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Published: November 15th 2007
We’ve been a little slow getting to this next blog, but we’ve certainly made some distance since the last one in Beaufort/Moorhead City.
Our weather in Beaufort was cold rainy and windy, so unlike our last trip we didn’t really see much of Beaufort. We pretty much stayed on the boat, hopefully getting ready to go offshore. Finally on Saturday morning we lifted our anchor in the rain, and started down the intercoastal waterway, as the conditions to go offshore didn’t look good for the next week or so, and there was a tropical storm, building to a Hurricane (Hurricane Noel). Less than 40 miles down the Intercoastal waterway, we noticed several boats not moving, and blocking the channel in front. The waterway had silted in the usual channel and the coast guard had moved the channel marks to the deeper water. Some boats had misjudged and gone aground. The water depth problem is not uncommon in the waterway, the bottom is soft, and it’s not really a big issue if you touch bottom.. You can easily power through it, wait for the tide to rise, or last resource is to call Tow Boat US if it’s really bad. So far
Interesting Lawn Ornament
Home on way to Wrightville Beach
we haven’t had to call them, but we have paid a towing insurance fee to Boat US kind of like CAA, just in case we do run aground. In this case, we waited until the boats got pulled off then went through.
Our first night we stopped at a really nice anchorange, called Mile Hammock, which is in a big US Army camp. All down the eastern seaboard there is lots of military, and this one, Camp Le Jeaune, is where they practice with bombs, so not a place to hang around long. Our next stop was Wrightsville Beach where it continued to blow hard. We stayed one night, then left at noon hour the next day to catch the tide and current right, to go down the Cape Fear River. After crossing the Cape Fear River in ideal conditions we stayed in Southport, catching up with some other boats we had been previously traveling with. What happens as you head south, is you get to know the other boats heading south, so it’s a nice social occurance, when we end up at the same anchorage.
From Southport we stopped just before Myrtle Beach at Calabash Bay. Many
of the fishing boats come to Calabash to sell their fish so there are lots of fish and seafood restaurants, with “Early Bird” specials. We took advantage and had an inexpensive dinner, and a spectacular view from our anchorage.
The next day we crossed into South Carolina, through Myrtle Beach and the dreaded “Rock Pile” in the ICW. The waterway here is very narrow with lots of rocks on both sides so it’s important not to get out of the main channel. The problem sometimes is that there are many big powerboats going down the waterway, and they sometimes have their own view of how to pass sailboats. Most powerboats are very courteous and slow down when they pass so they don’t give a big wake (wave). However the odd one seems to think they own the waterway. We fnd the ones to be most concerned about are the big sports fisherman boats. That night we stayed in Georgetown South Carolina, again a very pretty southern town. At one time South Carolina had a very large rice farming community, and Georgetown was the centre for the rice industry. Now there is a big pulp mill here, and lots of
Barrier Island Development
There are few undeveloped areas.
commercial fishing boats.
We were now getting closer to Charleston, our next opportunity to go offshore, unfortunately the weather was still not looking good for this. Leaving Georgetown, we anchored just before Charleston in a “swamp” It’s a weird feeling anchoring in this type of place as it seems there is not much protection from the wind. We were surprised at how good the wave protection is, as it was really blowing and there was virtually no chop on the water. It still didn’t seem good for going out to the ocean, so we decided to go into Charleston the next morning, take a dock, tour this pretty historic town and wait for better weather to go offshore. We and everyone else had the same idea about getting a dock, so we had to go to a fairly remote marina “Cooper River Marina” but they were very nice people and we enjoyed our stay there. When we anchored in the swamp, we left fairly early to catch a bridge opening, and were not real careful about cleaning off the anchor. So while we were at the dock the anchor chain sat in the anchor locker with some smelly shells,
Homes or Cottage?
These impressive homes line the ICW.
and a colony of “No See Ums (itchy little bugs) breading in the anchor locker. Finally weeks later, that smell is finally gone!
Starting in South Carolina, we started to see lots of palm trees and dolphins. The dolphins come up to your boat, and ride along with your bow wave. We see this as good luck and that they are watching out for us. It’s nice to be getting South!
Sunday morning we finally got better weather to go offshore, so we headed out early in the morning for Fernandina Beach Florida, and Cumberland Island. This is an easy entrance to enter, and Cumberland Island is a favourate anchorage from our last trip. Cumberland is a beautiful national park, with fabulous white deserted beaches, with lots of shells, and wild horses running all over the Islands. Over the years it has been home to a few rich people, and I think John Kennedy Jr. was married at Cumberland Island. We had a good offshore passage and arrived the next morning anchoring at Cumberland Island.
After a couple of days of relaxing at Cumberland Island we went up the St.Marys River to check out the boatyard that
Cold enough for Canadian hat and gloves. Notice the new beard.
we hope to store our boat at next summer. St.Marys is also where our friends Mary and Christian on Iwanda bought a home, and we wanted to visit their new home. St. Marys is a quaint, sleepy little southern town, and we instantly fell in love with it. In fact we may at some time in the future think about buying property here. It’s location makes St.Marys a fairly safe place to leave the boat and hopefully keep away from Hurricanes.
Sharon went home for a few days while we were in St.Marys, and was very happy to spend some more time with our new granddaughter. Ella has grown quite a bit and doing very well, although she has learned how to cry, ( similar loudness to how I remember Dawn crying)
While Sharon was home, I checked out the boat yard, and real estate. When Sharon returned I was about ready to buy a place so it was good she returned and slowed me down. Sharon returned Saturday evening and it looked good again to go offshore on Sunday. Unfortunately her checked luggage didn’t make it, so we’re hoping it will catch up with us at Vero
Beach. We headed back offshore Sunday morning headed for Port Cannaveral. The weather wasn’t quite as good, and for a good part of the trip it was pretty “lumpy” on the ocean, and the wind took an unexpected shift South East. Still it was pretty good, and easier than the waterway. We could hear sailboats and powerboats fighting on the VHF radio as they were going down the ICW, so we were happy to be offshore.
We arrived in Port Canaveral Monday about noon, and waiting for a bridge and lock, we anchored, and went to bed early in the Banana River.
We headed down the Inter Coastal Waterway on Tuesday to Vero Beach (hopefully Sharon’s luggage will be there - It was not there but we did get it on Wednesday). We’ll stay there for a couple of days, before heading towards Ft. Lauderdale, where Dawn and Ella will join us and I’ll get to see my granddaughter again! We are hoping to cross to the Bahamas in early December.
We did a quick calculation yesterday that in the past 4 months we have travelled 2850 miles. That works out to 16-17 miles a day. That
Fred this could be your next boat
Interesting boat we travelled with.
is quite a distance when you figure our average speed is 6 miles an hour. This is pretty slow for anyone in a hurry but gives you plenty of time to see everything.
PS if you’d like to know where we are there is a cool web site that tracks our position. You can access it by the following web site - www.winlink.org. Go down the left side of page and click on Position Reporter. You then under station call sign - type in VA3SSH. We will try to put in our position every time we move.
Take Care, and we hope everyone is fine.
Sharon and Doug
Aboard SV About Time
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