TUESDAY APRIL 25, 2017 12:12PM SALT LICK CROSSES HER WAKE AND THE GREAT LOOP JOURNEY IS COMPLETED!
At 11;40 AM we cruised into Calibogue Sound with the Harbour Town lighthouse in the distant view. I tossed out the last “message in a bottle” for niece Meghan and her husband Justin on an outgoing tide. Before we knew it we were at the point where our trip had begun a year ago on April 27, 2016. We put Salt Lick at idle speed, took photos, popped the champagne and changed our white AGLCA (America’s Great Loop Cruising Association) burgee for the GOLD burgee, indicating we had completed the Loop!
Salt Lick was secured to the dock at Shelter Cover Marina at 1:15PM, April 25, 2017 The Great Loop adventure has been concluded.
Feeling at a loss for words now —- final thoughts and comments will be made by both of us in the next day or two.
This morning we met with Ken Youngchild at TMI to go over a short list of repairs for Salt Lick. That didn’t really take too long. Two different workers came to check on the boat – the door guy and the varnish guy. After coffee we shoved off and headed for the New River in SC located behind Daufuskie Island. This was a very short run miles wise and we went really really slow. Neither one of us wanting the trip to come to an end. DRAGGING OUR FEET……
After we anchored in the New River and my “logging” was done – we decided at the spur of the moment to call our friends Connie and Steve Bird to see if they wanted to join us for burgers on the grill. THE ONLY FOOD LEFT in the freezer to eat!!! The winds were howling like crazy and the overcast skies were making the day rather cool — but what the heck — these two are always up for a good time, so into their boat they hopped and headed our way from the May River. It was a hoot to see them after a year and to bring each other up to date with our life escapades. After an early dinner they motored off to get back home before dark.
After the departure of the Birds, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset while anchored out in this lovely river with marshy banks turning green, salt water birds diving or wading for their food and the quiet peacefulness of the tide and wind causing the water to lap on the hull of the boat. Wonder how life will feel once we are off the boat????
TWO DAYS AGO WE REALIZED THAT WE WERE ONLY 100 MILES FROM HOME…….COUNT DOWN TIME.
30 miles here, another 30 or so miles the next day and this morning, we are docked in Thunderbolt, GA, (basically Savannah) and only 45 miles from Hilton Head Island. Is is beautiful Spring time in the South and a favorite time of the year where our golden marsh grasses begin to turn green.
Another sign of Spring is the beginning of Shrimp season. Which I think opened earlier this year. Usually it is in May. At least in Georgia, the shrimpers are out plying the waters for those taste morsels.
Yesterday, April 23, 2017 we docked at Thunderbolt Marine for the night. This morning we are meeting with the boat yard service manager, Ken Youngchild, to discuss and get estimates for some minor work that needs to be scheduled. We look like a small toy boat in a bath tub compared to these monster yachts that are here.
Holly Barrett, Hank’s niece, met us at Tubby’s Tank House for dinner last night. Good to see her and catch up on what she is doing with her life. We had walked to the restaurant and after dinner Holly drove us to get a couple of supplies and to re-supply our ice. Thanks for the lift, Holly.
Remember the childhood song “99 BOTTLES OF BEER ON THE WALL”??? I FEEL LIKE THAT THIS MORNING………we have taken one mile down ( or up the coast) and smiled around and now here we are at 45 miles to go, . Cruise one mile and count it down,,,,,,
We are thinking about anchoring out one last time in the New River BEFORE crossing our wake and getting to Hilton Head. OH —- and before we leave Thunderbolt,,,,guess we best find a place to “park” this girl for off loading. The marina at our condo is no longer, thanks to Hurricane Matthew.
We docked mid-afternoon, Morningstar Marina, St. Simons Island, GA. Our cruise from the Greyfield Inn at Cumberland was uneventful.
Jeanne Wolf , sister-in-law, met us for dinner this evening at Coastal Kitchen. This food establishment is on the premises of the marina, so nice and convenient for us. Our dinners were very good and we spent a couple of hours catching up on each other’s lives. Jeanne was a dear heart loaning us her car for the following morning to run a few errands and get supplies. Thanks Jeanne………
Wed. – 4/19/17 —- a dear childhood friend of mine, Bob Alden, and his wife, Sally, happened to be on St. Simons with some other couples for a golf week. WOO HOO Bob and Sally met us at the boat for drinks and then we went to dinner at Nazarro – an Italian restaurant. A great delight to see them.
Sadly we missed seeing WFBA -(World Famous Bird Artist) – Dan Goad. Hope to catch up with him when he comes to Hilton Head Island in a couple of weeks for an art show. BUT
Hank was able to connect with another one of his BROTHERS – fraternity that is. Many stories were shared along with the appropriate tonnage of laughter!!! Bill and Tina Kirby- fun to see you. During the time that Hank’s oldest brother, Marshall, was in hospice and dying, Bill went to visit Marshall at least once a week – often twice a week. We thank you so much Bill Kirby. And we thank you and Tina for taking time during this move into your new home to meet up with us.
APRIL 21 AND 22, 2017 We have cruised and anchored out each night. First night behind Sapelo Island on the Duplin River, and tonight behind Ossabaw Island on Buckhead Creek. Fellow Loopers have just arrived via their dinghy!! Time to play hostess!!!!
