Further South - Beaufort SC and Georgia
19 November 2012 | Jekyll Island, Georgia
Warmer but still not warm enough
The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth. - Points to ponder.
You think you are in the deep south, when you see palm trees and moss growing on oak trees and all indications are that it is going to be warm. However the temperatures are not relevant to the scenery. It has been cool recently but reports are it will be warming up.
The hospitality is warm though and the history is thicker. The pelicans have long faces (maybe the weather?) and they begin to look different as we come south. What started out was an all gray bird but now they have white head with a yellow hood. Very interesting.
We have made it to the city of Beaufort, (pronounced Bew-fort as opposed to Bo-fort in North Carolina) South Carolina's second largest city and most southern to Georgia. It is home to plantations and changing fauna. Gone are the maples and spruce of the north which have given way to great oaks, gum and cypress trees. The core of the city is surrounded by plantation and antebellum style buildings with wrap around double storey verandas.
A few of us were fortunate enough to get a personal tour of one of the last remaining orginal "dependancy". A dependency was where the servants of the main house lived, cooked, did the laundry, and featured a stable and a blacksmiths work area. It is being restored and some parts we could look at but not enter the room. One was the "four holer" toilet built in an angle of the building. The open shuttered windows were at the very top of the wall instead of the normal height so the "hoodoos" couldn't get in. Hoodoos are evil African spirits so it indicates the origin of the residents who lived and worked here. The Masters house was at the front of the property and housed the family of four people. The dependancy at the back of the property was 1/5 th of the size and housed 20 people as well as all the wortking areas.
There are still massive flocks of boats heading south drive by determined snowbirds like ourselves. We had heard stories of the migration but never realized the numbers. Some locals want to know if there are any folks left in Canada !
We are able to get a coutersey car at the marina to go to the shopping areas that lie on the out-skirts of every town and city, to get groceries at Piggly Wiggly, marine supplise at West Marine and a CVS pharmacy. All other services are in the downtown area complete with an abundance of resturants and bars.
The biggest change from the more northern Intracoastal is the tide range. It varies from six to nine feet. The current coming in (or going out) through the cuts to the Atlantic Ocean, can surprise you as you pass them. Sometimes the route can be a bit boring, or attention diverted, then all of a sudden the boat takes a sideways lurch. Now that we have experienced it enough, we look forward on the chartplotter to know when to expect them.
We have made our way into Georgia and again the landscape is changing. It seems as though we are on an historical quest as well, as most of the anchorages we stop at are either a historical or national preserved site. There are a large number of those as we are motor sailing down the Atlantic coast where the action took place in developing America.
We anchored outside Fort Frederica, Georgia a colony the English were trying to establish in the Spanish area of "Florida" which at that time included the major portion of the south. The village was well laid out with a fort surrounding, but very little of it remains today. It is a worthwhile read, to go on-line to look it up. The site has the layout of the fortifcation but precious little of the structures left. The park surrounding where the colony and fort were is well woth the visit. Where the ramparts and moat that surrounded the village is still visible as is the crypt in the graveyard. A beautiful setting. I have posted some pictures in the gallery section.
However, from where I am writing this at Jekyll Island is an another matter. This is the island where the super rich of the late 1800's had cottages to escape to in the winter. The "clubhouse" for the 53 members is now a hotel, but is elegance in it's upper form. Around the clubhouse are individual "cottages" which again represent the wealth of America's elite. The island was purchased by the exclusive group such as the Vanderbuilts, J.P. Morgan, Crane (the plumbing supply family) Rockefellers, Astors, Goodyear, etc. You can read about it on-line at http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/geo-flor/15.htm, but the flavor of the place has to be felt. It appears the whole island is manicured with the plant life and quality of structures. Well worth the trip just to get a feeling of how money can be translated in such luxury. One interesting point was that only the hired help were allowed on the island and they were allowed only because they understood the exclusivity of the place. They were terminated immediately if they broke that trust.
JP Morgan, the businessman extraordinaire, arrived as others, by private yacht. Only his could not be docked at the Jekyll Wharf because it was 305 feet long and thirty feet wide. Also it had a draft of 17 feet !
We are pressing on today for the Cruiser's Thanksgiving potluck dinner in St. Mary's Georgia. Will report on that next.
We are happy and we know it !!