Georgia on my mind
02 April 2012
Bill relaxing with an adult beverage at the end of a long day
Yesterday, April 1st, we left the Fernandina Beach Municipal Marina for our next destination...Brunswick, GA. Fernandina is a lovely town; lots of nice shops and restaurants, all within walking distance of the waterfront. The problem with Fernandina Beach harbor is that it is home to several large pulp and paper mills whose stacks belch nauseating smoke 24/7. When the wind is blowing over the harbor, there is no avoiding the smell.
This transit through Georgia requires a certain amount of strategising. Georgia's portion of the ICW is somewhat shallow so one needs to go through the skinniest areas at high tide. Yesterday's challenge was Jekyll Creek. To that end, we left Fernandina Beach at 10 am, figuring an average of 5.5 kts. And, voila, we arrived in Brunswick, GA right on schedule at 4 pm at the Morning Star Marine. We opted to have dinner at the marina restaurant...great burgers! In the morning we left around 1:00 pm to get through the Mud River and arrive at the Darien River at about the same time.
Lots of cruisers we've met prefer to go off-shore rather than transit this portion of the ICW, primarily because of the depth issue. We actually enjoy Georgia and find its quiet pristine low country very pleasant, although a little stressful as one must be constantly vigilant.
We arrived at the Darien River around 5 pm having transited the Little Mud River, known as the single most difficult stretch of the ICW because it has depths as low as 2 to 3 feet at mlw and must be approached only at high tide...and we had our pick of anchoring spots...we were the only boat there! Just as pretty as the first time.
In the morning (4/3) we raised anchor around 8:15 to make the 60+ mile trip to Isle of Hope Marina in Savannah. This stretch of the ICW is very winding and, without much wind, today it's very buggy. The no-see-ums and biting flies are a nuisance...AND there is Hell Gate to transit. We timed our departure to get us through Hell Gate at high tide and then there was the Skiddaway Island bascule bridge between us and the Isle of Hope. For some, inexplicable reason, Bill had misunderstood the restrictions on the bridge...between 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm it only opens on the 1/2 hour. So, we thought we'd have to wait for the 6:30 opening UNTIL we realized that, if we put the pedal to the medal, we could make the 5:30 opening...it's all about the math.
We made the 5:30 opening and arrived at Isle of Hope Marina around 6:00 pm. The marina staff were gone for the day so it was up to me to jump off Ceili on to the dock with the bow line. I'm happy to report that, broken knee cap (2009) and fall in St. Augustine (2012) I still have the mojo and jumped onto the dock easily. We are now docked for the next day or so.
More to follow...