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Author Topic:   Whalers in Amelia Island
Chesapeake posted 05-23-2002 11:05 AM ET (US)   Profile for Chesapeake   Send Email to Chesapeake  
Am vacationing this week in Amelia Island,Fl. Received a brochure upon arrival and what is proudly displayed under the "Fishing" section? A Montauk working its way throught the back bays
jimithing posted 05-23-2002 03:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimithing  Send Email to jimithing     

planning a trip down there in the fall....what is the policy on trailering my 15 down there with me? Cost to put it in and keep it at the marina...that kinda thing? Can you keep the boat at the house you rented or do you have to keep it down at the the marina. Thanks for the help

Clark Roberts posted 05-24-2002 07:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Ches & Jim, the folks at the municipal marina, right downtown,(Fernandina Harbor Marins - 904-277-2743) are very nice (Coleman Langshaw, Marina Director, is a member of Spruce Creek Navy!) and there is a launch ramp (free) on site with trailer parking by permit from marina! Tides are highest/lowest in all of Fla. with about 6' rise/fall so mud flats are exposed at low tide! It's a nice day trip north to Jekyl Is. Ga. with a nice restaurant/fuel right at the bridge. Best fried shrimp in Fernandina Bch are at the Golden Grouper and best of all are 15 miles away by boat at Rhyan's Seafood (think it's Ryan's ???) in St. Mary's, Ga. Happy Whalin'... Clark... Spruce Creek Navy
JFM posted 05-24-2002 09:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
Clark, a few years ago, I had too go to training at the Plantation. Man was that nice! I felt rather crappy however, with no boat, no fishing pole, no car and no free time. Regards, jay
gunnelgrabber posted 05-24-2002 11:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for gunnelgrabber  Send Email to gunnelgrabber     
thank you Clark for the good tips on the St. Mary's /Fernandina area...especially the eating places.
I do need for you and Jameso to tell us about the hospitality and ambiance at the Greyfield Inn on Cumberland and the Lodge on Little St.Simons.Been there??....lm
jimithing posted 05-24-2002 12:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimithing  Send Email to jimithing     

Thanks for the info.....will call them before I head down in September.

Spent some time on Fripp Island in SC last September and the tides you speak of sound very similer to the ones at Fripp.

Anyway again many thanks

Clark Roberts posted 05-24-2002 06:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Gunnelg, I have never been to Grayfield Inn but understand it is rustic and expensive(they do have a dock!!!)! Check for a website! I have toured the Ga. park area of Cumberland Is. via ferry from St. Mary's... great area for walking tour, giant sand dunes and beautiful oaks etc. One cannot, however, dock a private boat at the parks dock... And no way to get ashore as mooring is non=existant and currents very swift! But a short boat ride up the St. Mary's River to St. Marys brings you to a very boat friendly community with floating municipal docks and charming town...etc.. take the ferry from there over to Cumberland. You won't be disappointed... Happy Whalin'... Clark... SCN
jameso posted 05-24-2002 10:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for jameso  Send Email to jameso     
As usual Clark has been before most of us even think of it, St Mary's is a real Gem maybe the best kept secret on the GA coast. You could do a week using it as a base and exploring the area. Riverview Hotel within sight of the municipal dock is great and they have a good resturant on premise.
Greyfield is great, never stayed there but was invited to one of the private residences on Cumberland and had the pleasure of dining there,,,WOW.
Little St. Simons, just an opinion,,,WAY over priced! 200 bucks a nite is a little stiff for the pleasure of staying on a 'private island'.
If you really want to get away, try a weekend on Sapelo Is, but be prepared to really get away. No bridge, store is only open a couple of hours, nothing but beach and some really great people.
Most people consider a weekend on Hilton Head getting away,,,,No thanks,
Jim Armstrong
jameso posted 05-24-2002 10:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for jameso  Send Email to jameso     
Note, Clark is right about the tides, I have boated these waters for several years and I am still getting used to the tides and current. 6 foot tides are normal with 8 at neap. I have had several occasions to push my 15 off a sand bar that was covered with 5 feet of water 6 hours earlier. Get a good tide chart or tide program if you do not have tides on your GPS.
Be safe, Jim Armstrong
Chesapeake posted 05-24-2002 10:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Some observations on Amelia Island...

1) There was a gorgeous Dept of Fish & Wildlife Whaler Justice (25??) at the Dock behind Brett's Inn. That was fun to see.

2) Golden Grouper was terrific. Thanks for the tip, Clark.

3) Best seafood was at the Veranda at Amelia Plantation. They had a combo with Sea Bass and also a grouper that was incredible. Second best was at the Down Under which is under the causeway bridge as you enter Amelia Island. Stay away from the Crab Trap - highly overrated / very average. Golden Grouper across the street was better by a 4 to 1 maqrgin.

