OCTOBER---Norfolk, VA to Fernandina Beach, FL
DISCOVERY is "on the hard" in Deltaville Boatyard ready to be launched on Tuesday, October 5. About the only notable thing to report during the first couple days of the month is that on Saturday (10/2) the U.S. Geological Survey reported a minor earthquake in Virginia. The 3.0 magnitude earthquake occurred at 4:17 p.m. The epicenter was about 20 miles north of Richmond (Richmond is about an hour from Deltaville). The quake was felt in Virginia cities including Richmond and Charlottesville and as far as 339 miles away in Canton, NC (no damage to life or property reported). When we were in Trinidad on the hard we felt several earthquake tremors. In fact, the boat would shake However, with this one we didn't feel a thing.
On launch day, DISCOVERY was the first boat to go in the water. As soon as we were in the water, Carl fired up the engine which responded right a way. Craig (TILT) jumped on board to help us get into the slip which we knew was going to be a challenge with a crosswind and a narrow fairway and slip. After about 5 attempts, DISCOVERY finally slipped between the pilings and we tied her up. Just had to be patient and be willing to make several attempts. Thanks to Craig and Kris too who stood on the dock waiting to take a stern line.
Once the dock lines were in place and the power cord attached, Carl went up the mast to attach the lazy jacks. After the lazy jacks were in place he decided he might as well go all the way to the top of the mast to install our new LED tricolor light. When he reached the top of the mast, he removed the fixture and placed it in the cloth bag that was tied to the boson's chair. Next he removed the old bulb and placed it in the cloth bag. Suddenly, the line holding the cloth bag to the boson's chair untied--- the bag fell 60 feet to the deck shattering the fixture and the old bulb. This was looking like one of those "Bad Hair Days." Carl was just a little frustrated so he went over to talk to Craig about dropping the bag and breaking the fixture. The two of them proceeded to talk about the LED for the tricolor. They are both engineers so they got into the details of how the bulb fits into the fixture (bayonet style) and what it looks like. Through this discussion, Carl determined that our new LED bulb was not a tricolor light but a bicolor light. He then checked the bulb with his voltmeter to see if it worked and it did not. Not only had he had bought "the wrong bulb but the dang thing didn't work! Off to West Marine for a replacement fixture and tricolor LED bulb. West Marine had the bulb in stock but no fixture. However, another West Marine store in North Carolina had the fixture. It would be shipped in 2-4 days. To finish this tale----when the replacement fixture arrived, it was missing a part. Luck was finally on our side. Carl already tossed the shattered fixture but saved the ring (the only part that was not shattered). It was the ring that was missing from the replacement fixture so we were in luck.
Wednesday and Thursday we worked on getting the boat ready to go. Putting the sails on, shocking the water systems, buying canned and dry goods to get us through until Vero Beach. Continued to have dinner in the evening with friends in the marina's screen porch.
Attended the Annapolis Boat Show on Friday. Rode up to Annapolis with Craig and Kris. Bumped into lots of people we have met cruising over the years. I bought some Prism Polish for cleaning the stainless steel. Wanted to buy some polycarbonate stemless wine glasses but all the vendors were out (a popular item). Carl didn't buy anything. Didn't even go on any boats (years ago that was the first thing we did at the boat show). Hoped to bump into Ron and Jackie (At Sail) but we missed each other. The ride back to Deltaville seemed like it took forever. The traffic was backed up for 90 minutes--weekend traffic from Washington, DC and a car accident. Kris was having trouble with her leg---it was cramping up so bad that Craig had to stop the car twice so she could walk it out.
Keith (CAMELOT) had lost a batten for his sail when he traveled from Mystic, CT to Annapolis. One of our longer battens was chipping on the end so we bought a replacement. Carl cut the chipped part off but kept the batten. Over the cell phone, Carl and Keith determined that our cut-off batten would work as a replacement for the one Keith lost. So, we delivered the batten to Keith at the Boat Show. First picture is Craig, Kris and Carl standing at the dock waiting for Keith to arrive. The second picture is of Keith picking up the batten.
