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Tire Trouble

Heading for Jacksonville


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2005 Migrating by Mercedes & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

February 18th

Today we are heading for Jacksonville

The free continental breakfast, which I've always thought was one of the Sleep Inn advantages, was anemic in the extreme - two kinds of cold cereal, a couple of toaster waffles, a couple of bagels, some little tiny muffins, and some English muffins. No hard boiled eggs, no chipped beef, no hot waffles, no hot water for tea, no bacon or sausage, and no fruit at all, although there were 4 kinds of juice.

I had wanted to go to Weeki Wachee and see the mermaids again, but not only was that way out of the way, but was $13.95 each plus $3 parking and the show was a long one. We have a long trip to Jacksonville today.

I also thought Tarpon Springs might be an interesting place - remember seeing the sponge divers there when I was in Florida with my parents in 1954. I have my dad's photos from there.
large_M2949-01210004.JPGMy mother, and my sister on the boat in 1954

My mother, and my sister on the boat in 1954

large_M2951-01210002.JPGSponge Diver in 1954

Sponge Diver in 1954


They even had sponges on the boat for us to look at.

So since it would be impossible to get out of the hotel access road and go east across the bridge to Tampa, and I didn't really want to be going into Tampa during the morning rush anyway, we headed north toward Tarpon Springs. There was a fair amount of construction on the road and the construction people had put semi-permanent signs on the main road to say what businesses was at each exit. (Like a sign would say "Break Time Entrance" for a business called Break Time.) I thought this would be a good idea even if there was no construction.
Break Time entrance

Break Time entrance


We got to Tarpon Springs fairly early
Welcome to Tarpon Springs

Welcome to Tarpon Springs


and I didn't think the aquarium would be open yet, so we looked at the docks (as we drove by) and went through the downtown historic district
Sponge Docks

Sponge Docks

Dock Drive-by

Dock Drive-by


and out on the secondary roads going east toward I-75. As we drove toward Ocala, the tires started thumping again.
Driving toward Silver Springs

Driving toward Silver Springs


Another place I would have liked to see was Silver Springs right east of Ocala. So we drove past the E-One factory (which makes fire trucks and has a tour - but it is 2 or 3 miles of walking), and out the east side of Ocala.
E-One factory

E-One factory


Fire Trucks

Fire Trucks

Anthony Police Supplies

Anthony Police Supplies


Bob stopped at a tire place, but they were closed. When we got to Silver Springs, we found that it was now called Wild Waters. It featured a 450,000 gallon wave pool, and eight waterslide flumes including the Twin Twister and a children's play area and volleyball facilities.
Wild Waters

Wild Waters


And not only were the tickets going to be over $30 each, but we'd have to pay $6 for parking. No thanks.

We went back into Ocala and got fuel, and I took the phone book and went through to find the Michelin dealers. We drove back toward US 301 (which was the way we were going across to Jacksonville) until we found one of them and stopped. They would take care of us but it would be an hour or more.

Bob didn't want to leave the car, so he had a leftover taco from Taco Bell yesterday, and I went over to TJ's Sandwich Shop on the other side of the shopping center.
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I got a chicken salad sub (9" - $4.95),
Chicken salad sub

Chicken salad sub

16 oz. iced tea $1.49, and a double scoop of ice cream (Moose Tracks and choc. mint chip) for $3.19. Then I walked back to the tire place.

They had checked the back tires (new with 7000 and 3000 miles on them) and found them unbalanced so they replaced them free, and the front tires (which needed to be replaced anyway) had 70,000 miles on them had an 80,000 mile warranty. So we got all four tires new for $228.08, and got back on the road again.

We headed up US 301 for Jacksonville - it was a nice road with boiled peanut and orange stands, cows and horses on the farms along the way, and not a lot of traffic.
Sheriff

Sheriff

Ocala Downs

Ocala Downs


Green peanuts

Green peanuts


large_x100_7563.JPGSanta Fe College in Starke FL

Santa Fe College in Starke FL

Fireworks

Fireworks


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We got to Jacksonville and the EconoLodge about 6. This is an inexpensive (cheap) hotel which has had several names. When I made the reservation it was the Masters Inn, but when we got there it was an EconoLodge. I understand it was originally a Microtel. In any case the name of it is now Jacksonville Plaza Hotel & Suites. We went in the 'back door' to this hotel instead of going the way that their website said to go which was much less hassle. This was the cheapest place we stayed on this trip. It had only one bed. Of course that's all we needed really.
Econo Lodge

