Thursday, December 27, 2012

Brunswick GA - County Court House

We went out for a stroll earlier this week.
 The County Court House is close by. 
Check out the HUGE, old trees.  Majestic!  Simply Majestic!!  All these trees (and many more I suspect) are in someone is keeping a close eye on them.  I think I mentioned before in a blog posting about Brunswick, they actually pave around these big beauties down here.  So if one of these big trees has grown out into the street or the street changes and happens to be where the tree is.....they pave around it.  How crazy is that! 
 There were historical plaques all around the court house grounds to educate us on Brunswick history.

Stroll Around Brunswick

Taking on HUGE rolls of paper from the plant just up the road
We decided to go for a walk and look at the huge ship that came in just up the way from the marina.
 But look what we found in the park on the way.
Musical instruments.....percussion instruments to be exact.  There were two xylophone (marimba?), two glockenspiel, wooden sound blocks and a wooden wheel that when turned, sounded like a rain stick.  Sadly no cow bell or vibraslap (we simply MUST have one of these aboard before we castoff someday!
They were all positioned atop this platform that was shaped like a ships hull.  We have no idea what the story is but it was fun to play around on them.  Too bad drummer Tom didn't have his sticks, although I think these require mallets. 
Lots of little parks on our walk.
Brunswick GA built the Liberty Ships for WWII.  There was lots of historic plaques on our walk to read so we had quite the educational walk today.
Sorry the pic is dark. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Let's Go Shrimpin

Last time I was in Brunswick, I stopped by Marshside for lunch.  While sitting at the bar enjoying a fabulously fresh grill fish sandwich and my first Yuengling of the trip, I over heard the guy at the end of the bar say they were taking a group out shrimping.  Seems they take tourist shrimping.  "Kewl.  I must remember to tell Tom."  Which I didn't.
60 Ft Lady Jane
This trip we rolled into Brunswick just before noon with empty stomachs.  Marshside was just the ticket.  This time I remembered and told Tom about what I overheard last time about the shrimping.  Soon after the arrival of our first Yuengling, a man came off the shrimp boat out back and sat at the end of the bar.  It was Captain Larry, owner and operator of the Lady Jane shrimp boat.  Tom engaged him in conversation and soon learned that Captain Larry quit commercial shrimping (foreign shrimp are killing the USA shrimpers) and instead takes tourist out.  One thing lead to another and we booked a trip with Captain Larry.
It was really windy today - gusts to 40 knots.  By 4pm cruise time it was also getting chilly but we boarded the Lady Jane and took off to cruise around the surrounding marsh land.
Soon the crew of two were deploying a net out the back.  Since it mainly cruises the marshlands, the Lady Jane does not have outrigger arms like most shrimp boats.
There is a chain that drag the bottom in front of the net stirring up all the shrimp and such and getting them to pop up into the net.
Did I mention it was chilly?
After about 15 mins it was time to bring in the net.
mega winch
Everyone gathered at the back of the boat to watch....everyone but my husband, who was transfixed on the jumbo winch used to crank in the net.  He stood watching how deckhand John maneuvers it.
 Slowing they reeled the net in.
The birds were very interested in our haul.  A few ladies were afraid of birds and a bit freaked out at first and then they calmed down.
Deckhand Cliff ( and I think marine biologist) hauling in the catch.
He dumped the small haul on the waist high sorting table.
The haul
Then he started showing us all the various creatures in the catch and telling us all about them.
Nice blue crab - boy crab we learned
After telling us all about whatever creature, he offered to let anyone hold it - most creatures that is except a few like the "thumb splitter" shrimp...for obvious reasons.
There weren't many takers on holding the various creatures but a few adventurous folks did.  One tourist had a bag and picked out some small fish to use as bait tomorrow on a fishing trip he had planned.
Small stingray - I can't remember exactly what type of ray
Horseshoe crab
After he sorted through everything, he scooped it all back into the water.  One big horseshoe crab escaped on his own.  A few fish didn't make it back into the water as the birds snatched them up mid-dump.
Horseshoe crab escaping while the birds close in on the rest
The Lady Jane is actually classified as a research vessel.  They record all the various items they haul in each time and then report them back to the Georgia Fish and whatever dept.
The crew put the nets out a total of 3 times for us to see a wide variety of sea life.  There were only a few shrimp as it's late and most are offshore this time of year.
We spent some time here aground on a friend's boat.  But deckhand John said he has too so that made us feel better.
However in between hauls we got to take in the wonderful views around the marsh and St Simon Sound.
The "golden hour" shot
We also got to enjoy some fabulous, fresh wild caught (that is important) Georgia shrimp, boiled up right on board.  Deckhand John had just caught them the day before.  They were creamy and sweet....delish!
Full moon
We chatted with deckhand John about the area, boating, his boat and such...when we got ready to leave, he loaded us up with two Styrofoam containers of the boiled shrimp.  We dashed back to s/v Honey Ryder, cranked our little heater to get warmed up and then tucked into our doggie bags of shrimp and a couple of Yuenglings.  Just the ticket.
Beautiful sunset
It was a really fun excursion and we learned a ton.  We would recommend it to anyone coming to this area.  They are right next door to Marshside.  Web site is 912-265-5711.  $39 each.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Xmas 2012 December 25th Sunset

Merry Happy everyone!

