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Going “Outside” Around the Georgia Coastline Can Have Its Difficulties

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-06-2010

There’s has been a lot of discussion recently about going offshore to bypass the troubled Georgia AICW (principally Little Mud River and Jekyll Creek). However, below we hear from Ted Jones, former editor and co-owner of the late, great “Coastal Cruising” magazine, that going outside can lead to its own set of perils!

Log April 29th & 30th, 2010 ~ Fernandina Beach, FL to Ashepoo River, SC:
1200: We cleared St. Mary’s Inlet and set a course, close on the wind, for St. Andrew’s Sound sea buoy intending to stop at Beaufort. However, when we got there we were told there was no dockage available because of a weekend festival. We were dog tired from sailing all night, but as it was early we decided to continue on toward Charleston. But that gets ahead of an eventful passage.
1400: We motorsailed in the light easterly breeze until it filled in from the SE in the early afternoon as predicted. It was a delightfully sunny afternoon, and we both enjoyed sitting on the cabin top (safety harnesses clipped on) leaning against the dinghy while “Ralph” steered. We secured the engine and enjoyed “silent running” for a change. Ted wasn’t sure how long Ralph could steer without the engine running. We would find out.
1600: We set four-hour watches with Malla taking the first.
2000: Ted had an uneventful evening watch. When Malla took over we decided to dog the midnignt to 0400 watch each taking two hours. When Ted checked the GPS, it had stopped working, giving us a position which was hours old. Never mind, we had a good DR working so were not concerned. However, it would be important to confirm our position at the several sea buoys along our course line.
0200, April 30th: Ted took over from Malla. It was easy sailing with the wind aft and Ralph steering. Malla confessed that it was difficult for her to stay awake.
Ahead, Ted could see the telltale characteristics of a sea buoy (flashing the morse code for the letter “A”) and wanted to be sure it was the Tybee Roads sea buoy and not St. Andrews. It was soon apparent that it was the former as four ships could be seen headed toward it on a crossing course. Not wanting to cross ahead of fast moving ships, Ted hardened up to parallel thier course in the reciprocal direction. Two ships flashed passed and could be seen rounding the sea buoy. The other two ships were moving more slowly, so we wore around to sail parallel to them and make positive identification of the sea buoy and let them pass so we could resume our course for St. Andrews and have a definite point of departure.
We were well ahead of the lead ship of the last two when it sounded the danger signal. The radio had been crackling below, which Malla heard someone calling the “sailing vessel in the Savannah River ship channel.” As she knew we were offshore and not in the Savannah River, she did not think they were calling us. I was to busy on the helm to go below and use the radio, and I had not brought the hand held VHF on deck, which we use to contact draw bridges, so could not immediately reply. I held my course toward the sea buoy and again the ship sounded the danger signal. I tacked away.
Meanwhile a third set of running lights appeared bearing down on the sea buoy. And as we were in the process of keeping clear, this set of lights came along side and Ted could see that it was a pilot boat. Now able to leave the helm for a few seconds, Ted dove below and located the hand held radio in the dark and called the pilot on channel 13. He was pretty irate and wanted to know what our intention was and where were we headed? I told him it was out intention to keep clear of the ships and to resume my course once they had passed. Meanwhile, the first ship of the last two had commenced a 360 degree turn and balled me out on the radio for causing him to need to do that. The fourth ship apparently followed suit with a 360 degree turn.
It was a very unfortunate set of circumstances which could have been prevented had I been able to use the radio. However, since we had not responded, the closest ship could not know of our intentions and initiated a turn to avoid us. (I have been on the bridge of a large ship and shared the frustration of its captain as small boats darted unexpectedly apparently into harms way. The pilot of a large ship needs to know that smaller vessels intend to keep clear.)
I was clearly at fault for not being able to communicate, and sincerely regret the inconvenience and possible danger I had caused. We continued to sail south, away from the sea buoy until we were well astern of the fourth ship, then resumed our course for St. Andrew’s Sound, some 10 miles further north.
0400: By now it was Malla’s turn again to take the watch. We had been steering 025 degrees, on average, since leaving St. Mary’s Inlet, and had recently corrected to 030 to allow for leeway. Now, before turning in, I rechecked the heading between Tybee Roads and St. Andrews and was surprised that it turned out to be 060 degrees. I accepted this, told Malla to steer 060 and expect to see the MO-A in an hour and a half, and lay down to rest.
0600: When St. Andrews had failed to appear we carried on for another 15 minutes, as I concluded that we had steered a course leading us out of sight of the sea buoy and changed course to intercept the coast.
0730: We finally spotted what we thought was the sea buoy and changed course to intercept the channel. The “sea buoy” turned out to be another sailboat with a red channel marker astern of it. Then we saw the inner range marker, checked the chart which showed shoal water northeast of it, and hardened up to pass the range marker on its west side.
0930: In a call to the Beaufort town docks we were told that there were no slips to be had. After talking it over between us, Malla and I decided to continue on toward Charleston, by-passing Beaufort regretfully, and tired as we were, we’d seek out an anchorage where we could make Charleston in one more day’s run.
1500: Ted selected a creek well off the ICW as a suitable anchorage. We actually passed it and had to double back, but it was deep and protected from the increasingly strong SE wind. The current was strong, so we set a second anchor toward the middle of the creek, and, the next day being Saturday, we remained there, out of harms way from the thundering herds, until Sunday. Despite the strong currents, it was delightful.
Ted Jones

