Now and Zen and sister boat R Sea Cat take advantage of the fabulous sailing venue which exists in Jacksonville. When the St Johns River turns south from downtown Jacksonville it opens up into the perfect sailing location being wide enough to adjust the sail in accordance to the wind direction and narrow enough to provide protection for a smooth sail. It is fabulous!
The shores are lined with manicured estates and ancient trees stretching from San Marco south on the eastern shore and Ortega south on the western shore. The Florida Yacht Club, Timuquana Country Club, Epping Forest, and Bolles School also grace the shores. If you are lucky, it is fun to be close enough to feel the vibration and to and watch the planes take off and land from the Naval Air Station (NAS) just north of Interstate 295 (the Buckman Bridge).
Sunset Cruise on the St Johns River
Now & Zen and its sister boat R Sea Cat find their homeport in Ortega on the west side of the river, just 10 minutes from downtown Jacksonville at The Marina at Ortega Landing. It is the perfect departure point for a sunset sail. We recommend leaving the dock about 3 hours before sunset and head south toward the Buckman Bridge. The direction and speed of the wind determine exactly where we go.
As we turn around and head north to ready ourselves for the sunset, it is the perfect time to stretch out on the comfortable bow trampolines as the colors of the sunset flood the sky. As the sun disappears below the horizon the sky fills with pinks, purples, and oranges of the after glow. The sun disappears, but downtown Jacksonville lights of the city now create their own “light show”. You see the city lights as only one can from the water. One hour later you will be back at the dock as the last light of dusk fads from the sky. The perfect four hour excursion!
Day Sails on the St Johns River
If you have a full day, you can sail further south under the Buckman Bridge; perhaps stopping at Julington Creek for lunch at the Julington Creek Fish Camp. Or, you could continue south on a beautiful part of the river – wide and open – toward Green Cove Springs, passing Club Continental and Doctors Lake.
Heading north is another option – enjoying the cityscape – sailing right through downtown Jacksonville passing the Jacksonville Landing and the Times-Union Center/Symphony Hall and thru an opened blue, eye-catching Main St Bridge. Soon you sail past Metropolitan Park and the Jaguars (TIAA) Stadium. Proceeding a bit further you would sail under the Hart Bridge, the 19th largest truss bridge in the world, and then have a glimpse of some of Jacksonville’s port operations.
A Sailing Vacation from Jacksonville
Now and Zen also makes it possible for you to have a sailing vacation. Jacksonville is a great place to start. It is only a 3-4 hour trip down the St Johns River (with the current) going past the Port of Jacksonville to the Intracoastal Waterway. Along the way a freighter may pass right beside you. You pass under the striking Dames Point Bridge, the second longest cable-stayed bridge in America, the sixth in the world, and the only one with harp stays. In a day you can be lounging on the beach at Fort George Island, bar hopping or dining in the quaint shrimping village of Fernandina, or exploring Cumberland Island. Perfect for three or four day trips and even better if you have a week to explore Georgia’s Jekyll and St Simon Islands too. Another option for a several day tour is St. Augustine and for a two day tour Green Cove Springs.
An Experience You Will Remember for Years to Come
North or south, daytime or sunset, 4 hour or 4 day, everyone who sails on Now and Zen or R Sea Cat on the St Johns River says it is beautiful and the sail is magnificent. We celebrate anniversaries, have birthday parties, bridesmaid parties, girls night out – there have been proposals, weddings, team building, family reunions, and just a night to remember. All is custom to what you want. Discover this treasure with us! If you are visiting Jacksonville, be sure to mark a sail with Now and Zen Sailing Charters on the St Johns River on your “must do” list.