Two years ago this month I was cleaning the bottom when Peter happened by. He had this odd looking set-up… a big box kite with a hand held crank on the kite string fixed to a homeade spool that was mounted to a pvc frame he wore around his neck. The kite lifted his camera, which was also hard wired to a control box mounted on the frame so he could see it as he maneuvered the kite into position! I was working furiously to beat the tide, so I didn’t have time to chat, but he took several shots and before he left , he promised to e-mail some pictures. I scrawled my address in the sand and he took a photo. I never heard back from him. It turns out, the photo of the address was unreadable. Then two years later, after the hurricane, he happened to come down to my neighbors house where we ran into each other again. After a good laugh, he re-copied my e-mail again and sent me these nice shots.
I hope to entice him to go out with us soon and get some more aerials of the boat under sail. I am still trying to get a good “money shot” of the boat for my charter brochure. He has made a beautiful calendar with photos of local stuff. They have them down at Ford’s bookshop down at shops of Sea Island.
Friday PM 4:30.
We are at the head of Jones Creek, with six hooks set. There is no room to swing, so I have a mambo sized danforth set as primary to the NorthEast with the bow oriented in that direction. NorthEast is the most exposed fetch here, with wind from that direction now at about 20 Kts. If the storm stays on track to the west of us the wind should veer on around to the East. That would be the Manson Supreme taking over. It is a back breaking mambo too. I may never see these anchors again in this mud. To the north I have my working plow set, right in the axis of the creek current, which is not too bad up here. The other good thing is the hill behind us, to the South and South West, and I have two fortresses and another danforth spread out there with lots of chain. I am trying to leave enough slack to allow the boat to pivot with the gusts so that there is no broadside load. Hopefully that will work out. Problem is there is not unlimited scope due to the width of the creek, and the surge also has to be taken into account. I guess the biggest concern is floating trees and debris, though that should be minimum problem here compared to other spots. All other things considered this seems like the best plan.
Y’all say a prayer for the Spirit of St Simons (and everybody else too, while you are at it) Even if you aren’t a Christian, say a prayer anyway.
If the storm comes and it is very bad we are leaving. There is nothing more to do I reckon. I will go out there in the morning and make a few adjustments, then we will decide whether to leave or not. We are packed, pretty much. My camera must’ve got wet. This pic was taken with my phone on the row back to the dock.
When you’ve done all you can do, that is all you can do, so there is no more need to worry about it.
I like what John Masefield said:
Dust to dust and die we must
so let us all be merry!
Let us drink the cocktail down,
and let us eat the cherry!…
Blue and slapping run the waves
ebbing out or flowing
Let us go to life! or graves,
but let’s at least be going
We rode it out fine. I still think I would prefer to have a monster bridle, and single rode setup, with lots of chafing gear and one big manson supreme or similar, probably in tandem with a kellet of some kind, lots of heavy chain and good snubbers. problem is finding a good protected spot with no sharp objects nearby that also has the sea room you need to swing, preferably with little current. I am still looking. I will definitely take off the mainsail next time also. Broadside loads are huge, even with everything else stripped. We got lucky (again).
We’ve made several afternoon daysails in the St Simons Sound over the last few weeks. Temps have averaged in the low 70’s, wind usually from ENE, 15-20 kts. Earlier this year, we decided to remove the bench seats to lighten up and give more elbow room. So far I think folks like it better, though we are still debating over which are the best chairs to use. It’s really nice to have all that extra real estate for the passengers to mill about. The table stows forward under the solar panel, with a “kitchen box” underneath, and room for a large cooler as well. If we want to “dine out” it attaches to the console on the aft end with scissor legs fwd. It is very light, and seats seven easily.
We spent the first night in Crooked River anchorage after a quick stop on Cumberland Island at Plum Orchard Mansion. There is a nice dock there, on the Brick hill River. I don’t know what the deal is with it, but nobody was around so we tied up. The mosquitos were so fierce we only stayed long enough to snap a few pictures. We will definitely have to go back later this winter, and spend some time. The mansion is just about a half mile above where the Brickhill converges with the ICW, actually the Cumberland River. The Crooked river empties into almost the same spot from the west. When going in, if you hug its north bank for a few hundred yards, there is ten or twelve feet of water in there with room to swing, a gentle current, and many less bugs.
This was “Brother” Jim’s third trip on the Spirit of St Simons. A talented teacher, artist, chef, story teller, and all around good company.
We saw a good bit of damage from Hurricane Matthew. At Fernandina we counted over a dozen good sized boats on the beach. The city dock was completely closed down. Fuel was available at Amelia Island Yacht Basin, but their channel is narrow and fairly shallow. We got in and out OK at low water, but with a deep draft you would be tide dependent.
A nice afternoon sail with Buddy, Judi, Frank, Debbie, Rob and Suzy.
Northwester. Cool, clear and dry air, 12-15kts. Once you clear the Lanier Bridge, heading East, there is enough sea room to tack back and forth across the river without losing too much ground. On a flood tide, you don’t lose any ground, so it’s even better.
The tires gave us some extra insurance against punctures. Thankfully they weren’t needed. The topsides paint is already scuffed up anyway, from the launch two years ago. Hopefully I can get some paint and graphics on soon.
It has been seventeen years since The Golden Isles’ last brush with a major storm. Hurricane Floyd, in 1999, made a very similar track to this years Hurricane Matthew, veering to the northeast at the last moment, only to brush by offshore, keeping us on the “good side” of the circulation.
Earlier, this September, the minimal hurricane Hermine came through, tracking from the southwest, out of the Gulf of Mexico.
Hermine actually did as much or more damage to local marine interests, mainly because the predominant wind was from the south. The large marinas here, Morningstar , and the condo docks next door, along with Brunswick Landing , all suffered because they are more exposed to that direction. Matthew’s winds, however, were mainly from the northeast, which is the most protected direction in each marina’s case.
Brunswick Landing,marina, where we are, had the least damage in Hermine, and virtually none from Matthew. There is no question that it is the most protected, but we were still all very lucky. Matthew happened to hit us at low tide. Since we have a tide range of six-eight feet, if the storm had passed over at high tide, the Cat 3 storm surge would have probably caused the floating docks to jump the pilings, setting whole rafts of boats adrift to bludgeon each other and everything else.
So far it has been a very good year for salvors, repair workers and tree surgeons.
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.