Fernandina Harbor Marina was hit hard by Hurricane Mathew last year. They are still working to recover from that and have only recently partially opened. The docks and facilities still need a lot of work. They had an open t-dock available for us to stay on allowing us to visit the town and area. The town is full of shops and eateries housed in the old buildings that have been updated inside. The historic look of the streets and store fronts remained preserved. We rented a car there because it was time to take Karen (Teresa’s sister) to the airport in Jacksonville. We took a ride over to the beach on the Atlantic and watched surfers trying to catch the best big wave.
After dropping Karen off in Jacksonville, we continued to travel north along the ICW. Soon after leaving Fernandina, we crossed the line from Florida into Georgia. It took a long time to get around Florida since we first entered Florida in November of last year. As soon as we entered Georgia, we were greeted by a large Coast Guard Flotilla. They were well equipped with guns on many of the boats. One came up next to us and told us to keep over to the starboard side of the channel hugging the red markers. They told us they were doing a training exercise.
We stopped at Jekyll Island Marina, the smallest of the Golden Isles of Georgia. Jekyll Island was a winter retreat for Millionaires’ Club 1888-1942. The most powerful American financiers chose the Island where they could relax and play in undisturbed isolation. You’ll recognize famous people who stayed on the island including the Rockefellers, Macy, J.P. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer, Sears, and Vanderbilt—just to name a few. If you’d like to read more about this winter refuge, I’d highly recommend reading “Splendid Isolation, The Jekyll Island Millionaires’ Club 1888-1942,” by Pamela Bauer Mueller.
Today, the Jekyll Island Club Resort has a large hotel with beautiful grounds. Reminds us a bit of a mini Grand Hotel area on Mackinac Island, Michigan. There is a community of restored cottages on the grounds of the resort open to tour. On the other side of the island is Driftwood Beach. This is a very unique and photo rich location. Driftwood beach is on the north east side of the island so storms and waves batter the trees along that coast. When the tide goes out, there is a large area with huge trees on the beach. The weathered and worn limbs/roots of the trees creates an unusual scene. People set up their beach blankets, umbrellas, and coolers among the random scattering of weathered trees and roots. It’s rather comical to see hats and wet towels hanging on extended branches. We walked the beach a couple of times marveling at the scene and taking pictures.
Our next stop was an anchorage on Walburg Creek. We spent a quiet night anchored there traveling the next morning to Isle of Hope. We will spend a couple days at Isle of Hope Marina and visit Savannah from there. The first day we took an Uber ride to the downtown Savannah water front. We toured the water front area and some of the shopping districts up away from the waterfront. As we were walking along the shopping district, we were surprised to see Phil and Mary (boaters from our LYH home marina in Michigan). There is a lot to see and do in Savannah, and we sampled a small portion.
We used the marina courtesy car the next day to tour Tybee Island Light House climbing 178 steps to the top for a wide open view of the area. The light is still functional utilizing a first order Fresnel lens which projects out 18 miles into the ocean. The tour also includes the museum housed in Fort Screven’s Battery Garland across the street.
We planned to leave Isle of Hope this morning, since storms were predicted, we stayed for another day. The storms were uneventful here yielding a lot of wind and heavy rain (at least so far.)
The next planned stop is Beaufort South Carolina.
Scenes from Fernandina
Coast Guard Flotila
Scenes from Savannah
Tybee Island Light Station and Museum
Isle of Hope