After another uneventful passage from Fernandina to the sea buoy off St Simon’s Sound, Beyzano is tucked up in her new home for 2 months at the Brunswick Landing Marina in Georgia, whilst we head off on a long journey back to the UK.
The sea buoy is miles from the coast as the waters are so shallow and shift regularly further in. It took us 3 hours to motor down the well marked channel to the marina but just outside the channel you could see the water crashing onto the shallows, not a good place to get caught out. The channel is deep and wide and we didn’t see anything under 7 metres all the way to the marina.
We decided to anchor off for a last night before topping up the tanks with diesel (to counteract condensation) at the Marina’s big and easy fuel dock. Next we moved to Dock 11, close to the hub of marina life, the Yacht Club. This marina is in a hurricane hole, surrounded by land in a very narrow strip of water. There is virtually no current and no wake, so a lovely peaceful place to berth. The staff are very helpful, guiding us into the dock and taking the lines. Their welcome pack held lots of information about the town, marina and social activities, of which there are many.
Every day there is free beer on tap and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday they hold a wine party, with nibbles and good wine. Yoga, film nights, special meal nights, jam sessions etc etc go on every week plus a new kind of dominoes game ‘chicken foot dominoes’ which we were taught on Sunday.
The bathrooms are spotless and include hairdryers, all in self-contained rooms. The laundry is free and they have state of the art machines. The lounge is a really nice place to hang out, as is the smaller lounge with a huge book exchange and board to pin up your boat card and spot people you know.
The town is small and sadly many of the shops are empty, so it has seen better days. The marina card gets you a 10% discount at many restaurant and cafes though and we plan to have a Thai meal on Saturday. The nearby park is a venue for outdoor music concerts, spanish lessons are available at the library and the beaches of Jeckyll and St Simon’s Islands aren’t far away. A classic car show event took place last Sunday, there is a farmer’s market three times a week and a cruiser’s net on Ch 69 at 0900, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Using the free bikes, we got up early and found the West Marine chandlery and Winn-Dixie supermarket, less than 2 miles away. There are plenty of shops in the area and many people at the marina have cars and keen to show you around. We have only had a week to put Beyzano to bed, so have got the sails off, canvas will come down just before we go. Lots of cleaning and polishing to do inside, clearing out things we don’t use and we got the salt off the hull after another season of over 2000 miles sailed. This time it was just mid December to end April though, quick a lot of miles in a shortish time. Engine and generator oil has been changed and we’ve covered half the solar panels to stop them overcharging. With the cooler nights, our batteries are still at 97% in the morning, despite running the fridge and freezer.
We have to use up all the food, so the freezer and fridge can be emptied and as the marina provides a gas BBQ at the top of each dock (18 boats to a dock) with a covered area, we’ve been cooking our last Cuban red snapper and lobster on that.
The marina provide a guardianage service, checking on the boat as often as you specify. We have booked a Greyhound bus from here to Washington DC where we should have a few hours to wander before getting another bus to the airport. We have 2 nights sleeping ‘upright’ in a bus then plane seat, so not sure we will arrive in the best of moods at Heathrow. Steve, who is picking us up, has been warned! We are looking forward to getting back and seeing everyone again, it has been a long time.