Saturday, May 2, 2015

Port of Call: Darien, Georgia

We set out from St Catherine's by eight in the morning. Sadly, we saw no feral hogs on the island. We made good time getting to the open ocean, but the wind was just not there today, so we made a decision to make for the ICW (intracoastal waterway) to view some local sights and wildlife.

On our way in, we saw a fair amount of jellyfish and skates in the water, and we had a little show by a pod of porpoises.

Navigation in the ICW past the Doboy Sound was difficult due to inaccuracies in the charts. It was slow going as we searched for deep water, but there was a lot to see, including alligators and several species of birds. We also spied a nice little lighthouse on Sapelo Island, but it wasn't helping with our navigational difficulties.

We had to scrap our plans for Brunswick, as we discovered that the shallow waters  in the Little Mud River would prevent us from passing at low tide. It seems that the Little Mud River has the shallowest waters in the ICW, but it does not get dredged due to environmental concerns (according to the guide book). However, we read about a little town called Darien where we could tie up for free (they have 48 hour courtesy docking) so we planned to head for there.

All was going well unil we were near to our destination. The aforementioned chart inaccuracies put us on the wrong side of the channel, and we ran around. We applied a little Waffler ingenuity, and got the dinghy in the water to kedge the boat out with the anchor. The Wafflers strike again.

Once in Darien, we were assisted in docking by a cruising couple, Myron and Dena, who helped us tie up the Black Dog, and shared with us many useful cruising tips and navigation information for sailing south of here.

Bill, Bob, Matt, and I wound up at the Waterfront Wine Gourmet and enjoyed a libation at the wine bar there while we watched the Kentucky Derby.  We got a good tip there from the waiter to visit Sunbury tomorrow.

As we got back to the boat we ran into Myron and Dena again, and we invited them aboard for drinks and conversation. They were great fun to hang with, and we all had a good time. They are very experienced cruisers, with interesting stories, and a wealth of sailing information to share.

After dinner, we will most likely collapse as we are all exhausted. And tomorrow we will seek out Sunbury.

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