[For my story of Days 1 through 3 along a section of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), go here.]
Day 4: Left Alligator Pass about 2 hrs. before high tide in Fernandina Beach, 10 miles further north. Had trouble finding deep enough water on 1st try; 2d try was able to re-enter ICW and continue north. Would have had trouble leaving anchorage on any but the highest half of the tide cycle. Briefly lost ICW channel south of Amelia Island bridges due to numerous crab floats in area. Briefly grounded hard as we approached the final turn into deep water south of Fernandina Beach; re-floated after 2 minutes of hard-over rudder, full reverse, spinning & twisting to break free.
Took a mooring buoy at Fernandina City Marina, dinghied ashore, saw sights. Fort Clinch is fun for fort fans. There's a dive bar along the main drag of Fernandina Beach a couple blocks up from the marina, that anyone who has ever been to Port Townsend, Washington, will recognize as the Southern twin of the Town Tavern. Including the heavy cigarette smoke and the hairiness of the bartending staff.
Later pulled dinghy out of low-tide mud (you know a dock is in shallow water when your dinghy ends up aground). Returned to The Fox - onshore action is big fun but mooring field is between 2 pulp mills, which: stinky, bright and noisy. Use earplugs and - when the wind blows right - extra asthma inhalers.
To review: At this point in our travels The Fox had no toilet. No ability to recharge batteries with wind power. Leaky faucet. No ability to make water on board. And then, the 12 year old fill hose to our port water tank cracked open lengthwise. Duct tape allowed temporary access to port tank's water.
Day 5: Easy and rapid transit from Fernandina Beach across the wide, deep and well marked St. Marys Inlet to anchorage at Cumberland Island's south end (~30deg.45.6'N/081deg.28.4'W) in in 17' depth. Spotted a wild horse on the shore. Went hiking, saw an armadillo foraging in the woods. Seashelling results were fair to good. Stayed at anchor & spent time ashore for 4 days, waiting for a cold front to pass. Strong currents & wind in the 20s, but good holding. Tried to recharge batteries using gasoline-powered Honda 2000 portable generator. Busted. And the engine starter system was starting to act all hinky. MS and GB getting nervous.
Day 9: Left anchorage & St.Mary's Inlet on an outgoing tide to make the final 40 miles offshore & in to St. Simons Sound Inlet. Sea state was still lumpy after passage of cold front but flattened somewhat during the afternoon. Entered St. Simons Inlet & anchored in 25' on St. Simons River (~31deg.06'N/081deg.27'W), NE of & near Jekyll Island's northern entrance to ICW. Night was calm and cold.
Day 10: Delighted to discover starter motor to engine still alive. Drove the last 5 miles upriver to Brunswick Landing Marina. Very relieved to be in a familiar and safe haven with friendly people, with so many of The Fox's systems down. Let the repairs begin anew...