Friday, August 31, 2007

Right Whales

Fernandina may not come to mind when thinking of places to go whale watching, but this sign in the marina warns boaters of the dangers of encounters with Right Whales in the winter time. Right Whales come to calve off of our coast between December and March. You may not have even heard of this breed because there are only about 300-350 of them remaining on the planet. Since boaters to these parts aren't expecting to see whales in the area, the marina works hard to educate them about what to look for to know that they've come across one. You might think that a 55 foot long mammal would be hard to miss but they don't usually let you see more than what would appear to be a manatee so you don't know that there's a whole lot more tonnage under water.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Are You Ready for Some Football?



The men's shop on Centre Street thinks that you are. You can find any pro or college team's tie that you want right here at Wentworths in Fernandina. They carry a few extras for Jaguar, Bulldog, Gator and Seminole fans if you're so inclined.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Another Perfect Sunset Just for Me

I was the only person on the dock this evening to witness this perfect sunset over the mainland. Town is very quiet this week, as it always is right around when school starts. And as it always is just before and after a holiday. Everyone is focused on the holiday so it leaves the island to the smart travelers who know to take advantage of these times. If you're so inclined, Labor Day weekend has become one of the quieter holidays around here, in terms of bookings. Lots of fun things going on, but we've still got rooms available should your plans still be up in the air. We'll be happy to share our sunsets.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Golden Isles

All of these marsh grasses in the coastal chain of islands in Florida and Georgia turn yellow in the fall and winter months. That's how the Georgia chain of islands became known as the "Golden Isles". We are too but, as we're in Florida - one island down from Georgia - we're not under that moniker. Still golden, just in Florida currency.

Monday, August 27, 2007

House of Possibilities



This lovely house in the "Silk Stocking District" of Fernandina will be the featured "House of Possibilities" in the decorator showcase in late October. Here's an article with details about this great annual fundraiser for the Barnabas Center.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Red Hat Ladies

We have a wonderful group of Red Hat Ladies staying with us this week from Griffin, Georgia. The (much needed) rain was no match for their spirits or for their Red Hat parasols. They just popped them open and walked up the street (in a straight line) for a fabulous dinner at Beech Street Grill. They'll be with us for the next few nights. We'll enjoy the energy that they've brought to the house. Sometimes we need it after a busy weekend...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Zodiac Dogs

These guys are pretty excited to be taking a field trip in their Zodiac. They're all dressed up for the occassion. I'm not sure where the owner thinks that he's going to sit though. I doubt he'll mind squeezing in; note the name of his big boat.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Follow the Bubbles

This cute sign on a side street doesn't signify the name of any store, it's merely an instruction to get you to the shop. The gift shop has a bubble machine that makes use of the prevailing winds and sends the bubbles toward all of the extra foot traffic on Centre Street. That's one way of not having to pay the higher rents but still getting your place noticed. Very clever.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Early Bulldog Sighting

Dr. Rick Jones comes down from Athens every October for the big Florida/ Georgia football game in Jacksonville. He came a little early this year for a dry run and to train his boat for the trip. For those of you who haven't been to the game, it's "quite a party". If you're coming to the island that weekend for a nice, romantic getaway, it's still possible because the game and most of the partying go on in Jacksonville. We get guests who like to go to the game but don't want to stay in "the dorm"; they like to stay with the adults. We've still got rooms if you're interested.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Big Catch

So we have this great big fake shark hanging outside of the charter boat office. Tourists need no instructions whatsoever to pose next to it and smile proudly for the camera so that they've got their big fish story for the folks at home. I've seen some of them actually hug it, missing the point, but those are mostly the kids. I saw one guy kind of tear his shirt a little, knock his hat sideways and throw some water on himself to add a little authenticity to his fish tale. Hats off to him.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wow



This is the largest private boat that I've ever seen at our little marina. If fact, I think that it took up about four slips. It's tough to get perspective from this angle, but just look at the teeny tiny crew member hanging off of it way up front. Again, let me just say "wow".

Monday, August 20, 2007

Marsh Overlook


After my run tonight, I jogged back with my camera to the recently finished brand new marsh/ sunset/ lighthouse overlook at Ft. Clinch State Park. It's great! It's such a fabulous view from there, but until they recently carved a path through the trees and built a viewing stand, this was all completely obscured by the trees that line the marsh.


These are the same trees that offer me my tree-shaded run so I've never complained but this is truly the best of both worlds. This will be great for birders, sightseers and picnics. I'm sure there will be sunset weddings going on here too. Come see it.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

"Biker"




I don't know who this guy is but I see him riding his "upscale" bike all over town. He's always shirtless, wearing a hat and cutoffs and smoking a cigarette. You can get a larger view if you click on the photo. Cracks me up.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Colorful Yard





Makes me smile every time I pass it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Chicken Boat

The locals call this ship the "chicken boat". The "June B" comes from the Caribbean, loads up on frozen chicken parts, and returns. It's hard to read but, on the side of the ship, it says "Antilles Wholesale". I don't know if they pick up anything else along the way but they always come to the Port of Fernandina to pick up their chicken.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fishing Pier




This pier at Ft. Clinch State Park is still one of my favorite places on the island. I never get tired of this view.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Floating History




This boat called the "O. A. Bloxom" is 106 years old and is being restored by Captain Ritch. He tells me that he'll be doing a moonrise sail on her September 26th from 6-9pm for the benefit of the Barnabas Center - a wonderful local charity. Let us know if you're interested in going. We'll be happy to get ticket information.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Gift Certificate Opportunity

Blogger seems to be quite temperamental lately. I'm posting every day but my posts don't always show. So I'm throuwing in an all-text one just to see if it makes a difference. Lucky you, it means that I'm going to offer another gift certificate. I've had lots of people inquiring as to my progress toward fitness, now that six months have passed. So I'm going to quiz you to see how well you think that I've done.

