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Return to Sapelo Island! Camping & Beachcombing Weekend on Atlantic Coast of GA
|Event Location:||40 Miles south of Savannah, GA, ~5-hour drive from Atlanta to mainland ferry dock.|
|Date(s) & Time:||Thu, Feb 20 2020 2:30 pm >> Sun, Feb 23 2020 5:00 pm (Carpool Departure: 9:00 am *log in for location*)|
|Registration Opens:||Sun, Dec 15 2019 9:00 pm|
|Registration Cut Off:||Thu, Feb 6 2020 4:00 pm|
|Event Duration:||4 Days & 3 Nights. See Ferry & Transportation Schedule Below.|
|Difficulty Rating:||D2: Easy to Moderate|
|Trip Leader(s):||Charlie Cottingham|
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|Member Cost:||$150.00/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)|
|Who's Invited:||Members Only, 21 And Older Only|
|Maximum Group Size:||25|
|Minimum Group Size:||2|
|Number Registered So Far:||20 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)|
|Are Dogs Permitted:||No|
TRIP WEATHER UPDATE, etc. from Charlie as of WED FEB 19: We're still ON for everything as planned. The weather front that's passing through Georgia today thru Thursday will mean that we need to be prepared for a little rain on the first day & evening of our trip. The GOOD NEWS is that only about 0.6 inch of total rain is likely to fall at Sapelo from Thu AM thru late Thu night and after early Fri AM NO more rain is expected on the Island for the rest of the weekend.
Important Group Transportation Notes: Local driving parties should plan to depart from metro Atlanta no later than about 8:30 AM on Thursday. See Directions, Logistics, optional Carpooling, etc. below. This 4-day, 3-night trip requires that we travel as a group on the Public Ferry from the mainland dock to the Island and back, taking the Thursday 3:30 PM ferry to the Island. A Georgia DNR charter bus driver will greet us at the Island dock and transport us and our gear the ~6 miles to our oceanfront "Cabretta Group Campsite." On Sunday we're booked on the 4:00 PM return ferry departure from the Island, arriving back at our vehicles on the mainland at about 4:45 PM Sunday.
IN a NUTSHELL: Larger than Bermuda, Sapelo is a beautiful barrier island on Georgia's Atlantic coast about 40 miles south of Savannah. On each of our past AOC camping & beachcombing trips to Sapelo we've always had a blast, the last one being in April 2017. The Island's pristine natural beaches, marshlands and forested wilderness areas are enhanced by its protected status as a National Estuarine Research Reserve. Its spacious beachfront Cabretta" Group Campsite is a wonderful place to be at any time of year. We'll have it all to ourselves to relax under its gnarly Spanish-moss-draped live oaks, explore the gorgeous adjoining white sandy beach, and observe wild dolphins, deer, bald eagles and other exotic native wildlife. Late February weather is usually ideal for enjoying Sapelo, with afternoon highs typically in the 60s and nightly lows in the 50s. Like Cumberland Island 50 miles to its south there's no highway bridge connecting Sapelo with the mainland. Reserved camping groups such as ours travel together on the Public Ferry which takes only a half hour each way. Sadly, in September 2017 the storm surge from Hurricane Irma damaged the small bridge that connects the lovely "Cabretta" group campsite with the rest of Sapelo Island. Thankfully it has recently been repaired and we're proud to to have this confirmed reservation as one of the first groups to camp again on the Island since the hurricane.
MANY NICE CAMPSITE AMENITIES! There's a wide expanse of level tent space and plenty of shady trees for hanging hammocks. A convenient alternative for sleeping is the campsite's three 10' x 12' roofed and screen-fronted Adirondack shelters, each with wooden bunk space for up to 6 campers. If you'd like to share sleeping space in one of them (at no extra charge) please email your request to the Trip Leader(s) and we'll assign available shelter space in the order of your requests. The Campsite's nice comfort station has three lockable private bathrooms, each with a hot shower, lavatory and flush toilet. Another big Campsite bonus is its spacious Dining Pavilion, with safe nearby running water, large picnic tables, BBQ grills, and a big campfire ring, and a nearby hot-water dishwashing station. Our GA-DNR hosts will transport us by bus and truck directly from the ferry dock to and from this private group campsite. It's OK to pack stuff in large duffels or suitcases - also fine to take "car-camping" style gear; e.g. coolers filled with ice, fresh or frozen food and our favorite cold drinks (Bags of Crushed Ice for topping off our coolers are normally available for sale directly at our campsite.) For our "family-style" meals multi-burner propane stoves and large pots & pans are appropriate to bring and share - see more below. Cell Phone Coverage is unreliable on Sapelo! Esp. since signal strength is spotty it's best not to depend on them other than for taking photos and for attempting an emergency call or text message, etc. It's usually possible to get one or two "bars" by walking from our Campsite about 1/4 mile to the middle of the wooden bridge that connects Cabretta with the rest of Sapelo. Electric power at the Campsite is also limited. For recharging there's a power outlet in each of the 3 bathrooms at the comfort station and one external outlet on the utility building near near the dining pavilion.
