going… the wind had also increased and was blowing steady over 30 knots with gusts as high as 40 knots…. But we did not have far to go… a few more miles to where we would be stopping at Jekyll Island.
We approached the dock and decided to dock with current on our stern and the winds on the bow… we were not having a lot of push from the current even though it was a flood tide… but we had a lot of wind. We were securely docked at approximately 1545 at N31°02.548’, W081°25.389’. We traveled for 8.25 hours covering 33.2 nm our average moving speed was 5.5 knots. I figured the average on “moving” time rather than total time… 2.25 hours waiting for tide in Floyd Creek.
Soon after docking we saw “Serendipity” with Norm and Peter aboard… we helped them with lines as they docked behind us. Our help docking was rewarded with cocktails aboard “Serendipity”… Peter and Norm are very gracious hosts… providing far more than we needed to drink.