Fernandina Harbor Marina lies at the foot of the main street of this charming artist community and makes exploration by foot very easy, as described in another excerpt from Captain Ted’s log. Fernandina Beach lies immediately south of the GA/FL state line.
I called the marina at 1030 and made a reservation for noon. We were just about on time, but a large trawler needed docking assistance, so we had to wait until that was accomplished, then docked without incident on the inside of the long concrete floating dock. It is a real treat and a luxury to be able to step off O.G’s deck onto the dock which is at the
> same level and stays that way regardless of the tide. After checking in, we had lunch at the restaurant at the marina (not the “Marina Restaurant” which is across the tracks on Center Street and has had some negative reviews, according to Google). After lunch we went looking for Luigi’s for dinner, found it, and discovered they are closed on Sundays. Drat! We’ve only eaten dinner there once, but it was memorable. We were looking forward to doing it again, but it was not to be.
After that, we wandered the streets (street) of Fernandina Beach, checked out the shops, and decided to go back to the restaurant at the marina (Brett’s) for dinner. Brett’s is a big place with bar, raised tables inside which command a view of the harbor, lots of window tables, and lots of outside tables. It was great at lunch, but not too great at dinner time, beginning with their phone not answering when I tried to make a reservation. I insisted on a window table inside, and we had to wait a few minutes for that. When I unfolded my silverware, one of the forks inside was dirty. The dinner menus were on plain paper (lunch menus were in leather bound folders and nicely printed) rumpled and with spots on them. But the food was excellent and more than either of us could eat (plastic boxes are in the fridge as I write).
For the train nuts among us (others need read no further): there’s a tired-looking low nose GP-7 which has been shuffling freight cars up and down in front of the marina since we got back from dinner. The marina parking lot has been blocked off and on for an hour, and I’m sure everyone in town is tired of hearing the toot-toot (train about to start forward), and toooo, toooo, toot, toooot at every street crossing, but I’ve been enjoying those sounds as well as the boom, boom, boom, boom as the slack comes out of the couplers, and the sound of the diesel running up as the engineer pumps up the air in the train: subtle sounds which are music to this old rail fan’s ears.
This would make a great model railroad, with a small but busy port a mile north of town, a moderately large switching yard in the heart of town, a pulp mill a mile or so south of town, and lots of action in between, enough to keep model engineer, conductor, and brakeman busy in a small space for hours. An ancient and rusty one track swing bridge across the ICW south of the pulp mill is the only rail connection with the outside world. 20 years ago, I wrote an article about Beaufort, NC’s B&M railroad for Model Railroader Magazine. This railroad is even more fun.
Captain Ted Jones (former publisher of the late, great “Coastal Cruising” magazine)