Sunday, December 22, 2013

'twas the week before Christmas

We are tied up to the Savannah City Dock, right on the River Street waterfront in Savannah, Georgia (map).  A live webcam is trained on the waterfront, and we are right about center frame.  The dock, being free for the first three hours, is very busy on a pleasant weekend, as people tie up for lunch, dinner, or just to shop.

We arrived Thursday around 11am, after a nice run upriver from Calibogue Sound.  Pushing against the current from the May River took a bit more time than I had figured on, but we still had a favorable current almost the whole way up the Savannah.  We tied up to the dock in about a knot, with just one other boat already here when we arrived, a sailboat that departed later in the day.

With so many negative review comments about strong wakes here, and a collection of rather interesting characters hanging around the waterfront, we paid for just a single night to start off, to see how it went.  Payment is made at a city parking garage a couple of blocks away, where an attendant is on duty around the clock, and I was pleased to learn that the city offers free scooter parking in the garage, complete with a rack to lock to.

That said, we've been here three days and still have not offloaded the scooters.  Savannah is a walking town, and we've been able to walk to everything thus far, although I admit we have not yet needed a full service grocery.  There is a convenience market just a few blocks away, so we were able to replenish our fresh milk supply, and we're now thinking we might walk the mile to the grocery and grab a cab back rather than go to the trouble of dropping a scooter.

The temperatures have been in the seventies over these past three days, making for a lot of tourists walking the riverfront with its myriad shops, bars, and restaurants.  Vector has become something of an attraction itself, and in particular the stuffed bears who sit atop the scooters.  My bear now sports a small helmet which used to be Opal's, but Louise has adorned hers for the season with a miniature Santa cap.  There must now be a hundred or so photos of the scooters with their bears on the Internet.  Alas, there is no way to find them.

When I went back to the parking garage (which houses the office of the parking services department, to include the dockmaster) to pay for another six days, after the wakes of even the large container ships proved manageable and the local characters harmless, we learned we'd be sharing the dock come Tuesday with a 200+' cruise ship.  The dockmaster informed the attendants not to take any other payments for stays beyond Monday, and I was very glad we squeaked in under the wire.  We will have to move slightly to one end of the dock or the other, as there is just enough room for us and American River Cruises' Independence.

Friday evening our friends John and Laura Lee visited with us aboard and then took us out for a lovely dinner.  They owned the boat before us and I value their insight, as we will be following in their footsteps to the Bahamas and beyond.  Yesterday morning we caught up with local friends Mike and Diana for breakfast.  We are grateful that both sets of friends were able to squeeze in visits with us amid the chaos of the holidays.

So far we've spent the remainder of our time here walking around the historic downtown and river front and sampling the local restaurants.  We also took the free ferry over to Hutchinson Island, where the Westin Resort was one of our other docking options.  We disembarked from the return trip across the river at the other landing, adjacent the Marriott resort.  Just east of the Marriott is another long and fairly new face dock, which appears to have been the beginning of some grand plan to develop that stretch of the river, now suspended in a half finished state.  The docks have ramps and cleats but no power or water, and I found myself wondering if anyone would notice or care if we tied up there for a few days.

I did spend some time researching where we can eat Wednesday, and so far we have a reservation at the Chart House right here on the waterfront.  I've also started the research on our route south to Stuart.  As yet I have not found the motivation to tackle any of the projects on my lengthy list, but I yet may get to one or two before we leave.

We are paid up through the 26th, but we are enjoying the city so much that we may extend beyond that.  We shall see when the day comes.  From here I expect we will head back downriver only as far as the ICW, where we will turn south to our old friend Thunderbolt and exit the waterway into the ocean at the Wilmington River, at the south end of Tybee Island.

As I have written here before, our plan is to meet up with friends in Stuart, Florida who are having a boat commissioned there.  The timing of that has been somewhat up in the air, as there was no committed schedule for delivery of that boat from the shipyard in China.  That has changed, as their boat is now aboard a ship en route to the US, and is scheduled for arrival around the 22nd of January.  And so it is that we, too, are planning for an arrival in the Stuart area about that time.  We'll try to take a slip on a month rate, which will take us up to just ahead of Trawler Fest in Lake Park, another day's hop south of there.

With a full month to get to Stuart we will have plenty of time for stops along the way, and now that we are into some warmer temperatures, we're more inclined to stop more often and see the sights.  I expect that from here our next stop will be Brunswick, followed by Cumberland Island (St. Mary's) and maybe Jacksonville.  Once we are out of the heavy tides and shallow waters of Georgia, we might also spend a bit more time on the Intracoastal Waterway


  1. ok... what have I missed? You went from an incredible bus to a Yacht??

  2. well we simply love Savannah and can't blame you for extending...

  3. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I'm enjoying your "land to water" adventures. Thanks for sharing all you do.

  4. I really appreciated the link to the Savannah web cam! I have been really interested in your progression down through NC & SC. I worked in the Beaufort, SC area for about three years, going back and forth to Charleston and Savannah. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

  5. Merry Christmas and hope 2014 is a great one for you all!

  6. Merry X-Mas You Two...... And The Cats Too !!


  7. I have been following your Blog for about a year and a half and have been lurking here and on other Blogs. I has been nice seeing your transition from BUS to BOAT. My wife and I fulltime and were traveling from Virginia Beach to Jacksonville and stopped in Savannah on Dec 20th and guess what I saw as we walked the waterfront THE VECTOR. I showed my wife and hoped to introduce our selves but you were not at home. It sure is a small world. Maybe next time. Be safe.
    Mike Montgomery


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