The fleet is really enjoying the stay at Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles (aka Golden Isles Marina). While some of us were lucky enough to arrive at slack current, that was impossible for all. The Georgia current runs up to three knots on the ebb, but this is just part of the daily cycle of docking for this marina’s staff. Dockmaster Chick Candler hustled back and forth between boats, advising them on how to work with the current while docking. Luckily he had a bike to keep up with us—we came with a collective total of 650 feet of boat length! A big thank-you to Harbormaster Chris Ferguson for setting aside nearly all of their long face dock for the fleet. Here’s Chick pedaling by one of the lead boats, m/v Tadhana, which is flying the rally burgee.
Golden Isles Marina is also known as the marina with the muffins and newspapers. Every morning each boat receives the daily paper and some muffins before departure. There were so many boats today, and it was a bit windy, so the muffins and papers were available at the dockhouse, where we also could gather for coffee.
Our first morning was set aside for the final 100-mile navigation briefing, held in the reception room of Coastal Kitchen. The weather, in particular the forecast strong winds, was the factor to consider as everyone planned their itineraries for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. As the Rally will end soon, there is now more choice and independence. Some boats will go to Cumberland Island, some to St. Marys, some early to Fernandina Beach, and some will linger on St. Simons Island.
During the afternoon, the St. Simons Trolley made a special trip out to the marina to transport the fleet to the lighthouse and village, with an optional tour of the island. Tour guide Dick Gardner took those interested to see the historic sites, such as the Christ Church where John and Charles Wesley preached before returning to England to help found the Methodist Church.
We all have at least one more day at Golden Isles Marina. Most of the fleet has decided to skip boat jobs and instead enjoy St. Simons Island. The jobs can be done any day! But borrowing a marina bike to tour the island’s bike paths, walking to the lighthouse village, renting a car to explore the north end of the island … those things are unique to our too-short stay here.