Title: View of the new Cooper River bridge in Charleston from the docks of the Charleston Maritime Center. Yikes, we have four alternative title shots this time.
November 16, 2006 - Charleston, South Carolina
November 18, 2006 - Cumberland Island, Georgia
Lagging behind as usual, we were the last boat of the flotilla to enter the St. Marys Inlet, right as a nuclear submarine from Kings Bay was coming out. One whistle or two, Captain? Of course, we didn't actually get to talk to the submarine. A Coast Guard boat escorted us along the side of the channel, keeping their boat between us and the sub while guardsmen stood ready at the machine guns on the fore and aft decks. All the other overnight boats were anchored off the Sea Camp dock at Cumberland Island when we came by, but our destination was another five miles further: Plum Orchard on the Brickhill River. We learned from talking with the trawler Ocean Pearl that they had seen six feet of water at the southern entrance to the Brickhill and the ICW, but we were an hour later getting there and the tide could easily have dropped another foot in that time. Worst of all, there was a 1.5 knot ebb current sweeping into the shallow water. I'd planned to nose in slowly and try to find a channel, but the stiff current would very likely have made any grounding permanent until the tide came back up.
We detoured ten miles around to the northern entrance of the Brickhill and arrived (eventually) at the Plum Orchard anchorage where five other boats were already in residence. Following a long series of highly efficient cell phone coordinations, my sister Krissy and husband Robert met us en route in their skiff and later gave us all a lift ashore. I was dead on my feet after the long night but enjoyed a walk around the tremendous yet somewhat neglected mansion, the largest of the homes that Lucy Carnegie built for her children on the island.
Photos: (1) The Plum Orchard mansion is huge (it doesn't fit well into a vertical photo...in fact it doesn't even fit horizontally unless you back up about a quarter mile). (2) Plum Orchard Anchorage.
November 19, 2006 - St. Marys, Georgia
We motored into St. Marys, stopping to tow Drifter upriver for a ways while they sorted out an engine problem. Dave from Destiny came over to welcome us and tell us about the Thanksgiving Feast on Thursday. Later, thanks to Krissy and Robert's chauffeur service, we had a very productive afternoon of laundry, a Chinese buffet and shopping for propane, light bulbs, and fuel filters. The weather was perfect today but it will be getting colder and very windy by tomorrow night.
Photos: The waterfront park in St. Marys is a wonderful and popular place by day or night.
November 20, 2006 - St. Marys, Georgia
November 22, 2006 - St. Marys, Georgia
Krissy and Robert were kind enough to take us to dinner with Robert's mother last night, and we also enjoyed lunch with Ron and Debbie on Drifter. It's been cold and rainy but the temperature should come back up as the winds drop in the next couple of days. Unfortunately there's been little sun for our solar panels. I'm trying to avoid running the engine but we may have to do so later today; we'll want hot showers eventually, anyway. The engine parts have been ordered and should be here Friday.
November 24, 2006 - St. Marys, Georgia
This morning I attended a small nautical flea market where I attempted to get rid of a small 12 volt wet/dry vac that we haven't used in long a while. We needed to free up the space. As I might have known, I came back carrying not just the wet/dry vac plus several new items. The good news was that the parts for the engine had arrived so I went back to the boat and started working. About eight hours later, I had installed over a thousand dollars worth of parts: a new freshwater circulation pump and three new motor mounts. I'd replaced one mount previously so now we've got a complete set. You have to take off the freshwater pump to get to one of the mounts anyway, so it made sense to do it all at once.
Annie and I have been trying to decide whether to extend or curtail our cruise (see Whither Next), but as of tonight--pending changes tomorrow--we are planning to spend the winter in Florida and go back to Chattanooga in May.
Photos: Laura hangs out after the big meal with Dave from Destiny, along with Allie and Chuck from Kairos.
November 26, 2006 - Cumberland Island, Georgia
In the morning I untangled the two anchor rodes and after a hearty breakfast we went ashore again. Cumberland Island is a wonderful place, with twisting live oaks draped in Spanish moss, armadillos poking through the underbrush, ruins of the Carnegie era standing vigil as wild horses quietly graze where gardens once stood.
Photos: (1) Walking down Coleman Avenue towards the Dungeness. In the 1800's you'd see horse-drawn carriages here. (2) Scoping out Beach Creek from the boardwalk. (3) Not long after this picture, Laura started tying things, like horseshoe crab tails, to the kite to see if it would still fly. (4) Abandoned fishing net and other debris on the beach--very uncool for turtles and other marine creatures.
November 28, 2006 - St. Marys, Georgia
Yesterday was also an interesting day as Robert came to take us to dinner at a Japanese steakhouse and over to the evil Big Boxmart for a massive shopping spree. We've certainly enjoyed our stay here in St. Marys. The nice anchorage, the playground, the waterfront park, high speed Internet at the Welcome Center, a water spigot, a favorite relative to drive us around in search of 12 volt light bulbs...it's these things that add to the pleasant memories of a very cruiser-friendly town.
Photos: (1) The Presbyterian Church in St. Marys was predestined to be founded back in the early 1800's. (2) Laura wanted to check with Santa about the fancy stuffed cat toy she had seen in town. No need--I had already e-mailed him. (3) Some of the crowd near the stage following the parade. (4) Orange Hall is considered one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in America. I just thought it looked pretty with all the lights.
November 29, 2006 - Fernandina Beach, Georgia
Photos: (1) The Fernandina Beach downtown is very nice, with many buildings dating back to the 1800's. We picked up a free color guide to the walking tour at the Welcome Center just across from the waterfront. (2) Laura never approaches a new playground at anything less than a run.