Fun with the Kids and Brunswick, Georgia (May 26 – June 30, 2019)

Fun with the Kids and Brunswick, Georgia (May 26 – June 30, 2019)

It is a curious feeling to be in one place for a long time; there is no rush to do everything at once, yet, as there is so much around us, it feels as though we won’t ever get to see it all.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that the Golden Isles, as this part of Georgia is called, has a different type of beauty; the marshes here are so beautiful and peaceful and are ever changing depending on the lighting each day.  The towns have a truly southern charm with tremendous oaks dripping in Spanish moss.  Beaches are easily within my reach, and I am still experimenting with them to find my favorite spot to spend an afternoon.  We have a car now, and that makes exploration, visiting with family, and shopping easy.  We are adjusting to the change, but we are still living aboard and AfterMath is not yet for sale.

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From left to right, Walt, Craig (in the front), Carter, and Michaela boogie boarding at Jekyll Island, GA

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Rush and Madison on construction duty.

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Sarah and Kelly taking life easy

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Ford has it all under control!

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Ford, John and Kirby, and Jeff hiking to Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, GA

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Precious grandchildren.  Left to right, back row, Michaela and Carter, front row, Rush, Walter, Ford, and Madison

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I love his impish grin.

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I just love this image of Carter, Madison, Walt, and Rush

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Michaela feeding the lorikeets at the zoo with Rush watching on.

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Rush and his new friend.

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I caught them both on their phones!  That’s Jeff and Kelly

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Feeding the penguins was a once in a lifetime experience for everyone.  This is Walt with a huge smile on his face!

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Rush is our penguin obsessed boy!  When Tirzah asked Kelly if there were any special animals the kids would like to see, Kelly told her how much Rush loved penguins.  I know he will never forget this day for as long as he lives.

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Even John got in on the action.

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Rush’s dream come true!

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Ford liked them too!

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Going for a walk with the penguins.

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Sarah with Rush, who couldn’t stop smiling after his penguin encounter.

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The kids wanted Tirzah to make the tiger roar – which she did when shown the microphone.

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Madison brushing the baby warty pig

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Sting ray petting.  Rush and Walt standing, Carter and Michaela with their hands in the water.

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Ford liked it too!

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A train ride before the storms closed in.   Everyone had a great day at the zoo.

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Soon after we arrived in Brunswick, Jeff and Sarah and family drove from Annapolis to visit with Kelly, Craig, and kids, and us.  We spent four days enjoying the company of kids and grandkids at beaches, Kelly’s house, and the Jacksonville Zoo.  The zoo was a very special treat as Kelly, who is a veterinarian and who has worked, on occasion, at the zoo, arranged a behind the scenes visit for the whole family. Thanks to her friend and zookeeper, Tirzah, we were treated to being close up and personal with a very large tiger, petting and brushing the endangered warty pigs, and the highlight of the day, especially for our grandson, Rush the lover of all things penguin, going into the exhibit and feeding the adorable penguins that live there. Upon leaving the display, we were even able to take a walk with two of the birds that accompanied us right out of the building!  The zoo day will long be remembered as an exciting and amazing experience for everyone.

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Here we are with our tiny dancer, Madison

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Delicious cupcakes that were well decorated.

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June 14th was another special day for us; we attended Madison’s dance recital in Jacksonville.  Madison is five years old and loves to be on stage.  This year she had a ballet, a tap, and a gymnastics performance; we enjoyed every minute of it.  We also had a wonderful time this week when Madison came to spend the night with us aboard AfterMath.  I enjoyed an afternoon at the bowling alley and went to the local shop for ice cream with Kelly, Michaela, Carter, and Madison.  Kelly and the older two returned to Jacksonville and then went the following day to try out the new Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios. Madison, who is not a fan of roller coasters, stayed on the boat with us.  We loved having her and spent our time reading, watching videos, making bead bracelets, decorating mermaid theme cupcakes, and constructing clothes pin mermaid dolls.  Madison charmed us all, including the kind people she met in the clubhouse here at the marina; she was a polite, well-spoken little girl, and a true doll herself.

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This tall ship is docked at the park next to the marina

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The lighthouse at the park next to Brunswick Landing Marina

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A farmers’ market is held here every Saturday.

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You know you are in the south when you find hot boiled peanuts.  I am NOT a fan!

