Summer Cruise 2021 – Week 4

Cars in the Golden Ray

Wednesday August 11th Day 23. Savannah to Kilkenny.

We were off the Westin Hotel dock just after 8am and headed down river. We hadn’t gone five minutes when we reached the large dredge on the north side of the river downtown. As we went to pass we saw a mammoth container ship just beyond the dredge being shepherded by three tugs. One on each side and one at the stern. They were maneuvering her around the dredge. We thought it smart to just pull to the south bank and idle. We dodged debris and crab pots in the current until they had the three block long, and ten story high ship straightened out and we could slip past!

Do we go or do we stay?
We stayed to one side!

We made the ICW off the Savannah River within the hour and headed south with pretty much high tide all the way. We passed two beautiful Trumpys on the way and we even went through the notorious Hell Gate at high tide and had 15 feet all the way!

Trumpy Jonathan II
Trumpy America

We were at Kilkenny Marina around 1:15 and tied up easily. This is a pretty rustic marina that we had been to once before. While the amenities are lacking somewhat it is a very handily situated marina half way between Hilton Head/Savannah and St Simons. The owner runs the marina pretty much by himself. He is the son of the original owner who started it in 1961. So it has been family run, and probably not changed much, in 60 years! And it is in a nice quiet location – with no large container ships passing through waking the living daylights out of us like at Savannah!

Beautiful ICW home

We had a table reserved at Market 107 restaurant for seven after which we settled down to catch up on the sleep that was disturbed violently last night in Savannah!

Thursday August 12th Day 23. Kilkenny to St Simons.

We had flat calm conditions this morning and the WX called for 1.6 feet offshore so we exited St Catherine’s sound and headed south toward St Simon’s sound. We had lake-like seas the whole way, though it was hot. We do have the choice to go below and run from the pilot house and turn on the AC but we prefer running from the fly bridge as we can enjoy the views more. We have a large fan which we bring up on hot days and we also plug our Amazon Echo in and enjoy the BBC World Service while we cruise!

Kilkenny sunrise

We again passed the grounded Golden Ray and the salvage equipment. This time however they had a segment cut and lifted. It looks like there are just two more segments left to be cut. A crane was picking our the autos and placing them on a barge. You could see cars stacked on the remaining part of the ship.

Two pieces left to lift
Crane removing the cars

We got to St Simon’s Morningstar Marina mid-afternoon. Walter the dock assistant had us tied up and we were the only boat on the long dock – so no one to hit us this time!

St Simons pelican

Friday August 13th. St Simon’s to Home Dock.

We had considered stopping over at Cumberland Island today and finishing up our cruise tomorrow. However the weather looked like it was turning wet for the weekend plus we had friends coming to stay on Sunday. We we exited St Simons Sound and headed down to Mayport. On our way past St Simons we noticed dozens of people wearing bright shirts patrolling the shoreline with large bags. We think these are people employed to clean up the beaches from any debris off the Golden Ray. It was another uneventful cruise offshore, though the rolling swell did get up somewhat as the day progressed.

Clearing the beach of debris

We entered Mayport to a couple of helicopters and a large plane doing turns and bumps from Naval Station Mayport. We were through the lock and tied up at home dock before three. Another successful summer cruise completed – though we did bring back a badly bruised boat! Sonas is booked into Lambs Yacht Center for Tuesday to start the repairs.

Naval Station Mayport
Heli bumps and turns
Prop cargo plane bumps and turns
Golden Ray
Golden Ray
Car carrier cautiously passing the Golden Ray

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