I’m giddy with excitement to be back on the water!!! Although we didn’t plan an extended marina stay there are some definite advantages to marina life which made life easier for the 7 months we stayed in Stuart: No salt encrusted windows and outside surfaces, unlimited water, a car for errands, Wifi and a few TV stations, a pool and 3 restaurants, laundry room for larger items, electricity, super nice dockhands that bring us our packages, a clean interior almost devoid of bug carcasses. However, I’ll trade the easy life for the exciting life of traveling by boat any day, even when I have a touch of seasickness which I experienced on our overnight leg in the Atlantic.
When we finally tossed off the lines and left Stuart we cruised offshore 31.5 hours to Cumberland Island, the national seashore at the southern end of Georgia, which is spectacular. En route was had an unexpected treat of watching the launch of Space X’s Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral. Shortly after arrival at Cumberland we were hit by a storm with 40+k winds which typically would hit us on the bow since we were anchored. However, the strong current kept the hull perpendicular to the storm tipped the boat sideways. I was in the shower when it started and it was difficult to stay standing while washing my hair! The wind knocked over Scott’s bike that is mounted on the dance floor (aka upper deck) and unlocked a door under the fly bridge. In the first 10 days of this passage we had storms 8 days! This was another disadvantage to leaving so late in the season.
Hiking the paths on the island, seeing the wild horses, armadillo, deer and dolphins, walking the desolate beaches, and listening to the songs of the birds are all favorites of ours. Seeing one gigantic 300 year old Live Oak tree laden with Spanish Moss is a sight to behold but feeling the calm under the canopy of hundreds of Live Oak trees is ethereal…what a gem!
Every day as we migrate up the coast we are faced with the dilemma, and I do mean dilemma, of when and where are we going next. We, I really mean Scott, spends hours on this project. Scott was determined to stay off-shore all the way up to Southport. As you have already read, we only made it to Cumberland Island. After several hours of stewing we decided to stay inside the ICW and take a short jaunt during high tide to check out Jekyll Island. Along with My Way Too we enjoyed a golf cart ride around the island and I saw 9 deer during that short time. I’ve never seen so many deer in such a short amount of time in such a populated area in the middle of the afternoon! Cardinals also proliferated the island, including constant sightings right next to the dock office. We sat out the typical late afternoon storm in the marina restaurant and enjoyed a delicious dinner then ended out day with a lovely sunset.
We mistakenly stayed a second day at Jekyll thinking we would explore more of the island. Instead, Scott ended up spending too much time on planning the next leg of our trip…an overnighter off-shore to Southport, and then re-planning to Charleston, then re-planning to Georgetown. We woke the next morning to an e-mail from our weather guru saying we should choose a different plan! By then Scott was pulling his few remaining hairs out! So, we did exactly what Scott didn’t want to do…traveled the ICW, in particular the shallow waters of the Georgia ICW!
Our timing with water levels was impeccable and we had no problems going as far as Isle of Hope, near Savannah. This was an exhausting day with “feels like” temperatures over 104 and we didn’t finish tying up until 7:30 pm. The following day we made it to Beaufort, SC, and were lucky enough to spend the evening our friends, Anthony and Annette. Next up was an anchorage right next to Ft. Sumter in Charleston where we experienced a storm with 44+k winds. It was a fabulous anchorage because we didn’t budge one inch! Scott was stationed at the helm with both engines running just in case.
Back out into the big waters from the Ashley River to Winyah Bay Inlet and up the Waccammaw River to Wacca Wache marina at Murells Inlet, the seafood capital of South Carolina. Here we enjoyed a lovely evening with Scott’s cousin, David, and his wife, Stacie. Scott and David hadn’t seen each other in over 40 years so there was a lot of catching up to do! It was fun hearing the stories about their younger days.
Our original plan was to make North Carolina by July 1 but when we learned that Scott’s nephew and his 3 beautiful daughters would be at Bald Head for Father’s Day we accelerated our travels to see them. Therefore, we made it to NC in only 10.5 days instead of the 22 days we had allotted. Whew! We had a great time seeing Marc, Karley, Abbey, Hailey, and GEORGEANN, Hailey’s fabulous alert dog. GEORGEANN alerts Hailey to low insulin levels, retrieves her glucose meter and medication when she needs it, and anchors her anxiety. GEORGEANN and Hailey make a perfect certified client/dog team! To learn more about the wonderful organization that trains diabetic alert dogs for almost 2 years before turning them over to their handler or to make a donation: PAWS4PEOPLE.ORG/GIVE/HAILEY-EASON
Next goals: Norfolk by June 24 and then Solomon’s Island, MD by June 30…we have more people to see for which I am so very thankful!
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