Sunday, June 14, 2009

Exploring Cumberland Island

When I last left you we were getting ready to put Half Note in the water, go pick up Doug and Tammy, and go exploring Cumberland Island, the playground of the Carnegie's. Cumberland Island is one of the jewels in our National Parks. We decided to go the River Trail to the Carnegie's Dungeness Ruins. It was a long walk but we didn't notice because there were so many things to see along the way, including, but not limited to all the wild horses, wildlife, beautiful moss draped live oak tree forests, and don't forget the two dung beetles moving their dinner home. (you only get to see that on National Geographic specials) The Dungeness ruins were neat. I could only imagine how it was back in its day. I wish it could talk, I'm sure it would have some great stories to tell . We decided to take the beach way back and cool our heels while we walked. The beach goes on for miles and has many species of water birds, shelling, and a lot of other stuff to look at. The Live Oak forests were almost spooky, like out of a Harry Potter movie, but gorgeous. There are a lot more trails and places to explore on the Island, but that will have to wait for another day. We need to get back, take care of a little business, have September Song's bottom patted and painted, and then it's off to the Chesapeake.

September Song (great exploring day) out

Which way first?

Let's try this one!

The road to Dungeness lined with moss draped Live Oaks
Posted by Picasa

Entrance to the Carnegie's Dungeness mansion ruins

What a place it must have been

A picture of Dungeness in it's day

Can you imagine the stories it could tell?
Posted by Picasa

A new foal with mom

Some of the many wild horses we saw on the Island

Now that's a tree

Dung beetles rolling their dinner home
Posted by Picasa

Birds, birds everywhere

The only prints we saw in the sand were horse prints, and a little horse dung here and there

Miles and miles of beach
Posted by Picasa

I hope you catch more than we caught yesterday

Mr. grumpy

Kids playing in the surf

You wanna play in the surf with me mister?
Posted by Picasa

The dunes behind the beach

Weird tree

Doug and Tammy sitting in the weird tree just before it started to grab them

I think I see the trees moving and they seem to be talking. Spooky!
Posted by Picasa

The cruising life is not always perfect

Yesterday we traveled the outside to Cumberland Island. The day was hot with calm seas and very little breeze. We put the lines in but had no luck fishing. We figured we wouldn't catch much, if anything, that far from the gulf stream, (40 miles) but, you never know. When we were at about the half way point in the channel to Cumberland Island we saw something, but didn't know what it was coming towards us. When we got closer we soon figured it out. "It's a Sub! We were in a narrow part of the channel and didn't have much room. When you have a Coast Guard gun boat with his machine gun pointed at you telling you to move out of the channel, you quickly find room. The whole time the sub went by us the Coast Guard gun boat had its bow pointed towards us and the machine gun manned and ready if we made a wrong move. It was exciting, scary, and a cool experience all wrapped up in one.
After arriving at the anchorage behind Cumberland Island we picked out a spot to drop the anchor. After a couple of tries we move to another part of the anchorage. After another couple of tries we moved to another part of the anchorage. After another couple of tries it finally hooked. About an hour later a storm came up with heavy winds. The anchor alarm went off and we had started to drag. We gave the sailboat behind us a moment for pause, but we had things well under control. We moved a little further to the south and set the anchor again, in the windand 3-4 foot waves! We got it set after a couple more tries and as we waited out the winds, it would drag, set, drag, set.
After the winds calmed we moved again and got a good set for the night. We have never had so much trouble anchoring, but the bottom here is hard and full of weeds. Not a good condition for anchoring. The rest of the night we held and it looks like we finally have a good hold. Needless to say, it wasn't a good experience.
Today we are going to drop the tender in the water (well maybe not drop, but put the tender in the water) and explore Cumberland Island. The Island is a National Seashore and has lots to explore including wild horses that roam the Island. Yes, I will remember to bring my camera.

September Song (anchor challenged) out

It was exciting to see a nuclear Sub up close

Real close

Real real close!

Get too close and they will fire one over the bow! We really didn't have much of a choice in a long narrow channel
Posted by Picasa

Coast Guard keeping us away from the sub

Wrong move and you are toast! Notice the guy on the bow with the machine gun ready.

Wild horses on Cumberland Island

Another beautiful end to a not so perfect day
Posted by Picasa