It is a few days since we last wrote anything and now our voyage is coming to a close and slowly the bonds of a land based life are increasing already. Are we really ready for this, we ask ourselves........???
We last wrote from Fernandina Beach where we spent one night and had supper ashore at a place recommended by marina staff but truthfully I don';t think that Catherine and i were overly impressed. The following morning , since a comparatively short passage was planned we left at 08.00 hrs bound for Jekyll Island . An uneventful day but with a lot of traffic both north and southbound and we arrived at the marina at 12.00 hrs where we took on fuel as there are few places to replenish on the ICW in this part without leaving the channel and disappearing into the wilds of Georgia.
A quiet night but a very nice marina - they served us great hamburgers for lunch. We also met a very pleasant couple sailing their C & C 38 back to the Chesapeake from the Bahamas - George showed me how his satellite weather mapping system worked ...... now that's a new toy !! Covers the whole of the USA and shows everything that you could possibly wish to know about the weather.
It came in useful the following day.... we were scheduled to depart at dawn ( about 06.45) but after meeting up with George and his weather map decided that discretion might be the better part of valour once again as there were several squalls and thunder showers forecats for the area as a new cold front was passing through. So we waited and before long saw the thunder showers had passed so departed at 08.30 again in company with the C & C and a couple of other boats. It was very windy and we were not making a great deal of headway, in addition to which it was quite cold to the extent that i was wearing shorts but short, polar fleece and squall jacket on my top....... my warm woollen watch cap pulled well down over my ears completed the picture !!!
By one p m we had all had enough so found a delightful little anchorage in Tea Kettle Creek ( yes all the creeks have similar names - remember Cow Pen Creek on the way south) . We anchored behind a small trawler (Carina) that was part of our convoy of four boats. As predicted by the weather forecasts the wind died by the evening and we spent a very peaceful night on the hook.
We were up at dawn and underway by 07.00 hrs on the 21st in order to get the most out of a flood tide, but also because we wanted to reach our destination of Thunderbolt that afternoon. We had 60 miles to do . The weather was glorious light winds on occasion from the right direction so that we were able to sail as we wended our tortuous path through the Georgia swamps and crossed two sounds. It is fascinating to be able to see for miles across flat marshes and to see other boats' masts in the distance doing the same trip.
The trip was great - we had timed things perfectly we had a flood tide most of the way and by the time the tide had turned we were in the river system leading to Thunderbolt so that was pushing us along at eight plus knots. We arrived and docked at a very quiet and deserted marine yard at 15.15 hrs.
Eventually we found the dockmaster of the marina part of the facility who showed us around and gave us a map of the area. Since then Sunday was spent taking the sails off the boat and letting the air out of, and packing up our dinghy.
Monday has been a mad whirl of meeting the dock people, all exceptionally nice, friendly anad very professional, finding a very super marine store just down the street, making arrangements to meet with a canvas specialist for dodger/ bimini repairs and perhaps to make covers for our deck hatchesto keep the sum out of the boat. We have also rented a car so now have wheels and it is already packed with the dinghy and genoa, since both are likely to be replaced for our next trip in November.
At present the plan is for us to be hauled out of the water on Wednesday morning - before that we need to change the engine oil and filters also probably the fuel filter - we need to go to the fuel dock and top up our diesel oil since the recommendation is to leave her with a full tank and of course thoroughly clean and flush our holding tank - we do not wish to leave that in the Georgia heat anything but in pristine condition!!
So, the adventure for this year is slowly coming to a conclusion, by this time next week we should be back in Montreal and I shall have had my first day in the office. I cannot help but wonder how I shall feel....!
Enough for now and over to the Admiral for her closing comments, if any.