Tuesday, February 2, 2021


It is colder and windier than it should be, and it has been that way for longer than usual.  I worked on the Schooner Virginia for a few hours this morning but when I could see my breath better than I could feel my finger tips I knew that I was done for the day.

I am getting much appreciated suggestions from friends for places to visit on my way south.  Curt highly recommends Jekyll Island which is one of the Georgia Sea Islands.  Bobby, who sails the Pathfinder LAGNIAPPE suggests Fernandina Beach at the north end of Amelia Island, Florida.  Visiting Fernandina Beach on google maps brought up the photograph above.  The old downtown looks lovely.  The water beyond even lovelier.  Below is the corresponding chart from Skipper Bob's Anchorages Along the Intracoastal Waterway.  The Amelia River runs along the waterfront and you can see the two marsh islands shown on the chart, plus Lanceford Creek and Bells River in the distance.  Beautiful! 

 I have the month of March to sail.  I do not know how far I will sail or for how long.  Points for ending the sail require three things:  a marina where I can leave SPARTINA for at least one night, a ramp nearby to haul the boat and easy access to an Amtrak station to get back to my jeep/trailer in Charleston.  I have found those places in Thunderbolt, Georgia, just south of Savannah; Brunswick, Georgia; Jacksonville, Florida and Palatka, Florida, a ways down the St. John's River.  So plenty of options there.

A package of self-heating OMEALS arrived last night, rounding out my dinners, mostly Mountain House freeze dried meals, for the trip.

Less than four weeks to go.


Bill T. said...

My wife and I just visited Jekyll Island for a few days back in September for our anniversary. Sadly, we were there for a tropical storm, so we didn't get much good weather - until the day we were leaving, of course! But it is a very neat place with a lot of interesting history. The Federal Reserve was created by an assemblage of the uber-rich while meeting at their "cottages" at the Jekyll Island Club. There's also a sea turtle rescue that you can visit.

Tom said...

Steve, sounds like a very exciting adventure, and looking forward to reading your beloved logs. That being said, I'm glad that you're planning yourself plenty of time for your trip and doing it one-way only. You'll be dealing with three things that I don't see in your earlier logs on this site - significant tides, current, and shoaling. With time in hand, you won't be tempted to sail into dicey situations, take plenty of good books!

And bug spray, I hear that the no-see-um gnats can be fierce. You'll have to treat the mesh on your bivy sac, otherwise they'll get through. Since the mesh is right by your face, you may not want to be using a toxic product, suggest you use a lotion, like Avon Skin-so-Soft. Too much surface tension for them to wriggle thru. And bring your mosquito coils... Hopefully your trick of anchoring a bit offshore works well.

Anonymous said...

I know you mentioned you have a chart book on a tablet, I would curious when the last time it was updated. With the past few years of Hurricanes I know some of the sand bars in the sounds have shifted,

Depending on how far inland you want to sail, there are many marinas on the ICW in Savannah, but you should not miss Isle of Hope Marina with the old mansions on the bluff.

The majority of the sea islands in GA are protected, either federally or state, but allow visitors on the islands. Wassaw is part of the NWR in Savannah, as well as Blackbeard. Ossabaw is part of the state WMA land and may have additional restrictions on visiting. Sapelo Island would be a good spot to visit, with is population of feral horses.

St. Simmons Islands is also and interesting spot, but you'll need to watch out for the Golden Ray operations going on in the sound.

Steve said...

Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions and advice. My charts are a year old, so they will be pretty good I think. I'll have to wait and see how many places I will stop to visit. I may just stop at the occasional marina, with IOH on the list, for fuel and water and, if it is midday, maybe lunch. We'll see. Tom, I don't have a lot of experience but I do have some with tides (6+ feet on Delaware Sound) and currents (4-5 knots at Kent Narrows and ocean city, plus any crossing of Hooper Straits with a running tide is interesting) and shoaling too at Cape Lookout and Core Sound where I have found shoals in the middle of well-marked channels and have also seen channel bouys sitting high and dry on sand banks. I think all three might be more common down south but, again, we'll see. Steve

Tom said...

Yes, the Delaware Bay/Sound is interesting... between fog, currents, traffic, and oyster middens (banks). That experience will serve you well in the Sea Isles. Most importantly, folks get in trouble when they are in a hurry. You're not in a hurry, so enjoy and stay safe!