A fun time in Savannah. Heading north…still.

It’s Thursday morning and today we head out from Savannah after two days of exploring the historic district.  Last time we visited this city we took Pandora up the river and tied up at the city dock.  It turned out to be a “not great idea” as we bucked some remarkable currents and also picked up a nasty poly tarp in our propeller along the way.  All worked out well in the end, but it was a bit harrowing at the time.  I wrote about that experience here.

This time, to keep things a bit less exciting, we opted to tie up at a marina in a nearby town Thunderbolt, that was named, legend has it, by native Americans for a fresh water spring that “sprung” when it was struck by a powerful bolt of lightning, way back when. By staying here we were able to avoid the long run up the Savannah river and all that comes (see fun experience referenced above) with being in a busy shipping port.  This is a very convenient spot and there’s even a nearby city bus to take us into the city center and to do a bit of provisioning.

Besides, they even give you Crispy Crème donuts each morning, delivered to your boat.  Believe it or not, I have NEVER had a Crispy Crèam donut, EVER. Now I have…

Anyway, we enjoyed being in the city again and walked all over, taking in the sights.   With the risk of repeating myself from our last visit, you might want to take a look at that post from a few years ago.

We discovered that there was a nice little maritime museum in town, the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum.  It’s a lovely spot and as an added benefit, they even have some terrific gardens on site.  It seems that they host events on a regular basis and what a spot it is. You enter the main entrance to the museum through the gardens.  It’s a lovely spot and the museum is housed in an old mansion.  Very tranquil.While the museum is not particularly large, they have a nice collection of good sized models, the sort made for ship owners and, as you can imagine, there is a focus on Savannah history.   In fact, they have a LOT of models of boat named, you guessed it, SAVANNAH, including the only nuclear powered cargo ship, the… SAVANNAH.   It was launched during the Eisenhower administration as part of the “nuclear for peace” initiative. Oops, it didn’t work out particularly well and the ship was soon retired as too costly to operate.  Nice model though, even if the photo isn’t so great.

And this ship was also called…the Savannah.  The Civil War looms large as a part of the history of the area and there were some really nice models depicting ships of the period.   This model of an ironclad was great and easily 6′ long. Particularly nice detail of the engine room in a cut out area. Beyond the Savannah themed ships, there are plenty of nice pieces to admire including a good collection of scrimshaw.  What nautical museum is complete without a bunch of carved whale teeth?Brenda particularly liked the piece with a sheep carved on it?  Now, how often do you get to see sheep carved on whale teeth?  Perhaps only in Savannah.  Well, that’s been our experience. The gardens were a hit with Brenda who particularly enjoyed the gardens.   She was a good girl and even looked at the ship models.  “Oh Bob, I do so love looking at ship models”.   She was a good sport.  Me, I even went into a knitting store with her, just to prove what a good guy I am. 

There are some really nice gardens in the city and I think we walked through each of the dozen in the historic area…twice.  Beautiful settings.  I’ll bet that the prices of homes around these gardens are a LOT more expensive than those in more, shall we say, “pedestrian” settings.When I see folks taking each other’s pictures, I always offer to take one of them. Of course, they nearly also say “would you like me to take one of you?”  Yes, that would be lovely. There is nearly always some sort of historic ship reproduction visiting the waterfront area.  This time, the Pinta and Santa Maria, of Columbus fame.  I heard that the Pinta ran aground coming into the city.  Nice to be in good company given Pandora’s track record to date of finding the shallow spots.

Speaking of experiences that, shall we say, raise one’s blood pressure.  There is always the Savannah Serenity House to help bring things back in balance.  Alas, there was no hope when we visited as even they were having a bad day.  Note the sign on the door?  “Now Bob, do you have to be so insensitive?”   Yes, you’re right. I take it back.

Well, I had better wrap this up as is’t almost time to check and see if our supply of Crispy Creams have arrived. Yum.

2 responses to “A fun time in Savannah. Heading north…still.

  1. Bob

    Your blog was recently forwarded to me by friend and fellow sailor Jim Brunson. Being a native of Savannah and a member of the Savannah Yacht Club your description of your visit to Savannah was most interesting. You passed the club which is on the north side of the river just south of Thunderbolt. And yes Crispy Creams are the worlds best.

    My wife and I owned a Whitby 42 for almost 30 years and cruised for a year after our marriage in 1982. Many fond memories of the Bahamas and the east and gulf coast from Tampa to Newport RI . From 1984 on we cruised the Chesapeake with our crew (3) of very young sailors. The boat was sold in 2009 and boating is now limited to a 19′ SeaRay that we use in the rivers around our home in Williamsburg.

    The ships of the sea museum was not there when I moved from Savannah in 1965 and I will be sure to visit when we are back in town visiting family. Our youngest son is an attorney in Orlando so we hang our bikes on the car and head south every October to visit, stopping in Savannah up and down I95.

    Fair winds and please add me to your blog.

    Bob Sowell

  2. Bob, I sent your recent blog to a neighbor who grew up in Savannah.He was very impressed with your post and is going to send you a comment.
    Jim

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *