The Florida Wildlife Commission has posted a brief online survey to accept this feedback. It should take approximately five to 10 minutes to complete and will be available to the public October 1-9, 2016. Read more
Are you already familiar with Summer Sailstice? It’s a worldwide celebration of sailing every June on the weekend closest to the solstice.
This year the event takes place June 22nd. It promises to be a fun event, with many located in Florida, and lots of prizes!
Summer Sailstice was founded in 2001 by John Arndt, Associate Publisher at Latitude 38, a sailing publication. The event has grown from 200 boats to nearly 5,000.
“In joining with Sailors for the Sea, Summer Sailstice strives to inform and mobilize sailors, their families and communities to enjoy and conserve the beauty of the oceans and while raising awareness of human impacts on the fragile marine environment and wildlife.”
Now in its 13th year, the Summer Sailstice sailing holiday invites all sailors to join together by hoisting their sails wherever they are, aboard whatever they sail and showcasing to the world the “who, what, where, why and how” of sailing. While just one day in the life of sailing, Summer Sailstice is the one day all sailors sail and celebrate ‘together’. 2012 saw the largest Summer Sailstice celebration yet with sailors in all 50 US states and over 40 countries participating.
If sailing is in your blood, you may want to learn more at SummerSailstice.com.
Fernandina Beach, Fl – Interim City Manager Dave Lott and Marina Manager Joe Springer are pleased to announce the visit of the Peacemaker, a 150′, 14-sail tall ship to the Fernandina Harbor Marina. The ship is currently docked in Savannah, GA where she has been participating in their Tall Ship Celebration event. The Peacemaker is scheduled to arrive at the Fernandina Harbor Marina located at the foot of historic Centre Street the morning of Monday, May 21st and is scheduled to depart on Tuesday, May 29th after the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
After safety inspections by the U. S. Coast Guard and preparing the ship for guests, the ship will be open to FREE tours to the public from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. beginning Tuesday, May 22nd and continuing through Memorial Day, May 28th.
The Peacemaker’s visit follows closely on the heels of the two French naval schooners, the Etoile and Belle Poule, which visited earlier this month as part of the 450th French Anniversary.
As you walk up the gangplank and enter through the open door, you are greeted by a sign that says “Welcome Aboard the Tall Ship Peacemaker… Flagship of the Twelve Tribes”. The 150 foot Barquentine is styled after the Old English Clippers. The Peacemaker is 150 feet in length, with a 33 foot beam, a 126 foot mast, and a sail area measuring over 10,000 square feet. It takes a crew of about 12 crew members to manage the Peacemaker. The ship’s entire interior is made of mahogany with 22 beds, state rooms, and captain quarters. The main salon area consists of stained glass. The Peacemaker is a work of great craftsmanship.
The Peacemaker was originally built on a riverbank in southern Brazil in 1989 by an Italian family of boat builders, using traditional methods and the finest of tropical hardwoods. The ship sailed to Savannah, GA a few years later to be outfitted with three masts. However, the work was never finished and the ship sat neglected for a number of years. In the summer of 2006, the crew assembled a rigging and sail-making crew from amongst its own people, under the direction of Wayne Chimenti, an expert rigger of tall ships. It set sail for the first time in the spring of 2007, under the name Peacemaker, which expresses the vocation as a people, bringing people into peace with their Creator and with one another.
The vision for the ship is to be a seagoing representation of the life of peace and unity that the crew’s twelve tribes are living on land in the many communities around the world. It also provides apprenticeship opportunities for youth to learn many valuable and practical skills, not only in rigging, sail-making, sailing, navigation, marine mechanics and carpentry, but also in living and working together in tight quarters, as well as many cross-cultural experiences traveling from port to port.
For additional information about the City of Fernandina Beach and the visit of the Peacemaker, please visit: www.fbfl.us.
Late last spring, the Oyster Bay Yacht Club across the Amelia River, quietly received an almost complete management facelift, which has since been making positive waves both in the membership and community.
