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Jekyll Island, GA was only 36 miles from Amelia Island, but if you take the ICW, which we did, you have to cross St Andrews Inlet. Not a fun body of water. There are specific coordinates that have to be programmed into your chart plotter that are different than the Navionics charts. Community Edits on both Active Captain and Waterway Guide recommended a straight shot over to R32 buoy and then a direct heading left up to G29. The other buoys were either gone or misplaced. You have to trust your electronics BUT in this case we would have run smack dab into a big shoal, so we had to manuelly re-route the chart plotter according to advice from boaters that have recently crossed St Andrews. We went from a depth of 45 feet to 6 feet with in 5 seconds. Again, another nerve racking experience, but one to add to our boating adventure.
We arrived at Jekyll Island to find several Looper boats on the dock. Jekyll Harbor Marina has a long face dock where they put all the transient boats. They had one spot left for us. It was about 50 feet long, between two other boats. Captain Tom did a great job jockeying 46 foot BELLA into the space, but it was pretty tight! We had lunch on board, did some chores and headed out for our 'get off the boat walk'.
Jekyll Island is lovely. It has been the vacation homes of the wealthy for decades and they keep it very well preserved. Our walk included the historic district full of family cottages owned by the Rockefellers, the Goodyears and the like as well as a large lodge. All impeccably maintained. Below are pics of our time on Jekyll Island.
The trails were wonderful and full of walkers, runners and bikers all visiting the island.
Wild life in the marshes and spanish moss are both abundant on Jekyll Island
This spectacular tree is in the center of the historic district of the island. It was just beautiful!
We capped off our day with drinks and dinner with fellow Loopers - United 771, Chasing 80 and The Journey. It was fun meeting everyone and hearing their boating stories.
During dinner, we all discussed our plans for the next day. We'd been busy planning ICW routes and knew the weather would be ok for travel, but didn't realized that the wind and waves for the Atlantic were going to be perfect for a northbound outside trip. Couple that with some bad weather coming on Thur - Sat and it made us re-think our plans. All of the couples at dinner were going to travel outside the next day so after dinner we returned to the boat and decided to re-chart our course for the next day. Instead of going to an anchorage 66 miles up the ICW (Wed) and then to Thunderbolt Marina in Savannah (Thur), we decided to forgo the rest of Georgia and it's awful tides and go straight to Beauford, South Carolina on the out side.
After doing some major chart plotting changes to make sure both inlets were safe and rechecking the engine room and other prep work, we felt comfortable with doing the outside run. We woke at 5am and after coffee and wipping the boat down, we headed out 6:50am to the Atlantic by way of the St. Simons Sound Inlet. The inlet was really long, but we knew there was shallow water on either side so we took it most of the way out. We cruised at 25-28 mph and went 120 miles. It was a little bumpy (1 - 2 footers), but better than our Gulf crossing. We arrived at the Port Royal Inlet, another safe, but long inlet a little after noon. It was a good run and we were happy to be back inside. We headed back up the ICW and after fueling up at the gas dock we are slipped at the Downtown Marina of Beauford, South Carolina.
Beauford is darling and we are happy to be alittle farther up the coast and tied up. As predicted the weather started today. We've had 45 mph gusts and its raining. Not a nice day to be on the water! Below a couple of pics from Jekyll Island to Beaufort.
More from beautiful, Beauford, SC later~
Tom & Sue Slightam
Read along as we circumnavigate the eastern half of the United States and southern Canada on the Great Loop on our boat BELLA, a Cruiser 460 Express.