Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Duplin River to Delegal Creek

Day 175
Miles Today:  55      Total Miles:   3,374
Hours today:   6.8

We spent a tranquil night at our anchorage on the Duplin River off Sapelo Island, sleeping soundly in spite of the 7 foot tide swinging us around 180 degrees. The wind switched around to the north around 2:45 a.m. and woke us up briefly.  The American Cruise lines ship Independence arrived and anchored near the island dock just before we pulled our anchor.  American Cruise  ships are smallish ships that travel the rivers and some coastal areas.  The Queen of the Mississippi is one of their ships that we have seen at home. Independence does cruises between Jacksonville and Charleston, and spends a day at the Sapelo Island National Estaurine Research Reserve. (In case you are wondering- an estuary is a body of water formed where freshwater from rivers and streams flows into the ocean, mixing with seawater. ) There are a LOT of them around here. Anyway, a week-long cruise along this section of the Atlantic ICW costs $3985- $6870 per person! Wow!

Photo from ACL website

Our group (Serenity, Fruitcakes, and Sweetwater) covered 55 miles today to reach Delegal Creek Marina. We have to time each day’s travel very carefully because of the 6-7 foot tides in this part of the ICW. Hell Gate, for example, has just three feet of water at mean low tide. Most of us draw close to four feet, so we need to pass through there at mid to high tide.  As I mentioned earlier, the current switches direction with the tide, either giving us a boost or slowing us down.  I appreciate the Mississippi more than ever! We passed through Old Teakettle Creek, Front River, Sapelo Sound,  Johnson Creek, North Newport River, St. Catherine’s Sound, Bear River, Florida Passage, Ogeechee River, Hell Gate, Vernon River, and then up Delegal Creek to the marina on Skidaway Island.

Slowly and carefully through the shallow spots

We arrived in time for docktails in the marina’s screened porch.  Phat Cat with Dave and Di and Room With a View with Larry and Gail were here already and joined in the fun. Then dockmaster Billy arranged rides for 10 of us to the Village Bar and Grill for dinner.  Six people drove in two golf carts (a 20-minute ride) and Billy drove the other four of us in his car. Skidaway Island is an exclusive, planned and gated community. Everything was perfectly manicured and beautiful.  (Except for the snakes- more on that later.) I prefer unspoiled natural beauty, but I appreciate this type of beauty as well. I would not want to live here- too many rules. Most of the island’s residents are seasonal.

I had fantastic shrimp and grits for dinner- delicious! Then we all walked a block or so to Publix to pick up a few groceries. Billy came back to return us to the marina while the others silently glided along in their electric carts- no gas engines allowed.

Yesterday Kathy and I went for a long walk, while John and Mark took a shorter route. I caught a glimpse of a brown snake slithering into some bushes along the sidewalk. My heart only fluttered for a moment.  As Kathy and I continued, we encountered another snake, and this one had no intention of moving off the path.  I become immobile and unable to form words when I unexpectedly see a snake, which probably alarmed Kathy more than the reptile. She did jump just a bit. At least I was able to recover enough to snap a photo of this 18 inches of pure terror.  I know it’s a garter snake, not a green mamba, but, EEEWW! Still, it was a great walk.

Nice home for a snake??

Skidaway Island is mostly surrounded by marshes- West Marsh and Romerly Marsh. That makes for interesting wildlife.

We  of course had docktails again last night, joined by David and Di on their Lagoon catamaran, Phat Cat. We are spending three nights here at Delegal Creek due to Wednesday’s rainstorms. We will be moving out before daybreak tomorrow, to take advantage of the tide as we move north.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed our walk together and great photo of the snake!