Route Around AICW/Hell Gate Passage (near St. M. 602)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 04-29-2010

This is one of the few instances where I am in categorical disagreement with the author of the posting below. As Captain Fine notes, the AICW/Hell Gate passage, which connects the Waterway between the Vernon and Ogeechee Rivers, has just been dredged. I think this is the preferred passage, at least until shoaling once again begins to seriously rear its ugly head, as opposed to the “way around” via Ossabaw Sound, mentioned below.
How about some other cruisers who have recently transited the Georgia portion of the Waterway weigh in on this. Did you make use of Hell Gate? What sort of depths did you find, and at what level of tide? Please share your observations by clicking the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below.

Hi
I’ve just come in the north channel of Ossabaw Sound. True, the winds were 25-30 out of the south, south west, but the marked North Channel is shoaled all the way across – this is serious – where the charts, even the most recent ones indicate there’s 40 feet there isn’t. You can follow the marked depths of the channel to the north but the north channel itself is nowhere as deep as marked on the newest charts.
Hell Gate which was recently dredged does not have 5.5 feet of water at low tide. I don’t know what it is at high, but at low, you’re pretty much going around the Ossabaw Sound to get back to the ICW.
Day of experience: 4/25/2010
Bob Fine

Thunderbolt Marine (Statute Mile 584)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 04-15-2010

Here’s a quick but useful comment about one of the best known marinas/repair yard in Thunderbolt!

We have stopped at Thunderbolt Marina three different times and always found it a great stop with a wonderful dock master and great food nearby. Of course we love the Krsipy Kreme.
Bob & Fran Fumanti

Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Thunderbolt Marine

Captain Arnold Reports on Cruising the Georgia AICW

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 04-11-2010

There is a passel of useful cruising news in Captain Arnold’s long posting below. Pay particulary attention to his description of visiting downtown Savannah. Wish I could join our “made Englishmen” at “Abes” for a drink of Mount Gay Rum tonight (see below)!

Subject: Cruising Georgia
Cruising News: After (officially) the coldest winter ever in Florida, it’s a relief to again have warmer climes while slowly cruising north “as the azealas bloom”.
Some comments possibly of interest to “snowbirds” enjoying the ICW in Georgia.
1) Bad shoaling to report in the Little Mud River – I registered around 5 ft mid tide and mid channel. At one point the mud blocked up my knotmeter (yet again).
2) A delightful mooring for sure is the Wahoo River at Mile 630. 15ft or so of water and not too bad a current with good solid anchor holding.
3) The infamous Hell Gate cut (Mile 602) has recently been dredged and showed no problems except fairly substantial cross currents. Stay in mid channel and you should be OK.
4) Following irreverent tradition I was able to quaff a gin and tonic and under a full moon armed with such moonshine I managed to moon the Moon River. There are not many people can make such a claim with any degree of authentication.
5) Kilkenny Marina offers a low overnight transient fee, lower than normal diesel cost, and rustic surroundings of bygone days. Watch out for those no see ‘ums however.
6) A pleasant mooring just south of Isle of Hope Marina and you can either dinghy in for general facilities at a sight fee – or dock at everage rate. Very friendly and worth a stroll ashore.
7) Pick an incoming tide to go up-river to Savannah which offers one of the best Free City Docks on the ICW – even including free power and water! You’re right downtown in the Historic District and while touristy it does offer some delightful strolls in the many parks covered in azaleas. Churchills Pub now alas only opens after 5pm but a great little local bar is ‘Abes’ on Lincoln Street very close to the dock. Avoid the costly tour buses but at any normal bus stop the Free Shuttle arrives every half hour to take you to Kroegers grocery store and others. Riverside Park can get a bit noisy at night (it was Spring Break for me) but people walking by constantly seemed to get more enjoyment watching my cat than the variety of guitar players and break dancers. Once a week the City Dock is cleared to allow an American Cruise boat to dock – so check with the Visitors Centre. Overall I would say – Savannah is a MUST. Thank heavens Sherman left it standing!
Soon , fully provisioned and all systems GO, I will set off slowly for Charleston where, as yet, I have failed to find any free dock -or even any marina with low transient rates. If anyone knows of such, please let me know.
Happy Cruising to one and to all.
Cap’n Arnold