At the Boat Show we ran into many cruisers that we have met over the years. On the left is Lee and Cindy on TRANQUILITY who we met in 2005/2006 in the Bahamas and then spent some time with them in Trinidad. On the right is Alan and Anne on FREYA. Met Alan and Anne in Trinidad. They will be heading to the Bahamas from Trinidad this cruising season.
Don and D on SOUTHERN CROSS are pictured on the top-left. First met them at the Southbound Cruisers Rendezvous in 2007. Saw them again in Trinidad. They recently purchased a home in Oriental, NC but are still out there cruising. We left the Boat Show for about 20 minutes to see friends that were having lunch at a restaurant. Sorry Barb and Jerry (KUMBAYA) but I did not get a usable picture of you guys. Below (top right and bottom left) are Sandy and Tom (ANANIA), Bev and Arnie (SCANDIA), Kris (TILT) and Carl. Bottom right is Conrad and Sally (ITS ABOUT TIME). Sally and Conrad were working at the show. We met them in Vero Beach and then in the Bahamas in 2005/2006.
Met Nancy (AURARA) pictured on the top left during the 2005/2006 cruising season. Nancy and her husband, Paul are from Michigan. They no longer own a boat but are very involved in Boat Shows (Paul is the manager and in this case Nancy was working a booth). Pictured on the top right is Richard (KILISSA) who I went to school with in the third and fourth grade back in Sarles, ND!! Bottom left is Kathy and Roger (TALISMAN). First met them in Fort Lauderdale and later in the Bahamas during the 2005/2006 cruising season. Bottom right is Dave (MAGIC). Dave's wife, Donna, was working so we did not see her at the show. Met Dave and Donna in the Bahamas (2006/2007). Dave was the first person to show Carl how to hunt for lobster. We also met up with Dave and Donna in Trinidad 2009. They have since sold MAGIC, a Baba 40, and now own a DeFever trawler.
Saturday we went to the Holly Point Art & Seafood Festival. in Deltaville. Craig and Carl looked at the antique and classic cars. Kris and I enjoyed strolling through the arts and crafts booths. Found several nice pieces of art I liked but not on my boat! The guys rowed the EXPLORER which is a 30-foot replica of Captain John Smith’s shallop, built by the Deltaville Maritime Museum. All four of us enjoyed lunch---selected something to eat (barbeque pork, chowder, gumbo, steamed shrimp and more). I bought a pound of the steamed shrimp in a "to go box" for dinner that night.
Top left is a picture of Craig and Carl admiring one of the antique/classic cars. The picture top right shows Craig and Carl climbing on board the EXPLORER. Bottom left the guys finally have their oars up and bottom right the guys were off rowing the EXLPORER with a bunch of people!
Sunday Carl and I drove to Wal-mart for perishables. My freezer and refrigerator are 80% full---more than enough to get us to Vero Beach! Monday was full of last minute errands including taking the car to the NAPA store where it will stay while we are out cruising.
Tuesday---an exciting day. Left the dock to start the 2010/2011 cruiseon a beautiful sunny day. Only thing missing for the first trip was the wind which was out of the south at 7 knot. Perfect conditions for a motor boat ride. Saw our first dolphins of the season. Spent a quiet night anchored at Hospital Point in Norfolk.
