Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oh, yeah...

the Fernandina-St. Marys water taxi started running today.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Won't be here past January 1st. Why pay $15.00 to ride over to St. Marys to find: greasy food, a museum that's never open Cumberland Island), a museum that no one but old navy vets care about (sub museum), a curio shop or two, and an overpriced bookstore.

St Marys Resident said...

I am not an "Old Navy Vet" and I enjoy the Submarine Museum...Our beautiful park is a great place to bring a picnic lunch or dinner...my husband and I dine there often and love to fish from the dock and also crab from the dock. I can see people coming over for our park and to explore by foot as we often walk the historic area looking at the restored homes and getting ideas for yards. I for one, will take the ferry for a fun day trip to Fernandina to dine at my favorite Marina Restaurant. What are you looking for on the other end? I hope you don't expect to find Disney World on the other side of the rainbow! Get out of your "Donnie Downer" attitude and realize that there are all kinds of things to do that don't involve spending money...take your bike across either way to St. Marys or to Fernandina and take a bike ride to the beach or around St. Marys with a picnic under a shade tree. $15.00 is not that much when you factor in the price of gas round trip to drive your vehicle...I am looking forward to the ferry and I think it may spark some new small businesses in St. Marys.

Jay Moreno said...

But the last thing on Earth that the merchants on either side of the river want is people doing "all kinds of things that don't involve spending money."

They must surely know that the fellow who operates the taxi will pee away a good $100,000 of his capital before he bows to the inevitable, but why not encourgae him on the off chance that the aggregate take by the merchants might be no more than $100.00 It's all gravy to them.

St Marys Resident said...

The ferry and all the business owners on either end of the line must be creative and offer products and services that will make people want to get off their wallets. The businesses that have failed, have not had a good business plan or try to operate a "ho hum" business on a shoestring. They have got to have a draw, be creative and unique...then the people will come...and they will want to spend their money. I can picture a golf cart rental depot along with a kayak and bicycle rental with large baskets to hold the picnic lunch they purchase at a fun deli with homemade salads and yummy sandwiches...and after a ride in a golf cart, kayak or bicycle the ferry passengers can purchase a ice cream or frozen yogurt with all the crunchy toppings while waiting for the ferry to take them back to Fernandina...How bout Cumberland Stone Creamery, Captain Hook's Deli, Riverfront Cart Rental or Peddal Pushers Bicycle Rental? How bout a fishing supply store that rents poles and sells bait along with a license and gives fishing tips and books fishing charters for our local charter fishing businesses?

PS
Rumor has it...When you cross that rainbow to Fernandina...there are no gnats on the other side! Any truth to that rumor?

Anonymous said...

I think that it is a wonderful way for people to see our beautiful coastal area by boat, who normally wouldn't have access. I for one will be taking my children on the ferry, they have been to Amelia Island many times, but have never crossed from Georgia to Florida by boat. Please don't be so negative about something that could possibly be positive to St. Mary's. If every parent in Camden could see the benefit of taking their children by boat and teach the history that is here it would surely support the ferry.

Jay Moreno said...

I would be pleasantly surprised if the taxi were a raging - or even moderate - success. Be forewarned, however, that never once, in my adult life, has anything that I have initally judged as not viable has ever succeeded.

Yes, the failure rate of small businesses has a lot to do with poor business plans and inadequate intial capitalizations.

What makes downtown St. Marys business plans inherently, generically poor is that they are all based upon the patently false assumption that there is anything near the critical mass of interesting sights and activities in downtown St. Marys to make a sufficient number of folks tkae an 18 miler detour off of I-95 on their way to Florida and eave saying to themnselves, "gee, that was certainly worth the detour and the time. All the city taxpayer subsidized development authorities and outright illegal tax payer funded gratuities (police EMS, public works overtime, and electricity - yes, the taxpayers pay opfr all electricity used by street vendors plugging into outlets at the bottom of the streetlight poles) to festival sponsors in the world will not change that inalterable fact of geography and infrastructure.

By the way, I would point out to downtown cheerleaders that if you will look in the upper right hand corner of my blog, with one click of your mouse, you can start your very own blog at no cost whatsoever. The site will have very understandable directions.

You might want to call it "The St. Marys Pollyanna Times."

St Marys Resident said...

