May 7, 2013

Sailing the Outside to Fernandina - Post #10

One of the benefits of depending almost exclusively on sails
is that youll have the joy of working into the same anchorages that Columbus, Drake, Cook, and Nelson entered under sail alone.

Lin and Larry Pardey



April 24, 2013 
TRIP TO FERNANDINA VIA CUMBERLAND OUTSIDE


It's time to sail again.

Finally at 2 pm i got off from my boat slip and slithered out to sea.... there was an east wind dead on my nose so i motored all the way here to Jekyll.... 10.2 miles.... it took exactly 2 hours to get here, averaging 5 knots.... i was too pooped to sail today... I had one two many beers the night before... so the first order of the day after setting the anchor was a fine nap in the hamnmoock on the bow... so sweet... i think i drifting away for an hour there... 

This was my first trip using the "jack line"... see the red safety lines above.  I bought the military grade straps and REI and installed them myself.  The purpose is for clipping myself into them when I go on the deck .... using a heavy duty carabiner.... it's in case I slip and fall overboard, the jack lines will save me... or at least drag me on the outside of the boat till I can pull myself aboard or die trying.... at least, its comforting to know I won't fall overboard and into the abyss of the sea as Glory Days continues on without me.

then on make the most delicious steak kabobs on the new stern grilll.... yum.

how DO YOU spell success?.... early dinner by 7 allowed me time to set up the tender and motor into the island...man, it is so nice..... it's like its deserted ..... hardly anybody on the island at all... I found a nature trail and made my way to the surf finally.... tide was high... touched me toes in the Atlantic Ocean....... walked back, and low and behold there was a Dairy Queen right there in front of me... so i got a waffle cone, and life again is in perspective... meaning it is so good... i'm giddy... back to my trusty tender and Merc and motored back in the dark to Glory Days... patiently she waits.., i think she missed us... well, now she's all alight, and I'm about to turn in for a good rest for a big day of sailing tomorrow... thank you Jesue Christ, God Almighty, Universal Energy, oh Great Spirit for my life... I feel I am living the dream... only thing missing.

Here's some misc pics of Jekyll Island.... nice full moon on this particular night.

Walkway to the sea at dusk was invigorating... I had the beach all to myself.


April 25... Friday, I think... the next day, whatever...
The photo below is leaving Jekyll Island early the next morning and out to the open sea to sail the full length of Cumberland Island headed south.


Seeing porpoises has become a regular thing each day. They seem to be plentiful.  There's a real porpoise in their presence!  Sometimes, lying in bed, you can hear them pass by taking that big inhale and you know they are near.... they always have a smile and little ones tagging along Mom's side.

702.2 engine hours... 


I'd waited long and patiently to take my first sail on the "outside" of the ICW... the open sea... only to find calm seas and almost no wind....

the non existent wind finally opened up into a nice 10 knot breeze out of the south east, mostly south... Which meant some tacking was in order before finally restiung into a 3 hour tack that took me all the way to the jetties entrance into St. Mary's River.... quite the entry there... very well marked... saw no submarines, but they could've been under me i suppose... motored in here to Fernandiina and snagged the mooring pendent on the first pass... yay! settled in before wrestling with the Merc outboard that refused to start for some reason... ug.... cleaned the spark plug this morn tho and away we go.... Fern. is a quaint little town with cool shops and restaurants... only problem w/ the place is that it is surrounded by factories....if you are downwind of them, it can be a nosefull....

Entering the jetties of St. Mary's River... The chart says these can often be submerged so you really need to know where they are before you go buzzing into the river channel half cocked.


Fort Clinch on the port side as I enter the river channel.


It seems lots of these southern towns have paper mills like this... industry on the coast...


Men build some weird things, don't they? .... I mean, really?  I imagine the engineer for this ship loader must've played with leggo's as a kid... 

Now, here's the deal about a mooring ball.  It was my first time tying up to a mooring ball, but I am glad it all went so well.  After confirming w/ the marina, you are assigned a ball like this, mine was #6.  Then you ease up to it, once you've identified it among all the other boats tied to mooring balls.... and then you ease up even slower till you are on top of it, all the time dealing w/ a strong outgoing current.  Luckily, it went without a hitch (no pun intended) as I calmly hitched my bow line to the mooring ring as seen in this photo. 




Mooring ring


Once it's connected, you make this simple harness w/ your bow line, and wahlah!  you and there and it's time to relax... peaceful easy feeling.   The boat swings around on the ball, and it's basically like an anchor, but you don't have to pull it up when you leave... just untie the line and off you go....



these pics are my view from the comfort of the mooring ball... 




This chart pic shows the route I took today... heavenly.




Neighbors in the mooring field.
 




             WOW.... WHAT A DAY......at first  there was no wind... glassy seas... a little discouraged...... then suddenly, a light 10 knot breeze kicks in and i get t to stayt on the same tact for about 3 ours......then the jetties.... and into the St. Mary's.

