We’re so glad we booked a month long stay in Brunswick, as it gave us ample opportunity to get acquainted with our new camper van that we found waiting for us in the parking lot.
We really had no plans this summer – continue heading north? Stay in Brunswick? Store the boat and go RVing?
So as our month wrapped up, we had to make a decision – and north it was to continue exploring the Georgia coastline.
First, here’s our video wrap – up – which really, tells the story best:
Wrapping up Brunswick
Our first week in Brunswick was jam packed and focused on the MTOA Rendezvous – and Chris’ folks even managed to pop by for a visit on their way to their summer home.
The next week was all about acquiring the Travato – and we managed two camping trips to nearby Blythe Island Regional park. And both trips we were joined by dear friends – first Forrest & Mary, and second Jen & Deas of Nealys on Wheels.
Brunswick Landing Marina was a great basecamp for us. It’s a cruiser’s favorite with a vibrant community, free on tap beer (seriously) daily, free wine three days a week, free laundry, great bath house and community center. It’s walking distance to the sleepy little historic downtown with some pretty great dining options.
The marina does a lot to encourage community, hosting 3 happy hours a week, monthly pot lucks and we were around for their Memorial Day celebration with a live band performing on our dock (we had to get backstage passes to get to our boat.. kinda cool!).
And fellow boaters are constantly arranging things, including a monthly full moon dinghy float – a great excuse for liveaboards to exercise their dinghy then raft up to float with the current.
And next door to the town’s main park which hosts several festivals and a weekly farmer’s market (focus on the ‘farmer’ not ‘farmers’). We attended concerts, a craft festival and a Blessing of the Fleet – which happened during a visit from my mom.
It’s also pretty darn close to our dear friends Ann & Elliott, so we managed a lot of hanging out with them which resulted in selling them our Mini Cooper.
We had a great time, and wouldn’t hesitate to return to this gem of a marina – despite the high electricity rates (.23 a kWh) and lack of promised at slip pump out options.
It is also considered a hurricane hole due to it’s western location and being north of the Florida/Georgia line (not that there’s any magical protection from that, but some insurance companies seem to think so.)
Heading North to Savannah
Georgia’s coastline is not very long – perhaps around a 100 miles. And a lot of it is very twisty if you following the ICW, with many shallow spots that have to be timed with the 9-11′ tidal swings.
Many cruisers, especially those who have done it before – tend to opt to travel on the outside in the Atlantic and bypass it.
We found it absolutely stunningly beautiful, and would not miss it.
We took a week to transit from Brunswick to Savannah so we could soak it all in, and enjoyed every dolphin abundant anchorage we stopped in.
But, we could do without the fricken biting flies (those midges are seeming mighty nice??).
We did a lunch stop at Fort Frederica – which as promised, is actually smaller than our boat. And then we overnighted off of Wolf Island for two nights to just enjoy being back on the hook. We didn’t go outside much at all, due to the flies.
Next, we transited to the Wahoo River (much more fun if you say it as: ‘WAAAAAHOOOOO’) which is within dinghy distance range to get ashore to visit our buddies Ann & Elliott for dinner at their place (something we long ago threatened on our many RV stops to see them in years past).
Elliott even buzzed us in his airplane, which was super cool.
Next we did a little detour up to Sunburry Crab Company, where they have a little marina.
We were going in hoping to partake of the shaded pool so highly raved about in reviews, and catch their Sunday evening live music. However, both were absent – apparently the pool is the private pool of the owners (who had invited prior boaters into before), and they were taking a week off from live music.
With the 100+ degree heat – it was a disappointing stay to pay about $100 in dockage fees for the evening, with the only thing to do ashore is dine at their restaurant. But, our friends came to have dinner with us – and it was good food and fabulous company. And we ran the AC non-stop.
And our final anchorage before Savannah was Buckhead Creek, just before the notorious Hell Gate pass. It was intended to just be an overnight to wait ideal tides in the morning to make the crossing, but turned out to be a most exciting night!
After all, how many times does a military helicopter do a full 360 high speed circle around you at 100′? And while you happen to have your drone up (and yes, we were not in a no-fly zone)?!?! It was heart pounding!!
In the morning we tackled Hell Gate without problem, but even at high tide we saw depths of about 11′ – which with a 9′ tidal swing here, really tells you how essential it is to time this one.
And then we arrived to Savannah.. which will be the next adventure!
Great Loop Log (6/4/2019)
- Distance: 882.7 nm
- Stops: 56
- Marina Nights: 417
- Anchored / Moored Nights: 48
- Bridges : 136
- Locks: 0
View all our Great Loop Posts
on our Interactive Map!
George’s Anchoring Laws About to Change
While we were on this cruise, the Georgia legislature passed HB201, which aims to restrict anchoring along the coastline’s estuaries. It’s an attempt to manage derelict boats and dumping of raw sewage (both great causes).
However, the proposed rules of requiring anchoring permits at $5/night (which has already been taken off the table, thanks to advocacy) and designated anchorages could seriously impact transient cruisers in the area making safe passage as we have to time many passings for the tides.
The law was passed quietly in May, and public hearings with the DNR happened in July. Now the DNR goes back to the drawing board on the actual rules that will be implemented on January 1st. There should be another round of feedback in September or October, and we encourage any cruiser this might impact to stay in the know and how they can help.
Here’s some resources:
Real Time Update
As usual, our travelogues tend to be a bit behind due to how much effort they take these days with video production. We just wrapped up an amazing month long stay in Charleston.
We have a family member with a medical issue up, so we are reversing course – storing the boat at a yard for some general maintenance (and haul out if needed for storm preps), while we return to our camper van to travel to be there as needed.
We’ve front loaded some content, and have also prepared our in-depth tour of our boat’s electrical systems. Look for it in a week or so, showing off our solar, lithium and equipment setup. It’ll be a doozy!