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From the north, Fernandina can be reached via the St. Marys River entrance or the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AICW).

From the south, Fernandina can be reached via the St. Johns River—from the entrance—or from Jacksonville, and then north on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AICW).

Nassau Sound. Only when you get close to Fernandina and the Amelia River does the current turn against you. The St. Johns part is easy to plan for, but I am convinced that mere mortals cannot sort out the rest of it ahead of time. If you happen by this way, give it a try, but I warn you that the task is certainly worthy of a Ph.D. in oceanography! On this day I was lucky, hitting every waterway perfectly and making the trip in a little over six hours. I was glad I did, as the weather was closing in as I arrived. Modern and well-equipped, Fernandina Harbor Municipal Marina (AICW MP 717) greets cruisers to town, and vessels large and small stop here. Most boats tie up on the inside or outside of a long breakwater dock totaling about 1200 feet on both sides. Shallow-draft boats, four to five feet or so, can use many of

the interior slips, and take advantage of better dockage pricing for those spots. The marina also operates a large mooring field opposite the main dock. The mooring field is one of a growing number being established by Florida communities, replacing former “downtown” anchorages. I favor the mooring initiative as it represents income for the local communities, improved services to boaters, fewer derelict boats, cleaner water and safer conditions.

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The Marina Fernandina Harbor is one of the great city marinas in Florida, and its greatest draw is its close proximity to a fun little town. The marina offers fuel, pump-out, and a small ship’s store with soda, adult beverages, and some marine

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SOUTHWINDS January 2014

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