Checking out the slave trade on the Fort George River

Fort George River, FL ICW
Position:30 26.586N, 081 26.463W
Posted by Bill

Our first full day in Fernandina Beach was pretty miserable. 25 knot winds out of the north came barreling down the mooring field which runs north-south. The worst part was that when the tide started to go out, it pulled the boat broad side into the waves and wind. Not only did we get rocked and rolled by the waves, but the wind also kept pushing us into the mooring ball which made it thunk into the side of the boat. Of course, this started about one in the morning and went until about five, leaving us with very little sleep. We did manage to go ashore and have some dinner and drinks, but we got soaked on the dinghy ride back to the boat. and to top it all off…one of the main things we love about Fernandina Beach is the fried cheese curds at the Salty Pelican…and they took it off of their menu! Foul!!! In spite of all of that, we ended up staying another night. The wind abated and we got a good night’s rest.

Now that we are in Florida, we can take more time and not kill ourselves trying to make it south. Today was absolutely beautiful. 75 degrees with a nice breeze. After 10 days of long pants, we finally got the shorts back out! After getting fuel, we took off. We decided to head to an anchorage about 1/3 of the way to St Augustine in the Fort George river. I read some good things about it and they have a national park that used to be a plantation involved in the slave trade. They have a nice dock that you can dinghy to and check out the plantation. We also decided to hunker down in St Augustine from Tuesday through Thursday to weather out a system that is bringing 30 knot winds and rain, so this made an easy three hour run to stage the trip into St Augustine, and it is someplace new for us. It turned out to be a delightful anchorage.

When we first arrived, we were greeted by a pod of dolphins. They swam right up to the boat:

We always love seeing them up close. They kind of disappeared in Southport in October, but we started seeing them every day in South Carolina when we started south. We saw tons of them the last couple of days.

The plantation house:

The inside of the kitchen house showed a lot of the construction of the late 1700’s. We took these particularly for Matt and Shirley. We know they dig this stuff:

The different layers of the interior walls:

Tabby (sand and oyster shells) floors:

Slave houses…one was fully constructed:

It really bothered me to learn how the slaves were treated. Kidnapped from their home country, brought over in horrid conditions, cruel and tortuous treatment. I can’t believe that human beings were treated like that. Absolutely horrible.

Lastly, a couple of pics of the anchorage, including Island Bound anchored in the distance:

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