Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Back Together Again!!

[Note: This Blog was written November 23rd but not posted until November 24th.]

Once the fog lifted in Port Royal Sound, Gypsies had a great trip into Georgia - we were very happy to hear that several of the historically very shallow sections of the Georgia ICW have been dredged, so as long as you hit them at least at mid-tide, you really shouldn't have many problems!! We passed through Fields Cut and out into the Savannah River - Savannah is a very busy port so large container ships are a constant presence on the river (sometimes our little boat feels like it's playing frogger as we try to zip across the river between boats that could squash us like, well, a frog!)
Container Ship Cruises Up the Savannah River
- bye South Carolina (another state down!) From the Savannah River we could just see the huge bridge that cuts across the water into downtown Savannah - despite the fact that we love Savannah, we don't have time for a visit this time - seeing the bridge is as close as we'll come. Bummer - but we have places to go and more importantly people to see!!
Savannah River Bridge

The golden/green marsh grasses of Georgia are always so beautiful to see - you often feel like you are the only person for miles and miles (and you probably are!) since especially at low tide, your boat can barely peak out over the tops of the marsh as it negotiates the myriad twists and turns of the waterways in Georgia.
A Calm Waterway in Georgia
As usual the other day the marshes were filled with wonderful egrets, blue herons and pelicans as Gypsies glided past, some of them were even kind enough to pose for us!
An Egret in the Marsh Grass
A Heron Poses on Marker 27
Just outside of Savannah we passed by Bonaventure Cemetery, made famous or at least highlighted by the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - from the water it is a very cool looking place with its large gnarled spanish moss strewn oaks that tower over the gravestones.
Bonaventure Cemetery
In one particular curve through the marshes we came upon a sailboat having a really, really bad day - all that was above water was a portion of a broken mast - now that'll wreck your day!!!
Sailboat that had a Really BAD Day!
We managed to get through Hell Gate and Florida Passage, both of which had recently been dredged (Go Georgia - finally!!!)
One of the Dredges Making Georgia's ICW Safer for Cruisers
without even a sphincter moment and made our way into a wonderfully calm little anchorage called Buckhead Creek (which Doug kept calling Buckwheat Creek for some reason!) A little while later we heard from Tide Hiker that they had decided to continue on since it was such a nice day and that we would be having company that evening. Sure enough we soon saw what we could of Tide Hiker over the marsh grasses making their way towards us - when they rounded the corner they had the fading light behind them resulting in some great pictures (we'll email them to you guys!)
Tide Hiker Approaches Through the Winding Waterway
Tide Hiker Cruises By to Anchor a Little Up River
No one wanted to drop their dink so we had a wonderfully peaceful night just enjoying a great sunset and occasionally chatting on the radio!
Sunset 1 - Buckhead Creek
Sunset 2 - Buckhead Creek

At first light we were up and on our way accompanied by the beauty of a brilliant sunrise in the cool misty air
Sunrise 1 - Buckhead Creek
Sunrise 2 - Buckhead Creek
Sunrise 3 - Buckhead CreekSunrise 4 - Buckhead Creek
- Norm from Tide Hiker was awake and there to radio us goodbye for this really was goodbye at least for a while - they were headed to Midway, Georgia to tie up to Bob and Stephanie's home dock while they fly out to the Midwest for Thanksgiving. We're not sure when we will see them again but hopefully it will be at least sometime this winter - maybe in KW. We had a great time with you guys - safe travels on the waterways!! For us it was on to Wally's Leg Creek and another great little anchorage where we ducked behind a clump of trees on a little island to find some protection from the wind. We had the creek all to ourselves until a snailbot pulled in and tried to anchor 100 yards off our bow - hello, they had the whole creek to anchor in so why would they come so close to us???? Their first attempt to anchor luckily failed as they proceeded to drag within 20 feet of us - we strongly suggested they may be better off moving off a ways (ya think??) They took the hint and we had a nice quiet evening!!

