Thursday, June 26, 2008

Jacksonville to Charleston, SC

From Jacksonville we went north heading to Brunswick. As we made the turn into Sister's Creek, which put us back on the ICW, we saw this sailboat with beautiful lines.

On the way through Kings Bay, St. Mary's we passed this submarine - looks small to me, but what do I know about subs! Neither of us could identify the flag it was flying - white with a red cross and what looked like a British flag in one quadrant. Any ideas?
We anchored that night just before St. Andrews sound. The wind was frisky on the way and Joe knew the crossing would not be comfortable, so we decided to wait until morning to do it.
We’d been traveling along with another trawler – Elizabeth. A younger couple had just purchased her and were taking her home to NY. They didn’t have much experience, didn’t know the area and only had paper charts. Since we were in Joe’s old stomping grounds he gave them some guidance along the way and they ended up anchoring near us and following us across the inlet.

Sunset at our ancorage behind Cumberland Island.

Sunrise over Cumberland Island for our early morning crossing of St. Andrews Sound.

This is the Cumberland Island Light. Cumberland Island is only accessible by boat and activities there are restricted to preserve the island. You may also remember, it as the place John Kennedy Jr. was married.

This is typical of the scenery along the way - I thought this tree was especially interesting.

We arrived at Brunswick Landing Marina Monday morning with the intention of staying about a week. Turns out it’s cheaper to pay for a month than a week so that’s what we paid for. We had use of a vehicle (thanks Andy!) so we helped the local economy a bit and then left on Thursday, by land, to go to Myrtle Beach for a retired US Park Police get together. We had a great weekend – lots of visiting with old friends and cohorts and some quality beach time for Punk. Rocky got to spend the weekend on St. Simon’s with a dog sitter that had a few pets of her own – three dachshunds, two big labs, a Dalmatian and a puggle (pug/beagle combo), and two cats. She and the dachshunds were willing to share a bed with Rocky, so he was happy.
If you haven't been to the Brunswick area, you may be surpised at the tides there - 7 to 10 feet. Notice the ramp leading to the floating dock. At high tide the ramp is at a slight angle, at low tide it can be rough walking up and down because of the steep slant.
We got back to Brunswick Sunday evening and kept extending our stay day by day – Joe was waiting for a part from West Marine and we were having so much fun visiting with old friends that it was hard to commit to a firm departure date. We did finally leave on Saturday the 7th of June. The weather was so good and winds calm that we decided to go off shore for the day. It was very relaxing – if a bit boring. By the time we came back in at Hilton Head it was getting close to sunset so we had to find a quick anchorage along the ICW. It turned out to not be the best location because it was in a fairly narrow area and there were boaters going by periodically all night long. They didn’t seem to be concerned about waking us at all – which means “waking” as in causing a large wave and also “waking” as in awakening sleeping people and dogs!
We started up the ICW, crossing under this impressive bridge to the island, but by the time we got to the north side of Hilton Head we decided to jump back off-shore as the temperatures were predicted to be in 90’s.
It was another great day on the ocean. We had a few moments of excitement when we could see something in the distance – some type of buoy or large crab pot float perhaps? We speculated for the ½ hour it took to reach it, but were surprised to find out it was a beach ball that had evidently taken off on its own. Didn't have the camera to capture that bit of excitement!
We also saw several pods of sting rays and some turtles. These are sting rays that you might be able to see below the surface. The turtles would float for a while, but as soon as they saw you they scrambled to dive back down. Never managed to get a picture.
Joe also had his rods out trolling for dinner most of the day – we had NY strip for dinner.

We came back in at Charleston. The ships in these port cities can be intimidating.

We tied up with one of our sister boats (Silver Queen) at the Cooper River Marina. Thanks to a free update of our computer navigation program – we were having computer navigation problems! We also had a little leak going to the air conditioner pump.
Neil, Silver Queen’s owner, was there awaiting a generator repair so we decided to take some time to deal with our issues and visit with him.
Rocky approved because he and Rio, Neil’s dog, get along great – they both mainly sleep.

We spent the week at Cooper River Marina with Neil and Rio. Joe and Neil took turns on the two boats working on various problems and Joe spent lots of time on the phone with tech support - even conversed in Russian with one of them! I guess I spent a lot of time reading – it’s all a blur to me now. The best part of our time there was when we decided to go together on a rental car and Neil treated us to dinner at Robert’s of Charleston. Thanks again, Neil – and wife Sheila for the recommendation. If you’re ever ready to splurge on a meal in Charleston – go there. It was the best dining experience we’ve ever had. Later in the week Joe found out how close Costco was, so there was another trip in the rental car. Thank goodness for the nice marina guy that came to the parking lot with a golf cart to transport all our purchases back to the boats!

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