Saturday, December 10, 2016

Fort Clinch State Park, Fernandina Beach, FL

December 5-7, 2016

We have been fans of Fort Clinch SP for a number of years.  We have camped there numerous times when we used to spend parts of the winter months in the Florida Keys.  Now it was a convenient stopover and we also loved being right on the beach.

Sand dunes at Ft Clinch

We snared a campsite on the beach and managed to fit into the space.  The sand had drifted over the back of the site and we barely were able to park there.  It was a water and electric site only but worked fine for the three days we were there.

We had great weather the whole time we were there and managed to make it down to the beach.  Gerry went looking for sea shells and I found a nice bench to sit on to enjoy the scene.

Long fishing pier  on horizon.  Closed to Hurricane Matthew damage.

The shrimp boat was coming back to port and moving along at a good clip.  It is hard to see the boat due to the distance away from shore.  The port of Fernandina Beach was it's destination and in the past we would go down and buy some fresh shrimp if they made it available.

The picture/art work below was made out of pennies.  Someone had to be very patient to glue all these pennies to a canvas.  It actually looked very nice and could be bought for pennies.

 Gerry liked to see the sailfish over my head and took this photo. I hadn't noticed the fish when I sat down and wondered what she was doing.

We know that one day fairly soon we will have to move back into a house and have been looking for a house and location that would meet our needs.  There was a very nice home available in a development near Yulee, FL and it really perked our interest.  It was a little larger than what we need but haven't ruled it out.  They will be building houses in the development for another year or so, so we have time to check out other locations.

While I was sitting at the beach a man walked by and stopped to chat.  He and his wife and children were playing on the beach but then he was on his way back to their RV.  He mentioned he worked from the RV and wanted to full time for a while.  They had a home in New England and he said it was difficult to sell his home due to the glut of homes on the market.  Since they home school their children, the sale of the house was the only thing holding them back.  We have run into a number of younger people trying to live this lifestyle.  It seems to be growing with them and they're becoming work campers in an effort to make it happen for them.

We took A1A past Amelia Island and down to the Mayport area near Jacksonville.  We picked up I-95 at Jacksonville.   It was going to be an easy drive to Melbourne Beach, FL where we intended to stay at a campground where our friends Gloria & Doug were spending the winter.  We managed to get back on A1A and were driving through Melbourne Beach when suddenly our engine water temperature shot up and I had to pull off the highway onto a narrow side street and shut down the engine.

The fluids were flowing out of the motor home near the bay where the Aqua Hot water heater was located.  Not good!  I called Doug and Gloria and they came by to give us a hand.  There was a large vacant lot next to the house where we were. I asked if I could move the motor home there to take a look at it.  The man said the landlord didn't like anyone to use the lot, but when I asked if I could get some water to fill the radiator he said sure and while I was pouring water into the radiator he was checking hoses to see where the leak was.

It turned out that a four inch long hose had split and all the coolant had spilled out into the bin and on the road.  Finally, the man said to pull the RV onto the lot and he could fix the problem.  He was a mechanic and assured me it would be a quick fix.  Doug and I went for a new hose and coolant and were back quickly.  True to his word the stranger crawled into a small space and changed out the hose.  I had only purchased two gallons of coolant and it barely registered on the gauge.  Since I was so close to the campground and there was very little traffic, I decided to drive there and finish the job.

The mechanic wouldn't take any money and said Merry Christmas.  He had a young son so I gave him some money and said to buy him a Christmas present from us.  He agreed to this but wouldn't take any more money from me.  It was unbelievable we broke down right in front of his home and he was so nice to fix the problem.  There really are kind people out there!

I still have some work to do to finish the repair and to make sure I have the correct coolant in the radiator.  That will have to wait until Monday when I can call Cummins about what is the correct coolant.   It's never simple with a motor home and it seems something is always breaking or malfunctioning.  Such is life on the road.


  1. What a blessing to have your breakdown in front of that guy's place. And what a wonderful thing for him to do to help you.
    Paul's brother has a beautiful house on Amelia Island. We have gone there many many times. That area is lovely.

  2. Wonderful strangers are a really bright spot in our lives. Sitting on the bench in the sunshine would be a wonderful time.

  3. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Larry and Gerry. do you plan on coming to Tucson this winter?