Pink House Restaurant – Downtown Savannah, Georgia

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 04-08-2010

Captain Arnold’s photo is of the Pink House Restaurant in Savannah, Georgia. He’s quite right. It IS one of our favorites, and pretty much everyone else’s favorite for that matter. Don’t miss it!!!
Cruisers berthing in Thunderbolt or Isle of Hope, can easily take a taxi to and from the Pink House!

And here I am in Savannah – here’s a favourite restaurant of yours I believe. Sunshine and azaleas – Spring has sprung at last
Best
Cap’n Arnold

One of the South’s top restaurants. Have dined here many times. Highly reco’d.
Capt Dave

Thunderbolt Marine (Statute Mile 583)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 04-07-2010

Here’s a quick but helpful review of Thunderbolt Marine, and some helpful info about visiting downtown Savannah!

Here 4/1-3/2010. Nice docks and very helpful personnel. A taxi ride to Savannah proper is about $18. We had lunch at B Matthews and dinner at The Pink House. The Pink House was pricey but so was everywhere else in the down town area. Both had excellent food. Would recommend a visit to this lovely city.
SV Aquarius

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Thunderbolt Marine

Isle of Hope Marina (Statute Mile 590)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 04-05-2010

Located directly on the Intracoastal Waterway, Skidaway River at Mile 590, Marker 46-A, Latitude:   N  31o 58.78' , Longitude: W 081o 03.35' 2-354-8187This is the second laudatory posting we’ve had concerning Isle of Hope Marina in the last ten days. Of course, Isle of Hope is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

We stayed at Isle of Hope Marina. It is a first class marina and the bus to Savannah is just two blocks away. On a Sunday, however, the bus only returns as far as Walmart and it is necessary to take
a taxi for the last two miles.
Alan Lloyd
Author, Great Loop Navigation Notes
www.NavigationNotes.com

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Isle of Hope Marina

Herb River Anchorage (near Statute Mile 584.5)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 03-05-2010

Wow, talk about an up to the minute report (3-3-2010) report on this anchorage. Note that Herb River intersects the Georgia portion of the AICW just south of the facilities at Thunderbolt, GA!

Just dropped the in the exact location of the anchor on the above chart. It’s dead low tide and we are in 14.4 feet. Added another 9 feet to the depth to figure out how much chain to let out for the high tide. Winds are on our nose at 18K and slack current. Nice views of some pretty houses and docks. Pleanty of room where we are for about 3-4 40 foot boats with 100 ft of rode each.
Larry Morrow

Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Herb River Anchorage

Boat Storage Near Savannah, Georgia

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 03-01-2010

I plucked the little gem below from the AGLCA mail list. There’s some good info here about both Hinkley Yacht Services and Thunderbolt Marina, both located directly on the AICW, south of Savannah River.

I would suggest Savannah over Beaufort if you need to travel by air. Savannah has two excellent facilities to consider: Thunderbolt Marina an Hinckley Yacht Services. They are within a mile of each other at approx. MM 583 on the ICW. They are both actually in the little town of Thunderbolt, GA, a suburb of Savannah.
Hinckley advertises outdoor storage, while Thunderbolt doesn’t talk about storage, yet I have walked among the boats blocked in their yard. Either can easily haul and block your boat. Either can do full service on your boat. We had Hinckley do extensive fit-up on our Monk 36 and were very pleased with their work.
Hinckley is at 912-629-2400, and Thunderbolt is 912-352-4931.
Both Savannah and Beaufort are delightful towns for visitors, Savannah being much larger, of course.
Bill Donovan

Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Hinkley Yacht Services

Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Thunderbolt Marine

Georgia MSD Regulations

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 11-24-2009

Be SURE to read BOTH notes below, and, then, if anyone else has insights on this issue, PLEASE click the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, and register your input.

