Southbound 2020 – #15: Thunderbolt, GA to Fernandina Beach, FL

Travel Summary

Conditions: Chilly and windy, 38° to start;  Sunny, 69° to finish.  Northeast winds 12-17 kts, seas 1 -2 ft, calming in the afternoon to NE winds 8-12  kts. 

Distance traveled: 94.2 nautical miles

Time underway: 10 hours 22 minutes

Average Speed: 9.1 kts

Max Speed: 10.6 kts

Tuesday, Election Day!,  was an early start, leaving Thunderbolt at 6:45 am, with the sunrise.  The wind predictions over the past few days had not been favorable. Today was the first day that looked like the wind wouldn’t be pushing hard, so we decided to take a look outside and see if we could run the ocean. When we got to the inlet, we found that the seas were relatively flat and it looked like we could make some time, so we decided to run around the rest of Georgia.

We had planned to run to Brunswick, GA, however, plans change.  Since we were making good time and the seas were pretty favorable, we decided to continue on to Fernandina Beach, FL. We figured that this might save us an extra day if we didn’t have to spend the night in Brunswick, so, on we went.

Saw a couple dolphins, were on the lookout for whales but didn’t see any.  We did see some really weird jelly fish that looked like mushrooms, they were all over the place but didn’t show up in pictures.

No trip has been without some type of incident, we’ve gotten used to that. We made great time until we were on the approach to St. Mary’s Inlet to Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach, when the Coast Guard hailed us on the VHF!  A navy submarine (USNS Black Powder) was coming out of the channel and the Coast Guard was having all incoming boats hold at least 1 mile from the sub.  (The entrance to the canal wasn’t even a mile wide. Come on guys.)  Well, hello!  The seas were great if we were under way but to pull back to no speed ?????  It was rather uncomfortable for about 20 minutes as we waited for the sub to pass by and we could continue on. The inside of the boat took most of the punishment. Chairs slid around, the contents of the cabinets jostled but not as bad a before since, we know to lay everything down just in case. Finally, the Coast Guard let us proceed.

USNS Black Powder

We finally made it to Fernandina Harbor Marina a little after 5pm.  A long ass day!  We tied up and actually met some other Defever owners on the dock.  Besides ourselves and Stacy Lynn there two other Defever 49 RPH’s.  Pretty cool! 

Favorite Child also pulled into the marina just before us.  Great catching up with Gary and Doug (Betsy had flown home a couple days prior, so she was not onboard today)

And…….. we made it to Florida!  Finally!                   

Categories: Adventures, Life AboardTags: , , ,


  1. Way to go guys, congrats on making the sunshine state … be safe and enjoy your stay.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So happy you made it safely!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations!! Very happy that you made it to Florida without too many problems. Relax and enjoy .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Robin, Hope you’re having a great time heading south! Just wanted to let you know, I can’t read your “Life Aboard” emails. Something happened with the formatting. Do you have a web page I can go to to read them? thx, Desna


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: