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  • Katharine Hesmer

DAY SIX | December 19, 2021

Crescent, GA to Fernandina Beach, FL

Good morning from Crescent Georgia! And no, I have no idea where that is either! Ha! I felt better when I asked Skeet where we had anchored and he didn’t really know either (except he probably knew our exact GPS coordinates!) Woke up to a rather gloomy day, but it was still beautiful in its own way.

Here's an interesting aside, and no, it's not about vacuum sealers. Do you know the difference between a nautical mile and a regular ol' driving-down-the-street mile? How about the difference between a nautical mile and a knot? Well, gather 'round, 'cause I used this super cool tool called the Google and found this from :

"Nautical miles are used to measure the distance traveled through the water. A nautical mile is slightly longer than a mile on land, equaling 1.1508 land-measured (or statute) miles. The nautical mile is based on the Earth’s longitude and latitude coordinates, with one nautical mile equaling one minute of latitude. . . Using latitude and longitude coordinates is more practical for long-distance travel, where the curvature of the Earth becomes a factor in accurate measurement. Nautical charts use latitude and longitude, so it’s far easier for mariners to measure distance with nautical miles. Air and space travel also use latitude and longitude for navigation and nautical miles to measure distance."

"Knots, on the other hand, are used to measure speed. One knot equals one nautical mile per hour, or roughly 1.15 statute mph."

I bet you did knot know that you would get a valuable education on this website. No extra charge. You're welcome.

We are still floating (pardon the pun) from Whitney and Will’s exciting news, and it just hit me that I’ll have a new son-in-law, and Greta and Skeet will have a brother-in-law! I mean, yes, I’m slow, but it takes me awhile to process stuff and it’s fun to let all the happiness sink in, one detail at the time. If you could dream up the perfect person to be your son by marriage, it would be Will. He is SUCH a special human, and they are SUCH a precious pair.

Today I decided to act like a grown up and tackle the laundry. It only took two complete laundry cycles to figure out how that machine works, which is JUST what you want on a small boat with limited water storage. But hey, I’m still in shock that this size boat even HAS a washer/dryer combo, even if it only fits about 8 pieces of clothing. I’ll take it and RUN. It’s located in the kitchen, and is so cleverly stashed away you’d never know it was there. It’s in a cabinet underneath the bar, directly across from the equally tiny bathroom. That big silver jug is how we filter water for drinking. We fill it up in the kitchen sink and by the time it makes its way through the filters, it’s safe to drink. Or so I’m told. 😳😵‍💫☠️

Great Harbour even included a space to allow 2 seats at the little bar. I work on my computer at that spot most mornings, and move up to the seat across from Ron in the pilot house once everyone is up and going. I’ve been waking up super early every day around 5:00, but I feel rested so I’m going with it and getting some work done before everyone else wakes up.

Skeet is all about the bridges as I’ve said, so he’s able to tell us lots of facts that he’s read on an intracoastal waterway guide, and remembers every single detail. I feel like these days, basic info goes in one side of my head and out the other. Just zero skill for retention, so I live vicariously through Skeet in so many ways. I honestly learn so much about myself through Skeet, as we share a lot of the same qualities. Pretty sure I’d register on the spectrum, but maybe we all would. He teaches me so much. If only I could remember what it was.

One thing he taught me today (that I had to write down on a piece of paper so I’d “remember” it) is that, per Coast Guard regulations, if a bridge has a clearance below 65’, it has to have a way to open. A bridge can only be “fixed” if it offers 65’ of clearance or more.

Greta is an awesome navigator as well, and takes many turns at the helm. She is up for any challenge, and is such a reliable and competent member of the KORKZcrew. It’s amazing that she and Skeet are able to join us on this trip, and so cool that they’re getting this kind of experience behind the wheel. It’s a big responsibility, as they have to make sure we stay in the channel so we don’t run aground, and have to watch out for obstacles like crab pots. Boat traffic hasn’t been that big of a concern to this point. We are practically the only boat on the waterway which sounds crazy but it’s true.

We passed the coolio Sidney Lanier Bridge which reminded me a lot of Charleston. Skeet said it connects Brunswick to Jekyll Island, and has a clearance of 185 feet.

A little later we passed the first submarine I think I’ve ever seen in real life, and it was GINORMOUS. It’s located in the Cumberland Sound at the King’s Bay Naval Base. This picture is pretty worthless because the sub just blends into the background, but if you zoom in you get an idea of how massive it is.

The birds on the tower were at Fort Clinch, just over the Georgia / Florida line. And can I just say, HOORAY FLORIDA!! We made it!! But still have a long way to go.

Our day ended at the marina at Fernandina Beach, Florida, which gave us LOTS of things to celebrate:

(1) We got off of the boat for the first time since we left Wilmington

(2) I DIDN’T HAVE TO PREPARE DINNER. Yes, there IS a god!!!

I can honestly say that I have not been the least bit stir crazy being boat-bound for six days, but check with me in April and see what I think of this lifestyle after several months. Living on a small floating condo is certainly not for everyone, but I absolutely love it. Now I get to test out my dream of living in a tiny home in real time. It’s pretty amazing. But it certainly makes you appreciate the ability to get OFF of the boat when the opportunity presents itself. Just walking along the dock felt like heaven, but the best was yet to come.

Ron had made Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island a priority stop on our way south. In 2015, Ron accomplished a bucket list feat and single-handed a 27’ sailboat in a similar fashion to what we’re doing now, with his ultimate goal of crossing the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas. He distinctly remembers the appeal of Fernandina Beach. (You can read about Ron’s sailing adventures here. It’s well worth your time, and might even make you wonder what on earth you’re doing following THIS blog.)

We got realllllly lucky with the timing of our arrival in Fernandina Beach. KORKZcrew pulled into their marina around 6:30 pm. If it had been any earlier in the day we probably wouldn’t have stopped, as we are on a mission to get to Miami by 12.23, the day our pre-paid slip rental begins. But the stars must have been aligned that night, because there we were, at dinner time, surrounded by these amazing inventions called RESTAURANTS, in the most charming little historic town you’ve ever seen. I was happier than a girl who doesn’t have to cook dinner.

Steve made our restaurant hunt a little more challenging, but we quickly found an appealing-looking pizza place with an outdoor courtyard. PERFECT. (If they had been serving dirt on a stick, I probably would have been equally ecstatic just knowing someone else had fixed it, but luckily dirt sticks were NOT on their menu). As if this day could not have gotten any better, take a wild guess what my homing-pigeon-like senses zeroed in on right out of the gate?

If you said PARMESAN FRIES, you’d win today’s grand prize! And if you said I opted for the truffle oil upgrade, well, I’d just say, you must be well acquainted with my arteries. Another EQUALLY delicious (and unhealthy) appetizer was the garlic knots. OH MY LORD. Melt-in-your-mouth delicious. If you ever find yourself at Fernandina Beach, please put Arte Pizza on the list, and cross your fingers you get the same adorable and highly competent waiter that we did.

In case you’re wondering THAT is the look of a girl who loves to eat. Which is why this same girl has to work out and still wonders why she looks like she doesn’t. Again, not the brightest bulb.

At dinner, Skeet shared with us some interesting tidbits about bridges, and I filmed him doing it, much to his dismay. Poor thing reluctantly let me videotape him. He’s super sensitive about not wanting to be put on display, and I get it, but also am in awe of his bank of knowledge. Here’s a taste:

Night night from my happy belly full of fabulous Fernandina fries.

10 hours underway; 62 nautical miles traveled

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