Hello fellow adventurers and virtual crew members!
Eric here reporting on the latest movements of Still Waters II. She and the crew made their way to Savannah, Georgia. This is the third time to visit the historic city, but the first time to arrive by boat. The journey took two days, including the crew’s first anchoring overnight before arriving in Savannah on Friday, July 31.
Brunswick to Wahoo River to Anchor
This leg of the journey was 53 miles, 3 sounds, 2 bridges, and many miles of winding Georgia rivers. Thursday, July 30, saw our crew depart the dock at 0930 and make their way back under the Sydnie Lanier Bridge.
After crossing under the bridge, the crew found themselves in the first of three sounds for the day. St Simons Sound afforded another lighthouse viewing and look at the Atlantic Ocean. After crossing the sound, they entered Mackay River for 12 miles.
The river brought them to Buttermilk Sound and then 4 miles up the Little Mud River, 2 miles up the North River, 7 miles up Old Teakettle River, 3 miles in the Creighton Narrows, and finally a mile in the Front River.
The Front River led them to their third sound of the day, Sapelo Sound. After crossing the sound is was just a few miles up the Wahoo River to find a place to anchor. The waterway guide suggested a stand of pine trees on the north shore.
The skipper did not sleep well during the night as he had one eye open keeping an eye on the anchor while trying to rest.
Wahoo River to Savannah
With a long 62 miles ahead of them, the crew pulled the anchor and got underway at 0848. Friday was much the same with many miles of rivers, 3 bridges, and 1 sound.
One interesting spot was at mile 604. A narrow passage named Hells Gate is known for shoaling problems. When our crew past over the area, the tide was out and the water was extremely narrow and shallow. The depth gauge registered a measly 4 feet of water (remember her draft is 3 foot 9 inches), but no bottom was touched and the crew was headed to Savannah.
Another interesting spot on this journey was a little spot called Isle of Hope. Nice homes in the area and lots of people out enjoying the water.
There were several miles of no wake zones in the Isle of Hope and Thunderbolt which led to some much slower travel than anticipated. The crew made the final turn onto the Savannah River about 1610, called the marina, and the only dock hand was about to leave for the day. The marina asked if they would need help docking. Hello, yes this crew needs help docking, they need all the help they can get.
They arrived at the dock at 1630, and had Still Waters II safely tied up before 1645, and only marginally delayed the dock hand going home. She is docked along river road with Joe’s Crab Shack off of the bow, and Spanky’s off the stern.
Friday night was hopping with tourist up and down the river front.. About 2300, a young couple thought they would trespass the dock, board the boat, walk across the sundeck, go forward to the bow, and take a few pictures. Claudia was startled, and when the couple realized the crew was onboard, they jumped off the boat and ran back up the dock and then disappeared into the crowd. Another sleepless night for the skipper.
The crew spent most of Saturday working small jobs on the boat and taking in the sites of Savannah. Then they spent a little time geocaching around the Waving Girl sculpture.
One of Savannah’s favorite stories involves the life of Florence Martus (1868 – 1943), who was known well by Savannahians and sailors of the sea as the Waving Girl. The daughter of a sergeant stationed at Fort Pulaski, Florence later moved to a cottage along the river near the entrance of the harbor with her brother George, the Cockspur Island Lighthouse keeper.
As the story goes, life at the remote cottage was lonely for Florence whose closest companion was her devoted collie. At an early age, she developed a close affinity with the passing ships and welcomed each one with a wave of her handkerchief. Sailors began returning her greeting by waving back or with a blast of the ship’s horn. Eventually Florence started greeting the ships arriving in the dark by waving a lantern.
Florence Martus continued her waving tradition for 44 years and it is estimated that she welcomed more than 50,000 ships during her lifetime. There is a lot of unsubstantiated speculation about Florence having fallen in love with a sailor who never returned to Savannah. The facts, however, about why she started and continued the waving tradition for so many years remain a mystery.
In any event, Florence Martus grew into a Savannah legend, known far and wide. On September 27, 1943, the SS Florence Martus, a Liberty ship, was christened in her honor.
The Waving Girl Statue by renowned sculptor Felix De Weldon, the sculptor of the United States Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, Virginia (also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial,) depicts Florence with her loyal collie.
The Waving Girl Statue is located on the eastern end of River Street, overlooking the Savannah River from the bluff.
Sunday, our crew will be headed to Charleston, with a stop in Beaufort, South Carolina. The mate has her eyes set on shopping in Charleston. Seems she needs to get ready for a mystery guest who will be arriving at the end of next week.