“Water World,” Coming Soon to St. Simons Island!

The former Casino Pool gets a new identity this summer.

Those of you who fondly remember spending hot summer days at the Casino pool, you will be pleased to know that plans for a new community pool are well underway. In fact, construction is well underway. Yesterday, the Brunswick News featured an article with an aerial photo illustrating Water World’s progress. I am impressed! Plans call for an oceanfront water park featuring a lap pool, splash (children’s) pool, and large zero-entry recreational pool. Besides looking cool, the zero-edge feature (sloped much like the beach) allows for easy handicap accessibility.  Additionally, the former mini-golf course, now closed, is being relocated to the area surrounding the pool. A large bathhouse is also under construction, which will feature restrooms and a concession booth. If construction continues as scheduled, the new community water park will open in time for summer. Water world is the highlight of the new St. Simons Island Pier/Village master plan, which includes plans for a new playground, a wider beach walk, fresh landscaping, and an overall revitalized park area. For information from the county on the new Village Master Plan, please visit glynncounty.org.


My Morning Fitness Ritual @ “The Club”

by Joe Wills

6:15 am – Friday, January 23. Sea Island Spa Fitness.

Double shot cappuccino got my heart started then out the door. Greeted by a group of early riser regulars for Trish’s Spinning Class. We began literally in dawn’s early light a none-too-gentle eye opening warm up spin with a nice little Electronica rave. Then hammered our hearts away to U2 – worked out the kinks with The Kinks and came Alive with Safri Duo intervals, toss in some breathless sprints to Talking Heads and more U2 for good measure. Excellent 40 minute ride plus stretches – just over 600 calories burned in the process. Heart rate was 40% aerobic, 60% anaerobic. Perfect pairing of music and coaching produced prodigious pools of sweat on the mats beneath our bikes. Excellent coffee afterward (the best in all of Sea Island) and a colorful sunrise was a great reward for our effort and in preparation for Scott’s Strength & Cardio Class. A small but dedicated group of masochists enjoyed another grueling session of light and heavy dumbbells with body bar presses, skull crushers, crunches and two sets of traveling lunges finished with a session of stretching. 45 minutes of gain via pain. I of course forgot to clip out of my cycling shoes into cross-trainers and so paid the price for my stupidity with sore ankles.Excellent coaching on Scott’s part though. Back at the office before 9:30, ready to face the day. Just over 1,000 calories all in all. Not a bad start for a Friday. 6:15 AM Spinning classes are offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The Spa at Sea Island is an amazing 65,000 square foot facility which is divided between Spa Treatments and Fitness spaces. The fitness facet is directed by a very friendly and talented team of trainers and staff making it truly one of the finest facilities of its kind. Sea Island Spa is open to Resort Guest and Club Members and their guests. Sea Island Club Membership may be had via purchase of qualified property in one of Sea Island’s numerous communities on St Simons Island and Sea Island.


Joe Wills is a leading real estate professional with Hodnett Cooper specializing in the purchase and sale of homes with club memberships on St. Simons Island and Sea Island. His insight into clubs and their amenities are based on more than 30 years in private club and resort operations management, including Augusta National Golf Club and the Sea Island Company.


Cruising News from “Proud Mary III”

by Len Gullickson


It was one of those beautiful South Georgia days between Christmas and New Year. The temperature was forecast to reach 80° with light winds; perfect for a day cruise.

The First Mate suggested (determined) that we should head up the IntraCoastal Waterway with a side trip on the Frederica River to Fort Frederica, the site of one of the first British settlements in this area. The cruise northbound caused us to meet several southbound power and sail boats heading south from “up north” and Canada. It is an annual migration that is interesting to watch.

Coming around the final bend before Fort Frederica, it was easy to see why the British built it where they did. Incoming enemy ships would be a clear on “bow shot” from the fort with limited ability to return fire. The dolphins were enjoying the day as much as we were. They frolicked everywhere, celebrating this glorious weather.

On the trip back to the marina, we passed one of the oldest metal power yachts we have seen in years, slowly heading down the waterway. Everyone fulfills their dreams of being afloat in their own way.


Sapelo Island Visitor Center

by Guerry Norwood

blog-0141The Sapelo Island Visitor Center is located at the mainland ferry dock in Meridian and serves as a key distribution point for information about coastal ecosystems, educational opportunities, and tourism activities. Interpretive exhibits at the center highlight Sapelo Island’s rich cultural history, the Hog Hammock Community, University of Georgia Marine Institute, Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, the National Estuarine Research Reserve System as well as estuarine, barrier island, and shoreline habitats.


Guests are encouraged to explore the nature trails that weave through the maritime forest and along the marsh and salt pans surrounding the facility. Stop by sometime for a quick hike!

The center has a 50-seat audio-visual room for lectures, special programs, and video and slide presentations. This room is made available for special interest group meetings (Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, Friends of Sapelo, etc.). Please call for information on how your organization can reserve the Visitor Center A-V room for your next meeting. 

Public tour reservations can be made by calling (912) 437-3224. Group tours for 10-40 people can be arranged by calling the Education Office (912) 485-2300. Tickets for public and group tours of Sapelo Island can be purchased at the Visitor Center. T-shirts, books, and videos are also available for purchase. For a Visual Tour of Sapelo Island Visitor Center go the following link: http://www.visualtour.com/shownp.asp?T=169667.