Under the inspired leadership of Yacht Club manager Terrie Sanders, who came from 17 years with the Amelia Island Plantation as meeting planner and conference sales manager, the club is scoring high notes in fun event planning and food and beverage service. With Terrie came Executive Chef and Food and Beverage Manager Shawn Meeks who previously was sous-chef at PLaE (People Laughing and Eating) Restaurant at the Plantation, real estate sales manager Brad Hummel and always entertaining harbourmaster Sean McCarthy. Troubadour McCarthy, who has quite a reputation as a performer in the Jimmy Buffet inspired genre of countrified story telling, has been the Marina’s harbour master since the marina opened several years back, touting the advantages of owning a slip in this modern, well equipped, storm safe anchorage that gives easy access to the open ocean, downtown Fernandina Beach, a quick boat trip to Jacksonville and places south or just a Saturday morning fishing in one of the many Nassau County Marsh coves.
The 7,500 square foot yacht club building offers numerous amenities including ample meeting space for many venues from small family gatherings, corporate events, weddings and more. The main club room is expansive with great fireplace and comfortable seating. High speed Wi-Fi is available throughout the facility. There are meeting areas for private dining or larger events with extensive covered porch verandas at poolside, north and south sides. A full bar and grill is available. There are complete workout facilities as well as locker areas and laundry facilities. Views from poolside are spectacular for waterways and Cumberland Island in the background.
Manager Terrie is promoting the opportunity for locals to join the Yacht Club with social memberships and enjoy the peaceful attraction of this old waterfront plantation community.
With the roads now paved all the way to the Yacht Club, the short nature trek past the meandering bird populations and plentiful foliage is fascinating and enjoyable and with her track record deeply anchored in special events, meeting planning and weddings, it should not come as a surprise that wedding and small convention planners (up to 200 people) are discovering the perfect setting of the club for their special occasions as it witnessed by the increasing numbers of weddings, anniversaries and meetings that are filling the club’s agenda.
The new management quartet has set out to bring fun and activity to Oyster Bay Yacht Club with lots of events, live music and anchored in superb food service.
We recently went to check out the Thrill on the Grill Experience on the Pool Deck as well as the Low Country Boil, much to our pleasure. Food was great, ambiance was informal, lively and friendly, live music was entertaining and we had a great evening.
Both times we were there, there were in excess of 120 diner guests and the outside bar was an oasis of friendly shatter only highlighted by the live music and party atmosphere.
Sean McCarthy’s brother Kevin, a man who knows more about the area’s history than anyone I know, also owns and operates the Amelia River Cruises, which has started to do regular Fernandina Downtown Waterfront to Oyster Bay Yacht Club ferry rides, with occasional live music and party gear lined up. Those who have done the trip, can’t wait for the next one.
Amelia Island native Terrie Sanders and her team feel right at home in their new environment and it shows. The Oyster Bay Harbour, Marina and Yacht Club website keeps members and visitors abreast of the weekly events, opening hours and menus. Check it out.
We arrived about 20 minutes prior to boarding and went to the window to pick up our tickets. We had made reservations a few days earlier and they were expecting us. We presented our driver’s licenses for identification (a government issued I.D. is required to board) and our fare of $10.00 each and we were good to go.
The casino boat is within easy walking distance of the ticket window, or a golf cart can drop you off at the front of the boat. Because of Homeland Security regulations, passengers are not permitted to bring backpacks and all purses are subject to search. We were also scanned with a metal detector prior to boarding.
Crossing the gangplank, we were welcomed into the casino. Lunch was served in the lounge so we went upstairs to have something to eat and wait for departure. Turkey, stuffing, salad, pork loin, carrots, and rolls were served along with beverages. A singer kept us entertained while we ate. He reminded me a lot of Kenny Rogers. After we finished, we headed topside to check out the views.
There is a deck on top of the boat with a few tables so you can watch the sea on the trip out to international waters. The route goes in between Jekyll and Saint Simon’s islands and there are some pretty views. We did not see any dolphins on this trip, but we saw hundreds of dragonflies!
Next, we headed down to the casino to stake out our slot machine and wait until we reached international waters three miles offshore. My father chose some quarter slots while my mother had chosen a nickel slot machine that would let you bet by the penny. I had brought a little bit of cash to play with just for fun so I sat down at the machine next to my mother.