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A view of Brunswick Landing Marina where we are docked.

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Someday I will find out what this piece of machinery here at the marina is!

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Sunset over the marsh from AfterMath’s fly bridge

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A manatee at the Marshes of Glynn overlook showing discards picked up from the beach.  A lesson in what not to do.

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A view from the Marshes of Glynn Overlook Park

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The Old Town Hall in Downtown Brunswick

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There are many squares in Downtown Brunswick.  This is Hanover Square.

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Beautiful old homes surround Hanover Square

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Gorgeous huge oak trees are everywhere, dripping with Spanish moss

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A view of Downtown Brunswick, GA

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Fountains in another square on the main street in Downtown Brunswick

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The Ritz Theater in Downtown Brunswick

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Transportation!   I’m so happy to have a car again after four years without one!

So, besides visiting with our family, John has been busy accomplishing tasks around AfterMath.  He has a list of jobs he wants to have done before listing the boat, and I am quite sure it will be in pristine condition before anyone sets eyes on it.  I help by keeping busy myself, although, sometimes that just means staying out of the way while he has the engine room open!  I love going to the beach, of course, but there is much out there to explore, especially on St. Simon’s Island and Jekyll Island, both of which I have barely touched.  I enjoy wandering around the historic district of Brunswick, a cute town within easy walking distance from Brunswick Landing Marina, and every Saturday I make my way to the farmers’ market next to the marina.  I spend some afternoons at the clubhouse, chatting with new friends while getting laundry done or working on a project.  We attend the marina’s happy hours when we can, and enjoy the potluck dinners and holiday gatherings as well.  It’s great to have a car to get around now, and driving around the area allows us to appreciate the beauty of this low country land.

There is a sense of peace here in these beautiful marshes of Glynn County; time passes quickly, but we move slowly through our days.  As a result of four years of cruising we have learned to live each day well and fully.  Life on AfterMath in this beautiful marshland, filled with paths of water through tall grasses, oyster beds, shrimp boats, and waterfowl, is simply a continuation of our adventure; one that will lead us into the next chapter of our lives.

 

And now from the Vast of the Lord will the waters of sleep

Roll in on the souls of men,

But who will reveal to our waking ken

The forms that swim and the shapes that creep                         

Under the waters of sleep?

And I would I could know what swimmeth below when the tide comes in

On the length and the breadth of the marvellous marshes of Glynn.

From the poem, Marshes of Glynn by Sidney Lanier

Back to the USA and on to Brunswick, GA.  (April 25 – May 25, 2019)

Back to the USA and on to Brunswick, GA. (April 25 – May 25, 2019)

I wonder if my procrastination in getting another blog post done is because this journey really seems to be coming to an end, or maybe it is because there is so much to explore now. Whatever the reason, we are settled now in Brunswick, Georgia, and enjoying the social atmosphere here and the fact that we are now near family again.  It’s good to be back in the United States!

Our first view of West Palm Beach as we completed our crossing from the Bahamas

We crossed from the Bahamas to Little Lake Worth, an anchorage near West Palm Beach on April 25th.  It was a calm and easy crossing.  Seeing the city of West Palm Beach felt like a culture shock once again, as even the busiest towns in the Bahamas don’t look anything like the cities here.  Clearing Customs and Immigration after being out of the country was much easier than it had ever been in the past.  Previously we were required to show up at the office in person, but this time we only needed to make a phone call, and give them our DTOPS decal number (Decal/Transponder Online Procurement System).  An officer called us back within a few minutes, asked to speak to both of us and asked a few simple questions.  After that we were done, and legally back in the US.

Passing through Jupiter, FL
Jupiter is a very busy place!

Once again we started our travels up the ICW.  First we stopped in West Palm Beach for a quick repair of a hose that was leaking, the moved on to an anchorage at Hobe Sound.  On April 28th, we spotted a nice anchorage on Peck Lake. It was a wonderful spot that was actually a park.  One side lined the ICW and the other was on the Atlantic Ocean.  After a very short walk, I spent the afternoon enjoying the lovely beach there.  The next day we continued on to another anchorage in Fort Pierce and then the following day to a mooring at Vero Beach.  

