16 Jan 2006 Monday

Woke up early and got our backpacks ready.  We had coffee and breakfast at the Riverside Cafe and caught the 9am ferry.  We saw porpoise playing in the wake of the boat.  Andrew contacted Carol Ruckdeschel, a friend who lives on the island researching sea turtles. Carol has no phone at her place, but she does get email on her computer.  The ranger doing camper check-in knows Carol and, since we were going to a private residence, gave us a ride to the north end of the island.  He said he had to go to the north end for patrol anyway.  She let us stay at her parent’s place on Half Moon Bluff.  We camped outside the house, but we used the porch and the artesian well in the backyard.  We took a hike out to the beach and found many parts of the trail were flooded.  It seems that the island had 20 inches of rain during Hurricane Tammy last October.  Tammy was a tropical depression until it was just off the Florida-Georgia coast when it reached hurricane strength.  The ranger said it was one of the times they had to evacuate Cumberland Island, finding hunters during an organized hunt (they have organized hunts to thin the population of deer and hogs on the island, the backcountry is closed to campers during this time). 

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