Friday, October 31, 2014

Marineland to Rockhouse Creek

It was a windy day traveling form Marineland to just north of New Smyrna Beach.  We decided to anchor at Rockhouse Creek near the Ponce De Leon Inlet. The water is deep enough and the area has plenty of room for 4-5 boats.  There were two others anchored here when we arrived.  While the anchor slipped a little at first, we re-set it and held perfectly through the night. We opened the hatches for a nice cool breezy night without a need for the generator or the air conditioner.  Neither of us slept well because of the windy night and fear of the anchor not holding. 


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fort Matanzas

Castillo De San Marcos in St. Augustine was completed in 1695  as the heart of Spain's coastal defense of Florida.  However,  Matanzas inlet 14 miles to the south of St. Augustine proved to be a weakness to the defense of Castillo De San Marcos.    James Oglethorpe gave the Spanish good reason to fear when his troops blockaded St. Augustine Inlet for a 39 day siege. Eventually Oglethorpe gave up and returned to Georgia.  For Matanzas built of the local shellstone coquina,  was almost complete in 1742 when Oglethorpe arrived again, but the fort's cannons pushed Oglethorpe back.  This would be the last time that the fort fired its guns in battle.  Florida was transferred to Britain in 1763 and then after American Revolution a treaty returned Florida to Spain in 1784.  By the time Spain transferred ownership of Florida to to the United States in 1819, Fort Matanzas was so deteriorated that is could no longer be occupied.  The US took possession of the fort in 1821 but never occupied it. Tours and upkeep are a part of the National Park Service today.  It has been restored and repaired and is now open to the public. We took the dinghy over to the welcome center for the Fort Matanzas tour.  The tour and ferry ride to Rattlesnake Island on which the Fort is built is free. 


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Jax Beach to Marineland

The journey form Jacksonville Beach Marina to Marineland was uneventful.  We had to go through St. Augustine which can be tricky at low tide--we can through at high tide.  And we had to wait for the Bridge of Lions to open up for us--but there was no wind and no traffic so it was an easy wait.  

Castillo San Marcos

We were greeted at the Marineland Marina by the same dockmaster we met last year. It is so much nicer the second time coming into a marina--experience helps calm the nerves. 


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Current, Wind & Tide

Current, wind and tides are always important to consider while boating.  When current and wind and tidal change are working against one another, the water can get terribly turbulent.  we encountered this situation going under the bridge to Jacksonville Beach.  Sometimes this turbulent water can try to make the boat "crabwalk" rather than lead with the bow which could possibly result in running aground if the captain is not vigilant. 


Monday, October 27, 2014

A prettier look at Fernandina

Coming into Fernandina we were greeted by the industry that surrounds the town.  There is however, a prettier picture to be painted of the area.  The small town is charming and an easy walk from the marina with many quaint shops and restaurants.  


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Good Morning Fernandina

Both of us woke early on Monday morning.  We are back on boating time--midnight is 9:00p.m.  It is easy to go to bed early when at anchor--it is quiet and dark and there is a gentle rocking motion to the boat which lulls one to sleep.  We were happy that the "Noreaster" didn't come in as the fisherman we met yesterday had warned.  While we are trying to set the anchor he came up in his fishing boat and warned us of the shallow water and that we had better anchor further up the channel to be safer because the Noreaster was coming and we didn't want our anchor to break and we would need more protection from the heavy winds.  He circled the boat several times while looking at what we can only assume was a fishfinder.  Apparently we were anchored atop a prime fishing spot.  

The machines are already cranked up and running over on Fernandina this morning.  Smoke and steam are pluming out into the clouds. 


Saturday, October 25, 2014

One more visit to Cumberland

We anchored outside of Cumberland Island on Sunday afternoon.  My goal was to ride our bikes to the small church on the northern part of Cumberland to see the small church where JFK Jr. was married.  We discovered that the church was an 8 or more mile trip along a sandy road--we nixed that idea quickly.  The main road is not very scenic.  It is straight and there is nothing but marine forest on either side.  The goal while biking this main road is to avoid the enormous mounds of horse droppings. 

We pedaled along the main road until discovering the entrance to the Greyfield Inn. The Greyfield was built for Margaret Ricketson,  daughter of Thomas and Lucy Carnegie in 1900. In 1962 it was converted into an inn by Margaret's daugher, Lucy Ferguson, who oversees the operation of the inn today.  We continued along the road to find the Little Greyfield Beach. 

 The beaches of Cumberland are as white and powdery as the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.  


Friday, October 24, 2014

Leaving St. Simons Island

We left St. Simons on Sunday, October 19 to a beautiful sunrise.  

