Sunday was our last day in Brunswick. We attended worship at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at the 10:15 a.m. service. The church was beautiful and the people were very friendly. After church, we were looking for a place to have lunch, but the town was a virtual ghost town. Not a single restaurant was open in the downtown area – other than a Subway. So, Subway it was!
The afternoon was spent doing laundry and a few other chores. Cindy and I were thoroughly impressed with Brunswick Landing Marina. The staff is so helpful. Two ladies run the day-to-day operations and assist boats when arriving. They are wonderful, especially Sherry. This would be a great marina for an extended stay. They have free, high-quality, wifi at the dock. The washers and dryers are free. There are free pumpouts and water. There are three separate areas for restrooms, showers, and lounges. And, there are free wine gatherings three days/week. Besides this, the marina is well protected with no current or wakes from passing boats. It would be an ideal spot (if there is such a thing) during a hurricane. (No, I was not paid for this paragraph.)
For dinner, we grilled some shrimp on the barbie, fried some okra (that we got from the farmer’s market yesterday), and made some rice. This delicious food was accompanied by a lovely bottle of French white wine. We went to bed shortly after ten, allowing us to get three to four hours of sleep before pulling out in the wee hours of the morning. As usual before an upcoming passage, I looked at weather conditions from several sources and compared the tides both in Brunswick and at Savannah. In order to take advantage of the tides and current when leaving Brunswick and entering Savannah, we needed to leave around 2 a.m. The winds were forecast to be 5-10 knots out of the south and outside the waves were forecast to be 1.5/2.5 feet out of the east. If those conditions hold, we would have some decent passage conditions. We decided to go outside and leave the ICW on this next leg of our journey. Why?First of all, so that we could make the passage in a single day, and also because of the shallow conditions in the ICW in Georgia. Funds for dredging are apparently in short supply in Georgia, so the ICW has multiple areas of severe shoaling. I can do without that aggravation.
So, we awoke at 1:50 and cast off the dock lines at 2:05. Around 4 a.m., we had finally exited the St. Simon Sound and turned to the north. It’s hard to explain how it feels to point the bow of your boat out into the blackness that is the ocean at night. There is a mixture of fear and exhilaration, solitude and apprehension, doubt and anticipation. As we exited through the channel, I felt the wind in my face and the effect of the waves as they moved the boat up and down and side to side. This particular night there was no moon. The sky, however, was spectacular. More stars populated the dark canvas overhead than can be imagined. The creamy haze of the milky way cut a glorious swath across the blackness. The only other light came from the bioluminescence which was churned up in our wake.
The dark night finally began to loosen it’s inky grip as the eastern sky gradually brightened. Soon after the sun peeked over the horizon, I gave the helm to Cindy so that I might snatch a couple of hours of sleep. The rest of the day was a dream passage. The sea was the calmest we’ve ever experienced on the Atlantic. In the darkness of the early morning, waves were 2-3 feet, but by noon they were more like 1 foot. The wind was light and from the south. Whether it was because of our early start or not, we both felt lazy and tired. We had a brief visit from several dolphins who splashed and played in our bow wake for a few moments (Dolphin video at end). The only other time this has happened on Beatitude was making an outside passage in the Abacos last winter. All along the coast, we encountered multiple shrimp boats, most of which were further inshore. We spent most of the day 6 to 10 miles offshore. By two in the afternoon, we had entered the Tybee Roads Inlet and began our 18 nautical mile journey up river to Savannah. We arrived at the inlet entrance one hour before low tide, so we still had some current to deal with upon our initial entry. We were lucky to make 4 knots against the outgoing flow of water. By 4 p.m. however, the current had slackened and we were up to 6 knots.
By 5:45, we had tied up to the docks at the Westin Savannah Harbor Marina. The marina is basically just a face dock at the hotel lining the Savannah River. It’s comfortable enough, although we do get some wake from the massive cargo ships that transit up and down the river on a regular basis. Our initial plan was to head into town in the evening. However, we were so tired, we could barely muster the energy to have dinner. We walked into the Westin to check in and had a quick bite to eat in Midnight Sun, one of the casual diners in the hotel. Tomorrow, we will head into Savannah to explore and have some fun.
Enjoy our playful friends!