Saturday, January 19, 2008

On the road (water) again...

We are headed south! Phil spent Friday morning installing a new motor in the head. He finished about noon and we unhooked the lines after lunch.

Getting out of the marina was not easy. In that area of Georgia, there is a very strong current. The difference between high tide and low tide is nearly six feet. We were tied up between two docks, with a couple of very expensive fishing boats between us and clear water.

We started the two diesel engines and Phil unhooked all but the aft (back) dock line and jumped aboard. I was at the helm and, I admit, it had been a while since I had driven the boat. This is not a gimpy boat. It's 36 feet long and nearly 19 feet wide...picture a floating tank.

With about three knots of current having it's way with my steering, I tried valiantly to clear the fishing boats on the port (left) side, without hitting the dock on the starboard (right) side.'s the whole story. I missed the first fishing boat. Then, the current caught our boat and began to drive it toward the 2nd fishing boat. I "kissed " the 2nd fishing boat (Phil would say "scraped"). Actually, we traded some paint, but no denting was involved. As I was working to miss the 2nd fishing boat, I over-steered toward the dock on the starboard side and "kissed" the dock (Phil would say "scraped"). Long story short, we exited the marina with no discernible damage to our boat or the expensive fishing boat, and we were on our way south.

The sun was shining for the first time in several days and we felt free at last. Given our late start, we only made a few miles before anchoring, but we were overjoyed at being on our own. We anchored around 4:00 p.m. a few hundred yards up Queen Bess Creek, just off the Intracoastal Waterway. There were dolphins playing around our boat, pelicans dive-bombing for dinner, and geese and ducks everywhere. After we had secured the anchor, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset. We had a simple dinner and slept soundly that night.

The rain began around midnight and continued through Saturday morning. We awoke early and had breakfast, firing up the generator so we could watch the weather on TV. Forecasts were bleak...calling for rain most of the day. We considered staying in our cozy anchorage, or heading south. The wanderlust won out and we pulled up the anchor around 9:00 a.m. We donned our newly-purchased "foulies" (foul-weather jackets), which were supposed to keep us warm and dry in our open cockpit. They did a fairly good job and we traveled six hours in rainy/foggy/chilly weather. About 3:00 p.m., we found a secluded, protected anchorage and called it a day.

It's nearly dinner time. We have provisioned well and I'll come up with something comforting for dinner. The rain continues but is supposed to taper off around midnight. We are looking forward to a sunny but chilly day of travel tomorrow. Sunny/chilly beats rainy/chilly every time.

We hope to reach St. Simons Island, Georgia, by tomorrow afternoon. I've got my eye on a marina there, which could mean long, hot showers and a nice restaurant for dinner. Plus a free loaner car to the grocery for milk and bread.

Thanks for reading this blog. We appreciate all your e-mails and your support.

Anchored just south of Wahoo Island, Georgia


Jane said...

I'm so glad you got your head straightened out. The trouble with the fishing boat and pier was predictable. We just got the house back in working order after Margaret's whirwind trip through here on Christmas day. I'm surprised she was put in the driver's seat. It sounds like you're making lots of great memories. Even with all the setbacks, I'M SO JEALOUS!!! Please send us a picture with the sun shining and the dolphins playing.

Betty said...

You guys make me so proud. Every time I hear a near-miss story, I'm reminded of your courage. You will be veritable ballerinas in the marinas in short order.

Do people at the dock wave good-bye or do they have their hands over their eyes when you leave?

I've thought of you every day. I'm happy to know you on your way south to sunny and WARM. Those foulies are industrial looking. I prefer to see photos of you squinting at the sun and wearing shorts and halter tops.

Was the debate last night spirited or what?