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Autumn Borne Cruising
Happy Thanksgiving
Dean - Sunny but chilly
11/22/2012, St. Marys GA

Good Morning, and again.... Happy Thanksgiving to all...
We just had a wonderful surprise...

A knock on the hull by Lynn Harden, and a friend in a fishing boat... delivering Bloody Mary drinks to all the cruisers in the anchorage.

Lynn said "See what happens when you stay at the bar to all hours.... you get crazy ideas!!!!"

Tuesday - Chili Cook off day
Dean - Sunny - WARMING
11/20/2012, St. Marys GA

8:11 AM 11/20/2012 Tuesday - Chili Cook-OFF day

Yesterday was a day of arrivals, here at St. marys GA.
the s/v "Elle and I", followed by our friends Carla and Rick in the w/v Euphoria.
Many other cruisers that we've met over the years also came in and anchored,
So the Happy Hour party last night was quite the gathering...and a great place to hear all the stories.
After happy hour at Seagle's Saloon about 8 of us retired to the Greek cafe down the street, for a late dinner. Again a small world happening...the son of Bob, and Pat from the s/v Chantecleer is going to school at SUNY Buffalo, and our waiter at the Greek Restaurant used to own the Olympia restaurants all over WNY. Like I say...Small world.
It was nice to see Lawrence and Elaine again from "Ella, and I". They've had quite the adventure on their first year "out". I recall, our first year of
cruising had a few 'adventures' as well...
The "adventures" seem to get fewer the more we do this on AB...
Perhaps it's picking the right anchorages now, or deciding to get fuel and safer places, etc., and knowing how far to push the boat, and ourselves.
AND having a much greater confidence in the BOAT to take care of us, (IF we have taken care of the boat...that is).
Today we're scheduled to go to the movies with a bunch of other cruisers (SkyFall -James... James Bond!)
Then...tonight at Happy Hour... is the "chili-Cook-off"... not really a contest, just an informal eating frenzie. ;)
The hosts from the s/v Sea Tramp organized this so that all the newly arriving boats today...wouldn't have to worry about cooking dinner this evening, after a hard day at sea. NICE!!!!

Cumberland Is. to Fernandina Beach to St. Marys GA
dean - Nasty - 24 knot winds - choppy waters
11/17/2012, St. Marys River - Georgia Side

We did take our time today, pulling the hook after a nice breakfast of fried potatoes, eggs, and datil pepper sauce. That part was nice. The "UN-NICE" part of the morning was going outside to pull the anchor in 24 knot wind, and 2 to 3 foot rollers coming through the anchorage, at Cumberland Island.

The worst time on the water was going through the main harbor here at St. Marys river entrance; wide open to the wind coming right off the ocean... with an incoming tide, tidal currents against us, and steep, and brief period waves bashing the boat around....

Normally we would have probably just "bagged" the day, but I had measured the fuel levels, and we hadn't added any Diesel since Norfolk Virginia.... Now we're in Georgia... It's time to ADD fuel. We still had 40 gallons in mid-ship tank; 10 gallons on deck; and about 20+ in the V-berth tank... We weren't about to run out, but I felt we needed to fuel up before sitting for a week at St. Marys. Plus we needed water, and a pump-out. The water in which we've been traveling has been so stirred up by the wind, and wave action all week... I Haven't felt comfortable making too much water with our R.O. unit.

Anyway... Fernandina was just across the harbor.... (he said!!!!) well it's 8 miles from our Cumberland Anchorage to Fernandina Harbor Marina, and then back north to St. Marys...

BUT...hey the boat handled it... and I feel better.... The dockmaster at Fernandina thought we were nuts for wanting to come in to the dock in that wind, and wave condition.... BUT the truth is everything was in our favor....(other than how the weather looked - i.e. nasty)... The wind at the time of docking was right on the nose, AND the current was also right on the nose... So all we really had to do was 'drive the boat close to the dock.... Keep forward gear engaged and reduce the throttle until the boat just stood still where we wanted it.... Still motoring forward into the tidal current.... And Viola!!! Susan literally "handed" the dock line to the gentleman on the dock... for cleating.... Nothing to it...

;) So... we're now full of fuel, and water, etc. and ready to relax and enjoy the week of Thanksgiving!!!

We waited out weather in NJ; Weathered Hurrican Sandy; and the nor'easter... to get here.... SO... it's Time to relax!

Morris and Elizabeth Thorpe on the s/v Viking Angel are also here at St. Marys (see photo).

That wasn't the original plan, but they followed us in here anyway.... and they got to meet John and Ann from the triple masted schooner "Steel Away" tonight for dinner. GREAT TIME....

Crescent River to Cumberland Island
Dean - Clouds Fog - Windy
11/16/2012, anchored near Ranger Station

Easy day on the water today... the plan was to leave early enough from Crescent River to make it to, and through the Little Mud River when the tides were mid-level and RISING...if not HIGH!!!!

