As we shared our cruising plans during the years and months prior to our departure, it was not uncommon to face the question “Aren’t you afraid of  pirates? We were a bit surprised by this, but perhaps we shouldn’t have been considering how frequently modern day piracy is reported in the headlines. We have no plans to visit piracy hot spots, and we expect our travels in the U.S. and even the Bahamas to be no riskier than a trip back home in the Strait of Georgia.

What we have found along the south-east coast of the U.S. is a long history of piracy going back to the early conflicts between England, France and Spain as they jockeyed for power in this part of the new world. Although largely illegal and officially disdained by the powers that be, much was tolerated of these ‘privateers’ if it was seen to further the political interests of one side or the other (hmm, perhaps that sounds a bit familiar).

Our last stop in Florida before crossing into Georgia was Fernadina Beach, which reputedly was a rough and tumble pirates den until the 1800’s.  Although traces of Blackbeard and his ilk are evident, we found the town to be very safe and pleasant, with many heritage buildings and homes from the Victorian era.

Fernandina Beach demonstrating its pirate heritage.


Fernandina Beach street scene - many houses cultivate their boulevards (like East Vancouver).


Ria liked this little house for its wrought iron fence and railings.


This house also had a very friendly cat to complete the picture......


.....and here he is.


Dawn arrives at our anchorage off the town of Fernandina Beach.


And because its Fernandina Beach, here's the beach (typical of the barrier island beaches here).


On to Georgia, where we especially looking forward to our visit to Savannah.

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  1. Great pictures and commentary, John and Ria! I can tell that so far this trip is living up to all your expectations! Can’t wait for the next installment.



    PS. The sun is shining on the West Coast today!!!

  2. Dear John and Ria – just looked over all of your trip entries thus far – sounds, and LOOKS like you are both having a wonderful time. The boat looks great and we LOVE the name. Good for you Ria – you are right on! What a great adventure to be on – hope it’s all plain sailing in all ways and you continue to have a great time. Hey, have you posted your entire itinerary anywhere? Would love to see what the whole trip beginning to end might look like. I am writing this entry as Bill sits nearby sobbing in envy 🙂 Oh I wish I had such an adverturous spirit as you two do (and so does Bill LOL). Keep safe, have fun, we will check in again from time to time.

    Liz and Bill

    1. Hi Liz and Bill,

      Happy to hear you’re enjoying the blog.

      We haven’t published a detailed itinerary, but if you click the ‘About John & Ria’ tab at the top of the page, this section does provide a map of the Great Loop, plus possible side trips (just in case you missed it). If you follow the map from Florida to the St. Lawrence, then a side trip downstream to the Saguenay region of Quebec and a return upstream to Ottawa, ending with a final section on the Rideau Canal to Kingston, that will pretty well complete the trip for 2012 (we expect to be back in Vancouver by October). In May 2013, after spring thaw (Bill will remember that from his days in Montreal), we’ll return for the second leg through the Great lakes and the Mississippi, which we expect will take us as far as Kentucky. Continuing counter-clockwise, on our third leg we’ll return to Florida in 2014.

      Thanks for the encouragement, and we’ll look forward to further questions and stuff as we go along.


      John & Ria

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