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Nov 12

Cumberland Island

After sailing most of the morning along the ICW, we motored the last ten minutes to Cumberland Island, GA and the most beautiful, peaceful anchorage yet.

This place, it’s like a ghost story waiting to happen.

Live oaks, twisted and gnarled, shaggy in their Spanish moss, loom ominous over narrow tracts of sandy beach. Plenty of space to maneuver and drop anchor and it is so quiet and mellow. We dinghy ashore to discover that it is Veteran’s Day (THANK YOU Daniel and Uncle Joe) and so free entrance to the island, which is a national park.

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Stephane’s already found a map so we head off down a leaf-strewn trail, oaks knitting their branches together to block out the sun overhead. Loud whinnies equal feral ponies – they are all over this island and they are not particularly interested in nor so much afraid of us – they just want to eat Spanish moss in peace, damnit all.

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A wild turkey and horse drinking water from what was once a very grand “duck pond” on the grounds of the Carnegie mansion.

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Vines grow up and on and over the oaks. I tried to swing on one that I *thought* might hold my weight…not so much.

First stop – Ice Box Museum. See, the people who once played on this island were so wealthy that their refrigerator? It was a house. The ice? They shipped it down from the north, 300-pound blocks at a time, whatevs. They were the Carnegies – the steel barons from Pittsburgh. And Cumberland Island was their playground.

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Stephane in Wonderland.

 

We walked the ruins of the burned Carnegie mansion and then the mini-mansion down the road that they built for daughter Sally. And then, wait, hold on, so- if Margaret gets a mansion, what about Edward and Johnny? Yep, they get one too (best not to play favorites). So there’s mansions all over the island! And then, wait, you can’t have mansions without servants, right? So you have to have a servants’ house which housed like 300 servants because when you’re that rich, only 300 servants will do, thankyouverymuch.

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Carnegie mansion ruins

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Because who doesn’t want a pergola in their backyard?

 

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Cemetery. A little cramped?

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The walls of some of the buildings are made from “tabby”. Tabby is concrete mixed with lime, sand, and oyster shells.

 

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Tabby wall.

We scope the ruins, cemetery, and then walk out to the beach on the Atlantic. Someone much more creative than ourselves made a sand samurai ornamented with horseshoe crabs – super clever! We enjoy a romantic, sunset walk on the beach until we realize – oh shoot, it really IS sunset now and we have no idea how much further our exit back to the boat will be…

 

 

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Sand samurai.

 

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Beach

 

 

 

Not much further come to find out. We find our beach exit with just enough sunlight left to see three guys sitting on the side of the boardwalk. One asks us if we want to join them for Happy Hour… Ummmmm…have I EVER declined a Happy Hour beverage, stranger or not? Not about to go breaking that record!

We enjoyed IPAs, Sailor Jerry’s, and a most excellent home-brewed Apple Jack in the company of Agent Brian, Geologist Jason, and Title-Detective Aaron. Happy Hour spilled over to dinner hour and bedtime hour but we so enjoyed ourselves. Strangers turn quickly to buddies.

Good times at Cumberland Island! This place is magical. Tomorrow, off to Florida…

14 comments

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  1. anthony pylar

    30F and light snow in the D this morning – beach looks real nice……

  2. Cindy

    I love, love, love reading all about your adventures! You really do have a way with words, an excellent story teller!

  3. Cindy

    I have friends on the east coast of Florida, it would be cool if they met you guys and show your cool sailboat, maybe hear about your adventures!

  4. Cindy

    Are you going to be anchoring anywhere near Deland, Florida? It’s close to Daytona Beach?

    1. Sara Hefti

      Hey Cindy! Deland/Daytona Beach is not in the travel plans. We are in Jacksonville now and plan to check out St. Augustine and from there head down to Ft. Pierce.

    2. Sara Hefti

      Hey Cindy!
      Thinking of you this week and hoping you are having an excellent time with family. Happy Thanksgiving! We changed our plans and are going to be stopping in Daytona Beach for a day or so to pick up an auto pilot that we ordered. I don’t think we’ll be there long, though- just long enough to pick up and install the auto pilot. Love you!!

  5. Phyllis

    Thanks for the awesome journey notes. Feel like I am right with you and learning soooo much.

  6. Sarah

    Love it !

  7. Grandma

    In the past haven;t necessarily gone on my computer every day – NOW – I look forward every day to see what you and Stepane are up to. Love it! Different kind of country down there.

    1. Sara Hefti

      Yeah! Love it, Grams! I will keep up the posts!!!

  8. Cindy King

    Cool, just thought if you were, you know… Keep up the good work and great posts.

  9. Silvia

    Thank you a lot of all your clearly explication!!!!
    We love to read you !
    Big rocket Kiss !!!!!

    1. Sara Hefti

      De rien, Silvia! Nous sommes très heureux que vous nous suivons sur le blog. Gros Bisou Fusée!

  10. Silvia

    Also, we love to see

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