If you decide to go
If you decide to go
St.SimonsIsland is located east of the confluence of St.SimonsSound and the Intracoastal Waterway near Brunswick. A fixed highway bridge with 65-foot
clearance crosses the MackayRiver (the ICW) at Mile 674.5. The ocean inlet through St.SimonsSound is threaded by a well-marked, dredged channel used by commercial shipping to and from Brunswick’s two major terminals. Tides run around 8 feet, so currents can be strong. Some boaters have noted problems with shoaling in nearby ICW channels, especially in Jekyll Creek.
Where to stay
• Golden Isles Marina — www.gimarina.com , (912) 634-1128 — is on LanierIsland’s east shore across the FredericaRiver from St.SimonsIsland. (The ICW passes Lanier’s west shore.) The marina is just below the fixed bridge (9-foot clearance at mean low water) across the FredericaRiver. Green day marker 1, between ICW green markers 247 and 249, is the turning point into its channel for southbound cruisers, according to the marina. The dockmaster says to keep Green 1, which marks the southern tip of the shoal that extends off Lanier Island’s south end, to port and proceed north up the channel, keeping green 3, 5 and 7 to port. Controlling depth is 12 feet at mean low water. Contact the marina on channel 16 for further instructions. Dockage for boats to 200 feet is $1.75 a foot per night or $8 a foot per week, plus electricity. Long-term rates are available. Full amenities, restaurant, engine and prop repairs, and charters are on-site. Dry stack storage for 175 boats is adjacent.
• Hampton River Club Marina, (912) 638-1210, is a rack-storage facility on the HamptonRiver about three miles east of ICW Mile 676 on St.SimonsIsland’s north end with limited transient dockage. The rate, for boats to 48 feet, is $2 a foot per night, with a controlling depth of 4 feet at mean low water. Fuel, bait, ice and showers are on-site.
• St. Simons Boating and Fishing Club, (912) 638-9146 (phone/fax), on the FredericaRiver upstream of the 9-foot fixed bridge, also can be reached around the north end of LanierIsland. It sells gas, ice and bait and has a hoist boat launch ($8 to $18) but no transient dockage.
Anchoring is allowed in the Frederica River south of Fort Frederica, south of Golden Isles Marina, or in southerly winds off the northeast shore of Lanier Island. Dinghy dockage at Golden Isles Marina is $5 a day. There’s two-hour free tie-up at GascoignePark’s fishing pier on St.SimonsIsland, just north of the bridge. FortFrederica’s dinghy dock dries for two hours each side of low tide.
Brunswick has full repairs and marine services. Two-Way Marina on the AltamahaRiver, about 15 miles north, offers haulout and full repairs. You’ll find West Marine, Boaters World and many chains in Brunswick, six miles from Golden Isles Marina. Supermarkets, liquor stores, multiplex cinemas, 99 holes of golf, lodgings, rental car companies, Sea Tow and TowBoatU.S. are on St. Simons. NOAA chart 11506, Doboy Sound to Fernandina, covers the St.SimonsIsland area.
• St. Simons Island Visitors Center, NeptunePark, (912) 638-9014.
• Brunswick and the Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau, (800) 933-2627, www.comecoastawhile.com .