When we reached the 3-mile buoys the machines came to life. The sound of bells and whistles and coins dropping was all around us. I put $2.00 into my nickel machine and started spinning the wheels. I won a little and lost a little and kept on spinning until my $2.00 was gone. My mother was still playing so I watched her. I didn’t want to break any larger bills, so I dug in my purse for quarters. I found two and dropped them into the slot. With only 10 credits, I was unable to place the max bet so I played by the line for a little while until I had enough to spin the max bet of 75 credits. I was doing pretty well and had won over 500 credits a couple of times. My mom was still playing after putting more money in her machine. I was having fun watching her game as well. Finally, I realized that when she won 500 credits, she was winning $5.00 because she was playing pennies, but when I did that, I was actually winning $25.00. I kept playing. In a few more spins, I hit on the right combination to win $50.00! I decided to cash out at that point with $58.25 on the machine. Not a bad deal for my 50 cent investment! The attendant brought my cash and I put $50.00 in my pocket and saved the remaining $8.25 to try out some different games.
We went up to the deck a few times and then went back to the lounge for a snack on the way back. They served a hamburger and chips as we turned the boat around and headed back to the dock. All in all, the food was good and the afternoon adventure was well worth the cost of admission. This was especially true for me since I left with more cash in my pocket than when I arrived!
The Emerald Princess II is located at the foot of the Sidney Lanier Bridge. From Fernandina, take I-95 to Exit 29. Make a right onto US-17 North and follow for 5.4 miles. Make a right onto Jekyll Causeway (GA-520 East) and an immediate left onto Gisco Point Drive and follow into the Emerald Princess II Casino parking lot. Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-842-0115.
As a graduate from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology and Spanish, Andrea had been teaching marine science and coastal ecology in the Florida Keys and the barrier islands of Georgia.
“We are thrilled to take advantage of Amelia Island’s diversity of marine creatures to teach kids and adults about our amazing environment” states owner, Kevin McCarthy. The tour is hands on, as guests help operate an Otter Trawl shrimp net, and learn about the creatures that live in the local waters. The tour also stops at Tiger Island.
The Eco Tours, through Amelia River Cruises, leave Fernandina Beach Marina at 9:00am, Monday through Friday, and return at noon. For more information, go to www.ameliarivercruises.com, or call 904-261-9972.
The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise meets every Friday at 7:30am at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club. For more information about the club or to attend a morning breakfast meeting, please contact president Katey Breen, at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.ameliaislandrotary.com.
Key North Marine not only provides 24/7 marine towing and emergency services, but they provide sailing and kayaking services to all of the Georgia coast.
Towboat.us: Offers maritime transportation and towing services from Mayport, Florida to Sapalo Island, Georgia throughout the year.
KeyNorth.us: Offers charter services and ecological expeditions around Amelia Island and the Georgia coast.
Both services are available to the public.
They also offer commercial crew and cargo transportation to all of Georgia’s barrior islands.
Located on Key North, Florida (Amelia Island), “Our natural environment guarantees a unique adventure. Let us show you our backyard.”
For more information visit www.Keynorth.us/ or call (904) 206-3222.
While we are desperately looking for monsoon like rains here in NorthEast Florida and South Georgia, if only to stop the ongoing forest fires and the nasty, unhealthy smoke, we unfortunately also have to deal with the possibility that lightning, which usually comes with these rains, will set off more fires. With an average of 1.4 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes each year, most of them from the Tampa-Orlando Axis North, no other state in the country experiences more lightning strikes than Florida. Lightning is potentially very dangerous and can travel as far as 10 miles from a thunderstorm cell! So while it may not be raining at your location, lightning can still reach you. The key to remaining safe from a lightning strike is to keep an eye to the sky and watch for darkening skies on the horizon along with distant rumbles of thunder.
Waterspouts and Thunderstorms
Hurricanes and Tropical Storms
Best Decorated Boat contest takes place immediately after the Blessing of the Fleet on Sunday afternoon of the annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival. This is the opportunity for shrimp boats, commerical fishing boats, recreational boaters, sail boats and even John Boats to compete in a variety of categories for prizes.
This year, the shrimp boat, Island Girl, went all out continuing the theme from Thursday’s parade, Shrimping on Island Time.
All boaters are invited to participate, so mark you calendar now to decorate your boat for the 2012 Shrimp Festival, always held the first weekend in May.
Watch the video here and pick out your favorite Best Decorated Boat:
You can witness Huckins’ unprecedented style, craftsmanship, and sophistication of the Linwood during the Concours d’ Elegance. The yacht will be docked at the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina Friday through Sunday.Huckins Yacht Corporation was formed in February of 1928 by Frank Pembroke Huckins. The 82-year-old company is located on the Ortega River in Jacksonville, Florida and is the oldest, continuously, family-owned boat builder in the United States. The company is currently owned and run by the third generation owners Cindy Purcell – one of the only female owners in the industry. Over the past 82 years Huckins has built a total of 457 yachts. All yachts are built one-at-a-time ranging from 40 to 90 feet, making each one a custom work of art.