Econo Lodge


They had a wireless network for which I had to go down to the desk and get a name and password (good only for my stay). The first network that my computer came up with was the Hampton Inn and the password I had didn't work. I asked the girl at the desk, but she didn't know anything about computers. I called the help line, but while I was waiting I thought to go to the wireless icon and ask to see what networks were available. Then all I had to do was to pick the correct network to use

We ate dinner at Zaxbys Apparently Zaxbys was started in Georgia. I have seen them several places in the south (as far west as Texas and as far north as Virginia), but I have only eaten there once in Jacksonville. There are none in Maryland. These people advertise that they have "real chicken".
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I had a chicken salad,
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and Bob had chicken fingers.
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Posted by greatgrandmaR 08:13 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Heading for Hilton Head

Fort Caroline and Mayport Lighthouse


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2005 Migrating by Mercedes & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

The problem with the EconoLodge was that they stopped breakfast at 9 and I didn't get dressed to check out until a little after that (because I was getting directions to the places we were going and writing them down - No phones with GPS in those days), so we didn't get any breakfast. And I suspect that there wouldn't have been a lot there anyway - we saw the coffee pots and two things of juice (apple and orange) but there wasn't much room for a lot of other things. After we got screwed out of our meager breakfast, we started east, heading for Fort Caroline. We crossed the St. Johns River, and discovered that there was a new bridge/road (not on the map)
100_7579.JPGNew Jacksonville bridge

New Jacksonville bridge


which took us across to Fort Caroline (another National Park with a stamp for my passport). Fort Caroline is in the Timucan Preserve, named for the Timucan Indians who were the original inhabitants.
Location of Fort Caroline and the Ribault Monument

Location of Fort Caroline and the Ribault Monument


Fort Caroline was an attempted French colonial settlement in Florida, established under the leadership of René Goulaine de Laudonnière on June 22, 1564, as a new territorial claim in French Florida and a safe haven for Huguenots. The fort was named after King Charles IX of France.
Fort Caroline Visitor's Center

Fort Caroline Visitor's Center


It was Fort Caroline which was a thorn in the side of the Spanish in St. Augustine as it was in a good position to attack the treasure ships and also the French were (gasp) Protestants. The Spanish attacked and burned Fort Caroline at the time that Ribault had sailed to attack St. Augustine, but the French fleet got caught in a storm and so the Spanish massacred the rest of the French at Matanzas.
The Demise of La Caroline

The Demise of La Caroline


We got there a little before 10, and saw the information at the fort, and then walked out to the river.
Path to the Ribault Monument

Path to the Ribault Monument

Coast Guard in the St. John's River

Coast Guard in the St. John's River


The original fort is long gone and the original location is not really known. We did not walk out to the reconstructed fort but we visited the Ribault monument.
Timeline history of Fort Caroline

Timeline history of Fort Caroline


Ribault monument

Ribault monument

Replica of the stone placed near here by Jean Ribault

Replica of the stone placed near here by Jean Ribault

Erected by the DAR May 1st 1924

Erected by the DAR May 1st 1924


The information there said: "On the morning of May 1, 1562, French navigator Jean Ribault first viewed the river you see before you. He named it the Rivre of May. A day later, staking France's claim to the New World, Ribault's men placed a stone marker on a sandy knoll near the rivers mouth. Thus began a race with Spain to colonize in Florida. The race ended in 1565 with France's defeat and Ribault's death at the Matazas massacre, south of St. Augustine."
The French landing on "the River of May"

The French landing on "the River of May"


Looking up the St. John's River

Looking up the St. John's River

House from the Ribault monument

House from the Ribault monument

Houses across the St. John River

Houses across the St. John River


Next we made our way to the Naval Air Station at Mayport
Mayport NAS

Mayport NAS


to see the old St. John's lighthouse Fortunately we had Bob's military ID to get onto the base. Otherwise we would have to photograph the lighhouse from the other side of a chain link fence.
Old photo of the lighthouse with the oil house and keepers house

Old photo of the lighthouse with the oil house and keepers house


The bottom of the lighthouse has been buried underground when the land was filled so that the Naval AIr Station runways would be stable.
St Johns River Lighthouse in Mayport

St Johns River Lighthouse in Mayport


The 'shadow' of the top of the old house (the roof line) that stood next to the lighthouse was visible in the masonry. In order to access the inside of the tower at present, one has to climb through a window.
Shadow of the oilhouse

Shadow of the oilhouse


I did not realize that the OTHER lighthouse was also on the Naval Station, so I missed seeing that. It is on the beach adjacent to the sports club and most people don't realize that the tower is a lighthouse.

