Apr 16/17, Day 143 /144 Sweet Georgia Brown

Well we’ve still not gotten to daily posting, but by the time you dock (or anchor), check out the town and have a few cocktails, the blogging becomes a bit more complex; not an excuse, just reality! We’re now anchored off Cumberland Island (off the coast of Georgia!) having spent the previous night at St Augustine Municipal Marina. St Augustine is the oldest town in the US with plenty of historical buildings and interesting things to see. Of course, there’s plenty of t-shirt shops, ice cream stands, restaurants, and bars as well.

 

4-17 fort
The old St Augustine Fort was in use until early 20th Century.

 

B had a mega headache when we arrived at St Augustine so N got a bike off the bow and headed out in search of aspirin. Unfortunately, the town was having their Easter parade so it was packed and many streets were closed. N probably could have joined the parade as a clown on his goofy looking folding bike if he’d had a costume. As it was he made a dash across the parade route between horses and floats and pedaled to the drugstore and back.

 

4-17 parade
Not sure what conquistadores have to do with the eggs, rabbits and the joys of Easter, but they blocked the way to the aspirin!

Boats are now beginning to funnel into the ICW heading north.

 

4-17 trees 2
Interesting to see the shoreline and trees evolve from Florida to Georgia.

 

 

4-17 dock
You’ve got to blow up this pic to get the point, but check out the SUPER long dock from the house to the boat (boat is on left). You have to really want to go boating to make that hike and imagine bringing the beer! BTW…. that dock length was not unique, there’s lots of them.

 

Whereas boats were sprinkled all over Florida, the ICW is the only protected passage north and now is the season to move so we’re seeing some boats over and over and end up passing them every day. It gets bad because we can’t go efficiently at 15 knots (and our wake is HUGE at that speed), but people don’t seem to want to slow down to 3 to let us pass at 7 so we zoom by and hope not to see them at the next marina!

 

4-17 wake
Believe me, our wake is larger if we go slower. OK, we could go idle speed and spend the rest of our lives getting to North Carolina I guess.

 

We did see one lady on a 65’ Marlow (we’d passed them on three successive days) later at the marina and she told us off for passing in a no wake zone. We never saw any no wake zone posted or a notation on the chart and we certainly had to plow through their monster wake to get past so not sure what the issue was there. (Note to Boaters on ICW: if you’re reading this blog and we passed you at speed, we apologize, but our wake is much smaller at 25mph than it is at 10-12mph and we’d never have gotten by you at 8mph…. we tried to give you as wide a berth as possible.)

 

Enough of that! The boat is running great now that N drained off what had to have been nearly two quarts of excess oil the guy put in the engine at the last service. N had checked it and complained, but no problem, don’t worry the guy said. Gee, OK, we’ll listen to that versus simply following the guidance of the manufacturer who designed and built the motor. We ran it for a few days loaded with oil, but N couldn’t stand it anymore so he drained some out and we’re running great.

 

4-17 boat
We’re both reading Michner’s Chesapeake in advance of getting there so it was sort of cool to see this type of vessel which is referred to often in the book.

 

We’re surprised how nice it is to be off the more open ocean and back into the more protected waters of the ICW.

 

4-17 channel
The water is salty, but we’re liking the scenery and the easier going

 

The latter really is a throwback to our days on the river. Still gotta follow the channel markers, but there’s plenty of water and we’re close enough to shore see everything.

 

4-17 mark
The expression you get as you sneak by a channel marker (see green square)after someone looks up and says “GET BACK IN THE CHANNEL!”

 

Also, while there are still some fantastic properties along the route, they just don’t seem to be as grotesquely ostentatious as those further south…. plus, the boats are becoming more reasonably sized. In fact, the other day we were at a dock with multiple sub 30’ Bayliners! Our people! Last night we were docked across from the WN registered Ranger Tug owned by that guy who’d downsized from a 61’ Ocean Alexander. We’d met him many weeks ago at Marathon, but goes to show how paths cross and re-cross down here. 

 

4-17 beach
Check it out! The Atlantic Ocean side of Cumberland Island! Amazing walking beach as far as the eye could see.

 

 

4-17 trees
We anchored of the ICW and walked this trail across the island to the beach….. Freaky trees!

 

 

4-17 selfie
Yes, we BOTH made the walk!

 

 

4-17 horse
Cumberland Island was a must stop for B as she wanted to see the famous wild horses. No sightings yet, but we can confirm they are in the area!

 

 

4-17 cigar
Later…. back on board N seemed oblivious to the encroaching shoal (maybe if he used just one pair of glasses he’d see it!). As it turns out we had gambled a bit too aggressively on our anchor spot. We didn’t actually get beached, but we had tilted up our engine and did have to gently power off….. that’s why we like I/O’s… less responsibility!

 

We’re off to Jekyll Island tomorrow as we continue our northward push towards Charleston.

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