Day 84, Year 10: Passage to FL, Day 4—Exploring Cumberland Island
Date: Friday, January 2, 2015
Weather: Overcast All Day, High in the 60’s F, NE Wind
Location: Anchored Off Cumberland Island, Georgia

After a morning of doing chores, Mark, Lee, and I headed over to the island to do a little exploring. I’ll talk a bit about the ‘chores’ and then get to the exploration. Our first task was to call a long list of marine engine places to find someone to repair our dinghy motor. But after many calls, we gave up. No one could work on the motor until Monday and we will be gone by then. After the phone calls, I did a laundry while Mark rowed our dinghy over to Sea Turtle to put Lee and Lynda’s motor on it. Then Mark and Lee worked on Sea Turtle’s dinghy. The dinghy’s name is Hatchling, but it looked more like a wounded duck as they towed it over to Windbird to do the repairs. The tube on one side was totally deflated. We raised it up on Windbird’s deck and Lee proceeded to sand the area around the worn hole and then applied the patch. The glue takes 24 hours to dry, so late tomorrow morning we’ll know if the fix worked. The patch kit is more than a year old and the glue might not still be good. We’ll see.

After lunch, Mark and I took our dinghy with Lee’s propane-powered motor over to the dock to check in as visitors to the National Sea Shore. We also filled up two 50-gallon buckets of water for Lynda to use in cleaning the cockpit of Sea Turtle and filled our 5-gallon gerry jug that I had emptied doing the wash. We took the water back to Sea Turtle so Lynda could clean the cockpit. She wanted Lee out of her way, so he went with us. We headed for a dock a bit further away to visit the island’s Ice House Museum and walk to the Dungeness ruins. On the way, Lee’s propane engine started ‘coughing’ and back-firing and we had to row the last little bit to get there. But we made it and first toured the Ice House Museum. Then we walked to the Dungeness ruins. Revolutionary War hero, Nathanael Greene and his wife, Catherine, acquired 11,000 acres on Cumberland Island in the late 1700’s. Nathanael died, but his wife Catherine built a 4-story ‘tabby’ mansion on the island in 1803. ‘Tabby’ is a type of concrete made of water, lime, sand, and oyster shells. This mansion, called Dungeness, stood until 1866 when it burned. In the 1880’s Thomas and Lucy Carnegie purchased the property and built a 59-room Queen Anne style mansion. The ruins of that mansion are still standing, but most of the building was destroyed by fire in 1959. The ruins were interesting and we all enjoyed the walk there on a path lined with live oaks and other trees just dripping with Spanish moss. We saw a few of the wild horses that live on the island and then headed back to the dock. This time the motor started for us, but it still ‘coughed’ and back-fired all the way back home. Lee dropped us off and took the dinghy back to Sea Turtle where he was going to do some trouble-shooting on his less than a year-old engine. By late afternoon the verdict was that work will have to continue in the morning. We had invited Lee and Lynda over for dinner, but without reliable transportation, we cancelled and will try again tomorrow night.

Based on yesterday’s weather information, we were planning on staying here until Monday and then heading offshore for the Lake Worth-Fort Lauderdale area. But today’s weather forecast is calling for 5-9 foot seas. None of us is anxious to be outside with 9 foot seas, so we are now thinking that we will head on down the Intracoastal. This will take us longer, so we will move to Fernandina Beach tomorrow to get fuel and fill our water tanks, and head down the ICW on Sunday morning. Of course, that plan could change by morning. And if we don’t get Lee’s dinghy motor running, I’m not sure what we will do for transportation to and from land. We have our inflatable kayak, but the currents are so strong in this part of the world that we’re not sure we want to fight that without a motor. Sure hope we are not boat-bound all the way to Fort Lauderdale!

150102 Day 84 Passage to Florida–Day 4, Cumberland Island Explore
Day 85, Year 10: Passage to FL, Day 5—Georgia to Florida
Day 83, Year 10: Passage to FL, Day 3—Cumberland Island, GA Arrival