We have been spending time among the Rich and Famous in Georgia, or at least among their previous abodes. We crossed into Georgia and went up the St Marys River to dock at Lang's Marina, quite the seedy place in a lovely little town. The docks were good, but many of the power pedestals were not working or leaning sideways. We walked out of the marina and found a golf cart waiting to give a tour of the town for $5 a piece. Richard, the tour guide and commodore of the local yacht club, drove us around the town for a delightful view of the buildings, cemetery and site of a possible new town marina. The next day I spent hours using the free WiFi at the St Marys Visitor Center working on the FAFSA and PROFILE forms for Adam's college financial aid application. In the afternoon, we had a great bike ride outside of town up to the naval submarine base and exploring an historic tabby (a building material of oyster shells, lime, sand and water) sugar mill.
I finished the college forms the next morning (hurrah!!) and we left after lunch with the falling tide to make the short trip over to Cumberland Island, a National Seashore and the former home of Thomas Carnegie (Andrew's younger brother) and his wife Lucy and their nine children. We dropped anchor and dinghied to the dock at the south end of the island and once again walked to the ruins of the main house, Dungeness, built by Thomas and Lucy in the 1880's and that burned in the 1950's. We saw a flock of wild turkeys with the two toms showing off their beautiful tails and two of the wild horses for which the island is famous. We walked to the beach and circled back west to the dock and back to the boat.
We were back on the ICW the next day and anchored in the Brickhill River at the very north end of Cumberland Island. We took the dinghy down the river to Plum Orchard, the mansion Lucy Carnegie built for one of her sons as a wedding present. There were not supposed to any public tours, but one of the rangers invited us to join the private group he was taking through the house, so we got to see one of the other still standing buildings from that era. The house was huge with thick inlaid oak floors, a Tiffany glass chandelier, chestnut paneling in the "Gun Room," many bedrooms and an indoor pool. Quite the place to spend the winter months.
We crossed the St Andrew Inlet the next morning with much calmer water than we had on the southern crossing and dropped the anchor just off Jekyll Island, the winter retreat of the Vanderbilts, Morgans, Rockefellers and many of their friends. The Jekyll Island Club opened in 1888 as a place for the wealthy to go for January till the end of March. A beautiful big hotel was built then later many if the club members built "cottages" nearby. We arrived in time for Sunday brunch at the hotel, an elegant affair with champagne and delicious food. Our server grew up near the Adirondacks and the hostess had lived in Minnesota so it felt like old home week. We then took the trolley tour around the historic district which included entry into two of the cottages - they did live well. The next day we took a bike ride around most of the island and got to see the more developed, modern parts of the island.
Now we are just north of Brunswick, GA, tucked into a marina for the next week. We rented a car and have been over to St Simons Island yesterday and to the old downtown of Brunswick today. Tomorrow we'll head up to Savannah for a rainy day of touring the town. We are getting boat jobs done and are waiting for a package from home. It's nice to slow down and spend some time in one place for a bit before working our way further north. Sally