Hey ya'll, as they say in Savannah, Georgia. It's been a while since we made a posting...we are just having so much fun relaxing in the sun with the mint juleps and such that the time just flies by. Savannah was a nice respite from the excitement that we had in the preceding days. I will get on to the exciting part momentarily, but for those who have never visited Savannah, it is worth a look. The city is set up into roughly 24 squares or wards. I loved the squares with the shady parklike settings and boulevards. The architecture was beautiful and the homes gracious. The city proudly boasts that George Washington visited their fine town and proclaimed it most beautiful but that he intensely disliked its climate. Had George never spent a summer in D. C. ?! In his time, wasn't it a swap requisite with malarial mosquitoes? All righty...on to boating interests. April 4th on the ICW. The month of April began with record low and high tides, but with our 2 1/2 foot draft we were not overly concerned. The wind was out of the NNE at 12 mph and when that occurs, crossing the St. Andrews Sound can be very uncomfortable...no, make that alarming! However, there is a way to avoid the sound by going through the "Umbrella Cut" (don't you just LOVE the names of these things?!) It is slightly longer, but smooth. We had gotten almost all the way through and had only 1 mile to go when Fandango made a little hop and then kind sashayed to the port side and stopped, in the middle of the channel. She sat there, slightly teetering on a shoal quite aground. There was no going forward or aft and after about 30 minutes, she was very firmly, and absolutely, aground. It's really, really quiet in the Umbrella Cut. Yessir, real quiet. After a while, a Georgia county sheriff happened by in his little runabout and astutely confirmed our observations that we had found an uncharted shoal in the middle of the channel and yessir, by golly, cap'n you are aground. We did what anyone else would have done in such a situation, smiled politely and agreed that yessir, by golly, that is what has happened. We then waited for the tide to turn around and rise. It was a pleasant interlude, just us and nature. Eventually, enough water came back that we were able to float free and off we went.
We ran until sunset and chose to anchor out behind Queen's Island. It looked a lot like "On Golden Pond" in appearance and we had it very much to ourselves. Colin and I settled in after supper to watch the final championship game of the NBAA March Madness. At least we tried to watch it. The TV reception was pretty good until the last 4 minutes! The picture kept freezing and we missed the final minutes, but we saw enough to be satisfied that Louisville was going to win. But I digress. At about 10:30 pm there was a tremendous thud causing Fandango to shudder followed by a banging and thumping that sounded like two bears fighting each other for boarding rights. Colin went out with a flashlight to investigate and returned saying, "You're not going to believe this!" I went out to look. A tree, yes, a WHOLE TREE was nestled up against the port side of Fandango along her full length of 34 feet! Okay, it was not the whole tree...its crown had been sawn off. It must have been quite the specimen in its time. We estimated its trunk to be 24 inches in diameter. The roots which were gnarled and large, had grabbed the port side fore pontoon with the anchor rode caught among the smaller roots. The tree then casually rolled over to completely lock Fandango within its embrace! Holy forest Batman! The current was running VERY fast and in the dark, there was nothing we could do to remedy the situation. We were concerned that the anchor might not hold or that its rode might snap because there was an awful big load on it. Gee, how fast does a boat travel sans anchor with a humongous tree attached to it? Colin, being a wise captain, went to bed, and I, stalwart First Mate did her job of WORRYING! I finally went to bed at 1:30 am, but was up again at 0330. Wow. Really, really quiet. The current was totally slack and the sky was beautiful. There was no light pollution and I could easily make out the constellations, Scorpio, Orion, the two dippers, Taurus and Aldebaron, and at least two planets. I'm not much of an astronomer, but it was really pretty. Maybe...maybe the amorous tree (it is spring after all) has gone to find a more appropriate liaison? NO OF COURSE NOT! There it was, cuddled up just as snug as a tick. I attempted again to dislodge the worrisome log of lumber with my boathook, but the tree? boat? rode? just groaned sadly, so in disgust I put up the hook and returned to bed.
Dawn. We awake to find our blighted friend still with us. Once we could see what we were doing, it took 20 minutes of concentrated maneuvering to get free of the tree. We tried backing away from it and it just came along with us. We ended up pushing it forward like a bull dozer to get it to turn over, which it was reluctant to do and kept returning to its original orientation. At last, the anchor rode was pulled from the roots' grasp and we were free! Colin thought it seemed like a piece of dental floss being pulled loose from a tooth. After we were free, the tree floated sullenly in the water. It looked very much like an alligator...albeit a very large alligator!
After Savannah, it was off to Beaufort, SC, or as they say BYOOFORT. The North Carolinians say BOFORT. Who's to say which is correct? Compare pronunciations of the words, beautiful, Beauregard???