Motored on Wednesday to the Dismal Swamp on an overcast day with north winds at 12 knots. Just a little about the Dismal Swamp--In 1763, George Washington visited the Swamp and suggested draining it and digging a north-south canal t to connect the waters of Chesapeake Bay (VA) and Albemarle Sound (NC). Washington formed two syndicates known as the Dismal Swamp Land Company and the Adventurers for Draining the Great Dismal Swamp. This group hoped to drain the Swamp, harvest the trees, and use the land for farming. The company purchased 40,000 acres of Swamp land for $20,000 in 1763. Washington directed the surveying and digging of the 5-mile long ditch from the western edge of the Swamp to Lake Drummond, known today as Washington Ditch using slave labor. In the late 1700's, Riddick Ditch was completed. Together these ditches provides a way to transport logs out of the Swamp and drain it. The Adventurers soon realized that the task of draining the Swamp was enormous and gave up that part of their plan to concentrate on lumbering. They cut much of the cypress trees for use in shipbuilding and the cedars for shingles and other products. Maybe Washington should have gone on the road making speeches for extra money like former presidents do today. LOL!!! The most striking aspect of the Dismal Swamp is the brown water. They claim this stuff is "unusually pure water". The coffee-colored water is preserved by tannic acids from the bark of the juniper, gum and cypress trees which prohibits growth of bacteria. Before the days of refrigeration, water from the Swamp was a highly prized commodity on sailing ships. It was put in kegs and would stay fresh a long time. People spoke of the magical qualities of the Swamp's coffee-colored water and how, if it were regularly drunk, would prevent illness and promote long life. I would not drink the stuff.
DISCOVERY lead 5 boats down the canal including Carl and Jan on WHITE PEPPER. Waiting for us at the Dismal Swamp Visitor Center was Keith and Rose on CAMELOT. . The dock at the Visitor Center has room for 3 to 4 boats to tied up (one in front of the other). All other boats raft off the boats that are tied to the dock until the raft is 3 to 4 boats deep. Keith assume the role of "dockmaster". Just before we arrived, he managed to get the 4 boats already at the Visitor Center to move closer together so that the entire dock space was utilized By the end of the day, 10 boats had arrived in addition to the four already there and there was room for all thanks to Keith's efforts. Surprised to find John and Suzanne (The SUZANNE) tied to the dock. John and Suzanne left Deltaville a week before we did. At that time they were in a hurry but apparently slowed down once they were underway. That evening, Keith and Rose invited John, Suzanne, Carl and I plus the people who were tied to our starboard side for cocktails (Carol and Glenn).
On the left is a picture of DISCOVERY in the Deep Creek Lock waiting for a lift. On the right is a picture of the Dismal Swamp.
The next morning we left for Elizabeth City, NC. In the south lock by 8:30 AM and winding down the Pasquotank River by 9:00 AM. Enjoyed a light rain as we motored down the river. Keith was ahead of us (he likes to sail fast and motor fast) and once again he served as dockmaster finding room on a wall for us to tie to. About 30 minutes after arriving, a squall line rolled into Elizabeth City. The National Weather Service issued a special marine warning for Pamlico Sound and the Neuse River which included lightning, heavy rain and winds to 40 knots. Fortunately, we were on the western edge of the warning area. The skies darkened and it rained hard for about 20 minutes but no wind to speak of. When it stopped raining we walked around town stopping for an ice cream cone. Attended the Rose Buddy Hospitality Cocktail Party. The two guys that started this event have passed away so it has been taken over by the Chamber of Commerce. After the party, Keith & Rose, Hans and Judy (WHISPURR V), Carl and I went out for dinner.
Top left is the squall line that rolled into Elizabeth City shortly after we tied up to the wall at the city park. The next two shots were taken at the Rose Buddy Hospitality Party. The Chamber of Commerce has taken over running the party and is held every time new cruisers arrive. The last picture is Rose (CAMELOT) and Hans (WHISPURR V) hamming it up at the party.
From Elizabeth City we enjoyed six hours of sailing in west winds 15-20 knots through the North Carolina Outer Banks, past Roanoke Island, and up into the Pamlico Sound. Traveling with Keith and Rose. The next two hours of this trip was totally unpleasant--motoring into 4 foot tightly spaced waves on our nose. Finally anchored at Long Shoal River close to 6 PM. Rose invited us over for spaghetti dinner. Enjoyed Rose's dinner plus CAMELOT was all warm and comfy (Keith turned on the heater and warmed it up to 70 degrees).
