The town of Fernandina Beach is located on the west side of Amelia Island. It is known as the “Isle of 8 Flags”, having flown the following nations’ flags over it since 1562: France, Spain, Great Britain, Spain (again), the Patriots of Amelia Island, the Green Cross of Florida, Mexico, the Confederate States of America, and the United States. It is the only town in the United States that has flown eight different national flags.
Pirates have been drawn here for centuries. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the destination was a safe harbor for pirates. The port is among the deepest on the southeast coast of the United States. This allowed pirate ships to enter the port easily, even at low tide. Since 1973, the Fernandina Pirates Club has been active in the community, and are also hosting their first annual Fernandina Pirate Festival this October (we’ll miss it by two weeks…bummer). The group also offers “pirates for hire,” that will come to your event..or even kidnap someone for the day!
Fernandina’s main street is lined with all kinds of great shops and restaurants, with additional offerings branching off on either side of it. After getting Franken-motor up and running, we came to shore, checked in with the marina, grabbed pizza for dinner and stopped into the Palace Saloon for a Pirate’s Punch. Opened in 1903, the Palace Saloon is the oldest bar in Florida, and a staple in Fernandina Beach. At that time, there were twenty bars in the harbor area. The Palace was the only one that was known as the “ship captain’s bar.”
After food and drink, we made our way back out into the mooring field, where the wind and current were kicking up so much, it looked like our boat was underway, and moving away from us. We also spent the night listening to that stupid mooring ball bang against our hull!
Yesterday, we met my friend, Kevin, for brunch in town. We went to high school together, and hadn’t seen each other in nineteen years! Wow, that makes you feel old! We had brunch at Leddy’s Porch, located in the Florida House Inn. The food was terrific, and it was so great to catch up with Kevin! We hope to meet him again, while we’re in St. Augustine.
This morning, we happily untied from the mooring ball from hell, and made our way south to St. Augustine. The Super Moon has the tides unusually high, and we were grateful for that, as we maneuvered down the shallow ICW.
By mid afternoon, we arrived at St. Augustine Municipal Marina, where we tied onto a much friendlier, plastic-hooked mooring ball! We also left the crazy current behind, in Fernandina. Our hull is happy. We’ll stay here for the next week, visiting with friends, and enjoying this awesome town!
Here are photos of our quick stay in Fernandina Beach, and our trip to St. Augustine.
“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”