Santa Claus is Coming To the St. Simons Village Pier


Santa Claus will make a grand entrance, by sea, at the Village Pier this weekend.

Bring the children Saturday, December 12th at 12:30 pm. to see Mr. Claus arrive by boat – escorted by Sea Tow! Following his arrival, Mr. Claus will remain at the pier in the playground area for photos and last minute Christmas requests.

In the event you are unable to attend Saturday’s festivities, don’t worry, Santa will return Christmas Eve. At 6:00 pm, on Wednesday, December 24th, Mr. Claus will visit the St. Simons Island Casino.

Hosted by the Glynn County Fire Department, Santa will depart with sirens blaring on a giant fire truck! A procession of fire trucks, including Santa’s, will travel down Demere and Frederica Road passing out candy and pausing for photographs. This is a great Island tradition that is fun for the entire family.

There are many ways to enjoy a Coastal Christmas on St. Simons Island.


Smallest Church In America

by Guerry Norwood

South Newport, Georgia: This still active chapel is called the “Smallest Church in America”. Memory Park Christ Chapel — Just south of I-95 exit 67, on hwy. 17.  Agnes Harper, a rural grocer with limited funds, built a 10 X 15 foot building in the Coastal Georgia woods near South Newport.  She wrote the deed in the name of Jesus Christ and invited everyone (locals and tourists) to worship at her new church.  For the past 50+ years, the church has been open 24 hours a day for all religious denominations.


How big is “The Smallest Church In America”?  It can hold 13 people, the pulpit is no bigger than a couch and the entire structure (roof and all) might fit into the average bedroom. Memory Park Christ Chapel has a tiny pulpit, pews and a tiny stained glass window with just enough room for Jesus. Seating only 12 people, the chapel was built as a place for rest and worship for travelers along scenic coastal route U.S. 17.

How is the inside of the church furnished?  The stained glass windows are from England, the pews have fold-away knee rests and there is a glass star in the roof that allows the bright South Georgia sunlight to illuminate the interior. For a photo slideshow of the Smallest Church in America link to: http://www.visualtour.com/shownp.asp?T=187169.


Arts News: 24th Annual Christmas Tour of Homes, Bake Sale & Holiday Market

by Alice Barlow

wreathSaturday, December 13, 2008; 10 AM – 5 PM.
Tickets: $25 (Advance); $30 (Tour day) details
See Five Elegant Island Homes in their Holiday Finery
Don’t miss the Best Bake Sale in the Southeast, plus Unique Seasonal Gift Items in Cassina’s Holiday Market

Further information: 912-638-9808, lcarlton@bellsouth.net
Cassina Garden Club is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Proceeds from this Tour are used to maintain the Hamilton Plantation historic slave cabins.


Golf in “The Golden Isles” along the Georgia Coast

by Guerry Norwood

The Georgia Coast is the home of abundant classic southern coastal golf courses.  One of the newer ones is The Golf Club at Sanctuary Cove.  I have played there a couple of times in the last two weeks with friends and my youngest son and it is in great shape.  They have already over seeded for the fall so the greens and fairways are in great shape.

The Golf Club at Sanctuary coveThe Golf Club at Sanctuary Cove, located in Waverly, Ga., is a Love Golf Design/Fred Couples Signature course, which sits on the Golden Isles of Georgia and represents one of the top new semi-private golf facilities in the state.   The Golf Club at Sanctuary Cove is the first project for Love Golf Design that does not bear the name Davis Love III as the signature designer, but it is a partnership that blends the classic design elements from traditional golf course architecture with the techniques of modern day design.

The result at Sanctuary Cove is a par-71, 7,003-yard layout that is different from the typical residential golf experience and one that is truly unique to the area.  By working with the natural features of the land, Couples has created a course that is challenging without being penal, and one that golfers will not tire of playing.  The Golf Club at Sanctuary Cove will provide a true and fair test of golf that will appeal to players of all ability levels.


Cruising News: Oak Grove Island Yacht Club Poker Run and Fish Fry

by Len and Mary Gullickson

The sixth annual Oak Grove Island Yacht Club Poker Run and Fish Fry was again a huge success. The run to five marinas on calm waters under clear Georgia skies was awesome.

For those who are not familiar with a “poker run”, the rules are simple. All boats have a morning start at the Oak Grove Island Marina and are off to pick up one card that is sealed in an envelope at each of the five marinas. Each person on the boat has a chance to play a hand. At the end, judges open each person’s group of five envelopes to see who comes up with the best poker hand and, therefore, becomes a winner.

The poker run is followed by a fish fry put on by the Yacht Club and is open to all Oak Grove Island property owners. The food was excellent with plenty for all. Thanks to the many hardworking volunteers.

Fall is definitely a perfect time for boating activities in south Georgia. The weather is beautiful and the scenery is fantastic. Soon the “snow birds” will be cruising down the IntraCoastal Waterway from the North, heading for winter “nesting” in Florida and the Caribbean. It’s a “migration” that the First Mate and I would like to join one day. However, one wonders if there is as nice a place as Oak Grove Island at which to spend time.