March 15, 2010
This morning, after looking at the NOAA weather site, weather underground, and the weather channel, we decided to take a chance and head out for St. Simons outside. We had an outgoing tide and west winds, so it sounded as this would be a better day to leave than tomorrow. I’m sure our desire to get home also colored our decision. We got off the dock well in spite of the wind with help from a dock hand and were headed to the channel when we started to raise our sail under semi-protected conditions. As we were in the process of putting up the sail, the launch from Greyfield Inn on Cumberland Island, the Lucy B. Ferguson, came barreling towards us. I was at the helm and asked Bill what to do, and he said not to worry, he wouldn’t hit us as we had plenty of room behind us, and every mariner knows that a sailboat raising a sail is in a very vulnerable position. Well, the skipper of the Lucy B. evidently didn’t give a darn about the rules of the road and kept proceeding full steam ahead. Bill finally told me to fall off before we had the sail fully raised, which resulted in increased difficulty getting the sail up. The skipper of the Lucy B. was nonchalant about his obvious errant behavior when Bill called him on Channel 16.
In spite of that difficulty, we got the main up and headed out the channel. This was the first time we’d raised our sail since Hawk’s Channel in the Bahamas. We waited until we’d exited the ship channel before we let out the head sail, but then for about an hour, we shut the motor down and actually sailed. After that time the wind shifted more to the north so we brought in the head sail and motor sailed towards St. Simons. It was a long day with seas a bit more than the 1 foot advertised by NOAA and the wind a bit more than 15-20 (more like 20-30 and 3 foot seas). The most vexing thing about the day was the temperature though, which didn’t get out of the 50’s and the wind chill made it feel much colder. Isn’t it ironic that we are ending this trip in the same way we began – back in our long underwear, sweaters, gloves, sweatshirts, and heavy jackets. This trip just isn’t quite what we had envisioned it would be.
We were worried that our trip into St. Simons Sound would be really rough, but the tide was pretty much slack and the anticipated huge rollers didn’t materialize. We had a good docking at Golden Isles Marina, fueled up, and had long, hot showers. For dinner, we went ashore again and had a nice evening at the Coastal Kitchen. Now we’re both tired and headed for an early evening in spite of daylight savings time which should make our bodies feel that it really isn’t that late. We’ll make the decision in the morning as to whether we’ll head outside again to St. Catherine’s Island and an anchorage in Walburg Creek or travel inside and brave the shallow waters of the Little Mud River. Either way, we hope to be home in the next couple of days.