If you have ever watched the movie, "Gone in 60 Seconds", then you know what that means. For the rest of you, Eleanor is an elusive rare 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 that causes trouble for Nicholas Cage, more than once. Cumberland Island is my Eleanor. A pristine island, located in a remote part of the coast that only allows 300 visitors per day. It is only accessible by ferry, or kayak is you are brave and strong enough. The first time I visited was supposed to be the second half of my daughters graduation present. She missed her flight from Portland and I ended up going without her. Once I got there and reached the beach I was met with a torrential downpour that had me scrambling to seek shelter, which there was very little of. This time the threat of heavy thunderstorms threatened the trip yet again. We were unable to catch the early ferry over so we just prepared for the worst and hoped for the best.
The port is under construction. Parking was full everywhere but we lucked out and found an empty trailer space that we doubled up on with our friends. Normally you would not be able to park there but since the boat ramps are closed for construction we were able to find a free spot. The line to check in for the Ferry was already long and we arrived over an hour in advance. We had to follow makeshift signs to figure out where we were to catch the ferry. There was some sort of antique festival going on between the visitor center and the ferry dock, with tons of food trucks. I have a weakness for a good food truck. We lined up to wait to board the ferry so we could get a good seat on the top deck. I decided that to keep the kids happy waiting in line they needed an incentive.
I had to go back and buy all the cookies! Seriously they were to die for. The best cookies I had ever eaten. We devoured them. Well except for the jalapeno one...that was a rogue cookie.
The ride over was pretty smooth. We managed to get a great seat on the top that fit all of us.
We were watching the weather in the distance and could see the sky darkening. We were not going to be able to dock at the first boat dock, We had to get off at Sea Camp. This is more toward the middle and away from the Dungeness Ruins and the wild horses. We decided to take the trail over to the main road so we could scan for sharks teeth. The ranger told us they dredge to create the roads and that was the best place to find one. Laura managed to get one but alas, I am still yet to ever find a sharks tooth myself.
Mosquitoes were not terrible this time of year but the ticks were awful. We were picking them off for the next 24 hours.
We explored 1 of 2 cemeteries. This one was locked but the other was open to visit.
We hurried through Dungeness so that we would have time to try to hit the beach before the storm came in. My friend, Vasilios, dabbles in meteorology, and he was texting me that hail was heading our way. There is very little in the way of shelter on the island and none of it is near the beach.
The Greene-Miller cemetery overlooks the salt marsh. It is halfway between Dungeness and the Beach.
I got to see my 1st of 2 armadillos in real life.
Half of our party took the board walk. I opted to hike through the dunes to the beach. The beach trail through the dunes is looooonnnnggg and tough. Dunes for days!
As fate would have it, once we got close to the beach rain would spit on us here and there, forcing me to put away the camera and rely on my iphone. As soon as I would but the camera away it would stop. The sky looked pretty scary (as it did the last time I was here).
This time the shore was covered in washed up jelly fish. They were literally everywhere. The kids kept digging them up with their walking sticks and trying to put them back in the ocean.
One thing I did see that I did not last time I was here was horses on the beach. That was pretty cool.
The boys were more into the jellyfish than the horses.
The entire island was engulfed in a huge rain storm, except the part we were on. We missed the hail and the heavy rain and managed to stay mostly dry until we got back to the ferry dock. There were got soaked and had a wet, windy ride back to the port.