Southern Belles, Mint Juleps, my Ocean, and Culture Shock

We arrived in St. Augustine on the 20th and left on the 22nd, so we had a couple days to enjoy the company of Ron & Linda on ‘Fantasia’, a terrific couple on a 36’ sailboat that we have been enjoying the company of until Fernandina Beach, where we left them.  After St. Augustine, we went to the Ocean for some open water sailing.  Absolutely incredible is the only way I can describe it.  We watch and move with the weather we choose, and have been under sail for the most part.  The water looks absolutely filthy.  I’m sure it’s not, but it is not the beautiful aqua color of the Gulf.

We have been going into inlets to stop at night, which is normally about an hour or more to get in, and on Thursday the 23rd, the winds were so calm I got a little cocky and decided to anchor in the Ocean without going in.  I had too much sun all day, so after I was sure the anchor was set, I went to sleep.  Later, when MB woke me up, the boat was rockier than when we had anchored at the Marquesas almost in the Gulfstream.  It rocked hard all night, and we were sure we were dragging anchor.  I had to continually get up to check the plotter to make sure we were not dragging.  It was my most uncomfortable night ever, and when I got up in the morning, I was seasick, so I fed the Ocean, that makes it mine!  Lesson learned, no more Ocean anchoring (hey, I anchored in the Gulf, it was not like that).

We arrived near Savannah, Georgia on the 25th in the afternoon, are anchored in a small river (Turner Creek), it’s a nice quiet anchorage with a marina close by.  We will dingy in for supplies, showers, fuel, and to see the local sights.  There are plenty of Southern Belles in bikinis out and about, and I want to try a mint Julep at the local bar.  I used to read about them, along with the history of this area, I’m sure there will be lots to see and do.

I was surprised to find nothing like a mint Julep in the local café, where they served bar-b-que.  That’s another thing about the south; bar-b-que is a noun, not an adjective.  MB and I keep waiting for them to finish the sentence.  Bar-b-que what? The meal was good, the drinks were beer, and the entertainment never showed up.

Culture shock for me is explained when they charge me an outrageous sum of money to dock my dingy so I can go spend money in their town.  In Florida (at least the places we stayed) they were glad to see us tie our dingy up, so we could add to their local economy (food, hardware, marine supplies, etc).  If we wanted a shower, sometimes we paid for that, sometimes not, and the fee was always reasonable ($2 each, or $5 for the dingy, which included showers and wifi).

Not at our first stop in Georgia, the marina was so expensive we didn’t consider taking the big boat in, (we haven’t kept the boat in a marina with us on it since Shalimar, last November).  We anchored about a mile from the marina, and were charged $10 a day to take the dingy in.  The first day, I took empty jerry cans in to buy some gas, and he said I would have to pay the $10 for the dingy to buy gas at the marina!  I declined, went back to the boat and told MB we would have to do it all the next day.  Sunday, we paid our $10 for the dingy, which did not include showers, which was another $10, got our fuel, provisions, and went to the local café for dinner.  They had no laundry, no wifi, and no internet at all, yet I paid as much as I would have for my big boat in a full class marina on the rivers.  Welcome to the East Coast.
We have decided to try and anchor only in cities that provide free dingy tie ups, not sure if it will work or not, but we are going to try and spend our money where they want us.

There is certainly no poor economy in this part of Georgia, the marinas are full, the fuel dock is full of boats all the time, and there are always boats coming and going.

At the anchorage we are at, there are a few derelict boats.  One in particular, a large shrimp boat has been the talk of the local council, and they are trying to do away with the derelicts.  They argued about how to remove this one so long (years) that an Osprey built a nest in the mast (see photo) and the derelict is now protected, and they cannot remove it.  Too cool, it adds a local flavor to the site.

Our plans are to leave Monday morning, the next section will be slow going, we have a couple stops to make, and I want a locally made Mint Julep, perhaps I can find one in South Carolina.

Beautiful weather here, Ralph and Peg are back on the Island, the bugs are all right here in Georgia, and we are still working our way home.  MB is getting more focused than ever, she even seems to be enjoying herself in my Ocean.

Colin and Pat, we listen to Michael McLeod’s music nightly, we should have got the rest of the cd’s.

Hope everyone had a great April.  See you in May.

Joe & MB Amelia
S/V “Pot ‘O’ Gold”

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