Blue Turtle Cruising

The Golden Iles, Fernandina Beach and some Sail Bums

We left Beaufort, SC and motored on the ICW 43 nm to Herb River, where we anchored for the night. The next morning, Randy pulled the anchor at 7:30am and headed 66 miles south to an anchorage called Fridaycap Creek, near St. Simons Island. It was a very long and cold day with the high temp of 55°. The wind and lack and sun made it difficult to get warm. Sophie and I actually stayed below in the main cabin under a blanket most of the day while the poor captain had to steer us in the right direction. Good job Randy!

The next day, we finally had some sun and an additional 10° warmer highs. We had a short motor to an anchorage by St. Simons Island. At this point, we had no real cruising plans except that we were due to Brunswick Landing Marina the second week of December so we didn’t want to go too far south. We decided we would spend some time anchoring out near the GA Isles (St. Simons Island & Jekyll) and Fernandina Beach until then.

When we were heading north back in June, we made a couple of quick stops and St. Simons and Jekyll Islands but didn’t really get to see much of the islands. We were trying to north quickly to get out of the heat, so we only stopped at St. Simons for a grocery run and Jekyll just to do some laundry. I was glad we had a little bit more time to get around the islands to check them out. Of course, our first to-do item on St. Simons was a grocery run since we needed produce and a new coffee maker ASAP. Our second Keurig in a year died on us, so it was back to basics with the little 5-cup Mr. Coffee coffee maker I found at the Winn Dixie there. After provisioning, we spent some time exploring the island. We walked to St. Simons Pier Village and explored the shops, pier and lighthouse. We also needed to do some laundry so we moved our boat a little closer to the Golden Iles Marina at St. Simons Island so we could use their laundry facilities.

After a few days, we left St. Simons and headed to Fernandina Beach where we motored 37 miles there and anchored by Tiger Island. We spent 2 weeks in Fernandina and really enjoyed staying in one place for a while after the constant travel to get south from the Chesapeake. It was nice to slow down and get to go to shore regularly and get some runs in as well with the milder and warmer temperatures. We got to check out a some local breweries, restaurants, and also quickly became regulars at the Green Turtle Tavern. We loved the live music and great outside seating at the Green Turtle and would visit for happy hour with Sophie. We also met a very nice and talented couple while there. We offered Gaylen and Allison a dingy tow one evening, and found out that they were musicians who have been traveling aboard their sailboat, Mollynogger, while playing music at local establishments along the way. The Sail Bums, as they were called, had been playing some gigs in Fernandina Beach. We offered to loan them our spare dinghy motor, which needed some coaxing from Randy and Gaylen to get it up and running. We had some beers at The Green Turtle with them and traded stories. They even invited us over one evening along with a Canadian couple anchored nearby and played a few of their songs as the sun was setting. What a cool experience it was to have a few drinks, share stories and listen to great live music with the sun setting and dolphins “playing” (we think they were mating) nearby. Meeting cool people and sharing experiences like this is one of the best things about cruising.

After a couple of nice weeks in Fernandina, we needed to head north again toward Brunswick. We decided to stop and anchor by Jekyll Island for a couple days. We had much warmer weather and spent time exploring the island with Sophie in the stroller. We checked out the beautiful beach and the Beach Village Shopping area. Randy and I combed Shark Tooth Beach (where we were anchored) for sharks teeth. After our brief time at Jekyll, it was time to head to Brunswick Landing Marina where the plan was to leave Blue Turtle for a month while we headed back to Fort Myers to spend the holidays with family and friends.

Beaufort, SC to Herb River = 43 nm
Herb River to Fridaycap Creek = 66 nm
Fridaycap Creek to St. Simons Island = 11 nm
St. Simons Island to Fernandina Beach = 37 nm
Fernandina Beach to Cumberland (Plum Orchard) = 13 nm
Cumberland (Plum Orchard) to Jekyll Island = 11 nm
 Jekyll Island to Brunswick Landing Marina = 9 nm

TOTAL miles to date: = 2,525 nm
TOTAL Bridge Openings to date = 44

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