We came up to King's Bay on our approach to Cumberland Island where we anchored overnight.  We were delighted and awed to see both a submarine and mega ships.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Secret Runner

Steve can no longer keep it a secret that he is running.  Last weekend we went to work at the lakehouse and then headed over to Hayesville for the SpikeBuck Fun Run.  Steve found out about this race through a FaceBook friend.  I hadn't planned on participating, but at the last minute decided I would walk/jog the race  for some exercise.  Steve was disappointed with his time but I was delighted that I finished it and jogged more than I walked.

Several days later, I received a phone call from the race coordinator that I had won a medal.  I won the silver medal --I don't know for which category.  There were probably not more than 30 runners in this race and I think I was the second woman to finish, but there were not more than 6 women in all.  

I enjoyed the race so much I searched for races in the St Simons area for Saturday, October 18.  I discovered the Brunswick Stewbilee just a couple of miles from SSI.  I registered to participate. (Steve could not participate because he had scheduled to have a technician on the boat for some repairs before we leave SSI.  I was definitely not needed for any engine room work. 

The Stewbilee started at 8:30 in the morning and was completely flat--unlike the Spikebuck race which was begun at 6:00pm and was in the hills of Hayesville NC.  The course began at the historic waterfront park and wound around the beautiful residential streets of Brunswick.  I started slow and just kept plugging along and managed to jog the entire course.  I am very proud to say that I won third place in my age group!  Looking forward to my next race! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Barry, Janet & Matthew

Our traditional picture of visitors aboard Meandering Joy--I can't believe we forgot to get one of Mama and Daddy!  A great visit comes to an end just means it's time to plan our next get together.  I am thinking Thanksgiving...


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Georgia Sea Turtle Center

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center  is a hospital for ill and injured sea turtles. Located in the old Power Plant of the historic Jekyll Island District, the center has hands-on activities and interactive exhibits explaining the delicate conditions of the coastal ecosystem as well as the life of the turtle.   Large windows into the hospital area allow visitors to see the doctors working with the turtles.  We visited at feeding time and were delighted to see the turtles get their food and vitamins.  


Monday, October 20, 2014

Caroline's 16 mile hike

Caroline went on a 16 mile hike and sent us this picture of the view!

Family trip to Jekyll

Daddy's favorite part of the visit was the day we spent at Jekyll Island.  He used to play golf here with his Georgia Power buddies and was eager to see the changes to Jekyll.  We started with a tram tour through the Millionaires Club.  We received special treatment because we were the only ones on the tour. 

 Enjoying some time in the rocking chairs after looking through the museum.  Lovely shrimp plant in full bloom. 
The original Auto Red Bug was originally called "The Flyer.  It was one of the earliest micro cars.  They ran on both gasoline and electricity and were made between 1910 and 1928.  Today, one can rent a golf cart from Red Bug Motors on Jekyll. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Taking the family for a boat ride!

On Sunday when the family was visiting SSI we took out the boat.  The water was a little rougher than we expected but felt even worse than it looked.  We realized the stabilizers were not doing their job.  After it got a little more rough than we wanted for their first experience, we came back in and rode to Brunswick.  They all had a great time!  (When we returned, we discovered that a switch on the stabilizers wasn't fully engaged preventing it from working properly)  

Matthew enjoyed a little beach time.  So much to do--So little time--just means that they must come back for another trip.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Brunswick Stewbilee

I love Brunswick Stew! Apparrently i am not alone--there ar 21 teams competing in Brunswick, GA to win the award for the stew most similar to the original stew!  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fort Frederica Revisited

Barry, Janet and Matthew arrived on Saturday afternoon.  Barry and Daddy love history-so we took them to Fort Frederica.  


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Lovely Lane Chapel

We took a quick drive over to the Lovely Lane Chapel at Epworth By the Sea.  I got just one picture before the battery in my camera died.

The chapel is the oldest standing church building on the island, built in 1880 and repaired after the hurricane of 1887.  The chapel is open on Sundays for a worship service from 8:45 -9:15--casual dress is welcomed--I will have to visit. 


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Family Vacation

Our first wave of guests arrived on September 25.  My mother and father arrived about 6:00 on Thursday evening.  We had a great ride from Monroe to SSI.  They had not seen much of the area in several years and enjoyed seeing all the growth along Hwy 441.  I highly recommend their hotel-Saint Simons Inn by the Lighthouse!  It is just a block from the village and the pier.  The rooms are lovely.  The best part was the special they offered of staying 4 nights to receive the 5th night free.  The clerk offered this discount which was almost twice as much as the AARP rate they requested.

After a great dinner at Barbara Jean's--best shrimp on the island in my opinion--we all headed back for a good night's sleep.  Steve and I returned to the boat to wait for Lainey's arrival.  She had a three day weekend so came up for a short visit.

On Friday morning, the cloud cover kept the temperature low.  After a ride around the island we stopped at Christ Church and the Wesley Gardens and Memorial.

Clementine Orange Tree