April 6 – May 3, 2020 Month at Fernandina

Hoping that this Covid Virus would somehow burn itself out and life would be normal again, we booked a month in Fernandina Beach, FL.  Ed’s brother Chuck lives there, and there were VERY few cases showing up in Nassau county.  So there we were.  What to do for a month?

Docked ahead of us were fellow Loopers Kathy and Mike on Happy Trails. They were also there for a month, so we would be spending a good bit of time talking with them.  The first time we had docktails (sitting a good distance apart), Mike made Oysters Rockefeller.  WOW — we’ll go to docktails with him ANYtime!  Delicious!

Everyone was starting to wear masks, but by this time you couldn’t just walk into a store and buy one.  I got out the sewing machine and was able to purchase some fabric at JoAnn’s, where only 10 people at a time (including employees) were allowed in the store.  Working with a pattern I found online, I made several masks.  For Easter, we filled them with candy and gave them to Loopers as well as Chuck and his girlfriend Lori.  We had Easter dinner at Chuck’s – a traditional ham dinner.

Ed and I did LOTS of bike riding and walking.  We could ride down the streets of Fernandina and not pass five people.  It was like a ghost town. We enjoyed seeing all the lovely homes in the historic area of the town.  All different designs – and lots of color combinations.

Fernandina is well known for its Shrimp Fest, but not this year.  Many stores still decorated their windows and we even found a few Pirates at the docks – bemoaning the absence of shrimp!

As some other Loopers would pass thru on their way to wherever…we would get together, weather permitting, on the large deck of the closed restaurant adjacent to the marina.  Having to spread so far apart made it difficult to have conversations.  We were missing all the good food everyone used to bring.  Sometimes people got really creative and they brought individual portions of food items to share – where there’s a will, there’s a way.

When we arrived at Fernandina, there was a 170 foot boat on the dock named Big Eagle, but the virus had it “on hold” and it was staying in port for an indefinite amount of time.  We thought THAT was big until one day the Bella Vita came in — with a length 247 feet!  The width of the boat is four feet wider than the length of our boat.  We were beginning to feel like a dinghy!

For some reason, after the outbreak of Covid 19, people were hoarding toilet paper, and in many stores, there was none to be found. A couple of stores in Fernandina, found a new market…

Ed went thru his TO DO list for the boat and completed just about everything.  Additionally, he cleaned the boat from bow to stern – inside and outside.  While he was doing that, I was looking for something to do other than make masks.  I contacted the local Salvation Army and they were in need of volunteers, so for a couple of weeks I spent my mornings doing various tasks there at Hope House.  It felt good to be doing something useful and I really enjoyed talking with some of the other volunteers there — not too many — we kept ourselves “socially distanced.”

Toward the end of the month we got a wonderful surprise.  Our friends on Adagio came thru Fernandina for a few days.  ALWAYS wonderful to catch up and spend time with our boater friends.

What else did we do? Well, I REALLY needed a haircut, and with no place to get one, I had to trust “Monsieur Edward.” He did a pretty good job. Then he went to help Chuck build a “Little Library” to put up in the neighborhood. Neighbor Pam made a big contribution of books. We managed to keep pretty busy for the month. Now what? The virus was still in full swing and we didn’t see a reason to go sit at home.