Sunday, March 27, 2011

Georgia

Georgia is a beautiful state.  The intercoastal waterway is full of wildlife and marshes with many twists and turns throughout.  We did not have too many problems with depths, although at one point we dredged through 3 feet of water while taking an alternate route due to severe weather.  This is the tightest route we've been in and during it's widest point around 40 feet, it was rather hard to even turn around if need be.  So we plowed our way through for a short time.  There were many 'sounds' that we made our way through without a hitch and enjoyed the short detour of twisting turning waterways and liked the fresh wind straight-a-ways they gave us. 

The winds persisted one day and we decided to find safe harbor at the Jekyll Island Harbor Marina on Jekyll Island.  The wind was fierce and about blew the kids off the boat.  Funny part was that it was still so hot out! 

 We really do bike everywhere we go!  I took this picture while Ryann and I were biking behind them. The terrain was fun and all part of the adventure. It seems a lot of people bike throughout the island as bikes were not permitted on the main roads. 
 I'm not using my zoom in this photo and we're not at a zoo. This is purely an alligator in the wild, at a swamp that we happen to be biking past on our way to town.  It was an unreal feeling to be so close to him. 
 The downtown district was full of very old historic buildings.  Over a hundred years ago the nations top money moguls made Jekyll Island their cottage paradise.  Rockefellers, Goodyears, Morgans, Pultizers and many others invested money into this first condo ever built.      
 This is the clubhouse built for $45,000 for all of the families to congregate to. Still in working condition and used today as a hotel with pool, full amenities and croquet.
 The chapel was centrally located and a must see!
 I'm not zooming in on this photo. The deer are actually really close and obviously use to being around humans. 
 These two alligators moved fairly slow, but didn't seem to mind that we were near. 
 Jack from Sunset II is 73 years old and has the Great Loop on his bucket list!  He is navigating a majority of his loop alone on this 43 foot trawler. We saw him earlier in Key Largo, but had a chance to cruise with him during our time in Georgia.  One day he biked over 17 miles without a hitch. We only hope to be so healthy and energetic at his age.
 My mom, Yvonne, asked me to post a picture of our skinny (narrow) waters.  This picture does not due it justice for the marshlands and areas we experienced.  Most of the intercoastal waters in Georgia are surrounded by marsh land which made for a great anchorage one night.  We were completely protected from winds and although the current was strong and tide over 8.5 feet, it was a peaceful night.

Anchoring is so simple and enjoyable.  You put a hook down and enjoy.  When you enter a marina, it's very busy as you need to get into your slip, attach many lines and fenders to get settled, pull out electrical attachments, meet the other boaters, check in, etc.  Don't get me wrong, we love marinas too, but there's something so simple as anchoring that makes this trip interesting. We will continue to stay at marinas and anchor for the rest of our voyage.
 Cows in the middle of an island next to a 'sound'...so strange to see.  The next day we saw wild boar which we had heard were popular in Georgia. 
 The "Graveyard" of old stumps and logs as we were told were out on the point of St. Catherines Sound of the Atlantic beach area.  It was a 4.5 mile dinghy ride from our Walburg Creek anchorage and a fun adventure early in the morning.  The weather was warm although it looks cold with our coats on, but it was the 'no-see-um bugs" that we were trying to repel.  They were rather thick and annoying! 
 The roots of this tree were far larger than the girls.
 It was unbelievable to find an island right off the sound that was LOADED with horseshoe crabs.  We walked around the entire island and saw over 400 live horseshoe crabs.  NEVER have we seen such a site and most were on their backs.
 Their size was like nothing we've seen before. 
 Look at all of the trails left behind.  

It was hard to capture the pure quantity we observed. The island went on and on just thick with them. 

 The beach was so serene, peaceful and untouched.
 Jellyfish next to Craig's foot.



 See the trail they leave down the beach?  They make a unique sound and move their bodies in an 'up-and-down' way. 
 We couldn't believe how large they were.
 Mating on shore is very common for horseshoe crabs. 
 Ryanns hole fist was smaller than this egg we found on the beach. 
 We are currently at the Isle of Hope Marina in Savannah where we will spend a few nights re-grouping and finding a replacement part for our generator problem.  We took the courtesy car into the downtown area and had dinner and walked the shopping area with live music and a lot going on for a Saturday night.  
 We were here two years ago on the RV trip and the kids played at the same boat here.  Jaxon doesn't remember much of the past trip as he was only two at the time! 
 Ryann ran so fast to find the U.S.
 The kids were rather excited to be in a car again! 
Savannah was a beautiful town. These beautiful trees took precedence over the path of a road.
 As the gate states...."Hickory Dickory Dock"!  This town is just charming!
 Fort Pulaski was one of the largest and by far our favorite fort up to this point.  Built in 1829 on Cockspur Island it took 18 years to build with 25 million bricks.
 Each and every detail was in tact and so impressive to see.
 A view from the ramparts.
 The fort eventually became a prion and they'd used the prisoners as shields during battles. 

 The wheels stood over 8.5 feet tall and used to transport large cannons and artillery around.  They claim this is the last remaining of its time.
The southeast wall was the primary target of the Union forces as they tried to dismantle the fort during the Civil War during the 30 hour battle.  Their goal was for the shells to hit the powder room and level the entire fort. It was a turning point in the battle and the Confederates surrendered after a lot of damage was done. 
 This is an actual cannon ball in the fort wall from the battle. 
 To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War the children had the opportunity to earn this special badge of honor.  They are now a Junior Civil War Historian for the National Park Service since they have attended more than three of the participating parks. 
 As we left the fort a horrific storm came across Savannah.  We experienced large hail, rain and winds. So much that we pulled alongside the road with everyone else to watch it pass by. It pelted the car so intensely. 
Off to South Carolina now and moving forward through our Great Loop adventure! 

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