Sunday, April 6, 2014
Rain on Skidaway Island; whatever will we do?
Well, there are all sorts of important activities available to us today, one of which is to write up a new blog! Other important activities might include getting in our daily 10,000 steps on our Fitbits, changing a fuel filter, stripping off some more teak to prep it for refinishing, business followup for our move to the Chesapeake, boat cleaning, applying "sunscreen" on the dinghy, throwing out some unused storage containers, watching movies, reading three books I'm behind on, doing my "yogabells" workout and sweeping the boat for stowaways.
Today we sit at the dock, in the rain in a marina called Delegal on Skidaway Island, neither of which I had ever heard of in all of our trips up and down the IntraCoastal Waterway. It costs us only $0.94/ft, one of the very cheapest marinas we have ever stayed in. On top of that, most of the cheapest marinas we have stayed in look and act cheap, with falling apart docks, bad electric, filthy or non-existent shower/toilets, etc. This place is really nice, with free kayaks, bikes, all the amenities. And yesterday we were given the keys to a golf cart and went way up-island to a shopping center where I picked up a prescription and we got a few groceries. We then biked all the way to the end of the place along some really beautiful bike trails. The people here are friendly and almost considerate of bikers, in stark contrast to Florida where it seems motorists are trying to eradicate the entire biking community by either running them over or frightening them into more indoor activities or over the border.
We had been docked at Hidden Harbor Marina in Brunswick for nine days. We used that time and a rental car to make several trips to West Marine, explore Fort Frederica, St. Simon's Island, historic Brunswick and two trips to Savannah. This is another great East Coast town worth more than a day. We toured the Mercer Williams house featured in a great Savannah book titled, "Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil," which I bought and is in my reading queue. We toured the house of Juliet Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts. We ate lunch overlooking the Savannah waterfront and biked up and down the beautiful streets of the historic district of Savannah, and just had a delightful time there in spectacular weather. Put Savannah, St. Augustine and Charleston on your "must see" list.
The rest of our time at the Brunswick marina was spent managing the place. Yes, you heard it, Sally and I were marina managers for about a day and a half while Bobbie, the real manager went to Jacksonville to bring her boat back after a bottom job. We answered queries from fellow mariners, made reservations, collected money, docked boats, restocked toilet paper, hosed bird poop from the docks (we found out that birds have no sphincters. Who knew?), and pushed tons of matted swamp grass away from docks and boats. We felt so important! And, in return, we got to stay there for two free days. It was fun. And we plan to leave "Adirondack" there in November and December when we come home for the holidays.
Worth noting is B & J's Seafood and Steakhouse, a place that Bob Meyenburg and I were driven to years ago by some cruisers at the marina who recognized Adirondack when we came through. They were shocked that we have lived as long as we have without knowing about it. Well, we went to West Marine and heard the same thing from a guy there and I realized we were talking about the same place. We dove up there to find 50-100? people standing outside and/or waiting in their vehicles for up to and hour and a half for a phone call to go into this small, very unfancy spot with the best shrimp and oysters we have ever had, hands down. If you're ever in Darien, GA, it's worth the wait. On Fridays and Saturdays you may have to park in Atlanta. On our way north after Brunswick, we anchored six miles downstream on the ICW and dinghied all the way up there to eat once more.
After we left there we tried a new anchorage just off St. Catherine's Island, where the New York Zoological Society (Bronx Zoo) is supposedly breeding endangered animals. The place itself is off limits for cruisers, but we thought we would at least be able to see something there of note, sort of like Jurassic Park with half-eaten volunteers and such, but were terribly disappointed. It was also blowing like stink and we just didn't like it, so we pulled up and went to one of our favorite anchorages at sleepy Kilkenny, and home of one of the best seafood restaurants in the entire world. We invited the English folks in "Concerto," the beautiful sailboat that pulled in after us to dinner with us. Turns out they had sailed that boat across the ATLANTIC OCEAN, making our meager 45,000 miles of cruising sort of like walking across the street against a traffic signal in comparison. Wow. They were really interesting and we hope to see them again somewhere.
Still raining, and it may do it all day. Down to the fuel filters I go....
They say that is really what cruising is all about, fixing your boat in exotic and expensive locations. But I cannot speak ill of Adirondack. He has been sooo good in the boat repair category, with very few problems in two years of pretty steady cruising. If I were superstitious, I would never type words like that.