Now is the perfect time to plan an overnight sailing charter vacation in Jacksonville. Last fall two couples, Chrissy, Greg, Melinda, and John drove from Ohio and chartered Now & Zen with crew, for a fabulous 4-day trip from Jacksonville Beach to Fernandina (Amelia Island), Cumberland Island and Ft. George Island.
Upon returning home Chrissy wrote and said:
“WOW! Thank you so much for a truly wonderful and relaxing week. The boat was amazing, the food outstanding, the destinations and things we stumbled upon on our way each day were fantastic.
We so appreciated your knowledge, history and truly your company thru out the week. Thank you for sharing with us an experience of a lifetime!”
Here is the story of their trip:
Following a lunch of Carolina barbeque with spicy cole slaw, they set sail with a southeast breeze heading north up the Intracoastal toward Fernandina. The bow trampolines were the perfect spot for everyone to stretch out and enjoy the breeze, the view, and spotting of dolphins. As Now & Zen crossed theSt Johns River, two cargo ships, one inbound and one outbound, passed right behind them. Watching their speed and virtually feeling their size is not something you see or feel everyday. For dinner the Captain prepared her scrumptious Shrimp and Grits using fresh Mayport shrimp and South Carolina stone grits. Greg cleaned the dish with 3 helpings!! All enjoyed. Later, as they proceeded through Nassau Sound, the moon was breathtakingly beautiful. Chrissy’s word of the day was “beautiful”; by her own account, she used it 475 times! They arrived in Fernandina after dark and elected to pick up a mooring. It had been a busy day and everyone one was ready to relax in their berth for a good night’s sleep.
Day two dawned still and quiet. Following yummy French toast and sausage, it was time to lower the dinghy and make the run into town. The tree lined streets and interesting shops charmed everyone. After Bloody Marys at O’Kanes (FYI not as good as Johns), it was decided to take an afternoon ocean sail and then return to Fernandina for dinner and music rather than sail up to Jekyll Island as had been the original plan. Sails were set around 1:30 and Now & Zen headed out the St Marys Inlet. About 30 minutes after clearing the jetties Greg spotted a Trident submarine returning from the ocean. All wanted a closer look so they sailed within a 100 yards when a USCG gun boat came bearing down on Now & Zen. Everyone decided they had gotten close enough. It was a beautiful ocean sail. Chrissy needed a new word, so she picked “Awesome!” On the way back Greg spotted a beach and asked the Captain if they could stop for a swim. She said “Sure!” and it was “Awesome”. After an “Awesome” sunset and a fun night out on the town they settled in their berths for good night’s sleep at the Fernandina Marina dock with the full moon rising over Fernandina.
The third morning started with fresh brewed coffee and bagels with cream cheese, lox, red onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and capers. After a quick trip into town for some last minute shopping, Now & Zen headed out for some more “Incredible” and “Fabulous” sailing (Chrissy’s new words-of-the-day). There was a perfect breeze behind Now & Zen as she sailed up the Cumberland sound, so everyone pitched in to put up the spinnaker. Everyone enjoyed the huge colorful sail ballooning on the bow of the boat. The wild horses on Cumberland Island were in view while there were toasts with Coronas and limes. After anchoring for a lunch onboard and a swim the charterers opted to head out the inlet for some more ocean sailing. A run down the coast of Amelia Island was made as the ocean was even smoother than the day before (Melinda really appreciated that) and the dolphins followed. Greg decided he would like to have
a little sailing lesson and took the helm. He sailed us toward St Marys, GA another quaint seaside town where we docked at the city marina. After a little stroll through town all had an appetite for a hearty bowl of Seafood Gumbo with shrimp, fish, and andouille sausage.
It is day four and it was time for Chrissy’s special birthday breakfast of waffles with real maple syrup and crispy bacon, birthday hats and candles. They headed south to Fort George Island relaxing and watching the shoreline along the Intracoastal Waterwayslide by. After dropping anchor at Fort Georgeyou could see the sandbars appear as the tide was dropping. Everyone piled into the dinghy, Here & Zere, and headed for the beach on the ocean side. Winding their way through the back waters and dunes they emerged at a “Beautiful” flat sandy almost private beach. After an “Awesome” swim in the ocean it was time to head back to Now & Zen for a “Fabulous” grilled pork tenderloin dinner. As the “Incredible” full moon rose, so did the sails on Now & Zen. It was time to sail back to Beach Marine to spend their extra night at the dock to get an early start for their trip home the next day.
Thanks to Chrissy, Greg, John, Melinda and the crew for a creating a sailing vacation that was, “an experience of a lifetime!”