William Bartram on the South End


March 1774
William Bartram’s Travels
Part II ch 1


…At length I doubled the utmost south point of St. Simon’s, which forms the north cape of the south channel of the great river Alatamaha. The sound, just within this cape, forms an excellent bay, or cove, on the south end of the island, on the opposite side of which I beheld a house and farm, where I soon arrived. This delightful habitation was situated in the midst of a spacious grove of Live Oaks and Palms, near the strand of the bay, commanding a view of the inlet. A cool area surrounded the low but convenient buildings, from whence, through the groves, was a spacious avenue into the island, terminated by a large savanna; each side of the avenue was lined with bee-hives, to the number of fifty or sixty; they seemed to be well peopled, and exhibited a lively image of a colony that has attained to a state of power and affluence, by the practice of virtue and industry.
        WHEN I approached the house, the good man, who was reclining on a bear-skin, spread under the shade of a Live Oak, smoking his pipe, rose and saluted me: “Welcome, stranger, I am indulging the rational dictates of nature, taking a little rest, having just come in from the chace and fishing.” After some conversation and rest, his servant brought a bowl of honey and water, a very refreshing and agreeable liquor, of which I drank. On rising to take my departure, he objected, and

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requested me to stay and dine with him; and on my pleading, for excuse, the necessity of my being at Frederica, “Yet, I pray you, stay a little, I will soon have some refreshment for you.” Presently was laid before us a plentiful repast of venison, &c. our drink being honey and water, strengthened by the addition of brandy. Our rural table was spread under the shadow of Oaks, Palms, and Sweet Bays, fanned by the lively salubrious breezes wafted from the spicy groves. Our music was the responsive love-lays of the painted nonpareil, and the alert and gay mockbird; whilst the brilliant humming-bird darted through the flowery groves, suspended in air, and drank nectar from the flowers of the yellow Jasmine, Lonicera, Andromeda, and sweet Azalea….



Morningstar Marina.

In mid March we brought the Spirit of St Simons down from the North End of the island to a berth here at the old Golden Isles Marina.


The Frederica River empties into St Simons Sound just below here, making it convenient for short trips. A breakwater gives some protection from the south.


There is a daily turnover of interesting vessels, especially this time of year. The northward migration of yachts and cruisers is now in full swing.






Shoving off for Georgetown Exuma


Rich Brand, photographer, designer, explorer, free spirit. Headed north, from New Orleans!



I will update this post with more photos from time to time. Click pics for larger. Use your back button to continue.

Hokule ‘a

She’s been sailing all over the Pacific for 40 years, since being built in Oahu, and now is working her way up the Eastern Atlantic coast as part of a promotional tour.


The book made a big impression back in the seventies. Hokule’a joined a fleet of other odd craft built in different places around that time… some made from balsa, others of papyrus reeds, The Irish had their Oxhide boats. All these modern projects had the goal of demonstrating how ancient cultures might possibly have traveled great distances around the planet. Multihulls were still a novelty, and Hokule’a did her part to help make them popular.


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Note the long steering oar. A simple solution, but it takes some muscle. She probably balances much better though, with those crab-claw sails up. Forget that in this winding river. Definitely not an upwind boat, she is more at home in the “blue desert”, running downhill with the trades.

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These photos were taken as she headed North, passing under the Macay river bridge (the same spot we splashed The Spirit of St Simons!). Another remarkable piece of history plies the same water that has seen so much throughout the years.

Hokule’a’s website has many more details and a gps tracker.

Thanks to Max for the heads up and to Harrison for the cool photo.