The next morning we were back in the Pamlico Sound headed for Oriental, NC on the Neuse River. Winds blowing from the northwest at 20-25 knots with gusts to 30-35 knots. Point of sail--close reach and what a sail! Had two reefs in the main and the jenny was partially rolled up. Set up just right for the conditions. Anchored in Oriental Harbor. When we lowered the main sail, Carl noticed the leech line was all worn---it had to be repaired before we continued south. Keith and Rose called to ask if we wanted to go out for pizza. Went to the M & M Cafe--- they don't serve pizza. Oh well, ordered something else and had a good time.
Sunday morning, the free dock in Oriental opened up so snapped it up immediately. There are two free docks---as soon as the second free dock opened up we called Keith and Rose who hurried in before someone else took it. Two Saga 43s sitting side by side. Went to "the bean", a coffee shop where the locals hang out. While I drank coffee and read my book, Carl walked around asking customers about sail repairs. He was told that a woman who has a repair shop comes in for coffee every Sunday morning. When she (Laura) arrived, she was pointed out to us. Laura had worked in a big sail loft for many years and has recently opened her own sail repair business. That very morning, Laura and her husband, Gil, looked at the sail. Based on what they saw, they took the sail for repair and thought it would be ready by Wednesday or Thursday.
Below on the left is a picture of CAMELOT (Hull 29 and DISCOVERY (Hull 30) and ) sitting side by side at the Oriental Town Dock. On the right is the local hang out for locals and visiting cruisers. Many of the locals are former cruisers so the shop is very boater friendly.
While we waited for the sail to be repaired, Carl found a guy, Wil, who repairs dinghies. Carl had put a temporary patch on the dinghy in the Bahamas (the dinghy had rubbed against the small dinghy engine while in the davits). Wil put on a proper patch and looked for a leak we have had since the dinghy was new (water gets between the fiberglass floor panels). Unfortunately, Wil could not find the leak. He had to dinghy back to us in 24 hours.
Monday night Dick and Pat (former owners of another Saga 43 named HANAIAH) met Keith, Rose, Carl and I for dinner. With Dick and Pat were their cruising friends Don and Kathleen (ANDIAMO). The six of us went to the M & M Cafe. The last time we saw Dick and Pat was in Beaufort, SC in November of 2007. Dick and Pat live in New Bern. It appears that life on land is good for them--they both look healthy and relaxed.
Below on the left is a picture of Dick and Pat who we met through the Saga owners group. Crossed the gulfstream and traveled to Lucaya on the Grand Bahama with Dick and Pat. We miss cruising with them but they are enjoying life on land in New Bern. While the dinghy and the sail were off being repaired, Carl did a little routine maintenance on the a couple winches.
Rose and Keith left on Tuesday opening up the second free dock. CAMELOT' delayed their departure until Judy and Hans (WISPURR V) arrived. to take their place. Judy likes to walk so the two of us would walk around town together. One morning while enjoying coffee at The Bean, we bumped into Pam (BLACKFOOT) who told us about a cruiser get-together at the local pizza place on Wednesday night. Later in the coffee shop we we saw Donna (BLUE JACKET) , Bonnie (KOKOMO) and Bentley (SALTY PAWS) who also invited us to the get-together. In another couple minutes in walks Dave and Mary (MON AMIE) Dave and Mary were meeting Roger and Kathy (TALISMAN) for lunch so we got to say hi to them one more time (had already seen Roger and Kathy in Annapolis and in Deltaville). Wednesday night we had a great time at the pizza get together--a great place to catch up with cruisers you haven't seen for some time. Later Wednesday evening, Gil and Laura delivered the repaired sail. In the morning we put the sail back on---we are ready to continue moving south.
One day, Judy (WHISPURR V) and I walked around town with our cameras. The first two pictures are sculptures of mermaids located at two different houses. You need some background information to appreciate the third picture. In the past, more than 20 artesian wells provided fresh spring water to Oriental into the 1960's. Residents built concrete benches surrounding this artesian well in the 1920's. Locals gathered her in the shade of the 200 year old Willow Oak tree to catch up on town chatter. Now the locals go to "the bean" for the town chatter!!!
