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Goin' South
Mike
11/29/2010, Palm Coast, FL

After a great Thanksgiving with my Uncle Joe, Aunt Jan, their Daughters and their Daughters' families, it was time to move on.

Friday morning, I was up early and headed for Florida. I spent Friday and Saturday night in Fernandina Beach and got to see the lighting of the village Christmas tree on Saturday night. (I love that town!)

Sunday I stopped in Jacksonville and was able to visit briefly with my friends Debbie, Don and Pat. I was up early and under way again this morning and I motor-sailed to Palm Coast. I plan to try to really put some miles behind me this week as they are forcasting a cold front passing through here tomorrow night. I will keep you up to date as best I can.

Here's a pic from Thanksgiving.

Oh yeah.... about the trip down
Mike
11/24/2010, St Simon's Island Georgia

It occurred to me after reading the Thanksgiving post, that I really didn't say anything about yesterday's trip down, so here ya go

I left Kilkenny Creek just after sunup as the fog was burning off and headed back onto the ICW. The first couple of hours I was still on a rising tide which was fine. Then the tide switched and started to go down. A good way to gauge what the tide is doing, besides watching the current, is to look at the posts holding the day markers. As the tide falls, you can see where the post has marine life attached to it and where its been wet.

The tide here in Georgia is no joke. It rises and falls between 7 and 9+ feet, depending on the phase of the moon. Today, when the tidal flow reached "max-ebb" around mid-day, it was like piloting the boat in a draining bathtub!

It was a mixed bag however because, even though the water was rapidly leaving town, it was frequently carrying me along with it. In other words, water flowing quickly in same direction I'm going=GOOD. Water disappearing from beneath my keel=BAD.

I would not recommend doing what I did today as it took me through several notorious trouble spots at or near low tide. I kept watching the bank getting bigger and bigger and sticking out farther into the channel. Then I began to pass crab pots sitting in about two inches of water and birds WALKING very close to the boat.

One place that I passed through, Hell Gate (does anyone else think they need to hire a PR firm to rename some of these places? Sheesh!), was so exposed that my depth sounder showed only 5.1 feet under the boat which was a little scary since I draw 5 feet.

There were a lot of tense moments but somehow I made it all the way to St Simon's Island just about sundown and without touching bottom once! *whew*

Here's a picture of the sunrise as I left.

11/24/2010 | janetmarie
What a ride through Georgia. It will always keep you checking your plotter and depth. Got to love the country! Onward to Florida. It was good to hear it has been a save ride so far.
Happy Turkey with your family and save travels to Fl
11/25/2010 | jim and marla
Happy Turkey Day,Mikey. see you soon

Jim and Marla
Thanksgiving
Mike
11/23/2010, St. Simon's Island, GA

Well, its that time of year again. Two years ago, when I was first headed south, I made Hamburger Helper on the boat and watched my traditional Thanksgiving movie, Planes, Trains and Automobiles. I was in Jacksonville, Florida at the time and I spent that one alone.

Last year, I was in Charleston, South Carolina and had just been released from the hospital. I got to spend it with one of my favorite people in the world, my big brother, David. Unfortunately I was re-admitted to the hospital in another day or so with blood clots in both lungs..... not related to my Brother's cooking I'm sure. :OD

This year, I figured I'd be alone again but my Uncle Joe, who lives in St. Simon's Island, Georgia, was gracious enough to invite me to his house. Any of you who have followed my blog from the beginning can look back and see that I got to visit with Uncle Joe in St Simon's on my first trip south in '08. In any case, I was very happy and honored to accept.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and I'll be in touch from Florida very soon!

Here's a picture of an eagle...... I think! OK, so I'm not an ornithologist.

Leaving The Carolinas
Mike
11/22/2010, Kilkenny Creek, Georgia

Well, because of one thing and another, Norma Fay (and Wilson) have not been out of the Carolinas in over a year. We spent tonight in a very rural salt marsh in Kilkenny (Insert South Park Reference here) Creek Georgia.

I know I go on alot about dolphins but I really am amazed by them so, here I go again. Today, and two days ago actuallly, one just kept pace with me for an extended period of time..... about twenty-five minutes or so. Each time, they just swam alongside the boat next to the cockpit. They would swim under water just deep enough that I could still see that they were there, then they would surface and spray water into the air (and cockpit) and then go back under.

It was like they were escorting me to make sure I didn't get into any trouble. (That would take a lot of dolphins....... *sniff* 'just sayin') Anyway, here's a picture of my "wing man."

This One Time....at Band Camp...
Mike
11/21/2010, Hilton Head, SC

As if anyone needs an excuse to stop by one of the premier tourist destinations on the Eastern Seaboard, (Hilton Head, South Carolina) I had another reason.

Every summer in high school, I went to Jazz Band Camp at the University of Illinois. (Yes, I was a band nerd......still am...) In addition to getting to meet and occasionally perform with some of the best jazz musicians around, I met some really great people.

Through the miracle of Facebook, I've even managed to reconnect with a few of them. One of them, lets call him Bob, a great bass player and great guy from Decatur, Illinois. Turns out he's living on Hilton Head and owns a wine and liquor store and a beer store. (I knew he had promise even when we were kids.....)

Anyway, I got to hang out with Bob and watch some football and even got to meet his lovely Wife and his son. We agreed that neither of us had changed a bit in 33 years. Did I mention we're both full of @#%!!?

Anyway, it was great to see him again! Here's a picture of Calibogue Sound as I was leaving Hilton Head.

Beaufort
Mike
11/20/2010, Beaufort, SC (duh!)

OK... Since I had my camera with me today, here's a bonus pic of beautiful Beaufort.

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