Island Hopping in Georgia

February 23, 2023

Lil Sudden has a family member visiting, so we stopped in Jacksonville, FL to pick her up before we enter Georgia.

This area is experiencing a heat wave while I hear it’s snowing back home in WA. Tying up to the free dock on the outskirts of Jacksonville, we took an Uber to hit the downtown. Our first destination was Pete’s Sweet Shop, but the Uber driver had the wrong address and we were almost dropped off 20 minutes away from our desired destination. The driver was great and we were back on track.

The sweet shop was fun! It had three decorated floors full of candy, soda, and ice cream. There was also event spaces and an area you could view the candy making. We bought a little candy and went on our way.

Another sight was the USS Orleck, a Destroyer. We opted not to tour it as it was too hot.

We returned to the boat for some kayaking and called it a night.

February 24, 2023

We had an early departure set to cross into Georgia and head to Cumberland Island. The morning was nice, but once we entered the ocean, a thick fog covered the water. The mornings are cold, but the afternoons heat up. After 3.5 hours or so of boating, we anchored next to the island and dinghied to shore.

Cumberland Island is a barrier island in the southern area of Georgia. The island is accessible by boat/ferry only and has many walking trails to explore. Wild horses roam the island along the beaches and around the oak trees. Michael loves climbing and was happy to explore the trees.

The island was once home to Thomas and Lucy Carnegie (brother of Andrew Carnegie). Thomas and Lucy built a mansion called Dungeness along with several homes for their children. Years later, a fire burned down the mansion, leaving ruins in its place. We strolled along the ruins admiring the area.

Michael and I later kayaked back to the beach to play. We saw tiny fiddler crabs crawling into holes along the rocks and sand. Our fun was not long lasting as we kept getting bugged by bugs. I always thought no see ems were a joke and a nickname. I was mistaken.

February 25, 2023

We had to rise and shine early again to travel to Jekyll Island; it was another 3.5 hours and wanted to make the most of our day. We had moorage at a marina that was located within a mile from the historic area. The marina had a pool, hot tub, restaurant, and courtesy golf carts and bikes. We all chose bikes to make exploring the bike friendly town easier.

In 1733, Jekyll Island got its name in honor of Sir Joseph Jekyll, friend and financier of General James Oglethorpe. In the late 1800s, Jekyll Island became an exclusive hunting club for the wealthiest families including Rockefeller, Morgan, Vanderbilt, Pulitzer, and Baker. These millionaires pooled their money to buy the island, build a club house, and have a rustic retreat to spend together. In addition to the club house, many members built their own “cottages” that surround the area. The “cottages” were about 8,000 square feet and built in various styles. We took a trolley tour around the area.

Jekyll Island is also home to the first transcontinental phone call. President Woodrow Wilson, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Watson, Henry Higginson, and AT&T President Theodore Newton Vail joined in on this call. Vail initially planned to partake in the call from his office in New York City, but a leg injury forced him to remain on Jekyll Island where he was wintering. He ordered an extension of the line to the island and was able to partake from Jekyll.

The historic area is also home to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. We took a quick tour and learned about the turtles that were rescued and under treatment.

After exploring the town, we needed to buy some provisions. A bike ride to the east side of the island brought us to the local market. I went to buy some milk and eggs, but gasped when I saw the prices. A gallon of milk was $7, eggs were $7, and Wonder Bread was $4.50. Recovering from sticker shock, we decided to try provisioning another day.

February 26, 2023

We slept in! After moving each morning, it was nice taking it easy. We departed Jekyll Island at 11:00 and had an hour long journey to St. Simons Island. Anchoring nearby, Tonia, Emily, and I went to explore the island while Boris and Matt went to Brunswick to provision.

Turns out it’s difficult finding an Uber or Lyft. The boys were unable to get to the grocery store and had to use Instacart. Us girls had to walk 3 miles into town to go sightseeing. The kids chilled on the boat as it was another hot day and there were bugs on land.

St. Simons tells a story of a spirit that protects and guides sea turtles. Faces of the spirit can be seen carved on trees around the island. The carvings began in 1982 and 11 can be found scattered around with a majority in the main town area. We were able to find over half of the carvings on our walk around town. As the sun began the set and the bugs began to feast, we wanted to find an Uber or Lyft. After numerous attempts, we finally had luck and arrived to the dock, and back to the boat, safely.

In the evening, we enjoyed Sangrias, watched the final two episodes of Below Deck Mediterranean, and had a nice dinner.

Just before heading to bed, Annette announced that her room was full of no-see-ems (bugs). Her window was open and the bugs could fit through the screen. When her door opened, they flew into the rest of the boat. Everyone went into my room to sleep while I went on a bug killing spree. I think I got most of them.

February 27, 2023

Today is a travel day. We are slowly making our way to Savannah, GA, which will take two king days of boating. We went for 8 hours today and expect to do another 7 tomorrow. We did stop at Two Way Fish Camp for cheap fuel ($4.99/gallon). The attached bait shop was interesting as it housed an old canoe, taxidermy animals, crocodile skulls, and other rustic items.

We are anchored in the middle of nowhere in a river surrounded by grassy marshes. There was an attempt at fishing which resulted in catching a small sting ray. The ray was released.

We’ve come along ways on this journey. Here’s a screen shot of our map from the FindPenguins app.

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