St. Augustine to Fernandina

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The newly restored Bridge of Lions, St. Augustine, FL

Running the ICW, Intracoastal Waterway from St. Augustine, FL to Fernandina FL presents a wide spectrum of interesting homes, marshes, forts, and commercial traffic. The trip is 62 statute miles, that’s the kind of miles you run on land in your car. On the boat you run at a much slower speed more like 6 mph! So imagine riding your bicycle 50-60 miles every day along a canal and you will begin to get the full picture. With that said, this trip is really fun and enjoyable.  The diversity of the waterway makes it so rewarding. Sure, it is not the crystal clear waters of the Bahamas, or the indigo blue of the Gulf Stream, but it is unique in its own way.

Radeen exploring St. Augustine, FL

Running from town to town is one of the pleasures because you can dinghy ashore and get off the boat and walk the town sightseeing. But the real mission is….looking for ICE CREAM shops! Yes, Team Island Spirit will find any and all ice cream shops on the ICW from Maine to Florida. (Ice cream in the Bahamas was bad, but then think of how far it had to come and how long it was kept frozen during transit, and let’s not talk about power outages in Abaco!)

Anyway, back to the ICW in northern Florida. It is easy, winding, scenic, built up with a few remaining marshes for the birds to enjoy. It is interesting to focus on the old Florida homes vs. the new Florida homes. You see the casual, simple lifestyle of the old replaced with the modern metropolitan lifestyle of the new Florida. I am not sure it is a real improvement, but some must think it is better this way.

After 4 days of 50-60 mile days, 10 hrs each, we will stay here in Fernadina for a relaxing day tomorrow and enjoy this wonderful town.

Photos of this diverse section of the ICW…

Great Blue Herons in the marshes and mangroves
Typical view of the homes and docks as seen from the boat

Spanish Fort Mantanzas just south of St. Augustine, FL

 Here is a look at the OLD Florida along the ICW

Typical home with a simple boat and boat house

Typical rancher with no dock

Fun boat house / dock and simple home

Now for the NEW Florida…buy up the old….tear it down…build bigger and taller

Two story with a sweeping lawn

Beautiful arches, decks, pool and “golf course” lawn

Spanish tile sorta makes this blend in….but then next door is an OLD Florida home
And then there are white arches, trellises and multiple wings! 

 And, don’t forget that this is also a COMMERCIAL waterway

Tug and barge pushing south on the ICW
I have no clue how they manage all the turns
Amelia Island Bridges one twin bridge and one Railroad bridge

Welcome to the PAPER PULP FACTORY and Fernandina Beach

Diversity, that is what I think of when we transit this section of the waterway and that is what makes this leg a treasure and so interesting to explore.

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