A note to cruisers traveling through Georgia waters. Georgia DNR requires that all boats equipped with a marine toilet must NOT have a “Y” valve in the system. Not Tyraped, not padlocked but removed if one exists.
The law says nothing about transient boats just boats. My local DNR Ranger (Lake Wakter F, George) says that he has not been told to inspect boats for proper plumbing but will do so if ordered to.
Dennis Nichols

Subject: GA marine toilet rules
Cruising News: I believe Capt. Nichols got some garbled info. The Georgia no y-valve law pertains only to certain lakes specifically named in the
regulation–I think lakes George, Hartwell, Russell, Lanier and Thurmond (may of missed some).
John in Augusta

St. Augustine Creek Anchorage (Statute Mile 578)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 11-23-2009

Below you will find two interesting comments concerning St. Augustine Creek. Both messages confirm that a gambling ship does use this stream. However, note that Capatin Crafton was able to find a good place to anchor anyway.
Nevertheless, all cruisers who contemplate dropping the hook on St. Augustine Creek should be aware that the large ship described below will very likely come along at some point.

Claiborne – re St. Augustine’s Creek – it is shown as an anchorage . . . but is NOT SAFE. There is a gambling cruise boat that comes along after dark – anchoring in the creek puts you in its way and there is insufficient room to swing. When it happened to me, I pulled the boat close to shore with a second anchor to shore until after the ship had returned, after midnight.
It’s not safe and cannot be recommended. It’s just fortunate that the ship’s captains are aware of the problem and watch for it. Not a trip goes by that I’m in the area and don’t hear the ship calling out to someone anchored there.
To repeat – not safe, not to be used.
Wally
s/v Gypsy Wind

Earlier today we decided to use this anchorage; but had failed to check out the above comments. Needless to say, when the SunCruz vessel, returning from sea, called us on the VHF to inform us that he would be using this creek to return to his dock, we were taken by surprise. He was very courteous and suggested a spot farther into the creek where it is wide and we would not be in his way. Our electronic chart (not visible on our paper chart) showed a creek up ahead on the starboard side which has 9 feet MLW. We continued on and anchored in a very pleasant spot with plenty of swing room. We are now in a very protected spot, good holding and can rest knowing the gamblers will not disturb our sleep. This only goes to show the importance of these up=to=date additions to our normal cruising guides. And with that, a good night
Martha Crafton

Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For St. Augustine Creek

Isle of Hope Marina (Statute Mile 590)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 11-14-2009

Located directly on the Intracoastal Waterway, Skidaway River at Mile 590, Marker 46-A, Latitude:   N  31o 58.78' , Longitude: W 081o 03.35' 2-354-8187Captain Griffin’s note below is copied from the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) Mail List. She has certainly captured my thoughts on Isle of Hope Marina,but, of course, I’m prejudiced, as this facility is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

I second the recommendation made by some, for Isle of Hope Marina just south of Savanna. I’ve stopped there more than once and was pleased. I’ve also stopped at Thunderbolt and the private marina on Skidaway Is through a friend who lives there. Of all I prefer Isle of Hope.
My Skidaway friend had an interesting comment re the Savanna area…saying the land curves west there which offers more protection from storms than say Hilton Head of Charleston.
I love the city of Savanna. I also love Hilton Head for a vacation, but it is pricy! I think personally, either Savanna or Charleston re more fun.
Marge Griffith

My wife and I are currently at the Isla of Hope Marina (11/26/09.) It is quiet, spotlessly clean and the staff is excellent. They have two courtesy cars (two hour limit) and there is a Walmart Super Center, a Sam’s Club and all sorts of other shopping within 4 miles of the marina. We went into Savannah yesterday on the local busline. A short walk to the bus stop and 50 minutes later, we were walking along the Savannah Waterfront. If you stay in Savannah after 3:45 pm, it’s a $22.00 cab ride from the waterfront to the marina parking lot. We highly recommend Isle of Hope Marina.
Gordon Jump

Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Isle of Hope Marina

Great Savannah Dining – The Pink House

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 11-04-2009

I join with Captain Jenkins in highly recommending the Pink House restaurant in downtown Savannah. If you berth at nearby Thunderbolt, as do most cruisers, an inexpensive taxi ride will get you there. Those who dock at one of the two facilities along the downtown Savannan River waterfront can probably walk in nice weather.

