After dropping Carl off in Charleston I headed off to Savannah. It was just a couple days travel time with good weather on down to Savannah when Terri – a friend from Key West was to meet me and crew for a week to Jacksonville.
Charleston was a nice marina facility and close to stores for some resupply. Sailing friends on Lasata, Ralph and Stacie were also there. We both headed out a bit latter in the morningon the 15th and made about 20 miles to an anchorage in Church Creek (stm 487) where we rafted for the night.
Then on early the next morning to Beaufort. First encounter with the bootom coming our of the Ashepoo-Coosaw cutoff…. Zigged right instead of left and stopped. Fortunately the power boat behind me took a line and I was free in just a few feet.
It was an uneventful trip to Savannah where I had arranged with the Hinkly Yacht Yard to replace the leaking raw water pump. What terrific folks. They did what they promised, did it on time and with considerable consideration in the form of free dockage for part of the few days there.
Terri joined the boat in Savannah. We made the first 32miles to KilKenny Creek, and a ‘fishing camp’ style marina? A bit rough around the edges, but a well protected spot and friendly folks.
The next day we made about 40 iles to an anchorage in South River (stm 653). This marked another day of high north winds and chilly temps…..weather that was going to hound us all the way to Jacksonville. Weather drove us into a marina at Jekyll Harbor.
Other than the cold, wet, high wind conditions, we made the trip to St Mary’s in good time.
Each year the town of St Mary’s hosts any cruisers in the area to a Thanksgiving dinner and associated events. Good food and good company! and a lot of folks (2-3 hundred) to feed!
The town has a very long history dating back to the 1700’s. We had some time to wander and found the cemetary.
We stayed an extra day to enjoy some of the cruisers’ company and make new friends. Also, the next day’s forecast promised light winds and warmer – just one of the misguided forecasts…. Instead we encountered 20-30kt winds and a high temp in the 40s. It was NOT a fun trip across the St Andrew Sound and down to a free dock just outside Jacksonville. With 25kts of wind directly on the dock, we pulled up, stopped the boat the the wind carried us broadside into the dock. There would be no leaving until the wind subsided. This AM it was nearly calm. Three other boats that had been pinned here for two days, left early and I was alone on the dock.
We met an amazing man here named Brown, who Mark Doyle had told us about. He’s as sailor, retired and has lived in the area for over 30 years. He volunteers his help to passing sailors as a way to give back, or pay forward, however you think about it. He gave Terri a ride to the airport (45 min drive), and took me to stores to pick up some supplies – never asking or expecting any compensation. We donated as our ‘pay forward’, as I hope others do/will to support his good work!
When I got back from errands, another sail boat from Michigan had arrived. After helping them turn the boat around in the fast current, they invited me for dinner. I continue to be amazed at the commuity of sailors and how quickly friendships are formed. It is so far, one of the highlights of the trip.