In Fernandina, I wandered into a boat repair shop to pick up a spare spark plug... a man wearing a toupee and smoking a brown cigarette waited on me.... actually, he talked me ear off more nearly an hour.... that's ok tho... time is free... free is time... and i actually learned a few new facts about outboard motors.

now back to the mooring ball... 30 winds today are making this a bouncy ride and a splashy ride to and fro in the dinghy... it's all good.... sandwich and some minor boat repairs/tinkering and back to living the dream.

This is the view when entering the marina via the dinghy...


Scenes around Fernandina in town....

parade day...


The beach is only 1.2 miles from the marina... sweeeeet!

They have a great pier.... lots of folks gather here to fish... but there's no pier pressure!
               






Local entertainment is plentiful...
All in all, my stay in Fernandina was fantastic... perfect weather paired with lots of friendly folks made me decide it's where I want to keep Glory Days as the next port of call.... but for now, it's time to cut loose and head back north with a night's stopover at Cumberland Island, a brief kiss to Jekyll Island again and then back to my home slip in Brunswick.

Cumberland... ah, again, but this time on the south end of the island...

I can't say enough good things about this remote island... pure white sand beaches framed by pristine weeping live oak trees .... 



Public dock at Cumberland... off to hike.





Cumberland is known for her wild horses which are plentiful and quite tame...



The ruins of Dungeness are a must see...



What were those folks thinking?  to have such opulence in such a remote area.... rockefellers shmoozing with the Carnegies, hoping to match up their kids together to expand the wealth and to keep it among the weathly...





Saturday on Cumberland was picture perfect.... hiked, strolled, swam and perused the beach... the big wide empty beach... 

I wrote another new song today:  Tentative title: Maybe This Is My Home ... Look for it on an upcoming new post of songs written along the way...






Gotta cross the marshes before you can get there...

Don't expect any lifeguards or crowds on the beaches here....


video
Commentary about this perfect beach...

This is the closest you'll get to a life guard here... just a throw buoy in the slim chance someone could actually toss it to you in time before the undertow takes you to China and back.


Everywhere you go these days theres a freekin' crowd!!




Departing Cumberland... Headed north...


Pulled up 2 anchors from south Cumberland yesterday where i anchored and explored Dungeness ruins.... 


... sailed a nice broad reach past the submarine base where I was observed by a military police boat as I passed... all was well , making good time on the back side of Cumberland... It's really quite wide there and offers some decent sailing waters on the ICW... 


Sea Tow to the rescue... 

Coming into Jekyll, I decided to hail the Brunswick Marina on the VHF to get a weather update... i could see lots of dark clouds in the distance over there.... But while I was down below on the radio, by boat veered off course in the narrow channel causing me to run aground....  with the tide still going out, I couldn't get it to budge.... blimey!  Storm clouds all around, I decided to call Sea Tow to the rescue... They are like the AAA of the boating world....In about an hour they showed up .... we put this harness device on the bow of the boat and he pulled her out using his 750 HP inflatable power boat.... Ii was concerned because my rudder was embedded into the mud as well... I pray it was damaged during the haul out... no leaks detected below and it seems to steer, so fingers still crossed.


APRIL  30  JEKYLL MARINA


Due to threatening weather conditions, I opted to stay the night at the Jekyll Harbor Marina..... even at $1.75 per foot, $60 seems like a steep price to pay.... dinner on the veranda at Sea Jays was pretty good as I watched the rain pelt down.... 

hot shower and back to the boat to finish writing another new song I had started earlier in the day called SOMEBODY'S GOTTA DO IT.  (INSERT VIDEO OR LYRICS)


Waiting for the fog to lift and the tide to rise and hopefully out of here by noon today... trying to get back ...


Sea Jay's is a great little restaurant with an old style porch veranda facing the water....
The crab cake sandwich is my vice here.


With a storm threatening, I opted for the safety of the marina instead of an anchorage this night.

Great sunset view of the bridge from my boat... little did I know what weather would move in during the night.
Thick fog...we were totally socked in come morning time... I had to wait it out till about noon before I could safely make my way back to Brunswick... that was fine by me tho... some need time to relax and work on music, and meet some fellow boaters...

When the sky finally opened it, it did do in such a graceful, sunny way... all is good again as you can see... 


Just don't get in their way...

Making my way under the Brunswick River bridge is always a nice ending to any trip...



Downtown Brunswick... public park.

Approaching Brunswick Landing Marina... Hi Sherry and Cindy, dockmasters!

96 Miles Later... It was good to be greeted by my dock neighbors, Dave and Pamela as they worked on their trawler, Drift Away, as I made my way back to the marina...eight days and 96 miles had ended on a high note... gorgeous, clear day with friends on hand to catch my dock lines...

One more night to sleep it off to chill out and relax before heading back home... or is THIS home?... 
A little tidying up of Glory Days and it's back to Atlanta for this boy... older, wiser, more experienced, and ready for the next round of adventure where ever it may take me..

It's always difficult to leave Glory Days...

If I were a gamblin' man, I'd bet on the sun,
and I'd bet on the tide to take me home.
Cause when the morning comes 
and the day's ahead of me ... these are the only certainties.

Sea gulls fly above me, without a single care,

Sometimes you're the target, but there's always a prayer,
That keeps me ever safe, no matter where I roam,
Maybe This Is My Home...

(April 26, 2013)







                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           




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