Our next objective was the St. Johns River ferry. St. Johns River is Florida’s longest, snaking over 310 miles from the swamps of central Florida to the Atlantic Ocean. The total drop of the river from its source to its mouth is less than thirty feet, or about an inch per mile, making it one of the “laziest” rivers in the world. Another of the river’s unique features is that it flows north, one of just a few rivers in the United States that does. The Timucuan Indians called it Welaka, meaning river of lakes. The French named it Rivière de Mai, River of May, since they arrived on May1. It was finally renamed Rio de San Juan, after the mission San Juan del Puerto was established near the mouth of the river in 1587.

I originally thought the ferry was free like the ones in NC, but a car was $2.75. The ferry dock was right outside the base. We lined up for the ferry a few minutes after 11 so we must have just missed one. We were not really sure that the ferry was running, but we got into line, and immediately a whole bunch of other people lined up behind us. The last person in line was a lady in a red convertible who went around in front of us going the wrong way.
Seagull at the ferry dock

Seagull at the ferry dock


The St. Johns River Ferry dates back to 1948 when the Fernandina Port Authority completed construction of a road down Ft. George Island. Previously, there had been no road and no water connector between Mayport and the Island. . There are two ferry boats the MV Blackbeard (1950's style which is the standby ferry) and the 1990s style car ferry MV Jean Ribault.It operates every day including holidays. The cruise takes 8 minutes.
Approaching ferry

Approaching ferry


There was apparently quite a lot of current in the river because the ferry operator banged the ferry around on the pilings of the dock quite a bit going both directions. We were first on the ferry and were right in the front of the middle lane - nothing in front of us. Because of the way the ferry had banged around on the way in, I was afraid to get out of the car, and the ride was so short I'm not sure I would have had time to take many pictures anyway.
End of the ferry ride

End of the ferry ride


Our next objective was Kingsley Plantation at Fort George.
Tinmucuan Preserve - Fort Caroline and Kingsley Plantation

Tinmucuan Preserve - Fort Caroline and Kingsley Plantation


State route A1A runs along the barrier islands, including Ft. George Island. From the ICW (Intercoastal Waterway) on our boat, we could see the A1A bridges, and from the highway, we can see the beach and marshes of the barrier islands. On Fort George Island, A1A skirts the ocean side, continuing north to Little Talbott Island State Park. On this stretch of A1A, the Kingsley Plantation road is the only side road off the highway, but it is easy to miss.
Kingsley Plantation entrance

Kingsley Plantation entrance


I first saw this plantation house and state park from where we anchored on our first time down the ICW in front of the plantation house.

Flashback to 7 December 2000 - Fernandina Beach to Ft. George River


We aren't going very far today. Still, we got away from the marina before 10:30.
Leaving Fernandina Beach

Leaving Fernandina Beach


There is a lot of current going through the Kingsley Creek Bridge. Saw 3 or 4 dolphins porpoising lazily in the channel. We hear a guy calling a fixed bridge and asking for an opening. Eventually someone gets on the radio and tells him that there is no one monitoring the radio on a fixed bridge (duh) and he can't get under it so he should get his clueless self back to the ICW. Came into Sawpit Creek, and I went below and heated up Bob's seafood au gratin casserole from last night. He liked it better reheated. I ate my pot roast from Jekyll Island and the cheese fingers from last night. Heard someone on the radio telling someone else that they were going on the wrong side of the green.
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Suddenly we were confronted with a big barge across the channel with an active dredging operation going on. It was over past the green side of the channel so we sidled cautiously past on the red side.

So far, north FL is not that different from south GA. Marsh grasses, gravel banks and clumps of trees, all sprinkled with gulls, cormorants, herons, pelicans and shallow water with occasional crab pots. Absolutely clear sky, but the promised 10-15 knots from the NW hasn't materialized. It's warm enough for both bimini curtains to be up. Saw a whole flock of birds that looked a little different. Looked at them with binoculars, and I think they were white ibis.
Entrance to Fort George River

Entrance to Fort George River


As we come in the Fort George River past the big park (which I found out later was Kingsley Plantation) on the south side of the river to anchor. We are just across the dune line from the ocean. You can't go through to the ocean by boat as the channel has closed but I think you could beach a dinghy and walk over. We anchored after 19.7 miles at 5.3 mph for a total of 797 nautical miles since we left the Potomac.
Chart_of_anchorage

Chart_of_anchorage


Kingsley Plantation from the anchorage in 2000

Kingsley Plantation from the anchorage in 2000


People are out on the lawn looking and pointing at us.