Despite the lack of recognition awarded, In 1943, Huckins won the design contract to build two squadrons of PT boats for WWII. During this time period, Frank Pembroke Huckins designed and developed the famous Quadraconic hull, which is still recognized as one of the most efficient planing hulls on the water today. The company’s ability to use this classic design, while incorporating the the latest state-of-the-art materials, is impressive. For example, in 2007, Huckins developed their first Jet Drive boat. This 56 foot Linwood was built on Huckins classic Quadraconic hull. Combining the classic elegance of the 1950s and 60s with modern amenities, the Linwood reaches 34 knots; an incredible performance for a boat of its size. This model was so popular, two more Jet Drive boats were created.To date, Huckins is working on a new Sportfisherman 44. It combines retro stylings with speed and fuel efficiency. A stealth inspired yacht, the Huckins classic retro combines style with speed and fuel efficiency.
The energetic Sportfisherman 44 utilizes the company’s legendary Quadraconic hull – most noted for its ability to deliver a smooth, dry ride in rough seas – reaching speeds of 30-plus knots; while delivering reduced fuel costs. Huckins understands that fuel efficiency is paramount and will remain in vogue as rising fuel costs continue to be an economic reality. The new Sportfisherman 44, a classic in the making, is available in lengths from 44 to 90 ft., and is completely customizable.
Visit huckinsyacht.com to learn more, register for or download their quarterly newsletter, or review additional yacht sales opportunities. Follow Huckins Yacht on twitter for current happenings twitter.com/huckinsyacht.
Huckins lives by its mission – “One at a time. One of a kind.” – and uses this philosophy to guide the design and construction of its custom motor yachts.
“This is the vessel we’ve always wanted to build,” says company co-owner Rob Innes. “The power and agility of this vessel is insane!”
The new shark design grew out of necessity as much as aesthetics; the higher output engine required more air intake than the main snorkel (mounted in the vessel’s dorsal fin) could provide, so they added an additional snorkel in the shark style tail. The new drag-boat style wrap-around canopy was primarily designed to reduce heat build up in the cockpit. This, combined with the gaping jaws, give the whole vessel a far more menacing presence.
The new boat can sustain high speed dives and then breach the surface, launching the entire vessel clear out of the water. The new fully vectored thrust system mimic the tail articulation of real aquatic animals like sharks and dolphins.
Some other high tech features that are incorporated into the two-seat vessel: A snorkel mounted video camera transmits live video to LCD screens for the pilot and passenger during dives, GPS navigation, and on board stereo with iPod docking.
Although Innespace vessels start at about $60,000 USD, the limited edition X model goes for a little over $80,000. The company plans to build just 10 of this particular model; three have already been sold.
“Westrec has done an outstanding job of creating a vibrant boating community at the Fernandina Beach Marina,” says Gil Langley, President and CEO of the Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau. “They mirror the community’s hospitality and service orientation in every way. The result has been more boaters planning their overnight stops in Fernandina and those boaters shop, dine, and explore all over Amelia Island. It’s a great partnership.”Westrec oversees all aspects of the historic marina. Fernandina Beach is a “Preserve America” community and has used its dedicated commitment to position the marina as a welcoming port for seafaring visitors and as a fundamental community and tourist attraction.
Management accomplishments in the past year have included:
-Increasing boat occupancies;
-Hiring four new local employees and instituting new standards of professionalism for marina staff including providing new uniforms and picture identification cards;
-Instituting standard procedures and professional training for all aspects of operations;
-Installing a new marina face dock retail ship’s store, employing area contractors to complete the scope of work and to add additional revenue into the local economy;
-Updating the marina’s IT capabilities with Full Service Marina.net (FSM) and accounting functions to increase revenues, eliminate billing mistakes, and to provide for better methods of auditing cash receipts and inventory control;
-Developing and implementing an aggressive marketing plan including marina and community exposure in multiple industry magazines and related media as well as marine trade shows; developing new logo identity for the facility, rate cards, brochures and other marketing materials; creating social media presence (including the fernandinaharbormarina Facebook Page); and, sponsoring local events such as the Annual Shrimp Festival and Sounds on Centre; and,
-Working with the City of Fernandina Beach in an advisory capacity regarding marina dredging, submerged land lease issues and marine fuel supplier analysis.