Oh come on Jay...if everyone was as negative as you this would be a very boring world...it takes all kinds to make this world spin and to make a successful blog too! It also takes a positive attitude to make a business successful.

Happy Labor Day

Jay Moreno said...

No, I'm not negative but realistic. Disingenuous "tact" in the face of the obvious is a universal disservice to all concerned.

Jay Moreno said...

Are there any first person reports to be had from anyone who has actually taken the water taxi to Fernandina and back today?

Jay Moreno said...

Are there any first person reports to be had from anyone who has actually taken the water taxi to Fernandina and back today?

Anonymous said...

I want some of what "st marys resident" is smoking!

St Marys Resident said...

I am on a natural high!

Anonymous said...

Today, first boat to St Marys, 3 people, first boat to Fernandina, 2people. There off to a roaring start, huh.

Jay Moreno said...

Sounds like she's a quart overfilled with serotonin.

Careful with those tactless observations about ridership. You will be deemed a nattering nabob of negativism and placed on the Downtown Merchant's Association's political "bears watching" list.

WTF? said...

all hail Jay, the great prophet!! geesh, give us a break! Never wrong, huh?

Jay Moreno said...

I can't recall a single instance in my adult life where I have intuited that a new business will not make it and said business has survived. Granted, some died more lingering and costly deaths than others, but they all die.

It's hardly a unique ability.

St Marys Resident said...

O.K. now Jay...see that is a start! Would you say the boat was half full or half empty? Can someone tell me how many trips a day it makes and what times etc.?

St Marys Resident said...

Jay...it is obvious you spend alot of time reading the dictionary...maybe some fresh air and a good boat ride would be a welcome change of pace.

St Marys Resident said...

Jay with all your insight, what type of business profile do you think would be successful on our St. Marys Waterfront and Historic Downtown? And don't say nothing can make it because of location. We drive to a great Steak House that sits in the middle of a cow pasture in Blackshear...no signs to guide the way and wait for a seat. I want to hear the "Jay Almighties" business plan.

Jay Moreno said...

Well, first, you have to concede that unless you are a VW Micro-bus driving, Birkenstock sandal wearing, granola crunching, trer hugging, "greenie" bound for Cumberland Island, there is virtually no legitimate or even quasi-compelling reason to take an 18 mile detour to St. Marys and back to I-95 on your way to downtown St. Marys.

The aforementioned "live simply that others may live" green weenies are, as a group, exceedingly unlikely to pee away money in curio shops. Far and away their most likely Camden purchase is gasoline up at I-95 and maybe they'll put away their granola bars from home and splurge on a Big Mac in Kingsland.

We have seen that the locals will just barely support the properties directly on the river (St. Marys Street) - a couple or three so-so restaurants and a couple of watering holes. Those will obviously continue their moribund existence.

With regards to all of the shops north of the river, along Osborne, I think that the best plan of action would be to see all of those properties which were originally dwellings returned to that use. Those architecturally unremarkable boxes that do not lenbd themselves to habitation should be demolished and replaced with period appropriate "replica" houses. Several of those have already been built downtown recently.

In fact, I would like to see all of that crap on either side of Osborne east of Martha Drive, all the way to the new St. marys Elementary School, razed and replaced with new housing - and beautified.

Folks need to face up to the fact that the commercial epicenter of the county is now Walmart. Downtown St. Marys is not now, and never again will be, truly commercially viable. Get over it and move on. Non- Cumberland Island bound "tourists" have no compelling reason to visit. Face it.

Jay Moreno said...

Actually, I rarely use a dictionary. Do you really think that a guy who scored in the 99+ percentile of the verbal section of the SAT at age 17 has much need of a dictionary?

A boat ride in a wheelchair. Leon Klinghoffer I ain't - and don't plan on being - thank you.

Jay Moreno said...

"to take an 18 mile detour to St. Marys and back to I-95 on your way to downtown St. Marys."

Should have read "on your way to Florida."

Jay Moreno said...

St. Marys Resident: All kidding aside, when you first click onto my blog, look in the upper right hand corner. You will see the words "Create Blog."

If you will click on those words, you will get complete instructions on how to sart your very own blog at no cost whatsoever. Anyone can do it.