LUNATIC II from Boston came in after us and anchored. A motor boat called VALKERIE, and a single hander from Maine also anchored. The Maine boat is too far away for me to see the name, as it anchors right at the end of the creek. There are a lot of little fishing boats, but most of them leave by sunset.

Dec 8 - Ft George River to St. Augustine, FL
Bob has bought Santa hats for us to wear, but it is too hot, so we put them on the jib winches. The Maine boat at the entrance left early and fisherman came back into the creek starting at dawn.
Fishermen pulling crab pots

Fishermen pulling crab pots


Started the engine at 7. There was a crab pot boat pulling pots and a gaggle of pelicans following him.

End Flashback

Boat anchored in front of the plantation house near where we anchored in 2000

Boat anchored in front of the plantation house near where we anchored in 2000


When I looked it up (on my AAA book and on the internet), I found that Kingsley Plantation is the oldest remaining plantation in Florida.
Hidden by lush vegetation is evidence of 6000 years of human occupation; ranging from shell mounds, through plantation era structures, to a 1920's resort club, the history of Ft. George Island is a cross section of Florida's history.
Tabby built buildings

Tabby built buildings


Tabby is a type of concrete made by burning oyster shells to create lime, then mixing it with water, sand, ash and broken oyster shells.
Slave Quarters

Slave Quarters

Tabby buildings

Tabby buildings

Slave Quarters

Slave Quarters

Barns

Barns

Kingsley Plantation map

Kingsley Plantation map

Plantation operations

Plantation operations

The Task System

The Task System

Kingsley kitchen

Kingsley kitchen

Plantation house

Plantation house

Kingsley House

Kingsley House

Kingsley House

Kingsley House

Wells

Wells

Gardens

Gardens


Kingsley Plantation is open seven days a week, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, except on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day. There is a ranger program daily at 2:00 p.m. The visitor contact station and bookstore are located in a 1920s building adjacent to the plantation buildings. The grounds at Kingsley Plantation included the slave quarters but the plantation house was closed to the public. According to the Park Service website: The decision was based on a preliminary engineering assessment that revealed structural problems that could jeopardize the integrity of the structure itself as well as pose a potential safety threat to visitors. The report pointed out damage to the support beams by termites and the structure's inability to bear the load placed on it by the 55,000 visitors to the site each year
Timucuan Preserve

Timucuan Preserve


This proved to be another part of the Timucan Preserve (and another passport stamp) inside of a state park. It was free so we could tour the grounds (and take pictures of the boats anchored in front) even if we could not visit the house. The Ribault Club had a free exhibit at the visitor's center of the state park, but we didn't go to that.

Past Kingsley Plantation, you will cross the Fort George River - where the Fort George River inlet used to be. There is a fixed bridge and a sand bar across the inlet now and even a kayak would have to be portaged. The road goes on through the Big and Little Talbot Islands (a Duval County park.)
Fishermen out on a sand bar

Fishermen out on a sand bar


The next bridge goes across Nassua Sound to Amelia Island, the northernmost barrier island in Florida.

By this time it was 1300, and I was looking for a place for lunch, but first we drove out to the end of Amelia Island to look at the lighthouse. The Amelia Island Light was originally the Little Cumberland Island light of Georgia. In 1820 it was a modest fifty-feet tower at the entrance to the St. Mary’s River. In 1839, the Lighthouse Board moved it to Amelia Island, and the height of the tower was raised to sixty-four feet. The lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 13, 2003.
Amelia Island Lighthouse

Amelia Island Lighthouse


In 2001, the Coast Guard gave the Amelia Island Lighthouse, oil house, and surrounding property to the City of Fernandina Beach. But it is still an active aid to navigation, and when we saw it in February 2005, the lighthouse was off limits for visits. Volunteers in the Coast Guard Auxiliary assist the Coast Guard in maintaining the light. The city is overseeing the current restoration of the lighthouse tower. Plans were to open the tower in 2004 on a limited basis. Small groups will be allowed to climb the sixty-nine granite stairs ro view Amelia Island and the Atlantic Ocean.
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The major focus (pun intended) has been on the restoration of the lantern room and the parapet (gallery). Fortunately, the historic third-order Fresnel lens still remains in the tower.
Museum - formerly the County Jail

