The Golden Isles

4 Dec

From Isle of Hope we headed through the labyrinth of rivers, inlets, creeks, cuts and canals. Sometimes it was a bit like the arcade game (the one where the ducks parade left to right and right to left and you shoot at them) as you watch masts pass left and right behind the marsh grass. We were blessed with good weather and very light winds, perfect for this leg of the ICW as the navigating was very tight. Even out in what looked like the wide open expanses of the Sounds, there was a narrow path to be negotiated which would have been daunting in heavy weather. One Sound we went through today had breaking surf on both sides of us not more than 300 yards away! But other than a little nail biting, these last few days have been quite serene – the guides had us wound up about the tight passages with shoaling and inaccurate marks but as luck would have it we usually seemed to be traveling those bad spots at mid or high tide which was perfect. A lot of the little rivers are called “hammocks” and there are some lovely names – Buttermilk Sound, Tea Kettle Creek and Umbrella Creek to name a few. We anchored one night at Wahoo Creek anchorage and the following night at Hawkins Creek anchorage (where we could hear Carolon church bells). This morning we passed Jekyll Island and will be sure to stop there when heading north – looks wonderful. This time we pressed on, arriving at Cumberland Island early afternoon (after passing a rather large nuclear submarine base!!). We had a few hours this afternoon to hike and explore. Most of the island is a reserve (and National Park) and it is wonderful. On the ocean side are incredible dunes and a seemingly endless beach. In the interior are huge live oaks (called this as they never lose their leaves) hung with Spanish Moss, and palm trees. There is a variety of wildlife and we saw armadillos, small white-tailed deer, Cardinals, wild horses (yes!!) and wild turkeys! We also saw the Dungeness ruins of a mansion built by the Carnegie’s. There is more to see so we are spending the day here tomorrow before we head to Florida.

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