268 Jekyll Island

Daytona Beach to Moon River

Saturday took us north to St. Augustine, where we moored at the Municipal Marina and immediately took a trolley tour of the town. St. Augustine is a beautiful town combining historic Spanish influences with early 20th century gilded age masterpieces, where even the tourist district is not objectionable. We spent two nights in St. Augustine, visiting the Lightener Museum, Flagler College (once Flagler’s elegant Ponce de Leon Hotel and now surely one of the most architecturally interesting places to go to school), the Presbyterian Memorial Church where Flagler lies, and even a thriving alligator farm. 

On Monday we were northward-bound again, anchoring that night in Alligator Creek. We saw no alligators but did keep ourselves well within the confines of the boat. Tuesday morning we docked at the pretty little town of Fernandina Beach, where we were greeted by Joe, who had been following the Cosmic C’s progress. We also enjoyed meeting the lively lady at the toy store, where we bought a gift for our granddaughter Jules’ third birthday, and the walrus-mustached post master, who delighted in covering the package with 39-cent “Happy Birthday” stamps instead of using the meter. Later we stopped at unspoiled Cumberland Island, previously the Carnegie’s island estate but now a National Park.  We walked down beautiful paths under majestic live oaks to Dungeness, once a very grand home but now a romantic ruins, with wild horses roaming its gardens and vines taking their toll of the walls.

We stopped for the night on Jekyll Island, dressed up, and chose not to dine in the huge Grand Dining Room in the Jekyll Island Club Hotel but rather in Courtyard at Crane, a more intimate restaurant in the Club’s Crane Cottage. Jekyll Island Club began as a club for the very rich; members built cottages (read mansions) for themselves on the grounds but were expected to eat all their meals in the Grand Dining Room. As a result, Crane Cottage (built by Richard T. Crane of plumbing fame), like all the other cottages, had no kitchen.

Before we left on Wednesday morning, Shannon and her horse Dallas took us for an informative carriage ride around the historic district. When we returned to the boat, we found it almost aground at the dock. The marina’s dock master had warned us that it would become shallow at the dock at low tide, but there was so little water that I was afraid that the engine would suck in a lot of mud when we started up. The situation was solved when the dock master and another helper held the Cosmic C nose in perpendicular to the dock so that the engine was out in deeper water.

Wednesday was mostly cruising through Georgia’s salt marshes, narrow cuts, and wide open stretches, where the weather favored us with light southerly winds and calm waters. We stopped a few miles before reaching Savannah to anchor on Moon River (of the song fame), and remarked on the absence of the biting gnats (no-see-ums) that had become an annoyance in North Florida and Georgia. The gnats must have heard us because they arrived in their millions on Thursday morning, and several thousand of them found their way into the boat through an open vent.

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