Meet the third member of the Cream Puff crew. Mona is our land contact and knows the whereabouts of Cream Puff at all times. During ocean passages, we check in at predetermined times. If we don’t check in, Mona has a protocol to alert authorities. She is also the primary contact in case an EPIRB goes off. She can give Search and Rescue (SAR) our last known location, our route, details about crew, safety equipment we have aboard and expected arrival dates. This is an undertaking Mona takes very seriously. It gives us an incredible peace of mind knowing someone responsible on land is watching for us. But above all of this, Mona is our best friend and is welcomed aboard Cream Puff whenever she wishes.
We had a wonderful sail from St. Augustine to Fernandina Beach. The winds were light when we departed St. Augustine and we had to motor for the first couple of hours. But then, the winds pick up to about 10 knots off our stern quarter and we had picture perfect light wind sailing conditions. Because of the high currents in Fernandina, we wanted to time our arrival with a slack tide at about 6pm. We were very near Fernandina Beach at about 4pm and could see inland rain. We decided to avoid this and kill a couple of hours by sailing east out into the Atlantic and back just for fun. We even dared to joke that nothing broke on this trip. Miraculously, we were going to enter a port without a list of repairs. We flirted with the devil and lost; more on this in a later post. We finally left Florida, well at least for about 5 minutes. You see, Fernandina Beach is Florida’s most northern city on the east coast. The St Mary’s river entrance is half in Georgia and half in Florida. As we entered up the St. Mary’s river, we meet a cargo ship and hugged the northern side of the channel to yield plenty of room. We were in Georgia. We turned south back to Florida and secured dockage at Fernandina Harbor Marina on Amelia Island in Florida.
Our friends, Paul and Karen also made the trip on their boat Satagraco. We spent an enjoyable weekend roaming the historic area and buying up fresh fruit and produce at the Saturday market. This is a pretty small town and it only takes about two days to see everything. However, I do believe this island has the best restaurants of any place we have traveled. There are a lot of really first class choices and most at very reasonable prices. Yum!
And then, the highlight of our visit to Amelia Island, Mona arrived. And, with Mona comes Mona cookies. Mona bakes the most incredible cookies ever. Famous Amos, has nothing on Mona Cookies. These ambrosial chocolate chip oatmeal treats are what you think cookies in heaven will taste like. Cindy and I divide them up and each protect our stash like dive-bombing crows protecting their young (seriously – click here for the story)
We were so glad to see Mona, and so happy to be in port without a list of stuff to fix. And then, the electricity went out. We have no AC power. This means no air conditioning. I’m not sure if you have looked at the weather in Florida lately, it’s darn hot. Could this mean our cookies are going to melt? We better eat them now. Mark to Cindy, “We have a situation. Quick! Get the milk.”