Subject: Savannah Restaurant
Cruising News: Quite possibly the best restaurant in Savannah is “The Pink House”. Try their signature dish which is pan fried flounder. I have dined there many times and have sent family and friends there as well — always with rave reviews. A little pricey but really worth it. Ask any local for walking directions from the city docks.
Capt Dave

Herb River Anchorage (Statute Mile 584.5)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 10-05-2009

On 9/22/09, as part of a “Georgia Wish List,” I posed the following question:

7. Who has anchored lately on the waters of Herb River (Statute Mile 584.5). On what part of the river did you drop the hook? Did you find adequate swinging room and/or holding ground?

Responses follow:

We are anchored as I write on the Herb River, Came in at high tide so had great depths. Anchored in 15 feet around the first bend to the port (west) just short of a large dock on the south side. Oodles of swing room at this point. The section you recommend in the guide where the land is closest to the water is lined with docks on the west side and was very deep (20+ feet). I am much happier with the extra swing room and a little less protection – still trees to the south but a little further away from the water. Doesn’t matter tonight – little breeze.
Jean Thomason

Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Herb River

Alternate “South Channel” Access from Savannah River to Southbound AICW

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 10-05-2009

On 9/22/09, as part of a “Georgia Wish List,” I posed the following question:

3. Has anyone used the alternate “South Channel” to cruise from the Savannah River to the ICW’s southward trek. This cut, which departs the Savannah River abeam of flashing buoy #50, is useful to cruisers coming downstream from Savannah, but a 35-foot fixed bridge crosses the passage, and I’ve heard rumors of depth problems.

Responses follow:

We used the south channel going back to the ICW. The only depth problem might be just past the red A12 and before the the green A15 where the depth got down to 13.8 ft at high tide which would be about 7.8 feet at low tide. Other than that the depths were good. At high tide there was a medium-sized cruiser cutting from Elba cutoff to the south channel directly through the very shallow charted water.
Jean Thomason

Moon River (Statute Mile 595)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 09-26-2009

On 9/22/09, as part of a “Georgia Wish List,” I posed the following question:

Have any of you brave cruisers out there tried to anchor on Moon River lately (near Statute Mile 595)? I took this body of water off my list of recommended anchorages several years ago, as we had difficulty in finding an adequate entrance channel. Did you have the same or a dissimilar experience?

Responses follow:

Hi Claiborne,
Thanks for all you do. I don’t usually chime in on these things, but your mention of Moon River struck a chord. I’ve been traveling up and down the ICW, alone with my dog, for a couple of years now. And anchoring in remote areas is always an adventure. On the way north this past Spring, I was heading for Thunderbolt and ran into some really nasty weather that slowed my progress. Also, ‘Hell Gate’, not my beloved ‘Hell Gate’ on the East River in Manhattan, but that nasty muddy ditch that I had to plow through with my 5’8″ draft on the way south, was being dredged (Finally!!) and I had to slow down and wait for clearance from the dredge. It was getting dark and I decided, against the advice of all the cruising guides, to pull in to ‘Moon River’ for the evening. Here’s my log:

1500 – Entered Hell Gate, a dredge, ‘Richmond’ was working told me to go ahead and pass through, wasn’t much help, the regular buoys weren’t there.

1800 – Realized I wasn’t going to make it to Isle of Hope so I cancelled the reservation. Found a spot called ‘Moon River’, the same Johnny Mercer and Andy Williams ‘Moon River’, that showed as an anchorage on the chart but not recommended by any of the guides. Took a chance and entered, anchored in about 9’, let out 90’ feet of chain and felt very secure. Lots of bad weather predicted for tonight. Now I’m going to find a place for my buddy (Salty Dawg) to go to the bathroom. He hasn’t gone in 2 days. T’storms passed and it’s a pretty nice evening.

1830 – Lowered the dink and pulled into a private boat club, no one was around until I pulled in and then all the neighbors decided it was a good time to take a walk, or a bike ride or a jog. Well Salty went, and went and went. One of the residents, who was very friendly, happened to mention that there was a 7’ rise and fall of the tide. That made me very nervous, but at least if I’m aground I can’t drag. Back to the boat, going to cook the crabs tonight. Salty’s very mellow.

Monday, May 18, 2009 – Moon River

0200 – Awakened by the weather, cold and very windy. Checked the holding, excellent. Winds NE 20-25. NOAA radio is calling for three or four days of gale conditions. Worried about not being able to get out of here before the full gale arrives.

