To our extreme joy and relief, there is no traffic congestion in St. Marys, nor are there any reports of Black Friday human tramplings in the downtown shopping district. There is, however, a short queue at the $5 per head pancake breakfast at the hotel. The pancake choices for today include banana walnut, blueberry and plain. They are fluffy and delicious.
After breakfast, we are shuttled from the dinghy dock to the local grocery store by van, courtesy of the organizers of this event. At noon, it becomes apparent that the Thanksgiving celebration in St. Marys is winding down. Cruisers are bidding one another farewell. Boats are beginning to disappear from the harbor. Except for the rip-roaring current in the harbor, we have enjoyed our time here. But it is time to move on.
Our destination today is Cumberland Island, just 10 miles from St. Marys harbor. Cumberland Island is a National Seashore, a protected area managed by the National Park Service. Cutter Loose is anchored in a harbor just off of the ferry dock. Since there are no bridges that connect Cumberland to the mainland, access to the Island is by ferry from St. Marys or by private boat. Visitation is by reservation only, except for private boats. The National Park Service limits the number of visitors each day.
We watch as visitors arrive by ferry in mid-afternoon, laden with backpacks and camping gear. There are a limited number of primitive campsites available on the Island. Cumberland is a popular destination during the holiday weekend, especially since the weather is warm and sunny.
Our anchorage is well-protected and serene. The tidal currents here are much less intense than St. Marys and the wind is calm. This will make for a quiet and restful night. Tomorrow we will dinghy to the ferry dock to explore this barrier island.