Friday, December 19, 2008

Protection in the Georgia Marshes

We were in Thunderbolt GA for two days, just 7 miles south of Savannah. Stayed at Hinkley’s Yacht Service, walked to the bus stop and took the bus into Savannah for a day. Did the River Walk which is where the cotton brokers did business in the 1800s. Would have liked to learn more of the history of the place, but the museum was closed for remodeling. The best part about Savannah is their squares. The town was laid out with 22 squares, two blocks apart. Many have a fountain or statue in the center, benches, and lovely homes surrounding them. We walked at least half of them and read the story of each in the tourist booklet.

The highlight of the trip to Thunderbolt was a visit by friends Wally and Karen. Wally and Norm have been friends since working together at Miller Brewing. They ran five marathons together and Karen and Vicki tagged along to the cool locations (NYC, Boston, DC). Wally and Karen were on their way from home in Ormond Beach FL to Milwaukee for a Christmas visit with the kids. They left on their trip a day early just to stop and visit us! They are very good friends, indeed. Wally confessed that he gets all the news from our blog through neighbor Pete who reads it regularly and gives Wally the highlights. According to Wally, Pete says it’s better than any reality show! We’ve never met Pete, but plan to call him when we’re near Ormond Beach.

For the past two nights we’ve anchored in the marshes of Georgia between Savannah and Brunswick – Kilkenny Creek and Frederica River. The anchorages in Georgia are typically tidal rivers running through marshland. Did you know that the tidal highs and lows are about six hours apart and move a bit later each day? I have to say that I (Vicki) didn’t know squat about tides until the start of this trip. Tides in Georgia are as serious as they are in Maine. Nine foot tides here between Savannah and Brunswick.

Tides affect the amount of rode (chain) put out when anchoring. It’s calculated using the depth of the water plus the distance from the water to the bow. Norm usually uses a scope of 5 times that measurement (more if stormy weather). Nine feet of tide adds a lot to the amount of chain put out. If the weather is stormy or windy enough that the chain will fully stretch out, we need to be sure that there is sufficient swing room. There wasn’t quite enough room one night near Charleston and we ended up starting the engine at o’dark-hundred to winch in some of the chain so as not to swing into the island behind us.

The Georgia rivers run through acres and acres of marsh with a single type and uniform height marsh grass. Not a lot of scenic variety and little protection from wind or storms. “Protection” would be trees or hills --of which there are few – just miles and miles of Marsh grass. Fortunately we haven’t needed protection because the weather has been very ‘settled’ --- that’s marine-speak for low wind, wave and no storms. The only reason we might need protection is that these remote anchorages seem quite Deliverance-esque. We’ve been the only boat anchored in the last three anchorages . Whenever the occasional boat goes by, I keep an ear open to make sure it keeps on moving! Norm mentioned yesterday that he needs to get to work on buying that stainless steel shotgun – yeah, Georgia’s outback will make you think of things like that.

The peacefulness of these places is incredible. Thebeauty last night was spectacular - the sunset was red, red, red. And the stars were so bright – they were reflecting in the water. God created quite a special place for us - the Earth is amazing. His is the real protection we need on this journey.

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