Despite having the boys –– back in cellphone range Wednesday afternoon, and evidently a bit bored –– tell me that maybe I needn't go all the way to St. Mary's quite yet (did that sound like defeatist talk? They said they'd give themselves til midnight Friday night to get to the Miss Patsie And since I can't help them unless they decide they are done and want fetching –– oh, whatEVs!) I went all the way.
Thus we find ourselves in beautiful downtown St. Mary's, Georgia.
That the Ultimate Florida Challenge includes Georgia tickles my sense of Florida identity.
This town is in fact quite lovely: a restored municipal waterfront, a spacious boat-ramp, a daily ferry to the Cumberland Island National Seashore (with wild ponies! I might yet betake myself out there, but not quite yet), an elegant historic lodging, the Riverview Hotel, and even a small locally owned bookstore. Having an independent bookstore, to me anyhow, is the mark of civilization at its height.
TwoBeers got so cold on Wednesday, he reported, that he took up oars in the middle of the night and rowed. BTW, even with the long sweeps and the sliding rowing seat, Spawn maxes out at around 5 knots –– but sustainable rowing is more like 3.5. Evidently when calculating whether that juice is worth the squeeze, one should factor in metabolic benefits as well.
Moresailesed started a story with, "If you ever want to do something not fun with your husband..." and followed it up with, "Hey, don't get me wrong, I like the guy..."
At least they are still laughing. "We're still laughing," Jeff said, and then, "I see wind. Gotta hang up."
And back I went to a leisurely mooch around the bookstore.
Fast forward to the end of the day. The phone rings –– a special ring-tone just for my favorite skipper's Batphone –– and it's an exasperated TwoBeers.
They have been pressing "okay" each time I have asked in the past five hours (the SPOT personal locater is NOT okay. What a regrettable purchase!). The batteries have been changed, it's been powered down and on again. All expected lights are on or flashing in accordance with expectations. And yet it has not worked for five hours again. Grrr.
So the SPOT has provided a little side entertainment from the day's main work: They've chased zephyrs. They've rowed. Zephyrs. Rowing.
And now, gol-dern-it, they are anchored at the mouth of the river. Outside of the 3200-foot-long George Crady fishing pier on Fernadina Beach.
There's zero breeze, squadrons of hungry no-see-ums, and the tide is flowing out like -- well, like a river in flood.
So that would be no to a hamburger on shore this evening?
They'll be having an MRE on board Spawn and will snooze until the tide turns.
Let's hope there's breeze to help them get to Fort Clinch and on to St. Mary's in a civilized fashion. I've got hopes to see them before midnight.
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