Sunday, June 14, 2009

Georgia on My Mind

We left St. Augustine, FL yesterday morning and have actually crossed the border into Georgia - right now we are sitting at anchor off the coast of Cumberland Island having a big Sunday breakfast and getting ready to go exploring with September Song.

We finally got the engine fixed (it was actually the shaft saver that had disintegrated leaving our shafts disconnected from the engine - voila, no working starboard engine) so they had to replace the shaft saver and then realign the engine which was no small feat!! - and thanks to Doug's persistence with the guys in the yard it only took an extra day! Actually the guys at the Camachee Cove Yacht Yard were great - they also took a look at the port engine and realigned it as well. When we get to northern Georgia where September Song is going to be pulled out of the water for a bottom paint, we will look to replace the other shaft saver which is worn but until then, we should be fine (fingers crossed)!!! Although I felt a little guilty, while the guys (including Doug) were working on the boat, the rest of us took the afternoon off to spend by the pool with a couple adult beverages - it is really hot in FL in the summer, especially when there is no breeze!!!

Yesterday morning we left bright and early for our 60 mile trip up to Cumberland Island and the FL/GA line - St. Mary's Inlet is the dividing line so if you come in the inlet and head south, you go to Fernandina Beach, FL, a very quaint little town that we stopped in on our trip down the coast, and if you head north, you come to Cumberland Island, GA, which is a National Seashore and most of the island is thus protected from development. We went a little ways offshore to fish but had no luck - we knew we probably wouldn't after talking to all the fishermen in St Augustine - most of them said you had to go 50 miles offshore to get out to the Gulf Stream for any type of good fishing. Not in our boats - it would take us a day to get out and a day to get back in at our speed! Oh well...our theory is that if we have to travel someplace, we might as well drop a line in the water and even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile! Actually for real fishing beginners, I think we've done OK so far this trip and once we get up to SC and NC where the Gulf Stream comes closer to the shore again, hopefully we'll be able to fill our freezers!!

The steam yesterday was great - nice seas, calm winds - it was actually pretty warm out there on the water. The wind started to pick up when we were about a half hour outside of the inlet and we started to hear weather advisories for bad thunderstorms with quarter sized hail - time to make tracks so we hauled in the fishing lines and made a beeline for St. Mary's Inlet. As we were heading into the inlet, there were Coast Guard boats flagging us down by radio (the kids manning the guns on the bow of each boat also got our attention!!) - turns out there was a "navy asset" heading out of the channel that they wanted us to give way to. It was a huge submarine!! Turns out the Kings Bay Submarine Base which houses 6 Trident-class submarines (think what we saw was one of them!!!) is right up the Cumberland Sound - very KEWL!!!

On the shore as we headed in we saw a herd of wild horses that run all over Cumberland Island - one of the horses was even down by the water's edge grazing.

Next it was time to anchor - we of course had 25 mph winds and a full ebb current by this time which made things interesting - we are back to the land of 7-9 foot tides so the current can be fierce (it was!!!) We got our hooks down and settled in for a quiet night - NOT!! The winds and the waves kicked up even more as a squall hit right as the tide was swinging us around - not great for anchor holding!! Although it did make for a beautiful sunset - again!!

September Song played with their anchor until about midnight finally getting it to set hard - we watched ours until about 10 pm and then again from 3-4 am as the tide shifted around again. Contrary to what you may thing reading this blog - boating is not all fun and games!!!

This morning we slept in a little - up at 7:30 instead of up with the sun - everyone was a little tuckered after the night anchor dance!! But it's Sunday and when we aren't traveling, that means a big breakfast!! September Song still has coconut bread left from Lorraine's (from Black Point in the Exumas) so they are having french toast - we ate our Lorraine's bread long ago - I guess we're more the instant gratification type of folks!! But anyways, we are off shortly in the dink to explore the island - there is a ranger station and a little dinghy dock which we can tie up to for going ashore. Not sure what the island holds in store for us, but then again that's half the fun of it!! Keep you all posted....

Click here to see a Google map of our Cumberland Island location.

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