Museum - formerly the County Jail


We drove by the museum (formerly the county jail) and eventually parked (free parking lot) and ate at Cafe Karibo.
Cafe Karibo

Cafe Karibo


This was where we ate the first time we came down the ICW in 2000. In those days it was called 27 North Garden Cafe and it was also an internet cafe. When we walked in, another couple offered to let us sit at their table for 6, which we appreciated as the place was crowded even though it was almost 1:30. The couple told us that they had met the owner on the beach that morning - they were staying at the Elizabeth Pointe Lodge Bed and Breakfast. I had the corn and crab chowder which was the special. It came in a glass and there were nice BIG chunks of crab meat in it.
Corn and Crab Chowder

Corn and Crab Chowder


I also had the curried chicken salad wrap ($7.95), which was very good, and included potato salad and fruit. I could only eat half of it.
Curried chicken salad wrap ($7.95),

Curried chicken salad wrap ($7.95),


Bob had a sandwich, also with potato salad and fruit - total for lunch $23.10.
Sandwich with potato salad and fruit

Sandwich with potato salad and fruit

We got to Hilton Head at dusk after a long drive (when the car started to thump again - although Bob blamed it on the road),
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and checked in a bit after 5. This was a good thing because in February, the office is only open until 6 in the evening on Saturday instead of 8 like it says in their literature.

Our unit was on the 5th floor, which they are apparently in the process of renouvating. The floors up there in the 'hall' (the halls were open to the air, but had a cover and were in the center of the building with the units on each side) are concrete without any tilelike finish on them. There are also old appliances out in the hall. There is an elevator at each end with a glass outside wall. There were luggage carts that you can load and take up to your unit. All local calls are free. We have access to the beach with the combination to the beach gate and changing rooms, but not to the newer unit parking garage. But parking was free in the lots.

Our unit has a loft with twin beds and a TV, a great room with another TV
Great room from the loft balcony

Great room from the loft balcony


and a balcony looking over one of the two pools (one of them is heated),
Balconies from the pool

Balconies from the pool


a full kitchen (which includes, pots and pans, and eating utensils, plus a toaster, coffee pot and microwave), a half bath, and a bedroom with a queen bed and a full bathroom. The latter bedroom has a window out onto the corridor which is lighted all night, so it has blackout curtains on it. You have to keep them closed, or people can watch you sleeping. There is a step up into the kitchen from both the hall and the living room. We have to be careful about that- not to trip.

We got our stuff up to the room, and I tried to figure out how to log onto the internet, but I wasn't getting a dial tone. The only phone is on the wall between the kitchen and hall. So if I want to sit down and send email, I need to have a long cord. Meanwhile Bob went down to see what was in the laundry room. There was a man there who was trying to check in after six and the answering service didn't answer, and then dropped his call. He was really annoyed.

We went to dinner - walked across the street to a place called Steamers. They said it would be 20 minutes wait for a no smoking section table, and 15 minutes for smoking (it WAS about 6:30 on Saturday night). I asked about the restaurant on the other side, and the guy said that there was only one waiter over there and he was really tied up. I asked if that was a new kinky way to wait tables, and he just kind of looked at me.
Steamers

Steamers


I asked if we could just sit at the bar and eat, and he said yes. We ordered root beer (would have felt strange about sitting at the bar and drinking water), and I got a salad and a plate of grits,
My salad

My salad


and Bob got a dozen oysters
100_7732.JPGBob's steamed shrimp

Bob's steamed shrimp


and some steamed shrimp. It took us about half an hour to get served, and by that time people were stacked up waiting for tables.

Bob again complained about the oysters not being cut out of the shell and he said the shrimp were undercooked and didn't come out of their shells very well. I was happy with what I ordered. Total was $35.75 after they applied the discount for being at Sea Crest.

