Friday, November 25, 2011

The path to Jekyll Island

Before reaching Myrtle Beach, SC we noticed some marks on the back of the boat, near the waterline.  David guessed we had probably run over a crab line at some point and wrapped it around our port propeller.  A couple days after arriving at Myrtle Beach, David hopped in the water to see what we had caught.  It was hard to see in the muddy water, but he did his best to pull out and cut off the tangle of rope he found wrapped around the propeller shaft.  Thinking he had gotten it all, when we left Myrtle Beach we didn’t think much of it.  After a day of driving we felt like the boat seemed a little slow and the auto pilot wasn’t as responsive, so we decided that maybe we still had something caught on the propeller.  So we dropped our anchor in an open area and David hopped back in to see, he found a little more line and cut it off.  And on our way we went again. The next morning I was still in bed when David started pulling up our anchor to get underway.  As I was listening to the props spin in the water I noticed when he put the port side in reverse that it sounded different.  So I hurried up to tell David to stop what he was doing, because something was wrong with that propeller.  We traded jobs, I drove the boat, while he went to listen to the noise.  And he agreed something was different with that propeller.  We decided the best thing to do was to drive with that engine off, and the propeller tied off so it can’t spin in the water.  So that is what we did.  We drove that way for a couple of days.  We were anchoring at night, so we just adjusted to the bit slower speed during the day while we debated where we should get it looked at.  We were passing thru Jekyll Island, GA and decided to pull in and stay at the marina.  We needed water and an afternoon exploring the Island sounded fun.

Getting to the marina was nerve racking.  It was low tide and the channel in that area had reports of depth anywhere from 4.5 feet to 6 feet.  We draw 6 feet, so we were worried we worried we were going to get stuck on our way in and have to wait till tide came in.  We took it slow in the reported shallow areas, but made it just fine. 

As we pulled in, the marina advised we tie up starboard side due to wind and current.  It was a long face dock and they had a good 80 ft space for us to squeeze into.  We attempted to dock as they suggested, starboard side, and with the bow thruster we were able to get our bow in, but we just could not swing our stern in with out the port engine running.  I hollered over to the dockmaster that we forgot we were only running our starboard engine, that we had a problem with the port, and she hollered back, that we probably should flip ourselves and tie up port side.  So we hustled to switch our fenders(bumpers) and our lines over to the port side while David flipped us around.  Setting up the fenders and lines is Savannah and Calvin’s job, and they were great helpers in getting everything switched to the other side in a hurry.  Now docking was easy.  With the starboard engine we just pushed the stern in after we used the bow thruster to push the bow in.  Once we had lines over to the dock, the dockmaster and a fellow boater pulled our boat the last 5-6 feet into the dock space.  Once we were tied off and set up with water and power, Grandma came out and said it was amazing.  She didn’t think we would fit in the space they gave us to dock in.  There is a boat in front of us and behind and she was amazed at the control over the boat and ability David had to dock the boat.

It was almost 3pm when we arrived, Matthew was still taking his nap, so we had the afternoon to explore.  Grandma took the kids for a short walk while David unloaded the bikes.  We loaded up the kids and rode off to see the island.  Grandma stayed behind with Matthew.  Jekyll Island is a little resort in itself.  The island is beautiful.  We rode to the beach, and then into town. They have bike trails all around the island for easy access for tourists.  We passed people playing croquet on the lawn in front of their resort.  The resort area was built in the 1950’s and was a winter getaway for the rich.  It still has that 50’s era family resort feel to it.  They are building a new convention center and shopping area that I am sure will attract even more vacationers to the area.  It was beautiful to visit and we wished we could have stayed more than an afternoon.  They have a new turtle research and recovery center their that you can visit.  If we’d had more time we would have like to have checked it out.

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