Due to a lack of sunshine we had to dock at Jacksonville for a couple of days. As soon as the sun was back, we left the “Intercoastal Waterways” to catch up the plan and are now travelling along the coast of Georgia and South Caroline.
After a day under cloud-covered sky we landed at an empty dock in the middle of an open, completely deserted marsh landscape. Later we found out: It was 20 miles away from the center of Jacksonville, but still on City territory – we were told that Jacksonville had the greatest surface area of all US towns. The sign at the dock said: “No docking allowed”; but the dock master whom we contacted by phone was welcoming and agreed that we could stay there – for two and a half days due to lack of sunshine. The adjacent property belonged to the “Kingfish Tournament Club”. Once a year they organize a big competition: “Who can catch the biggest kingfish?”. Last year the first prize consisted of a boat worth $250,000. The staff of the well-equipped offices became our friends. They helped us in every way they could and offered us a tour to downtown Jacksonville and to the university campus. On the last evening we were invited to a private home where we played violin duets for our hosts and their neighbours.
When the weather cleared up we left Florida and the “Intracoastal Waterways” at the Mary’s River estuary. Since then we have been catching up to our schedule by travelling along the coast of Georgia and South Carolina under the best weather conditions. We enjoy being once more on the high seas and watching sea birds diving for fish by jack-knifing vertically into the water.
Here animals are often under enormous pressure from human activities. The first thing we saw after landing was a big poster that reminded boaters on the duty to protect the sea cows, called “manatees”. They are highly threatened by fast boats that kill the slow animals eating sea grass. We saw hundreds of these warning signs along the waterways; but also hundreds of boats that passed us at a very high speed – no chance for a manatee that gets in their way. We also saw a seagull that had swallowed a piece of a fishing line. A part of it was hanging out of its beak. It was very irritated and tried to get rid of it – it disappeared before we could organize help. It was a drama that left us pensive and sad; the seagull will not survive.