welcome to our blog!

This blog tells the story of our 22-month sailing journey from Oakland, California, to Bristol, Rhode Island, aboard our beloved Bristol 32 sailboat, Ute. Please feel free to browse through the archives (partway down the sidebar to your left) to see pics and read stories of our adventures in North America and Central America . (Sorry the first 3 months of the trip are missing - they vanished somewhere in an internet cafe in Mexico - but all you're missing is CA, Baja and Western Mex).

If you're trying to track us down now that we're landlubbers, try us at uteatlarge at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Georgia on my mind.....

From Fernandina it was just 15 miles to Cumberland Island, just over the border into Georgia. We'd been told Cumberland was an ICW "must-see" - and we weren't disappointed! Georgia is home to several beautiful barrier islands like Cumberland, but most have been developed over the last few decades. One thing that makes Cumberland unique is that it's 85% federally protected parkland, and the remaining 15% is comprised of properties that have been handed down over several generations, and will eventually be turned over to the park service. There are no roads, and the only access is by boat. Its complex barrier island ecosystem is delightfully intact and it proved to be a land of salty, summery juxtapositions: we sat in our cockpit and watched dolphins swim around the boat, then looked up to see wild horses grazing where the marsh met the forest nearby, and flocks of ibises and egrets roosting in giant live oaks as a backdrop. We were able to anchor snugly into a little oxbow of a very curvy creek on the west side of the island, just about 100 feet from the edge of the marsh grass. It's still strange to us to navigate this labyrinth of wetlands and creeks that are filled with saltwater, and whose currents reverse with the tides! It's like no other place we've traveled, but if our charts are any indication, these saline riverscapes will seem completely par for the course by the time we've done a couple hundred more ICW miles.

Just down the creek from us was the Plum Orchard plantation, a beautiful mansion built by the Carnegies. The NPS was nice enough to build a little dock there so we'd have a place to get onto the island by dinghy. We devoted Saturday to walking the 6 miles across the island to the beach and back. The trail there was great, although rather heavily traveled by bloodsucking insects. We started out in a beautiful forest of live oaks festooned with Spanish moss, which gave way to oaks and palms, which gave way to a pine forest, which gave way to huge, rolling, living-sculpture dunes on one of the prettiest beaches we've seen on the whole trip. The broad, gently sloping beach was totally deserted, and the rolling surf was, according to the weather summary we heard on the radio later, a user-friendly 84 degrees. Heavenly!

After a couple dreamy nights at Cumberland we weighed anchored and putt-putted up to where we are now, St. Simon's Island (still Georgia). In case you're wondering why we're taking our sweet time after professing to be out of time and money, it's because the offshore weather is dragging its feet in providing us with a good window to head north. And the inside route (ICW) north of here is rumored to be more hassle than it's worth, with few viable outlets to the sea for the next hundred miles or two. So we're waiting out weather - nothing new there! - hoping that Thursday will bring weather conducive to an offshore jaunt for Ute.

We have tons of fun pics from the last week, but it might be awhile until we get to post them: right now the boat is twisting and turning on her anchor as a casualty of the war between wind and current. what does that have to do with our internet connection? Well, we're picking up a weak wifi signal from a nearby marina, but it only comes through if the wireless antenna - which must be placed on deck for proper reception - is pointed directly at the marina clubhouse. That means while one of us is on the computer, the other one has to stand out in the cockpit, antenna in hand, and point it in the right direction. the problem is compounded by the fact that it rains about every 15 minutes. So, we thank you - as always - for your patience, and we hope to get more photos up soon! (Public networks are much harder to find in the USA than they were in Central America, because everybody has internet at home, I guess).

More soon - cheers, UTE

1 comment:

laura said...

a friend of mine wrote a book about Cumberland Island a few years ago, mostly about the process of it becoming a national park site (very tangled tale, something like point reyes here) -- it sounds like such an amazing place!