That night we were too excited to sleep as we were heading off to Cumberland Island the next morning to meet up with the September Song crew!!! The weather was nowhere near as nice as the prior couple days as we were greeted with a very grey day and 20-25 knots of wind!! But we were off early since we were first heading up to Brunswick, GA to a little place called the Ocean Petroleum Company to fill up - their diesel was $2.19/gallon which is by far the lowest price we've seen anywhere so well worth the hour out of our way! With some serious current behind us we passed under the Brunswick bridge
Brunswick Bridge in the Fog
and headed up past the shrimp boat fleet with plenty of time to spare - on weekends you have to call to make an appointment to get diesel.
Shrimp Boat Row
A Shrimp Boat Preparing to Work
The shrimp boat fleet is what makes OPC able to offer such great prices - they pump upwards of 50,000 gallons per day!!!! Thanks guys - we appreciate it!! Saving $0.50 or $0.60 cents per gallon when you are buying 400 gallons means beaucoup extra beer money!!! On our way out of the harbor, we had all the seagulls following us as it looked like the shrimp boats had the day off!!
The Seagulls Seem to Think We are a Shrimp Boat

After fueling up we were finally off to Cumberland Island - unfortunately we had to traverse both St Simons and St Andrews Sounds which are fairly open to the ocean making for a very rocky trip. We got everything tied down in time but the girls were both decidedly not too happy with the beating Gypsies took - despite knowing she is not allowed up on the table, Puss just had to get closer to mom who was driving for a little reassurance!!
Puss Looks for Reassurance from Mom
Luckily it didn't last too long as at the end of each sound we ducked behind land thus blocking the worst of the waves and some of the wind. It was still a wild ride through Jekyll Creek and the Cumberland River where we saw a group of white (albino) pelicans - too cool.
White Pelicans
We also made our way past the Kings Bay Submarine Base, home to six Trident-class submarines - we could see the big sub pens and escort ships up close and personal.
One of the Sub Pens at the Kings Bay Submarine Base
Submarine Escort Ships
Unlike the last time we pulled into Cumberland Island, we didn't see any actual subs out and about but with the weather and the numerous warning signs and changed channel markers, we had plenty to keep our attention!

And then we caught sight of September Song at anchorage over by Cumberland Island - yippee!!!! We were so excited to see them and before we could pick up the radio, we heard Bob's voice calling Gypsies - they had just seen us too! So we kicked it up a notch and hot footed it over to the anchorage (OK we still weren't going all that fast but Gypsies was excited!) We arrived in the anchorage to the chords of Mr. Buffett's Gypsies in the Palace being played on September Song's hailer and the friendly waves of Bob and Stephanie and barks from Godiva and Cassie, all of whom were out on their swim platform to greet us. What a cool way to come into a port - we were just as excited as we waved and yelled right back. Shortly after getting the hook down, we were on the radio - it was party time!!!! Half Note (Stephanie and Bob's tender) was in the water so over they came - Cassie and Godiva were not happy at being left at home but we'll have to see the girls tomorrow!!
Half Note Aproaches Gypsies

Too much fun was had for the rest of the afternoon and evening to begin to describe it here in a blog but suffice it to say I haven't laughed that hard or long in quite some time - my sides hurt this morning!! After cruising together for about 7 months we had been apart for almost two months so we had lots of eating, drinking, laughing and all around having fun to catch up on - we succeeded!! It's great to have the gang back together again!!! We were even having too much fun that I forgot to get pictures until the end of the evening - usually a dangerous proposition!!
"What, Doesn't Everybody Put Whipped Cream on Brownies?"
That Was Just Too Much Fun for One Evening!
Today we are hopefully headed across the sound to Fernandina, FL (yippee soon another state down) for more fun, games and revelry!!! Hope the Palace and Fernandina are ready for us!!! We made it across the sound in the bay and are anchored in Fernandina - Half Note is on its way out to pick us up in Bob's super taxi service so we don't have to put Hobos in the water - now that's service!!! Watch out Fernandina.....

Click here to see our anchorage at Cumberland Island.
Click here to see our anchorage at Fernandina.

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