Saturday, March 30, 2019

Fernandina Beach to Brunswick

We left Fernandina Beach right after breakfast. Since we were anchored and they didn't have a great landing for us to enjoy the little town, seemed like the thing to do. The winds were calm, so was the water. Up into Georgia we went.

On today's journey we made two inlet crossings. The first was across the St. Mary's River, which had little swells to it, but nothing worrisome. The most noteworthy thing about it is Kings Bay, a naval base where they build submarines. There are looper stories about the subs coming in or out of the base. Apparently, the inlet is cleared of all traffic with military boats getting folks out of the way. The subs come in at 30 knots.

The second inlet is Jekyll Sound, or "The Hole."  Neither name is particularly filled with warm fuzzies, are they? While dredged for commercial traffic, smack in the middle of it is very shallow water. That's why our route was nearly out to sea, then back, to go around the unseeable island.

This isn't about the lighthouse. Almost in the middle
on the beach is a channel marker (?!)
Just getting to that point was the biggest thrill of the day. The ICW goes by Jekyll Island along Fancy Bluff Creek. At the moment, there are a number of shoals inside it. Even if you follow the channel markers you can run aground -- some depths are as little as 2.5 feet. We draft 3.5, which is crazy shallow, but we were diligent. Russ downloaded Bob423 (the ICW mapper) and he called out the course while I piloted it. "Port! More port! Okay, now straight... now starboard!" It was nerve racking. But we didn't bump once, so our aground count remains unchanged.

We have reservations at Brunswick Landing Marina for the next couple of days (weather coming yet again). The dockmaster gave us the slip option of stern in or bow. I opted for stern -- hey, I haven't done it since we left Palmetto! I figured I should keep these skills dusted off. I'm please to say that docking went off without a hitch.

The Sydney Lanier suspension bridge. 
This is a major shipping channel to and from the Atlantic.
I'm keeping my eye out for really big boats!

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