4) Best view (I will keep this G-rated): Walker's Point at Amelia Plantation at 7pm. This is a point off of the island that looks out over the marshes and rivers for seemingly miles amid a breathtaking sunset. You pass several holes of the Marsh and I think, Longpoint golf courses on the property. It is understandable why they are $100+

5) Place I most want to take my whaler: Same place. There are so many little rivers among the marshes where the locals claim you can regularly pull out flounder the size of doormats.

Next year we are coming back and extending to 10 days. I will trailer the Nauset down from Chicago and Dawn and the kids will fly. It will be hard to wait that long.


Chesapeake posted 05-24-2002 10:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Gunnelgrabber: BTW - I met the woman who is head of corporate sales at the Ritz Carlton in Amelia. She was going to Cumberland Island and the Greyfield Inn for the weekend with her husband. She was raving about how perfect it is for a couples getaway and claims there is no more romantic a place on the east coast of Florida.

I don't know about that... they don't have a golf course so how great can it be?


gunnelgrabber posted 05-24-2002 10:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for gunnelgrabber  Send Email to gunnelgrabber     
Clark and Jameso,
You guys really get around!!..thanks..again.
I'm going "whalerless" to Sapelo next week for a few days with wife and friends. With a little luck it'll blow and maybe rain some?.We had a mini-tour there last thanksgiving but I intend to really cover it this time and hopefully some of Blackbeard too. And ,yes, the Little St. Simon's thing seems quite exorbitant! ..lm
Clark Roberts posted 05-25-2002 03:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
GunnelG, please report details of your Sapelo trip! A group of us SCN guys cruised to Amelia Is. a month or so ago and would like to plan another run north up Ga. coast to maybe Charleston and I'm interested in Sapelo as a stopover if not a destination... all things I have heard are good but no details and you could provide first hand, dockage facilities, etc..etc... would appreciate any info! Have a wonderful time... even Whalerless!!!! Clark... Spruce Creek Navy
gunnelgrabber posted 05-25-2002 10:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for gunnelgrabber  Send Email to gunnelgrabber     
Clark,Jameso, et al
After two years of "filling in the blanks" and trying to get there and see it all,I can tell you that they don't cater to "off the street" trade (ICW); it's almost totally
a controlled access situation not unlike Cumberland.The small private enterprise accomodations are offered by descendants of the original slave families.Very unique.
You're certainly welcome to any information I have on it (maps,local histories etc.) It's a beautiful place and worth the effort to get there.
And I think it'd be a neat place for a Whaler Rendezvous!....lm
jameso posted 05-26-2002 09:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for jameso  Send Email to jameso     
Gunnelgrabber, take a med action 10lb or so rod and go to "big hole" for a bit of fishing. This is where Cabretta creek enters the Atlantic, like something out of a movie. If you are not staying with him at least look up my friend George Walker, his wife Lulu runs the little resturant there. You can usually rent a clunker from him too. I do mean clunker!
Clark, not a place to stopover, very limited dockage, only quarters about a mile from dock. Great place to go but not as a 'drop in'. Try the 'Two Way Fish Camp' on the Altamaha just south of the HWY 17 bridge for a lunch. email me and I will give you more info or maybe we can talk soon, I am going to Canada next week, will be back 4 June.
NOTE to Sapelo travelers, The GA DNR gets very upset if you use their dock. The public dock is up creek about a half mile.
Would like to see ya if you come this way.
Jim Armstrong
Highwater posted 06-27-2002 10:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Highwater    
My wife and I just returned from the area and wanted to add a few comments.

As Clark says, on Cumberland Island, you cannot moor your boat at the dock closest to St. Mary's. But, during daylight hours, you can go just a half of a mile further north and tie up at the "Sea Dock" on Cumberland Island. If you want to camp on the island, you have to either beach your boat or anchor off shore as overnight docking is not allowed. Reservations are required for camping.

We found the nicest hotel accomodations on Jekyl Island. We stayed in the San Souci house at the Jekyl Island Club hotel. Our room was about 20' x 20' with a hardwood floor, a 12' ceiling and a huge balcony. You get a better rate if you do NOT call and make reservations. Just show up at the desk and ask for the "walk-up rate." For us this was $119 per night (in late June). If we had made reservations, the rate would have been a minimum of $169 per night. Overnight dockage is one dollar per foot per night.

gunnelgrabber posted 06-28-2002 10:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for gunnelgrabber  Send Email to gunnelgrabber     
jameso,clark r. and fellow travelers of the ga. coast:... we went for two concentrated days on sapelo..5/28-5/29.took the all day $10 tour on a bluebird schoolbus! ,next day rented a van.filled in the blanks on the map! jameso said the area of cabretta island -blackbeard creek -blackbeard? i didn't fish but it's just BEAUTIFUL! also there were two 35-40'sailboats anchored at the old quarantine area of the creek.interesting!
i'd like share info on this area for possible future use by anyone interested.

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