Friday, July 10, 2015

Spending the 4th of July "in the middle of nowhere"

Redbird Creek anchorage

Savannah to "a remote anchorage south of here" & my birthday:  The moron at the Office Max gave the Captain the wrong ink cartridge (I even sent him with a picture), so I'm up early showering, grabbing the crew car and running more errands (because the Captain says he doesn't like driving anymore.  From the guy who didn't want to sell his Mini Cooper.  Starbucks!) before our scheduled 10:00 am departure.  We leave on schedule (a/c off, cable tv disconnect.  BOOO!) with the Captain at the helm.  More zig-zagging down rivers and cuts today and we make our way towards Brunswick, GA.  The big news was passing through Hell's Gate, a shoaling area that is only 3 ft at low tide.  Many ICW'ers plan their arrival around this section, which is shallow even for us.  (We'll pass a Benetteau going the other way that, according the our chartplotter,  appeared to run aground in Hell's Gate!)   

As we approach Redbird Creek anchorage, the Captain decides the throw a frozen pizza in the oven for lunch while we're still moving (and we've got a guaranteed breeze through the hatches).  When we dropped anchored, I reminded the Captain to put an float on the anchor, "because Fatty said so."  This helped me visualize where the anchor was and was even more educational for the Captain.  "The anchor isn't where you think it is when you swing around with the current."  It's rarely in front of the boat.  In Georgia, we're seeing 8 ft tides and and our anchorage is constantly on the way up or down.  Our new saying is, "Where in the world is the anchor now?"

The Captain makes chicken stir fry for dinner served with my favorite Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc.  No renting or streaming movies out here so we broke down and bought a movie at WalMart--American Sniper.  Lows are in the 70's this week, so there was a nice breeze in the hatch over our berth.

Day 1:  A slow day.  Lounging in the cockpit to read.  Captain removes the last of the life line covers.  Lunch is leftovers.  At 3:00 pm, we start the generator, crank up A/C and retire down below to continue rewatching Lost.  Tuna wraps for dinner.

Day 2 4th of July:  I think the Captain is getting a little antsy.  There is a lack of wildlife here--no dolphins, no alligators, no pelicans--and as much as I enjoy remote anchorages, no people watching.  He does some research and decides we could dinghy 2.8 miles up to the Ft. McAllister Historic area.  They have a boat ramp and activities for the 4th.  (It took us a total of 3:30:  30 minute dinghy ride, walked over to and around the fort for 2:45, then 15 dinghy ride back with the tide).

First Mate hijacking a boat at the Fort
The Captain at Fort McAllister

We are following the Civil War history south and again, this Fort is unique.  An earthen fort that protected Savannah, it held off the Union Navy (longer than Ft Sumter) and finally fell to Sherman's Army (although how they made it here through the marshes we don't know).  I'm still fascinated to learn about the Naval side of the war.  This Fort was later bought by Henry Ford, who started the preservation and now belongs to the State of Georgia. There are even several references throughout the museum and in the film, about how bad the bugs were (they call them sandflies, we call them no-see-ums).

The Captain is under the impression there was supposed to be food, so I stop at the Museum and ask ("No, just kettle corn.  We try to keep it authentic."  "OK, just these two frozen snickers bars then...").  He was also hoping for ice, but we're at least 30 minutes away from the boat so....

As we near the boat dock, my iphone anchor alarm goes off.  We scramble to the dinghy to find the cork fell out and it is 1/4 full of water.  (Another interesting psychology experiment.  2 people stop and offer to help, the rest just stand and watch.)  With the current in our favor, we're back to Odin quickly (right where we left him)--the alarm still going off below while the cat sleeps.  I guess false alarms are better than the previous app that NEVER went off, even when we were dragging.

We hang out in the cockpit reading until I request the generator & A/C so I can cook dinner.  Red Beans & Rice in the pressure cooker.  Big Bang Theory marathon while the afternoon thunderstorms roll through.  We're in bed early, but can hear (not see) fireworks nearby.
Crescent River anchorage

Redbird anchorage to Crescent River anchorage:  We decided we're bored and ready to try a new anchorage, despite the holiday weekend.  We have 70 miles to Brunswick so the Captain picks an anchorage approximately 30 miles away and we eventually pull up anchor about 9:10 am.  Part of the reason is our anchor float disappeared yesterday afternoon and the curiosity is killing us.  I say it's gone.  Captain says it's wrapped around the anchor chain.  I bet him dinner.  He's correct (I took it gracefully & heated up leftovers!).  We decide, as educational as that was, it was also a little risky.  That float could have "tripped" our anchor and caused us to drag.  We'll try monofilament and a fishing float next time.  The biting horse flies are out in earnest this morning (even the DEET spray and citronella candle don't deter them), so the First Mate stays at the helm for 2 hours while the Captain kills as many as he can.

35 kts on the river
We spot a the biggest pod of dolphins yet, at least 12, as we near St Catherine's inlet.  Around noon, we see three more sailboats and realize we've been off the grid for several days.  Cheese and crackers for lunch.  We arrive at our anchorage and after a little back and forth (wind vs current, are we too close to the crab pots or the bank?), finally drop anchor just inside a row of crab pots.  As soon as we get settled in a storm rolls through, and then the Captain says, "look at your radar.  It's getting really black over there."  Yep, we a decent size storm rolled through.  We saw 35 kts and white caps on the river (and yes, we were far enough from the bank, but we dropped an engine in the water, just in case).  The best part was that it cooled everything off and as soon as we could open hatches, I climbed into bed--until the Captain said, "Rainbow."  I peeked out the hatch and considered laying back down when I heard, "Sunset."  Dang it!  I'M UP!  (Full rainbow that I couldn't get a picture of and then a partial second rainbow.  It hung there for several minutes!)

Crescent River rainbow

Sunset at Crescent River anchorage

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