Last time we posted, we were docked next to a dead guy.
Finally, things are working out and the last few days are what we thought this summer would be like all along. We’ve had a few more bumps in the road, but nothing like stewing in corpse fumes on a boat with a broken engine.
We finally left Turner Creek. We ended up being there a week. First, we had alternator issues that my Dad helped us resolve. We woke up ready to leave, and the boat would crank up and then die as soon as Josh let off the key. We checked EVERY electrical component we thought it could be, and nothing made a difference. Finally, we dismantled the carburetor and cleaned it out some even though it didn’t look THAT gunky to my super professional eye.
Anyway, we put it back together and it worked so I’m not going to question it.
We had decided to run offshore for a change. The ICW is a narrow waterway that connects sounds and rivers so that you never have to see the ocean. That is not what sailboats were made for, right? Josh was excited, I was nervous.
We made it out of the Wilmington River and into Wassaw Sound. I had read a million blogs and reviews about this sound…all of which said “get local knowledge” because there are shifting sand bars. The guy who ran our marina said, “It’s pretty straightforward.” We went for it.
As we left the sound, the waves (which were forecasted for 3-4 feet) were about 6 feet and rolling. We bounced around and I was beside myself with nerves. I devoted myself to looking for buoys through the binoculars for a distraction. Luckily, it was a pretty straightforward route to the sea and once we got out of the sound the seas evened out a bit.
Right when I started feeling really good, Josh started feeling really bad.
Those rolling seas got to him and he proceeded to puke up all his breakfast.
Once he got that over with, he felt better and we hoisted the sails and turned south.
We ended up making really great time and I did enjoy getting to actually sail in the ocean. It was sort of surreal.
We made it to St.Catherine’s Sound and sailed our way inside. We were almost to the anchorage in Walburg Creek and started letting the sails down and getting things ready to crank up the engine…guess what?
The engine gave us problems.
Basically the choke had to be pulled all the way out for it to run and the choke wire is messed up and you can’t pull it from the cockpit.
So, Josh had to get down there and keep it pulled out while simultaneously watching the laptop screen and navigating me through the creek to our anchorage.
We made it though and parked the boat in the most gorgeous setting we’ve seen yet.
On one side of us is an undeveloped island and the other side is a gorgeous marsh. A lot of people don’t like the stretch in Georgia, but it really is beautiful to us. There were dolphins EVERYWHERE. They’d swim right next to the boat.
I don’t care who you are – seeing a dolphin never gets old. It’s exciting every time. If you disagree, well then we’d never be friends and you should probably not read our blog.
We were planning on getting up the next morning and trekking onward, but slept a little late and really needed to resolve our engine issues.
We started what is becoming all too familiar and broke out the tools to fix the Atomic 4. We knew it wasn’t getting enough fuel so we took apart the carb AGAIN thinking that maybe something didn’t get sealed up well and there was an air leak. In the meantime, Josh tried sucking gas up the fuel line and realized something was blocking it. So, he just blew through it instead, we put it all back together, and it wall ran fine. I think our fuel tank which was running low on fuel got tossed around in the seas. Who knows what sort of crud needs to be cleaned out of there since we haven’t installed the fuel filter that is sitting on the boat. Alas, we’re not going to worry about it too much.
We read in the Skipper Bob guide that you can take your dinghy down the creek to the beach on the point of the island and do some exploring through a “tree graveyard”. So, out came the dinghy. We packed up a picnic and headed over. The beach is pretty desolate and really beautiful. There are these old dead trees everywhere.
While exploring we noticed all sorts of weird animal tracks on the beach – more on that later.
I was feeling really good about finally getting to do some relaxing on a beach. Josh even got to swim about 20 feet from these dolphins who were playing in the water.
Yet again, we’d planned on making a big run down the coast. We were going to have to wake up early and make it to Brunswick, Ga for gas. We knew we were getting low. This seemed like a stressful idea, so we made another plan.
There was a little restaurant/ marina called Sunbury Crab Company about 6 miles off the ICW in St.Catherine’s Sound. We decided we’d head there instead.
So, we got up and made the not so grueling trek to the marina where we are currently docked. This place is the bees knees.
It’s a family run place. The owners live next door to the the restaurant and let us use their pool! We splurged and got dinner here. Apparently this place was in Coastal Living Magazine recently as one of the top 22 Seafood Dives and I can see why. First of all, they have “cocktail hour” for boaters which translated to free wine or beer. We also got a bucket of crabs and a lesson on how to eat them properly. The food was amazing! This place has that comfortable atmosphere that Josh and I love. A lot of the marinas on the way seem rather stuffy. This definitely wasn’t like that at all.
Also, the owner here told us a little bit more about St.Catherine’s Island that we had explored. It turns out that the island has a really cool history and there is a plantation on there that used to be owned by Button Gwinnett who was an original signer to the Declaration of Independence. Now, the island is run by New York Zoological Society and is used for research…aka there are tons of crazy animals on the island. Apparently they raise endangered mammals there which explains the crazy animal tracks on the beach. However, we totally didn’t explore as much as we would have had we known we could stumble upon gazelles or lemurs. There’s also some really cool history involving Spanish missions that used to be on the island.
There are some other boaters here who told us not to pass up Blackbeard Wildlife Refuge on Sapelo Sound. I had originally wanted to go there anyway, so we’re going to head there tomorrow sometime.
We’re feeling super happy now that our bellies are full of fresh crab and we’ve had a few days of good sailing and nice anchorages. Hopefully things keep going well, because we’ve only got eight and a half weeks before we head off to Haiti!