A documentary on Amelia Island on the PBS channel the other week got me to thinking about going to Fernandina Beach. The place has been visited several times but never with my DSLR.
At this time of the year the heat can be oppressive in northeast Florida and there is always the threat of thunderstorms, which is no bad thing because the build-up to a thunderstorm makes for an interesting sky. The important thing is not get caught out in one once the rain begins – it is the equivalent of someone turning on a tap or faucet, as they say in America.
By late afternoon, the heat starts to subside so that walking about is not quite so unpleasant as earlier in the day and, from a photographic point of view the light is so much better as the golden hour approaches.
We parked up at around 5:00 and the clouds were starting to get dark out to the west. Time was limited but there is nothing like a deadline for concentrating one’s mind.
An obvious focal point at Fernandina Beach is the St Marys River, with the Rayonier cellulose mill, the marina and the port facility. The marina provides access to the jetty alongside the river where a number of large motor yachts are usually moored.
I watched one such vessel being refueled and also happened to notice the diesel pump when the operation had finished. It read 1,000 gallons and a cost of $4,999.00. That was just one tank. The boat seemed to be heading out but I was mistaken. It was simply turning round to gain access to its second fuel tank.
I guess if you can afford a luxury motor yacht, you can also afford the cost of filling her up. That amount of fuel would keep my car running for about four years.
How the other half lives.
The impending storm held off and we eventually headed to dinner at the Crab Trap seafood restaurant – I bet you would never have guessed from its name — on N 2nd Street. I can recommend the coconut shrimp.
By the time dinner was finished, the clouds had become dark and menacing, a stiff breeze was rustling the palm fronds. Rain was imminent and we made it to the car across the street just as the first drops of rain began to fall. The subsequent deluge came as we headed to Interstate 95.