Jacksonville, Florida – Now through January 2014
For Sunset, Half or Full Day Sails
Leaving from Ortega Landing Marina, 10 minutes from downtown Jacksonville, you can sail out to the wide and calm water of the magnificent St Johns River. The banks are lined with trees and beautiful homes, perfect for relaxation and sunbathing. (Full day: you stop in a cove for a barbeque onboard and take a swim, or go ashore for lunch.)
St Augustine – Call for special arrangements
South toward Ft Matanzas – A National Park Service monument and home to a flock of Great Horned Owls. (Full day: Go ashore visit the fort, exhibits, and take the nature walk)
North to Pine Island – Part of the Guana State Park, a National Estuarine Research Reserve. Enjoy the beautiful salt marshes and the quiet waters of the Tolomato River. Or, sail out St Augustine Inlet for a spin in the ocean. (Full Day: Do both or anchor in Salt Run for a swim, walk on the beach, or a cook out)
Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island – Here July & August 2013 and by special arrangement
North to Cumberland Island – A National Park and Georgia’s largest barrier island. Enjoy vistas of pristine maritime forests, undeveloped beaches, wild horses, and wide marshes. Walk in the footsteps of early natives, explorers, and wealthy industrialists. (Full Day: go ashore and explore the remains of the Carnegies’ mansion, Dungeness)
National Park Service map of Cumberland Island.
South to Ft George Island – A Florida State Park, a remote estuary, only accessible by boat. Explore Kingsley Plantation or take a dinghy ride through the storm washed dunes out to the ocean beaches, swim, sunbathe or walk the beach. (Full Day required for any shore time activities)
2 & 3 Day Sailing Vacation Possibilities
Below are some fabulous 2 & 3 day trips, perfect for a real “weekend” get-a-way. Read about a recent 4-day sailing vacation from Jacksonville Beach to Fernandina and Cumberland Island. When you return, you will feel like you have been in another world. The destinations mentioned below are described in more detail above.
- Cruise east down the St Johns River to Ft George Island and return
- To Fernandina Beach spending the night at Ft George Island return by car
- To St Augustine by ocean or ICW overnight at Ft George Island, Pine Island, or Salt Run return by car
- To Cumberland Island and/or St Marys and return
- To St Augustine or Jacksonville by ocean or ICW overnight at Ft George Island, Pine Island, St Johns River, or Salt Run return by car
From St Augustine
- Cruise south down the ICW to Ft Matanzas and return
- Spend the day sailing in the Atlantic Ocean return and spend the night in Salt Run returning home the next day
- To Fernandina Beach or Jacksonville by ocean or ICW overnight at Salt Run, Pine Island, Ft George Island, or on the St Johns River return by car
Miami (Coconut Grove), Florida – Winter
For Sunset, Half or Full Day Sails
Leaving from Coconut Grove about 10 minutes south of downtown Miami, you have quick access to Biscayne Bay. Heading east out into the clear and protected waters of Biscayne Bay, in about an hour you can be in the middle of Stiltsville, a group of wood houses built on pilings in the 1930s on the flats of the bay. From there you can sail out past Bill Baggs Park and the Cape Florida Lighthouse and enjoy some ocean sailing as you head for Fowey Rocks Lighthouse. Coming back you’ll marvel at the colors in the sky and the lights of downtown Miami as the sunsets over the western shore of the bay.
With a full day charter you can snorkel among the coral reefs off Fowey Rocks in calm weather. Or you can head north up the bay passing under the Rickenbacker Causeway right into the hart of downtown Miami; perhaps exploring the Miami River or the world’s largest cruise ship terminal. You’ll want to sail along the Venetian Causeway Islands and see the fabulous homes of the rich and famous that dot the shores. You will see Miami like you have never seen it before.
Take an Sailing Vacation: Overnight, a weekend or a week
There is so much to see and do on an overnight or 2-day charter around Biscayne Bay. If you are primarily interested in snorkeling you can explore the coral reefs and shipwrecks around Fowey Rocks or Long Reef. On the bay side you can visit remote Soldiers Key and marvel at the fish that congregate along the old pier there. Are you more interested in beaches, sandbars and nature? Relax on the sandy beaches on Elliott Key or play in the water around the sandbars off Sand Key. Noname harbor at the tip Key Biscayne is a great anchorage for your first night out. You can’t beat tying right up to the seawall in the picturesque harbor at Boca Chita Key and enjoying all the park amenities and nature trails of Biscayne National Park. If you have a full 2 days you can anchor nestled in the middle of the peaceful solitude of mangroves around Angelfish Creek.
If you have 3 days or more, you’ll have time to visit the coral reefs in the John Pennekamp Park. You’ll be able to travel protected waters of Florida Bay along Key Largo, Plantation and Matecumbe Keys. Perhaps visiting 11-acre Indian Key and investigating the ruins of the town that was the Dade county seat built there in the 1800s. With so many options from spending a night off South Beach and poking around the Lincoln Road cafes and shops to remote and pristine anchorages along the keys, a sailing vacation on Now & Zen will be a memory of a lifetime. Call us and we’ll help you plan your vacation of a lifetime.
Now & Zen is waiting for you to enjoy the peak of the South Florida sailing season: perfect temperatures, great breezes, and warm crystal clear waters. But, don’t delay we’ll be heading back to Jacksonville at the end of March.