“Hey Y’all” from Savannah – Day Two

Helping the boat behind us push off the dock without hitting Beatitude.

Helping the boat behind us push off the dock without hitting Beatitude.

Just before noon, we were ferried across the Savannah river to the historic city for another day of pleasure. The day began with a visit to The Old Pink House for lunch. Initially called the Habersham House, it opened in 1771. Eventually the soft, native brick bled through the plastered walls, changing the exterior color from white to Jamaican pink. James Habersham, Jr. lived here from 1771-1800. In 1811, it became the first bank in Georgia and was filled with the money of the colonists. The restaurant is a beautiful example of colonial architecture. It also served as the headquarters for Union General Zebulon York in 1865. The food was, of course, delicious.

The Old Pink House

The Old Pink House

Inside The Old Pink House

Inside The Old Pink House

On the Piano in the Cellar Bar at The Old Pink House

On the Piano in the Cellar Bar at The Old Pink House

What a romantic seat in the wine cellar of The Old Pink House

What a romantic seat in the wine cellar of The Old Pink House

Upstairs in the Old Pink House

Upstairs in the Old Pink House

And, yet another room  in The Old Pink House

And, yet another room in The Old Pink House

The rest of the day was spent shopping, visiting art galleries and museums, and eating. We wandered in and out of shops throughout the afternoon, buying little, but looking a lot. We did spend some cash at the Blick Art Supply store, however. I always buy Cindy’s art supplies online through Blick, so we were excited to see a retail store in Savannah. So, we stocked up on a few paints, canvases and brushes. Art galleries were everywhere. It’s always a pleasure to see the works of local artists. While we were visiting one of the galleries, I turned around and noticed Cindy was running out the door. I was wondering what was going on, when the store clerk said that Paula Deen was walking by on the street. Cindy hurried over to meet her. She was unbelievably nice and generous with her time. Her demeanor was unhurried and she seemed like a genuinely kind person. Cindy was so excited to meet her and have her photo taken next to Paula.

We met James in one of the squares.  He was singing in a deep bass voice and making flowers out of straw.  Cool guy!

We met James in one of the squares. He was singing in a deep bass voice and making flowers out of straw. Cool guy!

Selfie in Savannah

Selfie in Savannah

"Hey Y'all!"

“Hey Y’all!”

Mid-afternoon, we visited the Telfair Museum of Art and the Jepson Center. We were excited to see the Bird Girl sculpture in the Jepson. This young lady, cast in bronze and made in 1936 by Sylvia Shaw Judson, is famous for her appearance on the cover of the novel and in the movie of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. She stood over a families plot in the Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah until 1993, when she was photographed for the cover of the novel. Later, she was moved to the Telfair Museum.

The Telfair Museum

The Telfair Museum

One of the period rooms in the Telfair

One of the period rooms in the Telfair

Don't remember much about the painting, but I like it.

Don’t remember much about the painting, but I like it.

Telfair Square

Telfair Square

Bird Girl

Bird Girl

The Jepson Center also had a very neat exhibit called, The Art of Diplomacy: Winston Churchill and the Pursuit of Painting. It features a number of paintings by Sir Winston Churchill, as well as some of his personal items. The exhibit explores the relationship between his painting and his decision-making as a leader of state.

You can definitely see Cezanne's influence on Churchill in this painting

You can definitely see Cezanne’s influence on Churchill in this painting

Churchill's Palette

Churchill’s Palette

Churchill's traveling easel

Churchill’s traveling easel

One of Churchill’s most important works, a landscape called The Tower of the Katoubia Mosque (1943). The landscape is the only piece that Churchill painted during World War II.  It may have played an important role in the war:  In January of 1943, Churchill secretly met with President Franklin Roosevelt in Casablanca, Morocco to decide the timing of D-Day, the invasion of France.  After days of tough negotiation, Churchill convinced Roosevelt to support a D-Day campaign.  He invited Roosevelt to cement the agreement – which Churchill knew demanded a close personal friendship – over a trip to Marrakech to watch the sun set against the backdrop of the Atlas Mountains. The next day, Churchill painted the daytime view from the same spot, later giving the painting to Roosevelt.   In 2011 Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie bought the painting, which they have loaned to this exhibit.

