Daniela and I walked all over the historic section of Brunswick in the morning looking for the “Lovers Tree,” a tree of significance as it is over 300 years old and on the historic list of things to see. It’s a Live Oak, and they are highly impressive, with their wide-spread branches dipping so low to the sides of the tree trunk they often lie gently on the ground, and sometimes even get soil over the top of the branch as it rests on the ground! We finally found it, after being told several wrong turns by the locals…hmmm. Meanwhile, Basil and Paul were working on Basil’s boat threading up some antennae wire to the topmast.
We arrived back at the Marina just as the guys had finished their job, and Paul and I hopped in my rental car and sped off to Jekyll Island. The island is looped by a road that basically makes a figure 8. It allows you to drive all the sides of the island and cross sides at the center. We took a little beach walk that was quite windy on the sunny day, then located a park that explained about “The Wanderer” – a large ship that 50 years after slavery had been abolished was still bringing slaves from Africa – illegally. Quite an interesting bit of history, especially learning who had commissioned the slave trading – the wealthy owner of Jekyll Island and some other wealthy folks, who eventually were all pardoned! Some things never change!
The luxury of the large colonial estates was grand, to say the least, and we found a small café in one of them that had been turned into a resort. After lunch we continued driving around the north end of the island, reading plaques about early island settlers and how the land was initially given away by the British in exchange for farming and development.
Arriving back in the middle of Jekyll Island we went to the The Georgia Sea Turtle Center, a rehabilitation center that has turtles of all sizes and shapes recuperating from all types of ailments and injuries. The place was packed with tourists and children of all ages. We squeezed our way through the interactive learning center and headed to the rehabilitation building. It was highly impressive! Giant turtles swimming in round tanks, smaller turtles in littler tanks, and pint-sized turtles in their own little show case – at least 30 turtles of every type were receiving attention and care.
There were 5 young turtle “nurses” – both male and female – on duty who also helped answer questions and stopped illiterate tourists from using their camera’s flash. One young woman “nurse” began giving a microphoned talk as she went from tank to tank and discussed each turtle’s problem and how soon it would be released to the wild. One of the turtles had been released 4 times and it kept coming back – it wouldn’t go – it wanted to stay! So they’re going to try to release it one more time, and if it comes back again they’ll keep it as a permanent resident.
Driving back into Brunswick we went to the Brew and Burgers restaurant and had a delicious pint and burger (mine was Portobella mushroom – Yum!), chatted up another sailor, and finally headed back to “Mz Tumbleweed.” The next morning I would be departing directly after taking Paul and Basil to pick up some boat parts. I was heading back to St. Augustine to see something I dearly wanted to go to when I had stopped by there on my drive north, but didn’t have time to see. I knew it was going to be VERY interesting! Legendary, even!