Jekyll Island, GA (Tuesday, 10/31 – Halloween)
Before we left Brunswick we decided to take advantage of the free laundry and wash our boat towels. Denise got up early and had this all accomplished before Mark had finished his breakfast. We left the dock at 9:30, even though it was a short distance (8 miles), but mainly because we did not have any reason to hang around Brunswick. We wanted to get to Jekyll Island so we could utilize their internet and get some work done.
We cruised back down the East River, passing the shrimp boats docked at the commercial docks just south of the freighters we passed yesterday.
We turned east and went under the Lanier Bridge, headed out on the Brunswick River, and then reconnected with the ICW at the Jekyll Creek Inlet. We knew this stretch of the ICW was notorious for shoaling, and although the tide was going out, we were passing through 2 hours before low tide. However, we encountered a few spots that were really shallow; at one point our depth gauge showed 2’ 2” – WOW! This was scary, but Captain Mark managed to get us back into deeper (8’) water and continue on without incident. We passed the Jekyll Wharf Marina which is near the Jekyll Island Club, and is so shoaled up now that it is closed to transients. We witnessed one of the commercial boats trying to dock with much difficulty due to the shallow water near the dock.
We cruised under the JI Bridge and pulled into the Jekyll Harbor Marina where the dockmaster Terri and Manager Bill were there with helping hands for the tie-up.
This is a terrific marina right on the ICW (in a no-wake zone) with lots of fun things to do. We first stopped here in 1998 when we had our sailboat, and also stopped on our way north this spring. In addition to great transient rates, they have loaner bicycles, free cable tv, and golf carts, not to mention an on-site pool and restaurant that is really good.
We spent the whole day working on the boat, either doing work, conference calls or working on blog posts. During that time we watched several boats negotiate the shoaling north of the marina, and even saw one get stuck for a while. We also saw boats we had passed earlier in the week go down the ICW and continue south. Yes, during this time of year all the boats leapfrog each other as there are many different marinas and anchorages and each boat has their own plans for where to stop for a day or two.
Denise had a planned conference call in the early evening, so we opted for a quick and easy dinner beforehand. We borrowed the golf cart and went to the “Love Shack BBQ Shrimp & Yardbird” – a walk-up place in the Jekyll Island Marketplace that we had “discovered” on our trip north in April. Usually there is a line out the door to get into this place, but because we were early there was no one in front of us. However, by the time we got our to-go order of pulled pork sandwiches, there were people already queuing up. We golf-carted it back to the marina in time to enjoy it before Denise’s call.
Another event that we watched during the day were the repairs taking place at the marina. Hurricane Irma felled two large oak trees on the property, and they had been partially cut up, but several large stumps were still laid up on the ground. The marina had also detected a fuel line leak and they were near completion of its repairs. Because of these activities there were several contractors in the area and the grounds were a bit torn up. However, they did get the fuel pumping by the end of the day, and we could see the progress that had already been made on the rest of the property.
After Denise’s call, we were greeted by two “reverse” trick-or-treaters who were walking the docks and handing out candy to all the boaters. This marina has a handful of live-aboard boaters and this is how they celebrate Halloween. It was fun and we actually shared some of our candy with them as well.
Also in the evening we were able to watch cable tv for the first time in weeks. We really hadn’t missed it all that much as we found nature far more interesting and pleasurable, especially with sunsets like this:
Jekyll Island, GA (Wednesday, 11/1)
It was a beautiful and calm morning, so Denise went for a run. It was nice to be in familiar territory and with no constraints on miles as there are lots of paths and places to adventure on this island. She left the marina and headed to the beach downtown, and then along the paved pathway opting for the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean was flat and many boaters were taking advantage of such seas and making their passage south instead of going on the ICW.
During the day, we did a few boat chores and then got busy with work and all that was required to update the blog (cataloging pictures, writing posts, etc.). Mark spoke with a few clients and Denise had a chance to speak with friends in New Smyrna Beach, making plans for Friday night dinner when we are there.
We also made a change to our itinerary deciding to go further south tomorrow to St. Augustine, once again bypassing Fernandina Beach. This will allow us to split up the distance to New Smyrna Beach and be positioned for a short cruise to Harbor Town marina in Merritt Island (our home port) on Saturday morning.
In the evening we had Debra & Larry (“Dabadoo”) over for drinks as they wanted to see our boat. They were in the Kadey Krogen motor yacht in front of us at the marina, and we had spent some time over the past two days talking with them. Larry was familiar with the Sabre line but had never been inside the Back Cove. We spent some time getting to know each other a bit and invited them to go to dinner with us, but they had plans of their own.
Once they left we walked up to Zachry’s Riverhouse, the restaurant at the marina. We had dined here before and again had a terrific meal. We recommend you stopping at this place if you are ever on Jekyll Island as their food is good and their view at sunset is outstanding. You can learn more about the place here.
Back on the boat, we made plans to leave in the morning before the tide started to run out. The weather forecast looked favorable for us to go offshore down to St. Augustine and allow us to avoid the shoals in the ICW all the way down to Jacksonville.