The last three pictures were taken at the Cruiser Pizza Get-Together. Pizza pictures include Donna and Jerry (BLUE JACKET), Roger (KOKOMO), Dave and Kathy (DYAD), Mimi and Sam (NO AGENDA) , Dave and Mary (MON AMIE) and Carl.
From Oriental we motored to Beaufort, NC for the night anchoring near the Coast Guard Station next to MON AMIE (Dave and Mary). Dave and Mary invited us over for Happy Hour when we discussed the next day's travel plans. We were headed to Charleston while Dave and Mary were headed to Beaufort, SC. Our anchor was up by 5:45 AM. It looked like it would be a be a great day for sailing but it turned into another motoring day. The wind was out of the north at 15-20 knots directly behind us. By the time we turned out of the channel to set our course, the wind started to moderate. By early afternoon the wind was down to 10 knots and 5 knots by 5 PM. Enjoyed four dolphin shows--the best one was in the morning when about two dozen dolphins were playing at DISCOVERY's bow for about 45 minutes. On my night watch around 10:00 PM, under a full moon, something passed under the boat---bump, bump, bump with a final BUMP. I quickly put the boat in neutral while Carl rushed out into the cockpit. Both of thought whatever it was had a line that caught on the prop. Put the boat in reverse so the line cutter would work to cut the line. The boat in forward operated "normally" that is at the same rpm's the boat moved at the same speed through the water and there was no detectable vibration. However, in reverse the feathering prop did not engage consistently (it did a few times). For my benefit, Carl checked the shaft to make sure it was rotating in reverse and he checked the stuffing box for any leaks. At daybreak we were outside Charleston. Carl wanted to put on his wetsuit and use his mask and snorkel to check the prop. He thought was it was easier to do out in the ocean than at anchor where he would have less visibility and have to deal with a fast current. I was opposed to his getting in the water at sea but was overruled. Tied a line securely to his waist and watched him go in. He had a good view of the prop (engine was off) and could not see any lines or anything unusual. We continued into Charleston where we anchored. At slack water Carl went into the water again--exact same assessment (looks normal ). Rick on (SOJOURNER) came over to our boat while Carl was in the water because I wanted someone to be near by "just in case".
In Charleston we went out for dinner with Tom & Sandy (ANANIA) and Doug & Sheri (BAD BOY). BAD BOY and ANANIA were at the city marina so they had access to the shuttle which we rode downtown. Walked around the city market then went for dinner After dinner we walked around downtown--our plan was to walk back to the marina but we saw the shuttle go by so we flagged it down to catch a ride.
On the left is a picture of baskets that are sold at numerous stands in the Charleston Market. On the right is a picture of Doug, Sheri, Carl and Sandy taken during dinner at the Southend Brewery and Smokehouse.
Decided to follow the ICW because of southerly winds. The section of the ICW between Charleston and Beaufort, SC has a few trouble spots. The Fenwick Cut is 5.5 to 6 feet at low tide and the Ashepoo Coosaw Cut is less than that. There is about 7 feet of tide so you can get almost everywhere at high tide. We anchored at mile marker 509 on the Edisto River --just around the corner from Fenwick Cut so in the morning we could pass through on a rising tide. Had a nice dinner in the cockpit. Heard thunder rumbling in the distance so I turned on the VHF radio to listen to the weather. Carl, in the meantime, went to the V-Berth to read. The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for several counties so I hauled out my Rand McNally map to find those specific counties. We were in one of them. It appeared that most of the weather was to the north of us. However, around 7:00 PM a severe thunderstorm area was in effect for our location. The National Weather Service warning included 40 knot wind, nickel size hail, lightning and the possible formation of tornados until 8:00 PM which was later extended to 9:00 PM. We did not have much wind except when the squall line reached us it was windy for just a few minutes, no hail, lots of rain and incredible lightning. Both Carl and I commented to each other that we had never seen anything like it in our entire life. So many strikes for at least 40 minutes. Carl was so concerned about the lightning strikes he had me hang out in the head (very few metal objects in there) while he stayed in the back stateroom. It was finally quiet around 9:30 although there was still some lightning around when I woke up at 1:00 AM and a few flashes east of us in the morning. What a lightning show.
