“This is the only place in the world where you can see a trident nuclear submarine and wild horses at the same time,” says Tony Jones, owner of Windward Sailing on Amelia Island. Tony has four sailboats in the Marina here in Fernandina Beach that he operates for both his sailing school and private charters. Tony always knew he loved sailing but when the Windward Sailing School went up for sale, (not sail) Tony knew he had that one chance in a lifetime. Well, maybe his wife, Cindy did because she’s the one that told him to “Go for it!” That was nearly nine years ago. Today, Tony divides his time pretty much equally between teaching sailing and running charters. Popular charters include a two-hour sunset cruise and a three- or four-hour day cruise. Recently his “St. Mary’s Lunch Cruise” has become very popular. This five hour charter includes a two-hour sail to St. Mary’s, Georgia; a one-hour layover lunch at one of the popular marina restaurants there; and a two-hour sail back to Amelia Island. The sailing school appeals to sailors of all levels. If you’re just wondering what sailing is all about, the Introduction to Sailing, a three-hour course, might be right for you. But if the sailing bug has already bitten, then you have several options to choose from: Basic Sailing, Coastal Cruising, and Bareboat Chartering. All three separate courses award the American Sailing Association Certification and last two and half days each. Participants spend some time in the classroom but according to Tony, most of the learning occurs right on the water.
And the best part of owning and operating Windward Sailing? “Meeting people” and “introducing people to the love and thrill of sailing.” You can read more about Tony and see more of what Windward Sailing offers by visiting windward sailing.com. The Blue Heron Inn on Amelia Island offers sailing excursion packages with Tony and is just a short 7 block walk from the marina where Tony teaches. Visit ameliaislandblueheroninn.com for more information.