Dick and Gayl's Cruising Adventures

Cruising South Through Georgia

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Cruising South in Georgia 1/25-30/05
Our journal entries are arranged chronologically, so even if this part of the page looks the same to you as it did last time you visited, please scroll down to see if we have added anything since you last checked. 

January 25, 2005
Isle of Hope, Georgia


Isle of Hope is a waterfront community just south of Savannah with charming wide-porched homes nestled beneath mammoth live oaks and pines, or behind hedges blooming with camelias.  Many of the homes look to be cottages that just grew and grew over the past hundred years or so.
One of Isle of Hope's claims to fame is that the headwaters of the Moon River are here.  Having seen both the headwaters and the mouth of this short river,  we can tell you that Johnny Mercer took great artistic liberties with the "wider than a mile" line in that song--up North, we'd call it Moon Creek.  Actually, when Johnny wrote the song his inspiration was called Back River, but after the song became something of a timeless hit, the Georgia government changed the river's name.

The Isle of Hope Marina is the only commercial establishment on the waterfront here. The Skidaway River is not terribly wide at low tide, but seems to stretch far toward the horizon when high tide covers the marsh grasses at the far shore.  It was low tide when we arrived, the weather was grand, and we decided to explore the marsh by kayak.  I was delighted to find that my frozen shoulder did not impede my ability to kayak (although it did make getting into and out of the kayak without capsizing a bit of a challenge).

Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Wahoo Island, Georgia

Sunrise, Isle of Hope

The 43 mile passage from Isle of Hope to Wahoo Island winds through lots of narrow rivers and channels lined by marshes.  We traveled miles without seeing solid land along many stretches of the ICW here. 
The most interesting island we passed along the way was St. Catharine's Island.  Our cruising guide filled us in on the island's history.  Before it was named St. Catharine's, it was the capitol of the Creek Indian Confederacy.  Then European countries took their turns at trying to control it, beginning with Spanish missionaries who came up from Florida, and continuing with James Oglethorpe, who arrived to establish Georgia as an English colony in the mid-1700s.   Mary Musgrove, a half-Indian, half-white woman helped him negotiate with the Indians for land, and Oglethorpe rewarded her with St. Catharine's and two other islands.  When slavery began in Georgia in 1749, the government suddenly saw value in the islands as potential plantations, and after a 10-year legal battle, they took two of her three islands, leaving Mary with St. Cat's. 
After the Civil War it was briefly an independent state for free slaves. 
Now,  in perhaps its most interesting incarnation, it is owned by the New York Zoological Society and serves as a sanctuary for endangered species.  Not native endangered species, but things like gray zebras, sable antelopes and hartebeests.  We didn't spy anything unusual as we passed by.
The day began overcast, but sun increased as the day wore on.  By mid-afternoon when we anchored in the Wahoo River, with Wahoo Island to one side of us, and marshes as far as we could see to the other side, it was warm enough to enjoy a relaxing chips, guacamole and fresh-made salsa break on the flybridge. 
A little after 7 pm, the moon rose huge and pumpkin orange in the east, and the stars were bright above us in a clear sky.   

Thursday, January 27-Saturday, January 29
St. Simon's Island, Georgia


This is the sunrise that greeted us as we got up Thursday morning at Wahoo Island.  As this glorious sun was rising in the east, the moon was setting serenely silver in the clear blue sky west. The wind had shifted in the night, so that the island hid its force from us. Until we turned on the weather radio, it seemed like another grand day for cruising. 

A nor'easter was blowing in, and the day got colder, the winds higher, and the waters choppier as we made our way south to St. Simon's Island, adding layers of clothing as we went.  We felt fortunate that the wind and waves were following us from the north, because it would have been punishing to plow into them all day.  
By the time we got to the dock of Golden Isle Marina, the winds were blowing at about 25 mph.  Later, the gusts would reach near 40 mph. We weren't cruising anywhere for a couple days.