Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Georgia: Jekyll Island and Savannah

April 1-4. 2013

Nearly five months after arriving in Florida, Blue Heron finally moved on to another state. Leaving Fernandina Beach, Florida, we cruised past pristine Cumberland Island, Georgia (conditions weren’t ideal for anchoring there – next time!) and continued to Jekyll Island, another of our old favorites. We used to camp at Jekyll 40 years ago when we lived in Jacksonville and we were anxious to see the changes that have been made over the years. We were impressed with the work the State of Georgia has done restoring the abandoned millionaires’ mansions that are the signature of Jekyll. But despite the “repurposing” of the mansions into a luxury resort destination, most of the island remains very unchanged and low key. It was fun to be back.

After Jekyll, we continued on through some very tricky and shallow waters and chilly, rainy weather to Savannah, where we docked at the Delegal Marina on Skidaway Island, where our friends Ron and Susan live in the lovely community of The Landings. We enjoyed spending time with them and were especially fortunate to be there for the last day of the annual Savannah Music Festival.  We attended a concert by the Atlanta Symphony and an impressive performance by very talented 15-22 year-old acoustic instrument players from all around the country.

Jekyll highlights (and one big low-light!):

  • Seeing the wild horses on Cumberland as we cruised past
  • Overheard on VHF radio in the St. Mary’s River near King’s Bay submarine base: “Yes sir, I will move immediately.  I’m sorry I didn’t see the submarine.”
  • Riding bikes all over the island
  • Revisiting the fascinating story of the Jekyll Island Club era of the late 19th-early 20th centuries  
  • Seeing the beautiful old homes restored to their former glory
  • Faith Chapel, lovely as always, with its large Tiffany window
  • Riding bikes to our old campground, apparently more popular than ever
  • Walking the driftwood beach, still full of driftwood
  • Meeting several new Loopers
  • And – Joey ambushed by a huge, mean, orange cat at the marina, resulting in a torn ear, a trip to the vet, a series of antibiotics, and a happy ending.  All is well, and he is as handsome as ever!  But we stayed at Jekyll for two additional days to keep an eye on him, compliments of the very apologetic, very helpful marina manager.

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Savannah highlights:

  • Due to the rain, driving from the lower helm for the first time on the trip (at least for any extended period.)
  • Navigating the Little Mud River without problems
  • The most uncharacteristic “loaner car” of the trip, which Ron left at the marina for us
  • Wonderful musical performances
  • Azaleas!
  • A great visit with long-time friends

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Next: Hilton Head!

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