We motored to Saint Marys today and anchored in the harbor. Today was sunny but a little cool with the wind. I was thankful I wore my fleece jacket for the dinghy ride because it was choppy and chilly. Saint Marys is a delightfully quaint little town. After talking with the lady at the visitors center, we had a map and a walking plan. First we went to the Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum. The museum is free and small…my kind of museums. It was very informative and explained many of the things we saw on Cumberland Island yesterday. I was especially interested in the Dungeness mansion and how the Carnegie family lived. After just finishing Downton Abbey, my interest was piqued since it was close to the same time period. As part of our “tour”, we visited the Presbyterian and the Episcopal churches. The Baptist and the Methodist must not be as trusting, because they were locked! We had planned to eat a seafood supper, but the weather became threatening, and I didn’t relish a ride back in choppier seas and rain. Settling for dessert and coffee, we had mac and cheese and hotdogs for supper instead.
Christ Church Episcopal Church, Saint Marys, GA
First Presbyterian Church 1808
Tonight has been our first bad weather since we left Charleston. Along with the rain came 10-15 knots of wind. I pulled my winter pjs back out and am comfy. Of course I took the socks out of the dorads earlier today; it feels like fans blowing through them. Tomorrow we motor less than 10 miles to Fernandina Beach, Florida. Wow! Florida! Our friends, Rob and Minta Fannon are coming Friday for a short visit. They are in Hilton Head for Rob’s conference today and tomorrow. We hope to sail Saturday. Haven’t had the sails up yet!
Update on my AFLAC duck….I think he was a Cattle Egret. According to my field book, it says they feed on the insects around livestock. That looks like what he was doing. I guess the horses like him taking care of bothersome insects, so this would be mutualism in symbiotic relationships. I know my fifth grade science curriculum.:-)
We left Jekyll Harbor Marina about 10:30 am after a leisurely shower and coffee. We had a short distance today so no need to hurry plus we needed to wait until the tide began to rise again. As soon as we could see the shores of Cumberland Island, I had the binoculars scouring the shore for the famous wild horses. I had always hoped to see these feral horses when we had sailed in the Beaufort, NC /Cape Lookout area but never did…well I think I saw one far away but it could have been a dog or a wild pig for all I could tell! Part way down the island we spotted a couple of horses. I was happy even though they were so far away to really get decent pictures, but still there they were.
We anchored in the river near the Sea Camp Ranger Station dock. Today would be our first day to use our NEW dinghy and motor. I was a little apprehensive about getting the dinghy in the water along with lifting the motor down to the dinghy. James rigged a system with pvc pipe that stores in our boom but slides our when we need it. The pipe has rigging with a block to help us lift the motor. The dinghy and the motor each weigh about 70 lbs. Maybe I should have been weight lifting at the gym instead of doing yoga and pilates! Thanks to engineering and the old simple block and pulley, we were able to put the motor on the dinghy without any mishap. It was a quick nice ride to the park service dock. It is $4 each to tour the island, but we only had $7 in change…fortunately it’s an honor system. Oh well , I’ll pay the extra dollar next time we come. What an almost magical place is Cumberland Island. The Georgia Live Oaks form this wonder canopy with moss hanging from every gnarled tree branch along with a forest floor of palms. We walked through this forest on the half mile path to the beach. The sand was pristine white except for the occasional horse droppings. I collected sand for my sand collection and a few shells. After a short walk in the ocean, we headed back to visit the Dungeness Ruins. I’m glad I didn’t realize how far the walk was to Dungeness because I might have balked. It was another 1.3 miles through sandy paths, but it was worth the walk. Besides the wonderful ruins, there were more horses on the grounds. We were able to get close enough to take some great photos. There was also this white bird that kept following them. He reminded me of the AFLAC duck. The horses ignored him as well as us. By the time we walked back to the dock, my joints were hurting. When we sat down to shake the sand out of shoes, I was afraid I was going to be so stiff I wouldn’t be able to get back up! After the many miles of biking around Jekyll yesterday and now all the walking today, I am really tired. It’s only 9 pm and James is already in bed, and I am headed that way directly…after I take my ibuprofen. 🙂
P.S. If you want to know more about Cumberland Island National Seashore and Dungeness Ruins go to Google. It is all very interesting. Also a tidbit John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette were married on Cumberland Island in the First African Baptist Church. It is on the northern end of the island…at least 10 miles away from where we were 😦