Cumberland Island (AGAIN!) April 2021.

We got back from our six week Spring cruise to the Keys and Dry Tortugas on March 30th. It took a couple of days to tidy up Sonas and give her a wash. Then we sat at home for a week, after which we looked at each other and asked “want to go again?”

So we did! We decided to go up to one of our favorite anchorages at Cumberland Island. The weather looked favorable for a four day, three night trip.

On Thursday April 8th we left home dock around ten in the morning and locked out of the lagoon. The WX ( marine weather forecast) called for seas less than two feet offshore so we aimed for the mouth of the St Johns at Mayport. The current was ripping out so we were pushed along at nearly twelve knots!


We passed Mayport Naval Station and made the turn northwards towards the St Mary’s Entrance into Cumberland Sound. It just so happens that the direct route takes us outside the three mile limit for a half hour so that we can clear our holding tank.

Coast Guard working on a buoy
Mayport shrimp fleet

As we made the channel into Cumberland Sound it looked busy. We saw a navy helicopter doing low level exercises in the channel as well as dozens of small boats fishing the entrance. Inside the sound we saw five Coast Guard small boats doing chase exercises.

Chopper exercises
Fishing off Fernandina
CG chase exercises

We were surprised at how many boats were in the Cumberland Island anchorage. Then realized that we usually cruised the Bahamas for three months in the spring so had never anchored here at this time of the year. So these were probably boats on the move south to the Islands or Florida Keys or back north! (We had come up March and April last year but that was during the early days of COVID when boats were not moving along the eastern seaboard as much).

We spent a very relaxing two nights at the anchorage, walking the island, talking to the visitors, and doing some lights chores on board – like cleaning up the stainless rails, and putting another coat of varnish on the Portuguese bridge cap rail.

We had planned on staying a third night but the WX had worsened, so on Saturday morning we headed back down the ICW towards home. We were trying to beat a front that was coming in with lots of thunder and rain. It started blowing, with gusts to 36 knots.


We had just made the channel into the lagoon when the heavens opened and we both got soaked along with Cameron who was on the lock that afternoon!

Incoming weather!

However it was worth it to spend another couple of days and nights on board!

Some other photos.

St Johns River ferry
Huge Mayport ramps
Rebuilding the breakwaters at Naval Station Mayport
Calm water at the mouth of the St John’s River
Tractor delivering the pilot to incoming warship
Placid Atlantic waters off Amelia Island
One of the many turtles we saw en route
ICW waters mixing with the ocean!
Morning Bella walk
ICW Cruise Ship Independence passing by the anchorage
Crossing Cumberland Sound in a blow
Cumberland wild horses
Skinny approach to Amelia Yacht Basin at low tide
Damage to Sister’s Creek bridge fender

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