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Fort Frederica & Submarine Sighting

The past two days really made us appreciate why we are cruising.  History, nature and sweeping landscapes (among other things).

Day One: Long day of motoring the ICW through Georgia.  It was a shallow draft day, seeing depth of predominately 6 ft, lowest about 5.5 ft.  The tide was way low. We were glad to be able to travel today. Other boats may not have.

ICW by Velocir

In the above photo you can see an arc in the mud where a boat ran into the shallows and then skirted away.  Now the tide is even lower, and we must traverse the edge in the shallow channel.

Albin Vega Velocir Photo

We were very isolated among the marshland and sand dunes.  A motorboat ride, but very beautiful.

Fort Frederica by Velocir

We made it to Fort Frederica at about two in the afternoon.  A sunny warm day (at last!).  The Fort is part of a town built in the 18th century to claim Georgia for Britain, with the Spanish at St. Augustine to the south.  There were houses and roads, orchards and cemeteries.  Each person was handpicked for the colony based on their skills as farmers, builders, etc.  There was a “decisive” battle near the fort and on the island in which the Spanish retreated.  In the end, it seemed no one wanted to live there.  Most people left after five years, there was a fire and then everyone left. It wasn’t until the 1940s that it became a historical place of interest and it is now part of the NPS.  They had a movie and great audio tour.

Fort Frederica by Velocir

The Spanish moss on the trees was beautiful.  We learned that it is an air plant, relative to the pineapple. Hard to believe!

Fort Frederica by Velocir

When I visited here as a kid, I thought the coolest part was the cannons and fort barracks.  This time, the orange trees beside the foundations of what was once a house stood out to me.  People lived there and planted those trees brought from Europe.  They dreamed the land would be prosperous (instead marshy and buggy).  Finally, also have to mention they had an interesting mix of Scottish, German and English settle the colony.  All in search of land and religious freedom.

ICW by Velocir

Albin Vega Velocir in Frederica River

Day Two:  Woke up to another calm day with no breeze.  Swarmed by bugs, we got moving as quickly as possible.  Many inlets to cross today, the most beautiful was at northern Cumberland Island, a park we plan to go back to after Thanksgiving.

Cumberland Island by Velocir

Huge sandy cliffs swept across the sky. A lighthouse in the distance.

ICW by Velocir

As we neared St. Mary’s, GA we passed through Kings Bay, which is a military submarine area.  Along the docks, we could see a British submarine.  Then, after passing through, the Coast Guard came up to us and other boats, asking us to leave the channel and keep our distance.  We went as close to shore as possible and continued along the river.  A cruising sailboat behind us had not crossed into the Bay and was seen having to turn around, darn!

ICW by Velocir

Soon a large tugboat, followed by a large Coast Guard ship came out.  Then, flanked by two large vessels, the submarine made its was through the channel.  It was massive, and much larger than the other one we had seen docked earlier.

ICW by Velocir

What a treat to travel with a submarine!

Now we are anchored in St. Mary’s and looking forward to Thanksgiving!

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