GE­OR­GIA’S GOLDEN ISLES

A SNOWBIRD STOPOVER WITH HIS­TORY, SHOP­PING AND FISH­ING GALORE

Yachting - - FRONT PAGE - by kim kavin

They were more than 400 feet long and chris­tened with­out names on their bows, so en­emy forces in the At­lantic and Pa­cific wouldn’t know what cargo they car­ried. Dur­ing World War II, some 16,000 crafts­men in Brunswick, Ge­or­gia, turned out 99 of the Lib­erty Ships, at one point launch­ing four a month to feed the war’s in­sa­tiable de­mand. ¶ To­day, a 23-foot Lib­erty Ship replica stands at Mary Ross Water­front Park, where the city docks wel­come shrimp boats that sup­ply lo­cal eater­ies. Yachts­men who dock at nearby Brunswick Land­ing Ma­rina — a for­mer U.S. Navy hur­ri­cane hole — not only can check out the scene, but also can get a 10 per­cent dis­count at many Brunswick shops down­town. ¶ The only span be­tween open wa­ter and the ma­rina is the Sid­ney Lanier Bridge, whose clear­ance at cen­ter is 185 feet, enough for any mo­to­ry­acht to get through. (The city built the bridge high, since ships hit its pre­de­ces­sor twice, in 1972 and 1987.) Lib­erty Ship Park is at the foot of the bridge on its north side, hon­or­ing the ship­wrights of the World War II era. A boat ramp is there, along with

pic­nic ar­eas that have views of boats cruis­ing the water­front. ¶ Other mari­nas in the Golden Isles are on St. Si­mons and Jekyll Is­lands; Morn­ingstar has a cour­tesy car for tran­sients. The fish­ing fleet of­fers day trips, and Jekyll Har­bor Ma­rina has ac­cess to 35 miles of na­ture and bi­cy­cle trails. ¶ As you tour around, think about the de­fenses that amassed here dur­ing the war. By 1943, Ger­man U-boats that had been en­croach­ing into do­mes­tic waters no longer pestered the coast, re­al­iz­ing the Amer­i­cans had de­cided it was worth pro­tect­ing, for good rea­son.

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