The Captain Morse House

A Great Walk With A Dog in St. Marys, Georgia

Our dogs are our kids.  We do have other real kids, but they are grown now (in years, anyway), have their own lives (unless they need something), and never listened to us as well as our furry ones do, anyway.  But traveling when you have a pet adds another level of anxiety to the planning stage.  Where can we board them?  Is it a good place? How much will it cost us?  (OMG, that much?)

One of the main reasons that we bought the Captain Morse House was our wish to have a vacation home where our pets could also enjoy a change of venue.  We did fence the backyard in, which really helps with late-night potty breaks.   But our collies know that the highlight of every day will be their walk through the downtown area to the waterfront park.  So they usually lay right by the front door and wait. And stare at us.  You know that look.

So at least once a day, we get out the leashes (with great joy and loud barking) and head out through the front picket fence.  My husband gets the collies —see the photo above — and I get stuck with our really grumpy 13-year old Lhasa apso.

We make a left and cross the street to Seagles Saloon.  Dogs are welcome there, so we usually stop and say hello to everyone.  Pauly’s, across the street, also lets pups sit with you while you enjoy a beverage or a meal. And the Market on the Square has a water bowl outside.

We then cross over to the water-side of front street, where the ferry runs.  Here is where the real fun begins.  When you have two collies, everyone wants to pet them.  And if you are a collie, you love this!  Carly and Cannon now even know to sit for photo ops.  (Keep in mind, me, with the grumpy lhasa, just hanging out in the background.)

Our walk eventually takes us the Howard Gilman Park.  We sit on the swings at the waterfront for a few minutes, then walk out on the pier.  The breeze keeps the dogs and us cool, even on the hottest days. Then up past the fountain, where there are always a few children playing in the spray (and more petting and photo ops.)

Exit the park, and cross the street to walk up Wheeler Street.  It’s shaded with beautiful trees, so cool on doggy feet. Then make a right on Stable Alley.  At this point, we are worn out.  Well, maybe not the collies.  But I am; I am now carrying Willow, whose little Lhasa legs gave out somewhere on the dock, where she just sat down and refused to go on.

At the end of Stable Alley, we can see our house! We cross the street, open the gate, and we are back home! A rush to the water bowl, and time to settle down for a long nap.  By the front door.  In case mom & dad want to do it again.

P.S.  Bring a doggy bag or two.  We keep some in the kitchen.


Get Creative! Take a Class at Lucy Gunn’s

As an artist myself, anything creative is is an added plus to my vacation plans.  I scope out the art gallery locations and exhibits prior to leaving for any destination.  And my art supplies are the first thing I pack.  I even have a travel art supply kit (named the TASK by my husband) that goes everywhere with me.  You just never know when the muse might hit you, right?

So I am pleased to tell you that within 20 steps from the Captain Morse House (OK, maybe 30) is the best-ever place for someone who likes to learn about new creative arts!  Ladies, hand the menfolk a cold beer, park them on our porch and walk over to Lucy Gunn’s Creative Lifestyle store.

Lucy’s is a really cool store if you like to shop, so do take some time to visit. But the best part of Lucy’s is in the back, where they host all kinds of arts and crafts classes, where local artists come to share their knowledge for a few hours.  Every time I look at their schedule, I wish I was there to participate.

If you are planning a trip to St. Marys, be sure to check out their list of classes and sign up!

Created by Captain E. F. Morse

Kayaking St. Marys

Paddle on the St. Marys River, along the marshes and through the harbor.   

Dolphins and Otters are common sights in the St. Marys, as are shrimp boats — and an occasional nuclear submarine at the mouth of the river as it heads out or returns from patrol. The docks on the St. Marys harbor are favorite spots of visiting manatees.

Take a look at the official guide:

There are 3 places in St. Marys that currently rent kayaks:
Google Link to Kayak Rentals

Cumberland Island Visitor Information

Cumberland Island

Winter 2017/18 Cumberland Ferry Times

The ferry service from St. Marys, Georgia to Cumberland Island National Seashore during winter 2017/2018 season is Thursday through Monday in the months of December, January, and February (no service on Tuesdays & Wednesdays).

The ferry leaves St. Marys at 9 am and 11:45 am Thursdays through Mondays, heading to Cumberland Island for the three month winter schedule. The return ferry for day trippers departs Cumberland Island at 4:45 pm. (There’s also a 10:15 am ferry departing the island, typically used by overnight campers).

 The Park Service and ferry concessionaire advise ferry reservation holders to arrive one hour early before departure time, to check in.  According to the NPS website, “All unclaimed ferry reservations will be cancelled 30 minutes prior to departure and those spots will be offered to walk-in visitors.”

Note that since Hurricane Irma, an alternative dock being used requires a bit more time for parking and getting to the dock. 

If you are staying with us at the Captain Morse House, you are centrally located to both the check-in point and the temporary departure dock. 

Bicycles can be transported on ferry for $10 fee (but space is limited), or rent a bike for $16 from ferry company (first come, first serve). 

Ferry tickets cost $28 plus tax per person, plus a $7 park entry fee. 

Kings Bay Naval Base

Kings Bay Naval Base, for those who are not familiar, is located 10 minutes west of St. Marys. The Submarine Base is the U.S. Atlantic Fleet‘s home port for U.S. Navy Fleet ballistic missile nuclear submarines armed with Trident missile nuclear weapons.  

St. Marys’ appreciation and support of the men and women who serve our nation is evident around town.  When we first came to St. Marys, we noticed that most downtown shops have a sign in their windows, “EDICCIMAD.”  To save you the time of an inquiry, this means “Every Day in Camden County is Military Appreciation Day.”  In most cases, those displaying this sign will offer a military discount.  As retired Air Force, just seeing those signs makes us feel a little warmer inside.

If you are a military member with proper ID, you can take advantage of the Commissary and other base features, such as a beautiful swimming pool and playground.  On any of our longer visits, we do our grocery shopping there.  

Many of our guests each year are the families of military members, attending a ceremony or coming to visit their loved ones stationed in Kings Bay.  As retired military, those groups are “our family” too, and we love the thought of sharing our home with them.


Advantages of the Captain Morse House

Consider renting the Captain Morse House for your visiting relatives.  

  • With four bedrooms, it is more economical than individual hotel rooms. 

  • Your family members have a gathering place (that’s not your house!)

  • With so much to do in downtown St. Marys, visiting guests will enjoy every minute of their stay.