Xmas 2012 Potluck No 2

My offhand comment yesterday at the Dec 24th officially marina potluck "same time tomorrow" turned into reality.  A handful (11) boaters met again at the bath/laundry house for Xmas dinner. We all brought whatever we had that we were planning for our own private Xmas dinners and made it a potluck.  Judy and Tony s/v Sanity Check brought the makings for Mimosas so we all had a Xmas toast to kick off the party.  Two Canadians, three Aussies, and six American's made for a nice mix.  The cruising experiences in the group were vast and jaw dropping for two kids from Kansas.  Be sure to check Beyond Burgoo for my pressure cooker turkey breast.  It turned out brilliant!

Boating Is Alive and Well

During the potluck yesterday, Sherry had us all go around and introduce ourselves, tell what type of boat we are on, where we are from and if we are newbies to Brunswick Landing Marina or repeat offenders.  It was very kewl to learn that 3 different boats are not only new but really, really new as in just purchased in the last 2 weeks.  These people were definitely on Santa's GOOD LIST.   But all joking aside, it is nice to know that boaters and the boating dream is still alive.  And judging from the newbies....they are all different ages, backgrounds, incomes and experience levels.  Sherry mentioned in her holiday thank you speech "We don't judge you by your boat but the type of people you are.  However, we do wonder how the hell you get the $$ for some of the fabulous boats you have."  That got a HUGE laugh. 
Marina capacity is 310 slips (I think).  They were at 87% occupancy this fall for hurricane season.  There are substantially fewer here now.  Everyone has headed south.  Approximately 45 showed up for the potluck.  This really is a kewl place and a terrific hurricane hole.  Sherry and the staff MAKE Brunswick Landing Marina!  Thanks to them!! 
*I say Boaters because not everyone is on a sailboat.  Some are on motorboats.     

Nothing Says Xmas Like Cetol

Look what showed up under (next to) our Xmas tree....a West Marine bag full of Cetol.
No rest from the wicked Brightwork.  Actually it was a fabulous day weather wise (Xmas not withstanding) so Tom dove into the stereo cabinet modification project again with the Cetol phase. 

Xmas 2012 Brunswick GA

The marina potluck was actually on Dec 24th vs Dec 25th.  This meant I had to scramble a bit to get provisions and figure out what to make.  Dinner our first night on board was pressure cooker pasta casserole and it made a ton.  So....I used the left over pasta with cheese mixed in and then more cheese on top as one of my potluck dishes.
 Chocolate rum cake was my other dish.
There is a wonderful mix of nations here in the marina.  We ate good food and had interesting and engaging conversation.  Dock mistress Sherry was the hostess with the mostest.  She is SUCH a gem.  Towards the end of the party, I jokingly said "Same time tomorrow right?" to the remaining boaters.  They all looked around at each other and said "Yeah, why not.  Let's do it again tomorrow."
Tom and I came back to the boat and made bread.  Our first attempt at boat bread.  It turned out....ok.  A bit dry (Deb, what did we do wrong that it was dry?) but smeared with peanut butter or Nutella or passes.  We managed to keep the flour storm that generally occurs when we bake bread to a minimum...meaning covering us and the surrounding area only.

Xmas 2012 Fresh Out Of Grandmas Tour

Another holiday has rolled around and we find once again we are "fresh out of grandmas" so off to the boat we headed.  We weren't sure what Tom's workload would be so we couldn't purchase air tickets ahead of time.  Have you priced air tickets lately?  Cha-Ching!!  Holiday air tickets....cha-ching, cha-ching.  Last minute air? Forget about it.  So we decided to drive to our boat.  Yes, drive the 17 hrs to Brunswick.  The kewl thing is that we weren't limited by what we could fit in a luggage so we loaded up the Murano with a gaggle of milk crates full of tools, Ms Moneypenny ( my folding bike), the boat Xmas tree (mini purple tree), our Xmas hats and even the pressure cooker.  Interstates carried us along comfortably and quickly. 
We were too excited to get to the boat to do any sightseeing on the way.  Plus it was well after closing time when we rolled through Chattanooga so the Cho Cho was closed.  *Turns out there really isn't a Chattanooga Cho Cho train but the song is based on a couple of different trains. 
Anywho....we stopped for gas north of Atlanta a bit off the beaten track and in a quest for food we discovered a hidden gem - Island Spoon.  Walking in a 10pm the owner said "let me tell you what I have left.  Oxtail, chicken stew or jerk chicken."  I asked about what looked like empanadas, to learn they were meat pies.  Tom opted for the chicken stew and I went for the oxtail.  Both came with rice and pigeon peas, fried plantains and cooked cabbage with shredded carrots.  Our drinks were custom blended pineapple juice with ginger simple syrup.  It was absolutely terrific!  Super-duper YUMMY!  This will become a regular stop for us any time we make this drive.  If you are ever north of Atlanta....stop in.  You won't be sorry.  As we were leaving, we thanked the owner again, praising her yummy food, she gave Tom a doggie bag with 2 meat pies.  We enjoyed the next day at happy hour on our boat.  They were tender, flaky with just the right amount of spiciness.  You really MUST stop in if you are in the area. 
We finally stopped in Macon GA around midnight to get some shuteye.  Cheap motel but it took 3 tries before we got a made up room (cleaned).  Eeek!  But what the hey...we are sailors.  The next morning we hit the road for the final stretch (3 hrs) into Brunswick GA.  Question - what exactly is the speed limit on I-95?  The signs say 70.  I have driven it numerous times at 80 mph and I find I must stay in the right (slow) lane as 60% of the other cars are blowing by me in the left lane.  The various officials (highway patrol, state troopers, sheriffs, etc...) don't seem to pull anyone over that is doing 80, 85 or 89mph.  So at what point do they ticket speeders?  Or are there just there to keep people from getting killed and help in an accident.  Seriously....I-95 is America's autobahn.
So 17 hours driving time we rolled into Brunswick GA.