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Log November 26-29, 2005 Miles 463-576 Offshore to Savannah, GA
Tides and the
choice of Coastal or ICW travel routing -The southern South Carolina and Georgia
ICW has many very shallow stretches. It is possible to travel the ICW with
a draft of 6'3", but you must do so when the tide is high and rising.
Georgia has a 9 foot tide so timing makes all the difference. Conditions for
ICW travel are best with a midday or midafternoon flood. The silted shallows
are covered and if you do get hard grounded, the rising tide will lift you
off. If the conditions give you a midday ebb, then you travel short distances
in the late afternoon before dark, or take the outside route. Since the ebb
was at midday, we made outside jumps.
We left Charleston
on the falling tide and made good time out into the Atlantic. Our destination
was the Edisto River, a short day's sail south. The route took us five miles
off the coast. There was a large swell and 5 foot waves, but the 15 knot NNE
wind filled the sails and made the ride pleasant. Mid morning, we saw the
biggest sea turtle we had ever encountered. It's thick, horned shell was 5
to 6 feet in diameter and its head was nearly the size of a basketball. We
were reminded of a dinosaur.
When we travel
beyond the local waterways, away from the coast and in the Atlantic, we wear
(personal floatation device) and harness clipped into a
secure eyebolt when in the cockpit, and clipped to a jackline when on deck.
Since often only one of us is on watch at a time, this increases our confidence
in our safety.
Our trip up
the Edisto River was with the rising tide and we again made excellent time.
The Harbormaster of the Edisto Marina was at the Christmas Parade, so we tied
to an empty spot on the dock and settled in for the night. At first light,
we sailed with the ebb back out into the Atlantic and again traveled about
5 miles offshore. The sea state was similar to the day before, but the morning
wind was under 10 knots. The swell was off the stern quarter and made for
a very roly-poly uncomfortable morning. Fortunately, the wind increased by
noon and its pressure in the sails controlled the roll.
passed the boat, but few joined in our bow wave. As we entered the Savannah
River, we were struck with a deluge that reduced visibility to one foot! At
least it washed off all the salt. The storm cleared to reveal
petroleum tanks, refineries, chemical plants and a foaming
pollution slick on the river. The banks on both sides of
the river were lined with hazardous waste burial sites. Unlike all the other
rivers we had traveled, there were no porpoises here.
at downtown Savannah and tied up to the
municipal dock . The waterfront
is lined with former cotton warehouses converted to restaurants. The riverfront
street is paved
with cobblestones that had been ballast on the sailing
ships that picked up the cotton at the wharves. We climbed the old
waterfront stairs , and entered the heart of the town.
Downtown Savannah is laced with charming small
here seems much warmer than even Charleston a few miles to the north. The
air is humid and tropical plants grow everywhere. The live oaks trees are
thickly draped with Spanish
Moss. The streets
are quiet and traffic of cars, trucks and trolley cars
slowly winds around the parks. James Edward
Oglethorpe founded Georgia in 1733. His name is found everywhere
in town; in Oglethorpe Park, Square, Avenue, etc. In the name of King George
of England, he negotiated a settlement treaty with Tomo-Chi-Chi,
Mico of the Yamacraws. Tomo-Chi-Chi, was a great friend
of the English and is still considered the co-founder of Georgia. With his
wife Senauki, he traveled to England in 1735 and was received by the King
and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
side streets of Savannah are beautiful and lined with flowers
and tropical plantings. The buildings
) are of an interesting and varied architecture. James Moore
Wayne, former mayor of Savannah, was Associate Justice on the US Supreme Court
from 1835 to 1867. He continued to serve on the Court even when Georgia seceded
from the Union. He lived in the Gordon
House a fine example of Regency architecture. In 1860,
Juliette Low was born in this house. She became the founder of the Girl Scouts
of America. Our favorite coffeehouse, the Gallery
Espresso provided us with terrific lattes and a WiFi connection
to send our Ships Logs using our business laptops. Our favorite restaurant was the jungle shrouded Belfords.
Around the corner, we found the offices of Phillip
Marlow, Private Eye.
is no snow, the Xmas
season is in full swing here. Just before dusk, the 100+
foot American Glory came to the city dock. Luckily we were aboard and could
move Raven to the very end of the dock to make room. With bow thrusters roaring,
the giant tour cruise boat slipped through the quick current and within feet
of Raven. In the morning, we awoke to a think fog mixed with high sulfur dioxide
concentration from the nearby paper mills. Savannah is a lovely town surrounded
by industrial contamination.