One of Churchill’s most important works, a landscape called The Tower of the Katoubia Mosque (1943). The landscape is the only piece that Churchill painted during World War II. It may have played an important role in the war: In January of 1943, Churchill secretly met with President Franklin Roosevelt in Casablanca, Morocco to decide the timing of D-Day, the invasion of France. After days of tough negotiation, Churchill convinced Roosevelt to support a D-Day campaign. He invited Roosevelt to cement the agreement – which Churchill knew demanded a close personal friendship – over a trip to Marrakech to watch the sun set against the backdrop of the Atlas Mountains. The next day, Churchill painted the daytime view from the same spot, later giving the painting to Roosevelt. In 2011 Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie bought the painting, which they have loaned to this exhibit.

For dinner, we walked back down to River Street to visit Huey’s on the River, a restaurant which serves New Orleans-style cuisine. We topped off our meal with some delicious beignets, for which Huey’s is known. They were wonderful! My first time having them was at Café du Monde in New Orleans a few years ago. Cindy wasn’t with me, so this was her first experience with these delicious powdered-sugar-coated, deep-fried fritters of deliciousness!

At Huey' on the River

At Huey’ on the River

Around 6 p.m., we ferried back to the Westin marina for the evening. We hung out by the pool for a while, taking a refreshing swim and enjoying wifi in the beautiful evening air. Tonight is our last night in Savannah. Tomorrow, we continue our journey northward. The next destination is Charleston, SC, but we’ll probably take three days to get there, anchoring out each of the next two nights. It may be three days or more before the next post. Until then, we’ll be making our way through the Palmetto State.

Another day comes to an end.

Another day comes to an end.

Savannah

Beatitude at the Westin

Beatitude at the Westin

Yesterday was a day to enjoy Savannah, the oldest city in the state of Georgia, and the first state capital of Georgia. The city retains the original town plan designed by founder James Oglethorpe and contains 22 park-like squares (of the original 24). Savannah was founded on February 12, 1733, along with the colony of Georgia. The city sits on a bluff overlooking the Savannah River, approximately 20 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.

Massive cargo ship passing Beatitude at dock

Massive cargo ship passing Beatitude at dock

After breakfast and blog work this morning, we took the free ferry from the Westin across the river to the downtown area. Our first stop was to visit the statue of “The Waving Girl”, aka Florence Martus (1868-1943). She took upon herself the task of greeting all ships that left and entered the Port of Savannah between 1887 and 1931. After a few years, she moved in with her brother, a light keeper on Elba Island. She would wave a handkerchief by day and a lantern by night. Legend states she did not miss a ship in her 44 years on watch. According to some, she greeted the ships because she had fallen in love as a young girl with a sailor and wanted to be sure he would find her when he returned.

Waiting on the ferry to cross the Savannah River

Waiting on the ferry to cross the Savannah River

On the river ferry

On the river ferry

The ferry is visible heading toward the bridge.  Beatitude is seen on the right in front of the Westin.

The ferry is visible heading toward the bridge. Beatitude is seen on the right in front of the Westin.

The Waving Girl.  She'll be waving at us soon.

The Waving Girl. She’ll be waving at us soon.

From there we walked over to The Pirates’ House for lunch. The Pirates’ House is said to be the oldest standing building in the state of Georgia. The place has a long history dating back to 1734, beginning as a house for the gardener who worked the botanical garden on the site. In 1754, when the so-called Herb House was no longer considered necessary, the place was transformed into an inn and tavern for seamen. It became a meeting place for pirates and the criminal parts of society. Many drunken sailors have gone missing from The Pirates’ House. Some were knocked unconscious and dragged through a tunnel beneath the Inn, down to the river and onto a life of bondage on a pirate’s ship. It is also said that Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the first few chapters of Treasure Island at The Pirates’ House.

River Street, Savannah

River Street, Savannah

The Pirates' House

The Pirates’ House

The original portion of the Pirates' House

The original portion of the Pirates’ House

From there we made our way past old homes and charming squares to the Colonial Park Cemetery, which is the final resting place for many of Savannah’s earliest citizens. It dates to about 1750. Among those buried here is Button Gwinett, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. One of the tombs contains the remains of James Wilde, who was killed in a duel. The epitaph reads, “He fell in a duel on the 16th of January, 1815, by the hand of a man who, a short time ago, would have been friendless but for him… By his untimely death the prop of a Mother’s age is broken: The hope and consolation of Sisters is destroyed, the pride of Brothers humbled in the dust and a whole family, happy until then, overwhelmed with aflliction.”

