Driftwood Beach Sunrise, a Historic Island, and a Capsized Cargo Ship

The morning after our anniversary celebration, Henry slept in while I got up early to watch the sunrise at Driftwood Beach.

Sunrise at Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, GA
Sunrise at Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, GA

A Brief History of Jekyll Island and the Jekyll Island Club:

  • 1886 – The island was purchased for $125,000 by wealthy American industrialists to create a hunting retreat, the Jekyll Island Club.
  • 1888 – The Jekyll Island Club opened.
  • 1896 – The San Soucie (meaning ‘Without Care’) was built with six units. It is one of the earliest condominium buildings in the United States. William Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan were two of the owners.
  • 1910 – A plan was made for the Federal Reserve Banking System during a secret meeting of the Jekyll Island Club.
  • 1915 – The first transcontinental call was made by one of the club members.
  • 1947 – The State of Georgia purchased Jekyll Island for $675,000 and the island became a state park.
  • 1972 – The Jekyll Island Club was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 1985 – 1986 – The Jekyll Island Club was completely restored and opened in 1986 as the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.
  • Today, Jekyll Island is a popular beach destination on Georgia’s coast with several hotels, a campground, easy access to miles of beach, and many activities to enjoy.

Here are a few images from around today’s Jekyll Island Club Resort. Click on an image for a closer look.

We took some scenic drives around the 7 1/2 mile long and 1 1/2 mile wide island. At the fishing pier on the north end of the island we had a great view of the Sydney Lanier Bridge and the Golden Ray cargo ship.

Sydney Lanier Bridge

We came across some birds as we wandered around the island.

Osprey on nest, Jekyll Island, Georgia
Tri-colored heron on Jekyll Island near Driftwood Beach

On September 8, 2019 the Korean cargo ship the Golden Ray left the port of Brunswick loaded with cars shortly before it ran aground in the St. Simons sound. The ship caught fire and thankfully, all of the 24 crew members were rescued. Since then, a special response team has been working to remove the ship. Recently, the team has put the efforts on hold because of COVID-19 and hurricane season. For more information go to St. Simons Sound Response.

Golden Anniversary, Golden Isles, and the Golden Ray

Henry and I didn’t want to travel too far from home to celebrate our 50th Anniversary so we chose to spend the weekend at a historic hotel in the beautiful Golden Isles of Georgia. Located about 100 miles down the coast from our home, the Golden Isles include the town of Brunswick and four barrier islands – St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island, and Little St. Simons Island.

We started our trip with a stop on St. Simon’s Island to take a walk on the pier. The St. Simons Lighthouse was on land in one direction and the capsized cargo ship Golden Ray was in the sound between St. Simons and Jekyll in the other direction. I’ll have more about the ship in a later post.

St. Simons Island Lighthouse
Cargo ship Golden Ray as seen from the St. Simons Island Pier

On our drive from St. Simons to Jekyll we were surrounded by the green Marshes of Glynn. Two causeways over the marsh and several bridges later we arrived at our destination, the beautiful and historic Jekyll Island Club Resort.

Jekyll Island Club Resort

We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing by the pool. As we were getting ready to go out to dinner there was a knock on the door from Room Service. The resort was not providing room service during our stay so I couldn’t imagine what was going on. Complimentary champagne and truffles to celebrate our golden anniversary! What a surprise and special treat!

Champagne and truffles complements of the Jekyll Island Club

The champagne and truffles would have to wait until after dinner at the Wharf Restaurant on the Jekyll River, just a short walk away from our room.

The Wharf Restaurant on the Jekyll River

After dinner we watched the sun begin to set before going back to the room to pop the champagne.

Sunset after dinner at the Wharf

The rest of the evening we enjoyed our champagne and truffles watching the sky change colors and listening to the band playing outside at the Wharf as we rocked in the rocking chairs on our porch.

After an amazing first day on Jekyll, the next day our 50th anniversary was filled with more surprises and celebrating. The first thing on our agenda was to find Driftwood Beach and to take a drive around the island.

Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island
Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island

Our anniversary dinner at the 80 Ocean couldn’t have been any more special. Our server Gabriella treated us like royalty the entire time we were there. As we were finishing up our complimentary deserts, she surprised us by placing an envelope on our table. It was from our daughter and her family, with a picture of the family holding a Happy Anniversary sign. To top it all off, our daughter paid for our dinner! The best surprise present either of us had ever received!

Celebrating our 50th anniversary!

We still weren’t done celebrating. Back at the hotel, we walked to the river to see the sunset. A perfect ending to a beautiful day!

Anniversary Sunset over the Jekyll River

Stay tuned for more about our Jekyll Island adventure and the cargo ship Golden Ray.

Lens-Artists #103: Surprise

This week our host Ann-Christine has challenged us to show anything that was a surprise.

I’ve had a few surprises in the garden this summer. When I found two unidentified plants growing in one of my small beds I left them alone to see what would happen. I was surprised when they turned out to be Black Eyed Susans that I planted about two years ago.

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Black Eyed Susan

I’ve seen plenty of cicada skins attached to things around the exterior of our house but I was surprised to find one hanging onto a zinnia while it was shedding its skin. A few days later, the skin was still there.

Another time a mama diamond back terrapin decided that underneath the salvia would be a perfect place to lay her eggs.

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Female Diamond Terrapin laying eggs in the garden

Thank you Ann-Christine for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Surprise

Lens-Artists #102: A Quiet Moment

This week our host Patti has challenged us to capture a quiet moment.

My favorite thing to do on a hot summer day is hop in our 17 foot boat and go for a ride in the salt water creeks and rivers near our home. Getting out on the water is always soothing and sometimes we can enjoy some quiet moments as we go along.

This week we took a scenic ride through narrow, twisting creeks through the salt marsh.

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Quiet boat ride through the salt marsh

We found some quiet moments as we slowly made our way through the twists and turns. Except for when we met a boat going the other way we were the only humans in the area. As we were treated to sightings of snowy egrets, herons, and wood storks the only sounds were those of nature and our quiet engine. Even the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins surfacing for a breath of air made little noise. I was too busy enjoying the moment to get any photos of the wildlife.

Ride along with us in this video.

Thank you Patti for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge -A Quiet Moment