Since then I have read several scathing reviews of Steamers - in one case the person was given soup and no spoon, nor could any spoons be found in the place. (I would have drunk the soup)

Posted by greatgrandmaR 20:55 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Hibernating in Hilton Head

Hateful Hilton Head


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2005 Migrating by Mercedes & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

I'll say at the beginning of this - we hated Hilton Head. As far as I am concerned the big black mark on Hilton Head is the signature lighthouse which masquerades as a real Aid to Navigation for mariners. It is not and never has been a real lighthouse. It is just a tourist attraction and a big advertising sign in the shape of a lighthouse. Particularly egregious since other advertising signs are restricted in size and color

Hilton Head is all about Nature, but it is not Wild Nature, but Nature groomed so that it looks pretty and doesn't interfer with the main playground - kind of like Disney for Golfers. It is a pretty island and has nice beaches, but it also has an attitude about it which is really irritating.
Bike trail

Bike trail


My sister won't visit here because of the "Plantations", and while I think she's being too PC about it (since these were never really Plantations and it is just a marketing tool to make people feel superior), I find the gated community concept terribly elitist, and hate the idea of covenants. It is arrogant to charge for admission to a place where the main goal is to induce you to spend your money for their additional profit. At the very least the sign and light restrictions are dangerous at night.

Hilton Head comes with a LARGE number of restrictive covenants, which are written as though they are really on board with ecology. But the other covenants are anti-eco and some are just snobby elitism
People who own property on Hilton Head are not allowed to:
a) Park a pick-up truck on the island at their house
b) Have a garden in their yard
c) Paint the house except in a few mandated colors so as not to spook the deer or something. No red roofs allowed, even on the Red Roof Inn
d) Dry laundry outside.

We felt that the dark streets with few signs and no lights were VERY hazardous. The small mile marker signs that dot the highway as a point of reference to visitors were not much help. Fortunately it was off-season and there wasn't as much traffic.
Road signs at dusk

Road signs at dusk


Route 278 or William Hilton Parkway is the main road. There is also a toll road which shortcuts across the island for $1.00 toll each way . The traffic circles (which were put in to avoid having traffic lights) can be a challenge. Remember to merge into the circle. Don't stop your vehicle in the circle (even to figure out a sign), because the person behind you who is also trying to read the signs will run into you.
Circle, and Taste of Thailand restaurant

Circle, and Taste of Thailand restaurant


"All business’ signs are the same colors. Soft shades of tan, green, rose, and dusky blue are mostly the only colors allowed because Hilton Head prefers everything to blend into the environment instead of looking over-developed. (even when it is)
Hardees (can you see where it is?)

Hardees (can you see where it is?)

Arbys

Arbys

Wendys

Wendys


Light pollution ordinances are in effect across the island to protect the habitat of the loggerhead turtles which sometimes confuse the lights of dwellings and street lights with the phosphorescence of the ocean. Few streetlights line the roads and no road signs are lit, so if you plan to drive around Hilton Head Island after dark it would be in your best interests to familiarize yourself with the area beforehand so that you can find what you are looking for."

It's all very well to say "Familiarize yourself with the area beforehand." But there was a complete lack of detailed maps, we found that even after we had been on the island for a week, we still got lost at night. Personally I'd like to be able to find a restaurant or gas station without using night vision binoculars.
Gas station sign

Gas station sign


Texaco sign and a resale shop

Texaco sign and a resale shop

Another problem with Hilton Head:
" There are more than 10 gated communities on Hilton Head Island, a handful more past the bridge to the mainland, and plenty of ungated neighborhoods scattered in between. A Hilton Head Island gated community is locally referred to as a plantation. Shipyard Plantation, Palmetto Hall Plantation Club, Wexford Plantation, Port Royal Plantation, and Hilton Head Plantation are some examples. I'm not at all happy with the idea of gated communities. For instance to see Fort Mitchel, you have to get through community gate. To eat at a restaurant that is in one of the communities you have to go through a gate, and at least ONE gated community has a toll charge for all the cars that go through the gate.

If you are OK with restrictive covenants of this type, then Hilton Head may appeal to you. For myself, they make my blood boil. I think the same objective could have been achieved without such a heavy hand

Sunday Feb 20

We got up late, and I tried again to get logged onto the internet, and still didn't have a dial tone. I finally got dressed and went down to the car and got the other computer which had another phone cord in it, and that one worked. Bob went to the Piggly Wiggly and got groceries, and also a new phone cord. Otherwise, we just sat around and watched TV. I wasn't feeling too well so I didn't have any ambition. I did put the rest of the numbers in my new phone.
Our resort in the sunshine

Our resort in the sunshine


For dinner, we started out again in the car. Bob complains that the signage doesn't let you know what's available.
Subway sign

Subway sign


There are only small monochromatic signs - they all look like bank signs or something like that - no golden arches for Hilton Head.
McDonalds