0600 – Got up and was going to take Salty for his walk but, conditions had deteriorated and I had all I could do just to get the dinghy back up top. Now the challenge was getting the anchor up. First the snubber then maneuvering the boat for the hoist which went very well, minimal amount of mud and got out of Moon River with a lowest reading of 8’.

1030 – Pulled into Thunderbolt Marina, Anthony the assistant dockmaster is from Pelham, friend of Tom Lyons son Chip. Going to stay at least two days depending on the storm. Slip $1.80/ft. Very accommodating place.

I’ll be leaving on Tuesday the 29th and heading for Annapolis for the boat show and then it’s Morehead City to visit my mother and then to Florida with many stops along the way. I’ll try to contribute to your ‘Wish List’.
Regards,
Joe Nekola
MV Sea Pearl
53′ DeFever RPH
Lying New Rochelle, NY

Vernon River Anchorages (near Statute Mile 597)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 09-25-2009

On 9/22/09, as part of a “Georgia Wish List,” I posed the following question:

10. Has anyone abandoned the ICW as it enters the Vernon River (near Statute Mile 597), and cruised upstream to anchor off charted Beaulieu or Montgomery?

Responses follow:

This is a great place to anchor! There is a deep channel on the east side of the river, and a broad area to anchor in 8 feet on the west just downstream from charted Beaulieu; after checking the area we preferred anchoring there rather than in the deeper water from Beaulieu to Montgomery. There are several shrimp boats which seem to be permanently anchored in the area, and we anchored upstream from the two shrimpers. It is a great alternative to the marinas from Isle of Hope to Thunderbolt.
Bob McLeran and Judy Young
MV Sanderling

Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Vernon River Anchroages

Thunderbolt Marine (Statute Mile 583)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 09-24-2009

On 9/22/09, as part of a “Georgia Wish List,” I posed the following question:

6. I’m sure any number of you have docked at one of the many facilities at Thunderbolt (Statute Mile 583). Please describe your experiences, good and bad. In particular, did you find Bahia Bleu Marina to be as wonderful as we discovered? Who has stopped or had repair work performed at Thunderbolt Marine? Please describe your experience.

Responses follow:

Stayed at Thunderbolt Marina at the beginning of July this year. Chose this marina because I had heard that it was a good place to get repairs done and we needed some work on our A/C unit. First the good news: Friendly and helpful dock hands. Easy on and off the ICW and a good place to fuel up. One of the employees has a great business delivering fresh produce and shrimp to your boat – just get an order form in the office and call her the day before. Your food will be delivered the next morning. Everything tasted great, especially the shrimp. Took a short walk to Tubby’s Tank for lunch. This will be a “must do” the next time we pass through. The not so good news: I felt as if the management was a lot more efficient at computing billable hours than actually fixing our mechanical problems. After staying over an extra day just to resolve our problem, we couldn’t even get a call back from our repairman. We did get the bill right on time, however.
Shel Rabin (mv Evening Star)

Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Thunderbolt Marine

Vernon River Anchorage (Statute Mile 597)

Posted by admin | Posted on 06-16-2009

The upstream portion of Vernon River, abandoned by the AICW, lies northwest of (now being dredged) Hell Gate. There are several good places to drop the hook here, as noted below by Captains Judy and Bob.

Subject: Vernon River anchorage
Cruising News: The Vernon River northbound beyond Hells Gate, north of the ICW cut off heading to Isle of Hope, is a great anchorage with room for a number of boats. The depth on the northwestern side of the river runs around eight feet at low tide. Anchor in the shallow area just beyond the two “permanent” fishing trawlers.
Bob McLeran & Judy Young

Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Vernon River

Good Words About Thunderbolt Marina (Statute Mile 583)

Posted by admin | Posted on 05-15-2009

Thunderbolt Marina, since it changed ownership some years ago, has been, and remains, an excellent facility.

Spent the past week in the yard at Thunderbolt Marine in Thunderbolt, GA. Can't  begin to explain how nice it was (if being stuck for repair is nice) Great facility, Great people and Really good service. They fixed everything they promised to do and provided solutions for what would take longer than our stay allowed. Small marina attatched for transients. Wonderful place to spend a few  days. Quiet safe and secure, Tranquil setting, but easy access to downtown Savannah without staying on the waterfront.
Not an advertising plug, just a satisfied client.
Mike Frazier
Tortuga