The Florida portion of our Loop has been the longest. By far. Nearly five months and more than 1,060 nautical miles. More time and distance in Florida than in Canada. Our first stop was in Pensacola on November 11. Yesterday at 9 a.m. we crossed the St. Mary’s River into Georgia. The Carolinas are the only new states left.
Yesterday started off, however, as a crappy day to travel. Rain kept us in the pilothouse as we worked through the exit channel.
From there, not much of interest left in Florida. Fortunately the day brightened both in terms of weather and in terms of cool stuff.
First up, the U.S. Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. The Waterway Guide says to watch out for subs, which makes sense when the ICW is the only path to the ocean from Kings Bay. We didn’t see any, but then maybe that’s the point of subs in the first place. We did see a RIB with a bow-mounted machine gun, however, which lessened even Doug’s desire to poke around.
Off to the right we cruised along the inside of the Cumberland National Seashore.
Hey, that’s our second National Seashore at least. And heck, until this trip we never knew they existed.
The rest of the cruise mostly was all about boats (and the shallow water of Jekyll Creek.) There were boats in an anchorage that seemingly would appeal only to those interested in a horrible lung disease, and an abandoned cruise ship carcass, and a cargo ship in a place that looked way too small for a cargo ship.
There also was a, well, we weren’t sure what it was.
The boat name is John Paul DeJoria. John Paul DeJoria is the billionaire founder of Paul Mitchell hair products, which under other circumstances Doug might use. Apparently this is a former Island-class Coast Guard patrol boat now owned by an outfit that fights illegal fishing with support from old John Paul. It’d be a bit more menacing to the poachers if it had more guns and fewer “Peace Love Happiness” signs, perhaps, but it’s still pretty cool.
Then there was the barquentine Peacemaker. More on her later.
It wasn’t all subs and boats though. We were reminded that (1) you don’t navigate directly to lighthouses and (2) channel markers don’t always mark the edge of a channel.
We passed under our second string-art bridge.
This time fortunately we weren’t stuck in mud after we got by it.
The scary part of the trip was Jekyll Creek, which at low tide has way less water than Misty Pearl needs to keep afloat. We hit it someplace between high and low tide, but we still were too focused to take pictures. Adding to the confusion were mixed messages from our usually-trusty resources. One said to favor the green markers. The other said to favor the red markers. This would’ve been a good point for Navionics to put one of those “confusing area” warnings. We did, however, get some pictures of the water park moments before the puckering.
Now here’s the really interesting stuff. Some dude calling himself “Yoneq” collected some followers in Chattanooga and started Twelve Tribes, which either is a cult or isn’t a cult, depending on whether the person you’re asking is a member of the cult. But they have a quirky restaurant that used to be out on Brainerd Road then was gone for awhile and then opened again downtown next to UTC. Good sandwiches to be had at the Yellow Deli.
Why is that interesting? Because we bumbled into a Yellow Deli in Brunswick after tying up at Brunswick Landing.
The folks were quite friendly and seemed impressed that we’ve patronized the mothership in Chattanooga, and that Doug even used to go to the original joint. One of them invited us to the Friday-evening “celebration,” which she assured us was just singing and dancing. Although the woman was both sincere and non-pushy, we know that singing and dancing leads to fornication, because we’ve seen Footloose. So we politely declined.
Today we jammed in some great pickleball with Bruce and Bev (SeaQuest) and Charlie before the rain set in.
Oh yeah. The wild thing about Peacemaker? The Twelve Tribes owns her. If Twelve Tribes is a cult, it’s at least a cool enough cult to have a boat.* Suck it Warren Jeffs.
Cards with The Lower Place tonight in the thunderstorm. We’ll be here until Monday.
* Although the Scientologists own a bunch of boats and there’s nothing at all cool about them.