DOZENS of FUN THINGS to SEE & DO! Sapelo is blessed with lovely secluded beaches, sea-oat-capped sand dunes, forests of huge gnarled mossy live oaks, abundant seabirds & wildlife - even wild bald eagles! - and historic ruins. Beachcombing, shell collecting and stargazing on our private beach are unsurpassed on GA's Atlantic coast. We also often see wild dolphins and alligators. Optional Guided Bus Tour of the Island: Since it's always been "such a blast in the past," I've arranged this for 12:30 till 3:00 PM on FRIDAY- about $20, payable in CASH to our driver-guide. During the tour we'll have scenic walking & photography stops at the beautifully restored 190-year-old Sapelo Lighthouse on the island's south end, its adjoining "Nanny Goat Beach, the Marine Research Institute, the palatial "Reynolds Mansion," Hog Hammock (and its pub!) - also may get to visit the remote north end of the Island with its historic French "tabby ruins" and Raccoon Bluff church. A Sapelo native and lifelong resident of its quaint "Hog Hammock" community, our host JR Grovner has ancestors who lived and worked on the Island more than 150 years ago.
PERFECTPOTLUCK.com is a free website that provides an easy way to interactively plan and display what specific gear, supplies, food & refreshment items each of us would like to bring to share for our family-style group meals..
TRIP SCHEDULE & LOGISTICS: It's normally about a 5-hour drive from Atlanta to the mainland ferry dock and its adjoining "Sapelo Visitor Center" in Meridian, GA via I-75, I-16, I-95, and GA-99—see our detailed Directions below. For this Sapelo trip the scheduled PUBLIC FERRY DEPARTURE for our AOC camping group will be at 3:30 PM SHARP on Thursday. It will be imperative for each of us to be there at the dock no later than 3:00 PM for loading and boarding (along with passengers from the public at large who will have likewise booked that ferry).
"PRE-TRIP PLANNING DROP-IN MEETING," SUN FEB 9TH ~7:00-8:00 PM, in the spacious lobby of the "ATLANTA MARRIOTT NORTHEAST/ EMORY AREA" hotel, 2000 Century Blvd NE, Atlanta, GA 30345: This informal gathering is esp. recommended for "Sapelo first-timers" to address your questions and introduce you to others who are on the trip. We'll gather in the quiet lobby of the hotel (on the southbound I-85 access road between the Shallowford Rd & Clairmont Rd exits). Not a problem if you can't be there or need to arrive late. I'll try to arrive early to stake out seating & table space for us and will have some nice Sapelo maps & brochures to give out & discuss. We'll facilitate the planning of "Custom Carpooling" and also review our main group carpooling option - see its details below. We'll also discuss all the exciting Sapelo activity options, what to wear and bring, how to pack, optional "family-style potluck" meals, and address any remaining questions you may have.
FOR MORE about SAPELO ISLAND CLICK these Links:
Click for Allison Adams' Photo Album from our AOC trip in Aug 2009: http://megasuperstar.shutterfly.com/262
|How to Get There:|
FROM ATLANTA to SAPELO ISLAND MAINLAND FERRY DOCK & VISITOR CENTER (near Meridian, GA - about 295 miles from downtown Atlanta)
DIRECTION STEPS & LEG MILEAGES from ATLANTA:
GROUP PROCEDURE at MAINLAND DOCK and ADJOINING "SAPELO VISITOR CENTER": At about 2:30 PM Thursday we suggest that you stop by the Visitor Center where you can enjoy its free museum displays of the island's natural, geologic and human history, check out their T-shirts and other nice souvenirs, and pick up free Island maps, brochures, etc. We'll load our gear onto the ferry at about 3:00 PM. The AOC trip leader will pay for our group ferry fare at the Visitor Center and simply present that receipt as our "group ticket" after we board. As discussed in the event itinerary our Ferry departure will be at 3:30 PM sharp.
|Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):||580Mile(s)|
|Carpool Departure Time:||9:00 am|
|Carpool Location:||Log in for location|
|Carpool Directions:||Log in for directions|
|Carpool Cost:||Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $232.00 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.|
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|Cost & Payment:|
• Round-trip Ferry between Mainland Dock and Island (See our group schedule in itinerary discussed above),
|Payment Cut Off:||Payment must be received by the AOC on Thu, Feb 6 2020.|
|Make a Payment:||Click here for the details. PLEASE PAY AFTER YOU HAVE SIGNED UP BELOW.|
Cancellation/Partial Attendance: Please review the AOC cancellation policy.
It is your responsibility to get your payment in on time. Please allow two days for processing a PayPal transaction. Any personal checks must be hand delivered to an AOC Officer or Treasurer by the February 6th payment deadline.