After a quiet night, we woke to a beautiful sunrise. We weighed anchor at 07:20 and headed out bound for Florida. Yes, that’s right. FLORIDA! We heard that we will get some rain and thunderstorms today and there are tornado warnings but not for this area.
The Cumberland Sound ferry passes in front of us and then we cross the St. Mary’s inlet into Florida at 10:00. Imagine, we made it! We see Fort Clinch on our port side and are in 30 kn of wind. Whew! Even the fisherman on the beach looked windblown.
We passed by this huge mill and at first from a distance, wondered if it was a cement plant but upon getting closer, and seeing all the sawdust, decided that it was probably a pulp and paper mill. The smell gave us an indication too. And even some rail cars around too.
We pass the sign for Amelia Island where a friend told us it was a great place to see. Beautiful old homes and not a far walk from the dock. We debated whether to stop but thought we could make it to our anchorage before the storm started. Our next stop in a town will be in St. Augustine where we hear is very historic and beautiful as well. We saw some huge houses a little further on after we go under the double bridge.
We had a bit of trouble along the river here. We were at the bottom of the tide and Amazing Grace hit bottom. Charts were marked as though there was enough water but when they hit, we pulled away to the other side which should have had enough water and Persuasion was on the bottom too! We hit hard but luckily, it was a sand bottom and there was enough wind to get us off. By then, the sky was getting darker and there were warnings on the radio. It was evident that we would not get to our anchorage before the storm. When it started raining, it poured and visibility was terrible. We got off the channel and motored in circles at least 30 minutes. Amazing Grace did the same and said when they could see us, there were times we were leaned over 45 degrees. Thunder, lightning, rain, hail and high winds made for a scary few minutes. Lightning was even hitting the water around us!
The rain finally let up a bit and we found safe anchorage not far from where we were originally headed for the night. We got the hook down at 14:25, weather beaten and thankful to be safe. After supper, just as the sun was starting to set, we tipped and emptied out the dinghy which was full of water from the downpour. It was calm by then and looked like it would be a calm night.
Today we travelled 35.9 nm.