Thursday, July 31, 2014

Midnight in the Garden......

For you lovers of the book, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," here is the Mercer Williams House as it stands today.......spectacular. It is owned and lived in by his sister Dorothy who has tried to sell it on occasion for an exorbitant amount.
The Lady Chablis still appears at Club One every now and again at the shabby end of town, down near the river in this hole in the wall.
The Bird Girl statue on the front cover of the book had to be taken out of the Bonaventure cemetery because of the crowds of people flocking to see it. Now you can pay $20 to take a close look in the Telfair Museum or if you quickly look up as you enter the building as I did, you can take a look.
Forest Gump fans also got in on the act........ if you remember Jenny, the waitress in the film, here is her restaurant milking the tourists for all they are worth.
Or a little more upscale at Paula Dean's Restaurant, where you have to book a gazillion years in advance just to get in the door.
Or if you like a simple southern vegetable plate with corn bread and sweet tea for just $8, go to Parkers just behind the Lucas Theatre.
 You can choose to take an open air bus ride and see all these places with a running commentary by the driver, and in theory, you can get on and off whenever you want, but the buses are all so full so that if you get off one, it is very hard to get back on.
The fantastic Forsyth Fountain is a stone's throw from the Williams House.
The Cathedral of the St John the Baptist Church would put many European churches to shame.
Mass was going on inside and the atmosphere really made me want to start praying.
And finally, the Savannah waterfront, which had some pretty impressive infrastructure alongside!

All for the cost of lunch and a $1.50 bus ride from my marina.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wormsloe Plantation

This historic Southern plantation is just around the corner from the marina I am staying at. It is the legacy of the carpenter, Noble Jones who was only one of 39 of London's poor, to survive. They were settled by the British in 1736 as a social experiment. He took on the job of surveyor, and he set up all the streets in not only Savannah but also Augusta. He was given 500 acres on the Isle of Hope to set up his plantation there and build a tabby house the ruins of which, can still be seen today.
If you look at the walls past that ugly fellow in the next photo, you can see why they call it a "tabby" house.
Tabby is a building slurry of lime, sand, water, and crushed oyster shells. To get to the Tabby House today, you have to go down a mile and a half (two and a half kilometers to you infidels) of live oak trees.
There is also the obligatory museum where they have pieces of pottery from the original 39 settlers.
They were not the first to settle the area BTW. The Spanish claimed the area along with Florida and had forts all along the coast 100 years earlier, fighting the British in a war that Noble Jones participated in. Later on he backed the royalists (against his son who later became the first mayor of Savannah) but passed away fortunately, before the war of Independence. Of course the Yamacraw Indians were there a long time before anyone else, but whose counting?
To get to Wormsloe, I had to walk along Bluff Drive in front of the marina, that has some impressive looking homes.
 This place used to be the vacation spot of choice for the rich and famous and during the yellow fever epidemic, this is where all the wealthy would hang out........not much has changed today. That air plant that is hanging from the trees is called Spanish Moss or Old Man's Beard. You have probably seen it covering the soil in your flower pots. It loves these southern live oaks to grow on because of these trees' high rates of mineral leaching.
OK you have had your fair dose of history for today, now onto salad, and paw paw.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sapelo to Savannah

I left at the crack of dawn....and I will spare you the alliteration.
And this is where I landed up.
It is quite close to the historic part, it has a Walmart nearby and the marina has a loaner car that you can use. Here am I tucked away, dwarfed by all the mega yachts here. You may need a magnifying glass.
I took a bunch of photos on the ICW today of other boats but my favorite is this shrimper, off to do a day's work.
 I will stay here a few days and get a heavy dose of tourist history and will finish with a few of those ICW boaters.

Monday, July 28, 2014

7 Days without Wally World makes one Weak

I learned to live off the grid with solar panels and LED's
I Learned to do without my car
I learned to do without refrigeration
But the mightiest hurdle of all, has been that it has been over a week since I have been to Wally World
Take a look at these, fresh vegetables kept in temperatures approaching 100 degrees and yet able to make a delicious meal.
Today I continued with boat chores, including spending most of the morning working on securing my back hatch.
I put a rope gasket around the base and seated it tightly in it's new position. When I got it back from Dean, it didn't fit properly but I didn't think it was a big deal. Well turns out that when you sail in rough water, that sort of stuff just doesn't cut it.
I also hunted around in my V-berth for a sail to replace my ripped staysail. Over the past year I have collected 10 headsails from craigslist and notice boards and the one I picked up in Panama City is in excellent condition even if it is a bit bright. I always like having a headsail ready to deploy even when I am motoring just in case the motor quits on me.
The tides here are huge BTW. Take a look at the grassy reeds in this next photo.
Yes I know.......there is my constant companion here. Now take a look at this....
Yes they are my lifelines that you see......Anyway do you see how the water extends out through the grasses? It really is a marsh and would be impossible to walk through. The boat had been pushed against the side by a quite a few weekend warriors.
The consequences being this.......
No that is not an optical illusion and I wasn't planning on careening the boat. I reanchored a liitle later but now, as well as my anchor alarm being on a night, I also leave one running during the day.
This Garmin GPSmap is an early model so the black and white model runs for 28 hours on two AA rechargeable batteries.
And one last one for you cormorant lovers out there.....
Tomorrow I will get an early start to chase the rising tide into Savannah and Wally World!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Spectacular, stunning sunset sitting in Sapelo Sound

How's that for alliteration. This place is the real deal. Beautiful just doesn't get close.
 These birds move from tree to tree in groups.  By the way, I had to come up a river to get to this spot as you can see.
I can hear the Dolphins gasping for air, here feeding beside my boat, just about all day long.
Of course my boat chores keep me busy most of the day, including fixing a spreader stay up the mast.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Fernandina to Sapelo

So that you can get a better idea of my cruise so far, here is a little map.
Got  a fairly early start and the marina staff  were very helpful
It is quite a busy port one end, with the marina and tourist area sandwiched between the docks and a paper mill  at the other end.
Oh and I can't forget the big fleet of shrimpers.
There is an impressive old fort that guards the entrance to the submarine base from the ocean.
So it tuns out that life on the ocean wave isn't that great. Lots of  this stuff.
Peppered occasionally by some very exciting times like going to the bowsprit to change out a  headstay.
Winds were light in the morning so I coaxed the boat along with my pretty drifter.
Winds piped up in the afternoon and things got interesting.
I put one reef in the main and dropped the drifter. After an exciting 5 hour sleigh ride doing 6.5 knots in 20 knot winds, the seas got very rough and I could not put another reef in the main and the staysail ripped. So I bailed to Sapelo Sound. Of course they have their fleet of shrimpers as well.
I am tucked away behind an Island called Blackbeard Island. It was named after a notorious pirate who was based here in the Eighteenth century so I might spend a few days here digging around for buried treasure.
If treasure isn't enough, take a look at the view out my back door.
And my front door.
And lastly a pet peeve of mine is if you like certain foods, you have no choice but to eat a lot of it, like brussel sprouts.