Lifted anchor and underway by 7:30 AM. Passed through the Fenwick and Ashepoo Coosaw Cut with no problems. If we would have run aground there was enough tide to float the boat! Arrived at the bridge just north of Beaufort at 11:10 which is 10 minutes too late. Since wemissed the 11:00 opening, the bridge did not open again until 1:0). Dropped anchor on the north side of the bridge to wait-- had lunch and read until the bridge opened. After the bridge opened at 1:00 we passed through and dropped anchor just south of the marina. Planned to go into town in a couple hours. However, we heard MON AMIE (Dave and Mary) talking on VHF radio to another boat about going to Savannah the next morning. Their plan was to make the 3:00 PM bridge and then go anchor over by Paris Island in Cowen Creek that evening. We called them and asked if they would mind if we tagged along. Followed them to Cowen Creek for the night. Dave and Mary came over for Happy Hour.
Savannah is generally oout of the way so most cruisers skip it. It is quite a distance up the river to the city and the city dock doesn't take reservations. You don't want to go up the river and then not have a dock to tie to because there is no place to anchor. Mary had called the two marinas in Savannah for reservations for both boats but did not receive a call back. She talked to the lady who manages the city dock---there was room for two boats but first come, first serve.We were hoping to get those two open spots It was a beautiful day for motoring the ICW and luck was with us. The two spots on the city dock were still open when we arrived. Dave and Mary went in first and then helped us squeeze it. It was a very tight fit because the Barquentine 150 foot schooner, PEACEMAKER, was tied to the same dock. Went out for dinner that evening. The following morning, Carl caught a bus headed to West Marine to buy a new pump for our head. In the afternoon I took a tour of the historic district on one of the trolleys.
On the left is Dave & Mary (MON AMIE) and Carl and I at Fiddler's Crab House. The picture on the right was taken to show how close the commercial traffic passed by us.
The next five pictures were taken on the trolley tour. There are so many beautiful house in the historic district. Below are just three of them. The first picture was used for the movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"--it is where Jim Williams lived. I don't know anything specific about the other two pictures other than I liked the homes. The last two pictures show a garden and one of the 22 park-like squares.
The pictures below were taken on River Street where DISCOVERY and Mon Amie was tied to the city dock. The picture on the left shows an iron bridge where the Factors (Cotton Brokers) would stand to view the cotton as it arrived to determine what cotton to buy. The picture on the right shows the cotton warehouses that now contain various shops and restaurants on the first two levels and then condominiums on the upper levels.
The highlight of our visit to Savannah for Carl was the opportunity to tour the schooner PEACEMAKER. For more information about the PEACEMAKER see www.peacemakermarine.com
The following pictures were taken onboard PEACEMAKER. Top left is me sitting on the sofa in the main salon. Top right is the dining room table which was bolted to the floor. I don't know what they do with the chairs while underway. Middle left show me standing in the doorway of the Captain's quarters. Middle right is picture taken of the head--yes it has a bidet. Bottom left is the galley. Boy would I love a galley like that. Bottom right shows the stainglass in the door that separates the galley/bar from the main salon.
Tours of the PEACEMAKER are free to the public. They do have a container at the exit for donations. Crew members make pottery and offer it for sale The ship has two pottery wheels on the main deck and a kiln below deck. On the top left are two women working on the wheel. The picture on the top right is one of the bowls that was for sale. Bottom left is a picture of the schooner and on the bottom right is DISCOVERY, MON AMIE and PEACEMAKER all tied to the city dock.
