"It's all about the people"


Tug for Two Going South

22 Nov 2012 7:02 AM | Bill Falk

Presently anchored in the South River (no kidding) but not the one in Annapolis, the one in coastal Georgia, near a small town called Darien.  It’s a place that Indy learned about today from other sailors.  For now, at least, nominal current and glassy smooth.   We have all been using Ch. 68 on low power to chat.   Planned out tomorrow’s schedule and now it’s cocktail time!  Aft r worrying about the strong current and risk of dinghying around, we are all on our own hooks tonight – the one calm night we’ve had!!  Left Beaufort yesterday in slack tide but still found that getting Tug for Two turned around with a strong north wind pushing us against the pier was a project.   The day before, a 44’ Island Packet in front of us was nearly INTO US!   They, too, struggled to turn their boat and get it against the pier.  Alas, we weren’t hit. 

We left Beaufort on yet another cold and windy day.  Went by Paris Island (where the marines go thru basic training), Hilton Head Island, Dafuskie Island and other barrier islands.   Passed live oaks with Spanish moss, more palmettos, and lots of large houses along the ICW.  Got across the Savannah River without having any issues with tugs and/or large ships and by mid-afternoon we were tied up at Thunderbolt Marina.   It’s Thunderbolt Marine which is famous.   It started out as Palmer-Johnson, the builder of large ships and especially luxury yacht.  Thunderbolt is now well known as a yard which refits yachts.  In a berth near us was “Blue Moon”, a 197’ mega-yacht with a crew of 14 – all of whom were wearing their Blue Moon t-shirts and khaki shorts.  People we met with a 37’ Nordic Tug (the parent company for our American Tug) were tied up right behind “Blue Moon.”   They truly looked tiny next to such a large ship.   The couple on it was from Syracuse, NY, on their way to the Bahamas where they had also spent last winter.   Winter in Syracuse v. the Bahamas?   Well, I’m sure this was a tough decision!

Today we passed Skidaway Island and Isle of Hope, both of which are suburban communities for Savannah.   More very expensive houses.  The day before we passed by Bonaventure Cemetery, made famous by the book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.  Today, we passed another famous place, Moon River – the title of the Johnny Mercer song made very famous in the film, “Breakfast at Tiffanys” – sung by Andy Williams, G and I think.  Also, btw, the name of Barbara and Dusty’s boat. 

We were again navigating for hours thru marshy areas where not much could be seen except marsh grass.  Emerged from one river into a “sound” where “Quaich” called to tell us about swells coming in from the ocean.  Suddenly we were riding up and down some sizeable but not uncomfortable ocean waters.   Then, turned toward our next river and all was fine again.  Came by Sapelo Island, GA, a famous barrier island where the only people who can own private property are direct descendants of former slaves on the island.  The R.J. Reynolds family had a “plantation” there (long after the Civil War) used mostly for hunting and fishing; that’s at the island’s north end.  At the south end, about 70 African Americans still live in a couple of “hammocks”, areas not prone to flooding.  The state of Georgia runs a ferry to/from the island a couple of times a day, mostly to bring workers and a handful of school-age children to the mainland in the morning  and workers at the old Reynolds Plantation (now owned by the state and used as a coastal ecology center) plus some tourists.  Tourism is the big industry for local people.  A great book about Sapelo is Sapelo’s People by the historian William McFeely.  Another fabulous book about this part of the country is by William Falk, Rooted in Place.  Get out there and buy it.  This guy needs the money!

Tomorrow, off early for the final leg of being In Georgia.   Late tomorrow, we (all) hope to be in Cumberland Island where “Compass Rose” awaits us.  It should be a memorable Thanksgiving. 


  • 22 Nov 2012 11:17 AM | John Oberright
    Bill, Enjoying your background information and narrative. A lot of that part of the trip is sort of jumbled up in my memory so this has helped me straighten things out. We wish we were there again this year.
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