The Fourth of July was a nice day — no rain, which was nice, but the tradeoff was that we didn’t get any relief from the heat, either. We had temperature readings in the salon of around 89 degrees F in the mid to late afternoon. We killed time much of the day doing chores on the boat since we couldn’t go ashore, or lounging in the cockpit trying to get some relief from the heat. We grilled some really good hamburgers for dinner and waited for it to get dark enough for the fireworks to begin. While waiting, we were entertained with several amateur displays all around the waterfront. The sun didn’t set until 2030, and it didn’t really get dark until 2130. The real show started at 2130, and we had a great view from the anchorage, but it took about 30 seconds for the sounds of the explosions to reach us.
We had originally planned to leave Cumberland Island on Tuesday morning, but since our part wouldn’t arrive in Brunswick until Thursday, there was no reason to leave early and sit at anchor in Brunswick. We spent another day doing chores on the boat, including doing some fine wet-sanding on the hull to remove the final traces of the oil stain caused by the leak in the engine. The main reason we went to so much trouble to fix the oil leak — aside from wanting the engine to work properly — was because the ugly black stripe on the side of our boat was a big red flag drawing attention to us as potential polluters. We, of course, would rather stay as inconspicuous as possible to the regulatory authorities. So, now that our oil leak was fixed, we could get rid of the stain and be fairly certain it would not return. It stayed very hot all day, reaching 93 degrees F in the salon in the afternoon. The only way we could stay in the boat was to have all our fans running flat out, but it was still uncomfortable. Finally, after dinner, we had a thundershower come through, which cooled us down a little. I stayed up reading my iPad in the cockpit until about midnight, when it was finally cool enough for me to go to bed. I don’t know how Suzy managed to go to bed earlier.
I won’t say we got tired of Cumberland Island, but it’s a lot less interesting when you can’t go ashore, so we weighed anchor about 0800 on Wednesday morning and headed north to Brunswick. We made good time, even when we were running against the current. At one point, we reached 8 kts. The highlight of my day was when we overtook and passed a catamaran. We’ve never passed at cat before. Usually, they pass us — easily. Cats are always faster than monohulls of the same length. But with the way Madge’s engine is running these days, we’re making some really good speeds. We passed under the Sidney Lanier Bridge in Brunswick — which we call the “see-it-from-everywhere bridge” because you can see it literally from Saint Andrews Sound to Doboy Sound — and got to Brunswick Landing Marina at about 1400. I didn’t really want to stay in a marina, but it would give us an opportunity to do some work on the boat that couldn’t be done at anchor, and if I couldn’t get the outboard started there was a better possibility of getting some help. While Suzy cooled off and got some rest in the air conditioned marina lounge, I drained and refilled our fresh water tank with Brunswick water, which is a little better than what we got at the boatyard. We took showers later (wonderful!) and attended a free marina Happy Hour. There, we met the folks on the catamaran we passed earlier (some real nice Australians named John and Sue). I had a good time razzing them about passing their cat with my monohull, until they burst my bubble by telling me they were having some power plant issues. Now here’s something amazing. I randomly fell into a conversation with a fellow at the chips and mango salsa bowl. As we talked, I learned he was a Canadian named Bruce. I started telling him of our good Canadian friends that we had met in January in Titusville, when we almost literally ran into them at the fuel dock, and Bruce already knew the story! Seems that Gerry and Marggie from Wind Song II are best friends with Bruce and Jo from Solana, and they are all from London, Ontario, had their home port at the same marina in Bayfield, Ontario, and even have the same model boats. Wind Song and Solana had met up in Vero Beach and again in Brunswick on their way north, and Gerry had told Bruce about the American couple that almost ran into them in Titusville. As our new friend Bill from Kindred Spirit III would say, “The cruising community is only as large as the waterway is wide.” You will always meet someone who knows the same people you do… so you better mind your Ps and Qs. Anyway, we had a great time, and by the time we left the Happy Hour, several hours later, the temperatures had cooled enough for it to be an almost pleasant evening.