A little about Savannah---Savannah was established in 1773 by James Edward Oglethorpe, a British general, and philanthropist. Oglethorpe and his fellow trustees were granted a royal charter for the area between the Savannah and Altamaha rivers on June 9, 1732. Georgia was to serve as a buffer between Britain's South Carolina and Spain's Florida who were bitter enemies. As a social reformer, it was Oglethorpe's idea that British debtors should be released from prison and sent to Georgia. This would theoretically rid Britain of its so-called undesirable elements, however, it was Britain's "worthy poor" whom Oglethorpe wanted in Georgia. Few debtors ended up in Georgia. The colonists included many Scots whose pioneering skills assisted the colony, and many of Georgia's new settlers consisted of poor English tradesmen, artisans and religious refugees from Switzerland, France and Germany, as well as a number of Jewish refugees. The colony's charter provided for acceptance of all religions except Roman Catholicism (Papist equated to being a sympathizer with Spain). Another goal of Oglethorpe was to establish a communal garden where different crops would be tested to determine what crops would grow in Georgia. Oglethorpe banned slavery in Georgia (not because he saw a problem with one person owning another but because he did not like the affect on the owner---not being busy led to other vices). Oglethorpe also banned the practice of law believing lawyers created discontent between people. If there was a legal issue the individual had to deal with it before a judge. The third prohibition was no rum or strong spirits. Oglethorpe left the colony to fight the Spanish and while he was gone I guess there was a bit of a revolution. The prohibition on slavery and spirits was ignored. Some settlers saw Oglethorpe as misguided so they used the opportunity to flee to South Carolina which was less restrictive. Eventually Oglethorpe's experiment was was declared a total failure and he lost his charter.
Today Savannah is an industrial center and an important Atlantic seaport. It is the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low (founder of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America), the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences (one of the South's first public museums), the First African Baptist Church (one of the oldest African American Baptist congregations in the United States), Temple Mickve Israel (the third-oldest synagogue in America), and the Central of Georgia Railway roundhouse complex (the oldest standing antebellum rail facility in America). The Savannah Victorian Historic District and 22 parklike squares, is one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States. Note--Originally Savannah had 24 squares (Oglethorpe's design) but over the years, two squares were lost to city development while the other 22 remain and add to the city's beauty.
Left the dock at Savannah around 1:00 PM close to slack water. Oh, that current is wicked. Started down the ICW motoring to Thunderbolt for fuel and then to the Herb River to anchor for the night. Used the Wassaw Sound inlet to make a run outside to Fernandina Beach, Florida. This inlet is marked but gets down to 11-12 feet at the very outside of the channel--until then it is plenty deep and aided with buoys. Wind was from the northeast around 15 knots with gusts. Sailed for 3 to 3.5 hours until the wind dropped so the iron jenny was fired up. Entered the St. Mary's channel in the dark---there are so, so many red and green flashing lights. Really had to concentrate on which red and green was the closest. Had my chart plotter to help me stay close to the center of the channel plus Carl assisting whenever needed. We anchored at 9:35 PM for the night---it was so quiet and peaceful. In the morning we moved to the main anchorage in Fernandina Beach.
We have passed by Fernandina several times over the past years without stopping. So glad we went into town. On our way into town I noticed PACKET INN (Gary and Mary) so we stopped to chat with them. Gary and Mary had arrived sometime after midnight having come from Beaufort, SC. Back to Fernandina--it is really a cute and pretty town. Walked around and decided to have lunch before getting back to the boat. Gary and Mary came over for Happy Hour. When they left, we got the boat ready for another run on the outside.
Happy Halloween from Broomhilda the witch and me!
October---the start of the 2010/2011 cruising season. Also some new experiences for me--bringing the boat into an inlet in the dark (St. Mary's) and using an inlet that is not Class A or used by commercial vessels (Wassaw Sound). We traveled 670 nautical miles and had the opportunity to see friends we have met on the water in previous years. Oh, I should mention that I celebrated my birthday in Savannah--a city I have wanted to visit for 5 years.
November 4, 2010