The Fernandina Harbor Marina, the first marina built on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) in Florida, is located directly on the ICW (at mile 716) via a well marked, charted and easy-to-navigate Federal Shipping Channel six miles from the Atlantic and is located in Fernandina Beach’s Downtown Historic District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.The marina, including the new retail store and fuel dock with high speed pumps, is open from 6:15 A.M. to 8:15 P.M. seven days a week. A full-time staff of eight ensures smooth operations for all marina guests and slip holders.
The marina features 5,875 linear feet of dockage which provides 60 lineal side-tie “slips” and 20 moorings, a 25′ depth at mean low water beyond the attenuator and 6′ at inside slips, allowing yachts up to 200′ and boats of all sizes to take advantage of the most modern of marinas while enjoying the amenities the community offers. Just 35 minutes from Jacksonville International Airport, 13 miles of pristine beaches, 5-star resorts, and first-class tennis and golf are just a short drive away.
About WESTREC MARINAS
As the world’s largest owner operator of marinas and marine-related businesses, Westrec Marinas provides professional management services to its properties, affiliates and clients throughout the world. Founded in 1987, Westrec manages marina facilities located both in fresh and salt water environments, handling vessels ranging in size from personal watercraft to megayachts. Solutions unique to Westrec have been incorporated into our corporate philosophy throughout Westrec’s rapid growth. Service, our most important product, has remained unchanged since day one.
Download this application: [download id=”43″] to enter your boat in our FABULOUS Fernandina Beach Lighted Boat Parade – Prizes are very good this year and the event should be a lot of fun!!!
Fernandina Beach FL – We are pleased to announce that the “WiFi Hotspot” at the Port of Fernandina is now up and running. To get it off the ground various FMX (Fernandina Maritime Exchange, Inc.) members have volunteered to support this initiative which will be a great benefit to vessel crewmembers at the Port of Fernandina; allowing them at no cost to contact their families in foreign lands without having to leave their vessel to find a hotspot or a phone. Many of the vessels are in port for only a few hours and the crew is not allowed to go ashore for many reasons.
The benefit to individual crewmembers is quite obvious, but this service also tells the maritime industry that the Port of Fernandina is doing its best to find ways to support the agents, ship operators and owners who use the Port of Fernandina to load and discharge their cargoes.
We wish to thank all those members who have already indicated that they will support this worthy inexpensive project. We invite other members to commit to supporting the service. The total annual cost is only $1,541.76. We hope you will join in donating by contacting Spots Watkins at email@example.com. Any level of support is greatly appreciated.
The security code for the WiFi Hotspot is portoffernandina.
Fernandina Beach, FL – Amelia Island River Cruises announces a special Discovery River Cruise to Jekyll Island December 8. The inaugural tour November 4 sold out and and the additional date has been added. The cruise will leave Amelia Island and follow a scenic route paste Cumberland Island and arriving at Jekyll Island in time for lunch at the historic Jekyll Island Club. After lunch historic tours are scheduled. Christmas decorations will add to this special trip. A bus returns to Amelia Island arriving back by 6 PM.
Kevin McCarthy owner of Amelia Island Cruises out of Fernandina Beach, Florida has operated a boat touring company since 2000 that offers a variety of cruises out of its Amelia Island home.
Discovery Tours will offer a series of tours that will explore the fascinating waterways of South Georgia and Northern Florida. The first of the newly-launched Discovery Tours sold out quickly. The series will offer at least 4 yearly trips which will include day trips and some overnight options. Each tour will be personally hosted and narrated by owner/historian, Captain Kevin McCarthy and invited speakers.
Future trips will include a cruise to Kingsley Plantation, lunch at the Ribault Club and a final stop at Fort Caroline. A bus will bring passengers back to Amelia Island. A trip to St. Augustine in spring 2011 is also being planned.
The December 6 cruise leaves at 8AM, estimated time of arrival Jekyll at 12:30 and return bus leaving Jekyll at 4:45 PM. Price $110 per person includes historic “cottage tour”. An optional and additional $10 is required for the hotel tour which follows the “cottage” tour.