Send me an e-mail with numbers on it:

1) How many pounds I've lost

2) How many points my cholesterol has dropped

3) How many beats my resting pulse has dropped

4) How many inches I've lost off of my all-important waist.

The closest guess on each one gets 25 points. The highest score gets a $75 gift certificate. I'll accept guesses until Wednesday, August 22nd. One guess per person please to email@fairbankshouse.com .

A New Psychic In Town

I wonder if she knows that I'm posting this...

Monday, August 13, 2007

New City Hall?

When we returned from Alaska last week, the papers were filled with information about a potential musical chairs game for our downtown buildings. We have lots of wonderful historic buildings housing tenants with modern needs and many of them would be better suited in a different locale. To that end, there is a proposal to have City Hall, the library, the Baptist Church (who are building a new church) and the post office swap locations. The only hold out appears to be the feds, as they don't seem to want to give up the post office building, pictured above. It's a shame because the building is currently very underutilized since they built a new facility outside of the downtown area. There's a determined group group of volunteers that's going to try to find a way to make this good idea come true. That would be nice.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Walk With Bears

So we're walking along through the forest in Juneau and I says "hey"... "HEY" I says. "HEYYYYY! Anyone else see that bear?" Naturally, this was all said very quietly; I've watched Animal Planet. So the whole group stopped, gave him some space, watched him dig around and then walk over the trail about six feet in front of us (which I videoed). Handily, we were on a photo safari so the moment was well-documented. And to segue back to Amelia Island, yes, we have occasional bear sightings here too. In fact there was a large black bear that showed up on the island a couple of years ago that had probably swum in from a neighboring island (although he was spotted using at least one bridge) and he hung around for a few weeks causing much excitement and celebrity for anyone whose trash he ate. We have alot of Chicago transplants here on Amelia, so he was quickly named "Walter" for his running back - like maneuvers as a nod to "Sweetness". Chicago Bear fans will follow that explanation; I apologize to the rest of you. Alas, Walter eventually hitched a ride or swam a few more islands south, never to be spotted again.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Starfish

I'd never seen the underbelly of a starfish in its natural state before our nature walk and beach trek in Ketchikan. This was one of about six or seven varieties that had been stranded by the tide on this little black "beach". Within a few hours the tide would be back in to offer them a lift back out to sea. Fascinating.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Harbour Seals

We were on the boating portion of our "photo safari" in Juneau when we came across this group, pod, school, gaggle, whatever, of harbour seals taking a break on this buoy. There was some pretty fierce competion for the few available slots and much barking ensued. It was pretty comical, actually, although probably not for the ones still in the 45 degree water. I'll take Amelia Island water temperatures anytime thankyouverymuch.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Margerie Glacier

I got a pretty nice view of the Margerie Glacier from my walk around the deck of the Noordam. Those of you who have been to Alaska know that the glaciers "calve" before your eyes, meaning that pieces break off and drop into the ocean. You get a pretty nice warning crack first and then try to guess which part will drop. It's exciting, but sad at the same time since you're actually watching the death of a glacier. Pretty cool to watch though. And I'm glad that I got to see the glacier in Alaska before it floats by Amelia Island...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Similarities

It's amazing that half a world away, a small harbor in a small town will still look very much the same as in Fernandina. This is in Juneau, Alaska, but it could really be anywhere. The fishing boats are coming and going, the birds are following the boats hoping for a handout, everyone is talking about the weather and the serenity that comes with the waterfront is palpable. If it wasn't for the fleece and gloves that I was wearing in July, this might have been Fernandina.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Walk With Helmets

This walk was high above a rain forest in Ketchikan, Alaska. I was on the zipline course that included a few of these "bridges" to walk across between ziplines. I actually did the second one with no hands. Juvenile, yes, but the 19 year-old guide suggested it. The whole experience was two hours of pure fun. I believe that the local community college has a ropes course and a rock-climbing wall. I'll check into it for any like-minded guests who are planning a visit to our inn.

P.S. I was warned that I was taking my camera up at my own risk.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Alaska!

My keen blog observers surely took note that my blog was a little bit "off" last week. That's because your humble innkeeper was gone for a week celebrating my in-laws' 60th anniversary on a family trip to Alaska. I had preloaded several blog entries before I left that were supposed to be uploaded one-a-day-style but that didn't quite work out. I can assure you, however, that I was walking - REALLY walking. I won't bore you with all of my vacation shots but I will post a few to show you what my walks looked like last week. Thanks for indulging this brief intermission.

This is my handsome husband and fellow walker, Bill, ahead of me in this truly great rain forest on an island off of Sitka. Other than the rain forests, glaciers, soaring mountains, whales, harbour seals and 50 degree temperatures, the town reminded us alot of Fernandina. Bill and I have always said that we came to Fernandina because it reminded us so much of Cicely, Alaska (Northern Exposure). It's kind of like that in real life too.