We visited the sights on Tybee Island today including Fort Pulaski, The Crab Shack Restaurant, and the Tybee Island Lighthouse. Ft. Pulaski only lasted 30 hours under Union Bombardment from rifled canons on Tybee Island. The fort had live re-enactments and included a movie in the welcome center. This is a federal fort so we used our senior pass to get in free of charge. There were many furnished barracks, mess halls, officers' quarters and casements to explore. When we arrived for lunch at the Crab Shack, gaters were waiting to greet us!
We were delighted to host friends from home Tuesday at the marina. We toured Fort McAllister, enjoyed cocktails on Waves of Grace, and had dinner at Fish Tales, the dockside restaurant here that is so popular with the locals. Wednesday Walt and I joined our friends at their rented former French consulate house in Savanna for pizza, wings and beer.....the Wing Crew was true to form and our 25 year tradition of sharing wings together once a week continued here in Georgia!
There are some very unique challenges here in the warm salty south that we just don't experience back home on Lake Ontario....like mold, tides, and current! We are tied to a floating dock here in Georgia but we appear to be in the middle of a fast flowing river because the current runs so quickly through here. Don't drop anything in the water---it's gone! We have an 8' tide and the dock ramps are always at an angle...sometimes so steep that Ranger has to be careful when leaving the docks! We found some mold inside the boat but most of it was on the lifelines and
on the dinghy and Walt has spent hours scrubbing her clean. But there are trade-offs....we have beautiful sunny days EVERY day! and we're on the boat enjoying dock life where the pace is slow and the scenery awesome!
Today we loaded our boat bikes into our car and drove to Savanna where we toured the parks and the waterfront on our bikes. The port of Savanna is a huge commercial seaport 10 miles from the Atlantic. We saw multiple ocean freighters coming up the Savanna River and past the river front which used to be piled high with cotton bales waiting to be loaded. The wharf is now filled with seafood restaurants and tourist shops, but no small marinas for cruisers. There is a courtesy dock where you can tie up for 2 hours, but we saw only one sailboat there.....too much commercial traffic! The city itself is elegant and rich with history. We'll be visiting Savanna again in the next few days.
Today Bob, Greta and their grand-daughter, Heather visited us at Ft. McAllister Marina in their RV. They are on their way to visit Bob's sister, Marie, who lives in Florida. We had dinner at Fish Tales and then drove through the park. So nice to see them!
Today we spent a relaxing day visiting Ft. McAllister which is a Civil War sand pit fortification on the Ogeechee River about a half mile from our marina. There is a nice welcome center complete with video, cannon replicas, and underground barracks. The fort was bombarded from the water by Union troops in 1863.
Fort Mcallister Marina is a bit off the ICW but worth exploring. There are floating docks here, free laundry, loaner car, friendly dock hands and a fabulous restaurant called Fish Tales with inside and outside seating and live music on the week-ends. We'll be staying here for six weeks! Richmond Hill is 10 miles away and Savannah is about 25 miles. We rented a car and drove to Osprey to pick up our car today so we are ready to explore Savannah and the area.
We moved Waves of Grace from Osprey Marina to Georgia via Winyah Bay to Charleston and then out to Port Royal Sound. The winds both days were great...up to 22 knots from the NW and then the NE so we had a good run. We anchored across from the Charleston City Marina where we were joined by another cruising Catalina. We anchored in Cowan Creek Thursday night across from Parris Island. Since our destination marina was in Georgia we had to take the ICW through Field's Cut, Skidaway Narrows, and Hell's Gate....but we made it to Ft. McAllister Marina on the Ogeechee River without going aground, no minor feat in Georgia!
Walt and I have been avid sailors for 38 years. Our retirement dream was to sail to Florida and the Bahamas for the winter months which we did for the first time last year, 2007-2008. We decided that we loved the cruising life
and four days after our return to Lake Ontario we traded our Catalina 320, Eagle's Wings, in for a Catalina 42 which we named Waves of Grace. We hope to continue to cruise in the Florida Keys, Gulf of Mexico, and the Bahamas for many years to come