McDonalds


I wanted to go out to one of the marinas - the one with the big fake lighthouse, but I found that there was an entrance fee to go out there. So we went almost all the way back to the entrance to the Hilton Head Diner.
Hilton Head Diner menu

Hilton Head Diner menu


This was a regular diner with a 10 page menu, and breakfast and lunch are available all day. I got the pot roast special with mashed potatoes and green beans
Pot roast special

Pot roast special


(came with soup or salad and I got the chicken noodle soup),
Chicken noodle soup

Chicken noodle soup


and Bob got a hamburger. Dinner including tip was $18.84.
Hamburger

Hamburger


Hilton Head Diner from outside at night

Hilton Head Diner from outside at night

Feb 21st - Monday
We did a little better today, I did go to the condo association meeting on Monday at 10:00 to hear hints about the area, but I did not stay to hear about the Gullah culture. Both because I am not interested in that, and because the lady doing the initial hints gave the bogus explanation of the derivation of Daufuskie Island name which she said she got from the Gullah culture speaker. It would be a waste of time to sit and listen to mis-information.
View from the elevator

View from the elevator


Looking up at the elevator glass wall

Looking up at the elevator glass wall


We got motivated after lunch, and went to the Coastal Museum.
The Museum of Hilton Head

The Museum of Hilton Head


There was an area of outdoor exhibits
Museum trail

Museum trail

Fire ant experiment at the museum

Fire ant experiment at the museum

Trail at the museum

Trail at the museum


and then we went inside,
Museum diorama of the marsh life

Museum diorama of the marsh life

Swing Bridge diorama in the museum

Swing Bridge diorama in the museum


and then saw about a hour CD on the history of the island. Most of the places with Plantation in their names -- weren't. That's just a marketing ploy to make them sound exclusive. Hilton Head was actually the first place that freed blacks had their own town which they ran themselves.
Photo in the museum

Photo in the museum


"After assuming command in September of 1862, General Ormsby Mitchel was upset at the living conditions of the former slaves. He confiscated some land on Confederate General Thomas Fenwick Drayton’s Fish Haul Plantation, laid put streets and lots, and provided lumber for the former slaves to build their homes in a town that would be called Mitchelville. It was the first self-governing town of formerly enslaved African Americans."

In 2000 we stayed at a marina called Outdoor resorts on our way south. This is what I wrote about that trip.

Flashback 1 December 2000- Dataw Island Marina to Hilton Head

We pulled out the jib as we got back to the waterway (the marina was 3 miles off it), and joined a procession of other boats, also with their jibs out. We were doing about 7.5 mph. The boats were:

KIAORI II, a Niagra 42 Canadian boat first seen in Mile Hammock Bay who Bob had spoken to when we were in Oriental. They went to the same marina that we did. They have their boat name on a cloth banner draped over their dinghy. They also have a cat. She said the cat fell in recently and did not care for the experience.

PRIME INTEREST - also first seen after leaving Oriental. They are also at the same marina we are. They said they'd anchored 35 miles N. of Charleston but let out an extra 10 feet of anchor rode which meant that at low tide they were aground on the bank. He said without the extra 10 feet they'd have been OK. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise because they called Tow Boat US, and when the tide came up and they were free, their water pump went out, so they needed TBUS anyway and had already called. They said the tow boat person recommended a marina to them (didn't say which one) and the repair person there was able to fix their water pump on Sat a.m. of Thanksgiving weekend. As they were coming in, a small boat wake pushed their dinghy under their swim platform and punctured it.

AGREEMENT I -(a Canadian boat from Montreal with a yellow bimini. They had a hammock slung across the stern, and a wake from a passing power boat (Agreement was on our starboard and two power boats passed at the same time - one between us and one on our port - they didn't see the one on our port) dumped the occupant back into the cockpit. I think they went into Skull Creek Marina a little way up

MOODSHADOW who apparently is traveling with KIAORA II - another Canadian boat.

We pulled in the jib and we got to the Beaufort Bridge. The first boat in line called the bridge, and found it wouldn't open for about 40 minutes. So we all idled back. There were 5 of us and another little sailboat in the back who motored hard and made the bridge opening at the tail end. I called ahead to get a place at the Outdoor Resorts Marina at Hilton Head Island. I couldn't get ahold of them before 9. They wanted to know if we had an RV or a boat. I said a conservative estimate of our ETA was 4 pm, and we wanted fuel, so they said they'd put us on the fuel dock.