The 1820 Davenport House, which is now a museum

The 1820 Davenport House, which is now a museum

Colonial Park Cemetery

Colonial Park Cemetery

The gravesite of patriot, Nathaniel Greene

The gravesite of patriot, Nathaniel Greene

Resting place of Button Gwinett

Resting place of Button Gwinett

A couple of blocks away from the cemetery, we came upon the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. The colonial charter of Savannah prohibited Catholics from settling in Savannah. This was a result of the fear that Catholics would be more loyal to the Spanish authorities in Florida than to the English government in Georgia. After the revolution, however, this prohibition was relaxed and a group of Haitian immigrants established the first Catholic church in Savannah. Construction of St. John the Baptist began in 1873. The architectural style is French Gothic, and it is beautiful!

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Interior of Cathedral

Interior of Cathedral

The altar

The altar

Gorgeous stained glass window in one of the transepts

Gorgeous stained glass window in one of the transepts

The other transept

The other transept

On the way back to town we passed the home of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts of America. Soon thereafter, we came to Chippewa Square, which contains a statue of the founder of Georgia, James Oglethorpe. What the square is most noted for these days is the place where Forrest Gump sat on the park bench for about 80% of the film telling his life story to anyone who will listen. The bench on which he sat was actually a movie prop that has since been placed in a museum, but the spot on which the bench rested is still there.

My momma always said, "Life was like a box of chocolates..."

My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates…”

We soon came upon Johnson Square, upon which sits Christ Church, the oldest church in Georgia. It is an Episcopal church which was founded in 1733. John Wesley was the minister here in 1736, followed by George Whitfield in 1738. Unfortunately, the church was closed and we could not enter, but it’s still pretty cool to walk past these historic places.

Christ Church, Savannah

Christ Church, Savannah

From there, our next destination was only a couple of blocks away: Paula Deen’s The Lady and Sons restaurant. We’ve eaten at several Food Network Chefs’ restaurants, including Mario Batali’s and Bobby Flay’s. Paula’s is definitely different than the other two. The others are more upscale (of course they were in NYC), while Paula’s is more down-home. The restaurant is housed in an unassuming building in downtown Savannah. The waiters are friendly and professional. And, the food is really good. Not great, but really good. The peach cobbler for dessert? Okay, that was great!

The Lady and Sons.  Our table was on the third floor.

The Lady and Sons. Our table was on the third floor.

Cindy at The Lady and Sons

Cindy at The Lady and Sons

Third floor dining area

Third floor dining area

Cindy got the Chicken Pot Pie

Cindy got the Chicken Pot Pie

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I think Cindy was jealous. :)

I think Cindy was jealous. 🙂

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After this busy day, we returned to Beatitude for the evening. I took a brief swim in the Westin pool. This, however, was cut short by a thunderstorm that rolled through with some ferocious lightning and thunder, and brief heavy rain. So, we returned to the boat for a few minutes before heading up to the hotel lobby to watch the finale of Dancing with the Stars. We were happy to see that the best dancer won – Rumer Willis. 🙂

This otter was lounging on the Westin dock,not far from Beatitude.  He was a big one!

This otter was lounging on the Westin dock,not far from Beatitude. He was a big one!

Swimming in the pool under threatening skies.

Swimming in the pool under threatening skies.

Relaxing by the Westin pool

Relaxing by the Westin pool

Sunset over the Savannah River

Sunset over the Savannah River

From Brunswick to Savannah (with Dolphin Video)

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!

Our Sunday morning place of worship in Brunswick

Our Sunday morning place of worship in Brunswick

St. Mark's

St. Mark’s

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.)

Beautiful ruby stained glass windows in the apse

Beautiful ruby stained glass windows in the apse

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.

Pre-dawn moments on the Atlantic

Pre-dawn moments on the Atlantic

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.

Good morning!

Good morning!

Dolphins at play

Dolphins at play

Two dolphins off the port bow

Two dolphins off the port bow

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Cindy really likes this kind of open water sailing (or motoring, since there was no wind)

Cindy really likes this kind of open water sailing (or motoring, since there was no wind)

One of many shrimp boats

One of many shrimp boats

Entering the Tybee Island Inlet

Entering the Tybee Island Inlet

Tybee Island Lighthouse

Tybee Island Lighthouse

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.

Passing this big cargo ship on the Savannah River

Passing this big cargo ship on the Savannah River

Entering Savannah.  Talmadge Memorial Bridge in background.  Westin Savannah Harbor is tall building on right.

Entering Savannah. Talmadge Memorial Bridge in background. Westin Savannah Harbor is tall building on right.

The sun sets on a long day of travel.

The sun sets on a long day of travel.

Ascending the ramp from the dock to the Westin for check-in

Ascending the ramp from the dock to the Westin for check-in

Large cargo ship passing Beatitude at dock

Large cargo ship passing Beatitude at dock

Enjoy our playful friends!