Shrimp & History

Alert, Outlander fans! We’ve arrived at New Inverness, founded in 1736 by Scottish Highlanders who were recruited to protect Georgia’s southern border from the Spanish — back when the British, Spanish and French were vying for control of this continent.

It’s called Darien, Ga. now, population under 2,000. We came here for the shrimp. The lesson in very-early American history was a bonus.

After our 42-mile trek from Brunswick through mostly calm seas, arrival here was exciting. And we knew it would be, based on the wind forecast and our evolving understanding of tides. We didn’t leave as early as planned, so arrived in the midst of strong afternoon winds, with gusts of 25 mph, and a strong current. We had reserved an outside slip so the winds would help us, but another boat had pulled into that spot just before we arrived. Her crew was busy trying to tie up, and we couldn’t exactly kick them off – although the dock owner briefly tried to do so. “Never mind,” I called out to her. “We’ll figure it out!” Jeff maneuvered the boat into a swirl of currents between two stanchions of the nearby bridge, gunning the throttle to avoid hitting one of them, and came around to try again. The head-sets that we use to communicate during docking and anchoring weren’t working, so that didn’t help much as Jeff navigated the boat to an inside slip and I jumped off to the dock – never a good idea – to get a line around a cleat and pull us in against the wind. (We did call ahead to get help with the lines, but she wasn’t strong enough to pull us in alone given conditions.) Ah, well. Excitement and surprises are part of cruising to unfamiliar places. I admit I prefer to get my excitement in other ways!

We came here on the recommendation of a cousin who has visited, and also because we were looking for that small-town, shrimp-town feel. We found it. We took an 8-mile detour from the route in order to come, but detours are a part of “Looping.” On toward Savannah from here, and possibly a stop-over there. But I also need to reconsider our schedule. I have a three-week trip to Egypt scheduled (and paid for) in April, and we were planning to make it to the Washington DC area by then. However, I just learned that the funeral for a much-beloved aunt will occur during that planned trip. (She lived in the far-north, and funerals/burials are often delayed until the ground thaws in the spring.) Can I cancel or reschedule the trip? Should I? If I cancel, we can take more time moving north and also make it to the funeral. I couldn’t reach the trip broker today so it remains unresolved for now. Priority-setting and off-the-boat decision-making doesn’t end when one is on The Great Loop…they just become more difficult, as many Loopers will tell you.

Photos and captions from Day #220 below…

Another day of zig-zagging through salt marshes. The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) is wide in some places (like here) and narrow in others. Shallows are always nearby, so following the channel is essential.
I was driving when we passed this dredge. The dredge operator didn’t answer my radio call, but a heads-up from a Looper ahead of us cued us to pass to his starboard (right side) and the passage was uneventful.
More miles of salt marshes! Beautiful…
Boo got comfy on the counter this afternoon. She doesn’t usually come out while under way but she’s at ease; note her claws stretched out. (That’s our head-lamps hanging above her back–useful during night anchorages if you want to read. The white thing on her neck is an electronic tracker, in case she wanders.)
Passing ICW Mile Marker 666.6, I recalled that “666” represents the “number of the beast,” or something akin, in the Bible. A deep-memory jog for a preacher’s kid! So I took a screen shot. For fun, not theology.
Our first stop upon arrival at Darien was this waterside restaurant near the dock. Huge chair!!
Jeff got the peel-and-eat shrimp and I got the fried version. Yum to both!!
Many Moons is at the upper left, dwarfed (as usual) by larger boats at this small marina.
The shrimping fleet is visible from our stern.
A shellfish trap on the dock near our boat.
Early-American history abounds here, and I hope to explore it more.
Stone memorial to the Scots who settled here first.
Looking west from our small marina.
Sunset under the bridge next to us.
The blue track is our route today from Brunswick to Darien in coastal Georgia. See how the ICW meanders?

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