Everyone writes about the Little Mud River, and how tricky it is getting through there. WELL... we made it, but take a look at the picture attached of the 'day-mark' in the Little Mud river,. as we passed.
... and you'll see why we had no problem today... This whole coastline has had 'super high tide, and shore erosion warnings all week'.
Super High Tide... made passage easy, at least in that section.

The AICW does take you out almost into the ocean at Altama Sound, to get around some tricky shoals. That was possibly the roughest part of this day... although we've done ocean hops in a lot worse waves, and wind... it was still not pleasant for that section.

We're presently anchored by the ranger station at Cumberland Island... right behind Morris and Elizabeth Thorpe (s/v Viking Angel -- our slip mates from Buffalo, NY of years ago).
We picked up some good tidal currents... at the end of the day that allowed us to be anchored before nightfall.

We covered 57.1 nautical miles today from the Crescent River to Cumberland Island. We did get a thorough look-see from the security boats at Kings Bay Naval Base as we exited into the main ship channel, from the "Cumberland Dividings".

Could be an early 'turn-in' night, or back to our respective novels... I'm still reading "12 Mile Limit" by Randy Wayne White (Fort Myers Beach); and Susan's reading "Team of Rivals" by Doris Goodwin (about the Civil War).

New River to the Crescent River
Dean - Rain and Windy - Some Clearing in the PM
11/15/2012, South of the Creighton Narrows

Thursday, November 15, 2012
Long day today on the AICW, because of the next AICW trouble spot.... That is the Little Mud River.
The Cruisers Net says "only DO the Little Mud River passage at mid-rising or High Tides". So, ... Today we pulled the anchor in the New River and headed out early.... And continued south until nearly dark.
We anchored at 1710 hours in the Crescent River (N31 29.361 W081 19.759), at the south end of the Creighton Narrows. That part of the trip was a bit of a thrill too... Doing the Creighton Narrows at dead low tide... But we made it... the least depth we saw in the "Narrows was about 9.8 feet.... Not bad...
All day long we rode the "SUPER tides" that the news was talking about...(lunar, and wind). The water levels all the way down from the New River were super high.... In comparison to years past.
We again traveled along most of the day.... We were passed by some power catamarans, and a few large trawlers...but by and large traveled by ourselves...
Tomorrow we can now time our arrival at the Little Mud River... then once through the problem shoaling areas... hot foot it for the top of Cumberland Island (south of JekyLL Island).

We called our friend Kathleen today to see how her hip operation went.... Sounded like Rehab will take a little longer than the last time... but I guess that's normal.
We also talked to Rodney Carlson; The "Glenlyon" has been sold. Wow. Good and
We called Phil Macmillen to see how the rudder repair was going on the s/v Acadia, but only got a voice mail....
There's still some shoaling areas to traverse, for us... but each day we're farther south...
Today's weather, though, really "sucked"; 50's with heavy rain periods; and winds up to 24 knots.
Small Craft warnings were still posted until tonight.... Fun WOW!

Short Day - anchored in New River
Dean - Cloudy and Windy
11/14/2012, 6 miles from SC/GA border

November 14, 2012 - Wednesday.... Bull River (Beaufort) to near Savannah River
In order to have nice anchorage this evening, and not end the day in the somewhat questionable anchorages of northern Georgia (along the AICW), we made this a "short day".
We started early this morning, at first light, and about 1.5 hours before high tide. But again Bridges were the boon-doggle in the days timing.... We missed the 0900 opening of the Ladies Island Bridge at Beaufort SC by 9 minutes, due to some unforeseen tidal currents (against). So... we waited until 0930 for the next opening...
Meanwhile the tides were peaking, and the currents turned against us on farther down the line.
Oh well... ... The weather was cold, and cloudy anyway... so motor-sailing along the ICW seemed like a good way to spend the day. We had the 'Yankee' sail drawing most of the day... enjoying the lift from a 15 to 20 knot breeze.
We're anchored now about 5 miles north of the Savannah River, and the SC/GA Border. So early tomorrow morning we'll be in GA. We're anchored in the New River at N32 06.720 W080 54.131
Autumn Borne traveled alone most of the day today...
The CSY-44-W/O "Banjo", that lead our two boat parade, all day yesterday, ended up behind us at the Ladies Island Bridge, and followed from a distance all day long. Banjo chose to continue toward the GA border this afternoon, as we turned off to anchor. We may catch them at St. Marys GA (as they're having a replacement, or rebuilt Autopilot shipped to them there). Nice folks.
The weather tonight, and tomorrow is supposed to be windy and rainy.... Not pleasant, but OK for motoring, or motor-sailing "inside". The ocean is still slated to have 3 to 4 foot waves, and building with the increased wind. Small craft warnings are posted for the next day....or two...
The Autumn Borne tonight is moving a slight bit tonight at anchor, because the current in the river is holding us oriented to the river current, so the building wind is buffeting us from the side.
Anyway... time for some TV, dishes, and perhaps I'll get a chance to finish the novel I'm reading by Randy Wayne White.

The photo is from Charleston Street Fare - Book sale - street musicians - People everywhere...

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