There is obviously a local market for your kind of unbridled and unjustifed enthusiasm for the commercial viability of downtwn St. Marys - witness the dozens of poor bastards who have peed away myriad small fortunes in failed ventures downtown in the 15 years I've lived here.

Go for it!

St Marys Resident said...

Jay...sadly the last 20 years since I have lived in St. Marys has shown your comments are true...but what happens when a California developer discovers the waterfront property?

St Marys Resident said...

O.K. now I am really worried...that means you read the dictionary all the time when you were a child when you should have been out sowing your wild oats with the boys...or did you just arrive on the delivery table as a child prodigy???

St Marys Resident said...

Come on...do the wild thing...ride in the boat in your wheel chair...get your photo taken with the Captain and post with your eye witness report on the ferry ride to the other side of the rainbow. Makes me grin just to think about all the fancy words you might come back with! You might actually have such a good time they might acuse you of smoking some funny stuff.

St Marys Resident said...

Jay...all kidding aside...I already have a blog in a different venue.

St Marys Resident said...

O.K. Mr. Smartie Pants...What is a Lug A Loo?

St Marys Resident said...

What about Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump...he was in a wheel chair and helped Forrest run the Bubba Gump Shrimp boat!

Happy Shrimping,
Polyanna

Jay Moreno said...

A "lug-a-loo" is, of course, the very portable toilet that you (for some strange reason) post a photo of in your comments. The "loo" part is, of course, from the British slang term for a toilet or water closet.

I have a tested IQ of 136. Was I born with the neuronal capacity for it? Of course. But I attribute the actual acquisition of the "software," if you will, to my mother's early reading to me and subsequent enrollment in mail-order book clubs, and my first grade teacher, Miss Edwina Oliver, a Savanah pioneer in phonics.

If a "California developer" comes in and buys up acres and acres of downtown, bulldozes all of the mill era stock of obsolete housing and replaces it with modern housing, then the downtown area wil finally achieve highest and best use - a good thing.

In order for me to assume a supine, sky gazing condition, at tyhe very least, two quite strong men will be required to lift me back into my wheelchair. A bit impractical, wouldn't you say?

Now that you have the run of my (at least I thought it was "my") blog, how about a link to yours?

St Marys Resident said...

Well I fell in love with that "Lug A Loo" this summer when we went camping for the first time in 25 years. Now that we are older it made that midnight potty run much easier...I think it is a great invention and doubles as a storage container for our lantern and flashlights!

My mother also signed me up for book clubs as a child but I am sure my IQ is not that high...must be in your genes...good for you but don't let it go to head if you know what I mean.

It may take a big developer with a good plan to get downtown St. Marys up and running.

Plenty of people live full and active lives in wheel chairs...why do you think there are so many handicap parking places in the US?
Remember...where there is a will, there is a way!

You would not enjoy my blog at all...it is one of those blogs for "tree hungin, positive thinking, Polyannas"...probably below your IQ level.

Jay Moreno said...

Don't let that stop you. The overwhelming majority of everything I read every day is written by such people. That does not necessarily mean that I would not find it interesting - or at least amusing.

St Marys Resident said...

What does everyone think about the Greenway that is being discussed? I would like to hear both pros and cons.

Jay Moreno said...

I'm vaguely aware of it insofar as it has been brought up in conjunction with the Lilliputian
golf cart path controversy. I see it as just more downtowner silliness that the other 99.9% of us couldn't care less about, but you might want to fill readers in on what it entails. There may be one or two interested readers out there.

St Marys Resident said...

I don't know much about the Greenway either. In listening to the St. Marys City Council on the website, I have heard it mentioned. It does sound like they are trying to make the golf cart path be part of the Greenway. Last winter my husband was confined to a wheel chair for a few months and I took him down to the river front in Woodbine...they have taken the abandoned railroad tracks and made a wonderful concrete walkway which is very wide. I pushed him along the walkway which goes all through Woodbine...we were told that is part of the Greenway...if so we sure liked it. Woodbine has done some nice improvements and we enjoyed our walk then dinner at Captain Stans and finished the night at the Woodbine Oprey. In Seattle, we had a Greenway that ran along the Green River and we loved to pack a picnic lunch and take the kids on a family bike ride along the river...there were parks and picnic tables and benches along the way and it went for several miles. Would like to see the plans for the Greenway that is to run through Camden County.