Monday, July 30, 2012

St. Simon's Island, GA

Golden Isles Marina
St. Simon's Island, GA

31 10.0 N 081 24.92 W

We departed the docks of Ocean Reef YC early on Sat June 30. Our destination was Brunswick, GA 330nm northwest. Our trusty weather guru, Chris Parker, assured us that we had a great weather window for the 2-1/2 day passage... after one last swim in the beautiful pool...
...and one last dinner on the beach with good friends...
...and one last look at the local sea life at the marina...
...we set sail and left the pristine blue waters of the Bahamas and Gulf Stream behind us.

It was a "decent" 2 day passage with light to moderate winds and mostly calm following seas. The first day out we made good progress under sails, or when winds lightened motorsailing under one engine. By mid-afternoon we entered the Gulf Stream gaining an easy 3 knots of speed. It was a delightful overnight sail with a near-full moon illuminating the waters.

Night two was a different story... Around midnight (why does it always seem to happened then?) we were about 25 miles off the FL coast... Checking our weather radar we were shocked to see a huge area of thunderstorms covering most of SE Georgia approaching us. We prepared for the worst and thankfully the storm cells broke up as they moved out over the ocean. However, the storms had produced confused seas and lingering strong headwinds that made for a very uncomfortable and SLOW ride if we were to maintain our course for GA.  So around 2AM rather than bashing to windward we decided to divert  back towards St. Augustine, timing our arrival at the inlet for daybreak. By 7:30 AM we had picked up a town mooring in Salt Run, called into to Customs and then had ourselves a nice long nap. 

After one day of motoring up the ICW to Fernandina Beach and one day offshore from St. Mary's, GA, we finally entered the Brunswick channel on July 4th. There were flocks of vacationers on the beach resorts of St. Simons Island.

Golden Isles Marina on St. Simon's Island, GA.
 We plan to keep Carina here through the hurricane season until November. Its been hot, but there is a nice afternoon sea breeze and we do have our air conditioners cranking.

We have the marina pool to cool off in. There is also a great restaurant on the premises. The marina provides a courtesy car for local errands as well as free bikes. 

Carina rests comfortably at the dock. Notice the color of the water? It's not "gin clear" blue anymore.

On July 13th we packed up the rental car for a three week trip north to visit family. Kathy's grandson, Quinten, turned one on July 18 and we attended his birthday party in the Poconos. 

We left the kitties with Grandma Jennie in Windsor for a few days and took a much anticipated side trip to Niagara Falls. We plan on returning to Carina in about a week and spend the rest of the Summer catching up on boat maintenance and just enjoying the area around St. Simon's before heading out in the Fall to ????