Traveling on the AICW

We are navigating up the east coast but couldn’t leave Jekyll Island until 9 a.m. We had to wait for high tide.

Most areas on earth have two high and two low tides per day which are slightly more than six hours apart.  Tides that are of equal magnitudes are called semi diurnal tides.  Georgia and most of the east coast of the U. S. experience semi dismal tides.  Georgia average tidal range is seven-foot but in spring its 10 foot.  Georgia coast is indented relative to the protruding Carolinas and Florida.  So that as the tide approaches from offshore, the ocean water is funneled, bunching up and rising higher.(conservation of mass the water has got to go somewhere making he tides larger her).  This answered my question as to why Georgia has a higher tide then we had experienced so far on this trip.

We are traveling on the Jekyll River heading north which is still on the AICW.  We will not be going under this bridge in the distance.  If we went under the bridge we would be heading to Brunswick.

This is the Brunswick River it’s a 6 mile long a tidal river in Georgia.  It begins at the Sidney Lanier Bridge at Brunswick, Georgia at the confluence of the Turtle River with the East River, and flows east to St. Simons Sound.  We don’t go to Brunswick but I thought this was interesting.  Across the intercostal from Brunswick are four beautiful barrier islands  St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island they are located in Glynn County.  These islands are called the Golden Isles.

This boat is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineer checking channel depths and updating their charts.  The next picture is a big ship out in the Atlantic Ocean and the St. Simons island Lighthouse.  The lighthouse is on the southern tip of St. Simons Island built-in 1872.  It guides ships into St. Simons Sound and warns of the many sandbars in the area.  St. Simons Island is the largest of Georgia’s Sea Islands.  We are close to the Atlantic Ocean where we can see big ships.  This stretch is called the St. Simon Sound.  Sounds are large bodies of water with inlets to the Atlantic Ocean.  (They are called sounds on the Atlantic side and bays on the Gulf side.)

These are some pictures of areas that are called, Golden Island, Glynn, McIntosh, and Black River that I thought were beautiful.  These pictures don’t show how beautiful this area is.  The water is very brown and reminded me of the Mississippi river.


This section is called the south river and is a 63.5 mile long tributary of the Ocmulegg River in Georgia. The Black River is a 13 mile long waterway that flows into the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia.  This is a shrimp boat, they travel with their long arms down and will not alter their course or raise their booms.

This is the North River a tidal river channel approximately 18 miles long in coastal Georgia.  It’s a longer and narrower alternative channel to the tidal Darien River and ultimately is part of the Altamaha River system in the marshes between Darien, Georgia and the Atlantic Ocean.  The ICW follows a dredged channel down Little Mud River to the Altamaha Sound and on into Buttermilk Sound.

The ICW heads up Sapelo Sound to the Sapelo River running past Sapelo Island which we could see off the Starboard(right side ) of the boat.  Sapelo Island was once owned by tobacco magnate R.J. Reynolds, this island now houses the University of Georgia’s Marine Institute.

We are on the North Newport River that is west of the ICW channel on the Johnson Creek.  We are staying at SunBury marina in Midway, Ga. a family run marina.  The current was so strong at the dock.  Kent was able to keep the boat straight with the rear thruster as the very strong currents pushed us up to the dock.  After we were docked and tied up we helped Johnny and Liz into the dock.  We all decided to have dinner at the Sunbury Crab Shack they were known for their fresh Crab.

This is the river view of the Sunbury Crab Co. This view doesn’t give you a good first impression of the restaurant, but the food and hospitality were great.  Bernard and his sons (owners of the  Sunbury Crab Co.) catch the crab and fish fresh everyday that are served in the restaurant.  Elaine Maley one of the owners stopped by our table and talked to us for a long time.  This area was expecting storms that evening but we only received a small amount of rain.  It was high tide when we left the marina at 8 with the sun shinning brightly.  What a great day to be navigating on the AIWC.

The ICW follows the Bears River as it empties into the St. Catherine Sound.  St. Catherine sound is a fair weather entrance and exit from the ocean.  This is the first in a series of sounds connected by rivers we will pass through as we navigate the Georgia portion of the ICW.

Vernon river runs wide and deep until we reach Hells Gate. The AICW follows the narrow man-made canal between Vernon River to the Ogeechee River.  These waters have been an AICW problem stretch for years.  We were worried about this narrow cut if we had strong winds.  If strong northeast winds kick up we might see swells breaking up the long fetch of the Ogeechee River.  The Georgia coast’s second largest river is the Ogeechee has a particularly strong ebb current.  The last pictures are Hells Gate.  I think the name scared us more than the navigating through this area.  If you look at the last picture you will see a red buoy we really think its out off place.  What do you think?

This is called the Skidaway River its 8.4 miles long called a tidal river in Georgia before Savannah.  Skidaway Narrows immediately below Isle of Hope is a twisting, challenging stretch of the ICW., weaving erratically back and forth around curves and bends.  We enjoyed this beautiful winding creek with its fringes of salt marsh extending back to distant woods. navigating through this very narrow sections with a lot of turns.   Georgia has a lot of grass areas as you wind through the AICW so this section reminded me of the upper Mississippi River.

As we were traveling the Skidaway River on our way to Morningstar Marina.  We  passed this beautiful boat and then further up the river we past this beautiful Georgia style home.  Which one do you think is more beautiful?????


We arrived at Morningstar Marina in Thunderbolt, Georgia with high winds gusting to over 30 miles.  I was so glad to see two dock hands ready to grab our lines when we arrived.  The wind was not in our favor as it was blowing us away from the dock.  We arrived at the dock safely thanks to a good captain and a great first mate.  We washed the boat and then were ready for dock tails with Liz and Johnny.

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