There are three docks that the public can use to access Cumberland Island, but unfortunately, the two closest to the ICW, Dungeness and Sea Camp, are closed to the public due to storm damage from Hurricane Matthew. Dinghies can be beached near the Sea Camp dock, but others have reported thick black mud in that spot. The sandy beach just north of the Dungeness dock can only be used by the public on the weekends to beach dinghies. The remaining dock, Plum Orchard, was many miles away from our anchorage. Long story short, we never ended up setting foot on the island.
We did, however, buzz around it on the dinghy. It looks really neat, with tangled palm trees and deciduous trees and mysterious, dappled trails that lead off into the heart of the island. There are miles of trails to be walked, and we are definitely putting this park on our agenda for a future trip. I could see the wild ponies grazing while I looked out of our galley porthole.
The first day we were anchored was beautiful: sunny, high of 77 degrees, and a light breeze. The second day couldn’t have been more different. It was overcast and blew a steady 18-20 knots of wind all day. It was crazy. There is a significant tidal flow in this area, so the current would force the boat to swing 180 degrees on anchor twice a day. While that swing was in progress, we would be beam-to the rather significant waves, and it was quite a rodeo. I had to break out the pot arms for the stove, which is a first for me at anchor.
This is a wonderful anchorage, though, and it is very scenic. There’s room for plenty of boats, and I hope we are able to make it back in another trip.
The view out the galley porthole. The ponies skedaddled before I could take a picture of them in the clearing.