Day 4 Wahoo River to an anchorage just north of Jekyll Island: Day four started with us picking up with a trawler named Orient Moon that we had heard on the radio the day before. Orient Moon led while we pulled out of the Wahoo and we were followed by a Grand Banks named Blue Moon. As I followed the twisting and turning of the ICW I was amazed to see Orient Moon glide along as if riding on a silk rope. She made every turn so gracefully I was ready to see if they needed a cabin boy. Belle, on the other hand, had my arms damn near wore out and when I looked at a track each evening it looked like someone had laid a stairway on the curves of the ICW. It was impossible to hold her on a smooth path. That’s when Lou broke out the Wood Freeman manual to try and see if there was any help. Should suffice to say that when we figured out how to use the autopilot life was much improved. However, you must keep in mind that dirt was discovered the day after they invented the Wood Freeman autopilot. But, Woody, as we affectionately called it, got us through bridges and turns that would have otherwise made life miserable.
Orient Moon pulled off at Cumberland Island and Blue Moon and Belle proceeded south. When we called to inquire about a marina we had planned to stop at we found there was an anchorage just north that would accommodate two boats. Blue Moon pulled in first and took an anchorage while we waited some 400 to 500 yards back. Then we moved in and I had to go beyond where I wanted to anchor because of a cable area on my charts. This put me much closer to Blue Moon than I wanted, but still workable. There is a small marina on the other side of the somewhat small anchorage so I pulled back where I felt I had enough area to put out proper rode and keep out of everyone’s way during the full swing that would occur overnight. I’m not used to the 7-8 foot tides that cause such dramatic swings. That wide open Wahoo was a lot easier. Anyway, I finally got in position and started to drop the hook when I noticed I was going to be swinging directly over a flippin crab pot. So I have to start dancing Belle sideways and closer to the cable area and more into the middle. All the while Blue Moon is looking on… probably in disbelief.
When I finally got the hook down and settled Blue Moon called over to ask if all was okay. Once I explained what I was up against they called back and commented that I seemed to always have great control of her. My chest stuck out a bit – but little did they know. Then they wanted to know who the boat manufacturer was because they had never seen a boat like ours. Probably never will either. So, then they called back over to ask how long we had owned her. I replied, “well including the eight days in port getting ready for the trip this is our fourth day out.” He called back and said; “no, how long have you had her.” To which I replied; “you heard me… this is our fourth day driving this boat.” To which they replied; “boy, you are brave.” To which I replied; “the southern interpretation of that is – just plain stupid.”
Boaters are so much fun and anyone who says they have not had a calamity simply hasn’t boated long enough… Blue Moon and Belle Aurore danced together that night and we woke the next morning to the sound of church bells. We are getting quite used to this…