Some of the murals in Eau Gallie, FL
Inside the pie shop workers were very busy baking
A pair of love bugs
Crossing the ICW from Eau Gallie to Melbourne Beach
Eau Gallie at sunset

After being on the move for a while, we decided to spend a little time in Eau Gallie, a section of Melbourne, FL.  Eau Gallie has an arts district and many of the buildings are painted in bright and colorful murals.  It was also, unfortunately, lovebug season!  Lovebugs appear twice each year in Florida, and, although they don’t bite, they are just a bother.  They fly around, male and female, joined together and generally make a mess of cars, boats, and everything else.  There were plenty to be found in Eau Gallie.  Thankfully, they only last a week or two and then they are gone until the next season starts, but during my walk across the bridge one day to Melbourne Beach I found myself covered head to toe in those little black creatures.

Walking the town of New Smyrna Beach
I haven’t seen one of these scales for years!
Check out the cost. You can get your weight for a penny and your fortune for a nickel
We watched this fire fighting helicopter practice in front of us as we continued on our way to Marineland
At Marineland, FL with Kelly and family
Getting ready to be splashed!
Carter after the dolphin splashed him
No creature escapes Michaela’s capture
Watching the turtles
That Madison is a character!!
This silly manatee entertained us for over an hour as we ate dinner in our cockpit. He drank water from a leaky hose on the boat behind us. I just wished the kids had still been around to watch with us.

We left Eau Gallie on May 7th and traveled to a mooring in Titusville, then to New Smyrna Beach for two nights.  Sadly, our son-in-law’s mother’s long time partner, Frank, passed away so we rented a car and drove to Fort Lauderdale on the 9th for his funeral. Still on the move north in Florida, we motored to Halifax Marina in Daytona Beach on the 10th and then to Marineland on May 11th.  This was a great stop because the next day was Mother’s Day and Kelly, Craig, Michaela, Carter, and Madison came to the marina to meet us for the afternoon.  We all walked over to the Marineland Aquarium and enjoyed the dolphins, fish, turtles, and sharks there.  Marineland also has a lovely beach, and I made sure to have a little time to experience it.  Monday turned out to be a rainy day, so our stay was extended until Tuesday, the 14th while we waited for the weather to pass.

You never know what you might find along the way.
Around town in St. Augustine
Flagler College
Inside Flagler’s administration building
Cathedral Basilica, St. Augustine
Also in the Basilica
Greek Orthodox shrine in St. Augustine
The oldest wooden schoolhouse in Florida
Castillo de San Marcos
On the Bridge of Lions

Our next stop was St. Augustine.  We stayed on a mooring but I had John dinghy me into town so I could walk around and enjoy some time photographing the beautiful city.  We were on a mission, though, to arrive at Brunswick Landing Marina in time for their Memorial Day celebration, so we spent the next night at Palm Cove Marina in Jacksonville, where we were able to have Kelly meet us for lunch, and then, the next night we anchored at Cumberland Island.  Finally, on May 17th we arrived at our destination in Brunswick, Georgia.  

Heading out with the dinghies for the dinghy drift
Of course, Kirby came along and made a friend.
A sunset at Brunswick Landing Marina. Wild fires in Florida sent smoke our way and this was the result.

Brunswick Landing Marina is stretched out over about a mile from end to end, and in the middle is a very nice clubhouse.  It houses a large library for cruisers to borrow and drop off books, free laundry facilities, and, best of all, a very large gathering room and screened in porch where happy hours take place every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Wine is provided by the marina and everyone brings a snack to share.  Also provided every day from 8 AM to 12 AM, is beer on tap.  Needless to say, most gatherings get a good crowd.  Since we have been here, we have also attended a dinghy raft up, where 16 dinghies met up the river and drifted back toward the marina during sunset, as well as a potluck dinner on the last Sunday of the month, and a southern barbeque provided by the marina for Memorial Day.  During the day, there always seem to be people in the clubhouse, in the morning, doing yoga, and later, bringing projects they are working on, or simply enjoying the air conditioning, the TVs, or just the conversation.  

So, here we will stay for a while.  John has been working on getting the boat ship shape for its eventual sale, although he would tell you that he isn’t make the progress that he hoped for yet.  I have been walking through town exploring, not yet photographing the sights, but that will happen soon.  It has felt like we needed a little time to get settled, a little time to adjust to the feeling that we are at the end of our adventure. However, until the day the boat is sold, we will continue living Life on AfterMath and treasuring our days, one at a time.