We went down the Beaufort River past Parris Island (occasionally buzzed by helicopters)
Helicopter and Prime Interest following us

Helicopter and Prime Interest following us


sometimes with the jib out - and across Port Royal Sound to Skull Creek and got to the resort about 2. When I called on the radio, the dock master said he had several boats to place before us and asked us to slow down and not get there for 10 minutes. KIAORA II and MOONSHADOW went in first and were on the fuel dock. There was a big motor boat at the fuel dock. PRIME INTEREST was circling around with us (that's when the accident to their dinghy happened).

He asked us if we wanted fuel first and we said yes (PRIME INTEREST had said no). So when the motor boat left, we went into the fuel dock, and he went out in a john boat to lead PRIME INTEREST into a slip. He said they were shoe horned in. Then, since we were earlier than expected, he put us inside at a T head too. The dock crew were very admiring of the way Bob handled the docking - he was very slick I must admit. The young boy said he'd never seen it done better.

So we were tied up by about 3 after 39.3 miles at 5.9 mph for a total trip of 632 nm. When we inquired about the tides (the tide was on the ebb when we came in) we discovered that we won't be able to get out until about 9 the next day. Low tide is about 6. They let me use the fax line to upload and download email We found the laundry room (which we didn't need as we did it yesterday). We had dinner in the restaurant - another fancy smancy place with prices to match. Hot tea was $2.95. THey had no simple desserts like ice cream. A strawberry pecan bread pudding was $4.95. I had a good beef bean soup, and should just have gotten a salad. Instead I had a chicken pasta dish which was really too rich. Bob had a glazed pork chop. Then I sat up and planned our route and wrote e-mails.

Dec 2 - we will not be able to get out until the tide is higher this morning. We are almost aground at low tide. So I was writing e-mail preparing to go up at 9 and send it when Bob brought me breakfast. I spilled almost a whole cup of cranberry juice in the bunk. Bob kept trying to get me to blot it up with a damp washcloth, but that was completely inadequate.

We got underway at 9:45. Everyone else was still there when we left. Going down toward Calibogue Sound so lots of fancy houses on Hilton Head Island.
Fancy Hilton Head Houses from the boat very visible from the water

Fancy Hilton Head Houses from the boat very visible from the water

Fake Hilton Head Lighthouse in 2000

Fake Hilton Head Lighthouse in 2000


Saw what I thought was a crab pot boat towing something, but it proved to be just a LOT of gulls following in the wake.

End Flashback

I thought for old times sake, we might have dinner at the Sunset Grill at the Outdoor Resorts where we went on the way down in 2000.
Sunset Grill - closed Monday

Sunset Grill - closed Monday

Fuel dock

Fuel dock

Beach at Outdoor Resorts

Beach at Outdoor Resorts

Outdoor Resorts

Outdoor Resorts

Outdoor Resorts Marina

Outdoor Resorts Marina


But it isn't the Outdoor Resorts anymore - the RV part is apparently a condo, and the Sunset Grill is not open on Monday. I took some pictures
Outdoor Resorts pool

Outdoor Resorts pool


Trailer lot prices

Trailer lot prices

Trailer through the trees

Trailer through the trees


and we went back to the Crazy Crab next to the museum for dinner. I had a coupon for 20% off all the food.
Inside the Crazy Crab

Inside the Crazy Crab

View from the Crazy Crab

View from the Crazy Crab

Marshes from the dinner table

Marshes from the dinner table


Fish tank

Fish tank


Ladies Room sign (although you have to look at the underside of the crab to know if it is a female)

Ladies Room sign (although you have to look at the underside of the crab to know if it is a female)


Shrimp boats

Shrimp boats

Tables at the Crazy Crab

Tables at the Crazy Crab

PWCs at the Crazy Crab

PWCs at the Crazy Crab


We were in time for the sunset, which we could sort of see behind some trees. Bob had steamed shrimp with corn on the cob and a baked potato. He said the shrimp were cooked better than at Steamers. I had a
Combination plate - blackened mahi, a crab cake, two shrimp, a baked potato and string beans and carrots.

Combination plate - blackened mahi, a crab cake, two shrimp, a baked potato and string beans and carrots.


I could not finish it all so brought some of the fish home. Total was $32.89 after the 20% discount.
Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset


Full moon

Full moon

Posted by greatgrandmaR 20:06 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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