On Hank Barrett’s bucket list was his desire to stay at the Greyfield Inn on Cumberland Island. For his birthday last Nov., his gift from me, was this two night visit at the Greyfield Inn. Upon arrival we were given our basket lunch which we enjoyed eating outside on the patio. After that we were taken to our room,,,,up on the fourth floor of this beautiful old home originally owned by Mary Ferguson, and later on by her daughter, Lucy. One of Lucy’s granddaughters, GoGo Ferguson, lives on the Island in a cottage next to the Inn. She is known for her artistry in making jewelry from bones and sea shells she finds on Cumberland. We visited her shop, made purchases, and later the next day Hank was able to meet with her regarding a project he thought she might be able to do.
The history of Cumberland goes way back to the time when Nathaniel Greene was given the Island. Altho’ he never lived there, due to his death, his wife did live there and later on married the children’s tutor, a Mr. Miller. One can visit the Greene – Miller cemetery at the far South end of the Island.
INTERESTING NOTE —– Major/General Henry ” Light-Horse Harry” Lee died on Cumberland Island March 25, 1818!! His original tombstone is there, but his remains were exhumed and now rest back in his home state of Virginia. He is the father of Robert E Lee. OH how history just comes to life.
Before arriving at the cemetery, our steel steeds (aka bikes) took us past Dungeness, a former Carnegie residence. BEFORE THAT – at this very site, Nathaniel Greene’s widow constructed a 4 story tabby home. She called it Dungeness. The Carnegie mansion that was built later on continued the use of the Dungeness name. It burned, for the second time, in 1959. The ruins still stand and are beautiful in their destroyed state.
There are wild horses all over Cumberland Island — on the beaches, in the yard at the Greyfield, along the sides of the roads……They are left to the wild. They are not fed or cared for…..they just exist as they have done for many many years. Life continues on as you see below……….
The meals are served with family style seating, but food is plated and served individually. The only menu is for wines, altho’ the chef does provide a wine pairing with each dinner course if you wish o partake.
Monday, April 17, 2017 we visited GoGo’s jewelry shop, rode bikes to the beach ( and enjoyed our picnic lunch ) as well as attempted to ride NORTH to find Plum Orchard, another mansion that has been restored. The sandy wash-board roads were not fun, so that adventured was aborted!!!
My first visit to Cumberland Island was many years ago when Hank and I were doing a beach cleanup with the Clean Coast group out of Savannah. THAT particular stay was in a tent. Hank attempted to “fool” me with chocolate on the pillow, slippers at the tent entrance and a “SIGN” reading RITZ CARLTON, CUMBERLAND ISLAND. This was my first and only time camping. yep — can say I have done that,,,,,and NO , don’t ever want to do it again. Seriously suggest one stay at the Greyfield Inn!! aaaahhhh lovely.
As we near the end of this year long adventure, this two night stop on Cumberland Island has been pure bliss and a wonderful way to slowly end the journey.
BUT wait —– stand by for St. Simons fun and adventure…….coming up in the next blog……..
NUMBER OF MILES TRAVELED AT THE END OF MARCH 5,368.5
We departed St. Augustine finally and after one night on the hook, we arrived at Amelia Island Yacht Basin for a couple of nights dockage. Hank was happy to catch up with an old fraternity brother of his , Reg Wilbanks. Reg, his wife Melissa, Hank and I then went to Old Fernandina for dinner. The “brothers” had a fun time catching up on their lives and reliving those free and easy years at the frat house! Amazing that they made it into these current maturing years of life!!!
Recently selling his business to one of his son’s, Reggie has such wonderful stories to share regarding his bee business, especially the marketing of the Queen Bees. Reg was 4th generation to operate the bee business. His former work travels took him straight out of Southern Georgia to all points of the Globe!! With the World concerns about the decreasing bee populations, his life’s work has been a major contribution to mankind. THANK YOU REG WILBANKS.
Departing late Easter morning, 4/16/17 – we cruised a whole 10 miles to arrive at Cumberland Island, Georgia and the Greyfield Inn. Altho’ not planned, as we were going up the Cumberland River to the Greyfield dock, their ferry boat, the Lucy R. Ferguson, was also headed that way out of Fernandina. So we let them get ahead of us, and then followed in their wake to the dock. Perfect timing. After a brief house orientation, we got Salt Lick secured, luggage off loaded , etc. and headed to the Inn for our lunch and room assignment. In order to not make this blog so long……I am going to sign off and dedicate the next blog to our Cumberland Island stay.
THURSDAY MORNING – ST. AUGUSTINE MARINA APRIL 13, 2017
What a delightful coffee hour having Dana Holler and his brother-in-law, Matt join us from Buffalo via Palm Coast. Dana and his wife are in Fl. to attend one of Marci’s sister’s wedding this Saturday.
Back track to somewhere around July or so when Salt Lick was tied up in Tonawanda, NY at the end of the Erie Canal for a few weeks. It is there that I was adopted by the HOLLER family and some of their friends. OH MY goodness……what fun to see Dana Holler again and to catch up on the Buffalo family news:::::::: Dad – Jim Holler, brothers and sisters,,,Dan, Doug (who tracked us down on the Illinois River at Joliet), Diane, their families, Marci, Dana’s wife, cousin John, good friend Lisa McCarthy, and the other sisters and in-laws. You Hollers sure do get around and what a fun delight to see a “family” representative here in Florida.
LIFE IS SO VERY GOOD IN THIS SMALL WORLD WE LIVE IN!!!!!
After saying our goodbyes to Dana and Matt, we headed to the fuel dock and at 11:15 we were back on the “high seas”!
Traveled around 30 plus miles to an anchorage at the Atlantic Blvd. Bridge near Jacksonville, FL. After spending over a month at the dock in St. Augustine, it is great to be back “moving” on the waterway.