|We'll see this bridge on the horizon ALL DAY!|
We wanted to cover the 40 miles that would take us all the way into Brunswick, so we were pulling up anchor by 7:30 am to catch the rising tide. It was a nice cool morning with a low overcast and a breeze (and didn't heat up until after 2:00 pm--88F feels good after 95!) The biting, Georgia horseflies didn't reappear until about 9:30 am, and when I found the second fly swatter, it was GAME ON! The Captain had several bites around his ankles from yesterday, and now was "only going for the trophy flies, not the little ones." My specialty became swatting them out of the air, but you have to hit them at least twice or they get up and fly away. BASTARDS! (Trying to hold a fly swatter in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other, while at the helm and navigating Georgia rivers is a little tricky.) And yes, navigation is a little tricky here. We have a chartplotter and Garmin Blue Chart on my iPad, but the route into the Isle of Hope/Savannah was a little confusing and the arrival into Brunswick is also a little confusing. The ICW is marked as a pink line, but the morning competition is to see who can get closest to our actual mileage after loading a route (this morning, it took the Captain 3 tries. Don't worry. He doesn't read the blog!)
We did get in a little motor sailing as we headed up the Sapelo Sound. We turned into a 1.5 kt current so both engines were running full power. That should give us 6 kts, but we were only doing 4.5. The First Mate suggested unfurling the genoa since we had a 90 degree crosswind, perfect for a beam reach with 5 miles before the next turn. We jumped up to 5.3ish! ("I was thinking the same thing." Yeah, but I said it first, so I get credit for that one!)
Wildlife report: one monster fish jumped out of the water--at least 2 ft long. A mama and baby dolphin. In the Sapelo Sound, the largest pod I've seen yet--at least 12. Oh, and the pelicans are back. Love the pelicans.
And shrimp boats--this Missouri girl is fascinated by the shrimp boats and many of them wave before I do (because I'm taking pictures!)
First Mate is at the helm as we enter St. Simon Sound. In my former life, we used to fly into St. Simons airport. I've been hearing airplanes and as I peek around the end of the island, I can spot the tower of the airport. I can clearly visualize this Sound from the air. It was the first thing you could spot as you joined the instrument approach--to a short runway I HATED! I also recall, our friends on Kintala anchoring right under the approach path as they headed north.
We spotted the Brunswick Bridge at 10:30 am in the morning. We weren't sure what it was, but after some zig-zagging, passed underneath it at 2:30 pm. With a 185 ft clearance, it's the biggest one we've seen. (And of course, we're thinking, "Does it have a bike lane? I want to ride across that!")
We hail the marina on the radio and get excellent instructions to an inner slip. Sherrie meets us on the dock and not only grabs lines, but also put on a spring line before the Captain shut off the engines. Our new marina SOP: shore power connected, a/c installed, check in at the office, head for the nearest pub, nap.
I have mixed feelings as we near Brunswick. It's fun to revisit places that I used to fly into. However, our secret hope was to make it all the way to the Bahama's before our insurance/hurricane deadline of July 15th. The good news is we had fun exploring on the way down the coast. The bad news is we didn't make it to the Bahamas. The Captain had Brunswick on the short list of places we could stop if we didn't make it that far. It's a hurricane hole. It's a highly rated liveaboard marina. They also have a lift and boatyard if we decided to haul out and do some bottom work. However, the longest we've sat in one place was Oriental, NC for a week. We both usually get antsy after 2-3 days, UNLESS there is something to keep us occupied. Well, they have wine tastings 3 days a week, free beer keg on Saturday and "the rest is on the activities calendar." There's an activity calendar?! I was shocked when the Captain grabbed it out of my hand! So we pay for 2 days and walk through town (several restaurants, library, bakery with gf, health food store, coffee shop with some chain stores within biking distance) and check out the showers. By morning, we've decided that we will probably stay a month (which could become 2). I immediately start shopping for all the things that we couldn't get shipped in less than 5 days--our normal mail stop. (New anchor on the way!) I was also getting a little frustrated because it's hard to cook on a boat when it's 85F inside. With the a/c running, I could make muffins! Free laundry (that's just crazy). Most importantly, the Tour de France is on. If we can't get NBC sports, at least we've got some fast wifi to stream the recaps.
We'd been advised to skip over Georgia. With all the zig zags, it's significantly shorter to go offshore. Also, there are very few marinas/provisioning stops between Savannah & Brunswick. However, the winds still aren't in our favor (blowing hard out of the south, great if you're headed north). We are also interested in seeing Jekyll Island, St. Simons and Cumberland Island.