St. Marys Anchorage

This morning a cold front has passed through and the temperature quickly fell from 77 to 48 degrees within a matter of hours. The wind has really increased and although the ICW is generally protected it promises to be a bumpy day. We are underway by 7:15 am in order to time the tides as we pass through the Fernandina cut. We arrive at high tide but the wind has increased to 33Kts as we approach this notoriously difficult spot. We are once again surprised as this channel has also been recently dredged and the buoys moved to reflect the deeper water. This is much different than when we passed through in the fall and we get through with no problems. We arrive at the St. Mary’s anchorage a little after noon and find that the wind has increased with gust topping 40kts. We try a couple of locations before getting our anchors down but soon find that the wind and tide are opposing each other. This makes for a very uncomfortable night and I find myself waking several times to ensure we aren’t dragging. The plan is to spend a couple of days here and tour St. Mary’s which is a nice town but if the winds don’t quite down nobody is launching a dinghy in this wind. By the next morning the front has finally moved through and we enjoy a great day touring the town of St. Mary’s and learning about the history of the place. As we were heading back to our dinghy’s Good Life asked us if we had heard all the radio traffic the day before from the vessels going through the Fernandina cut. We said we hadn’t heard anything when he related that many of the boats behind us were either at low tide, or not following the new channel markers and had run aground. There were so many that the local tow operators were asking people not to travel through until they had towed all the boats out. Wow I guess we were lucky in planning the tides and really paying attention to the new buoys and not what was on the charts.