Harbourwalk Marina, Georgetown, SC to Mytle Beach Yacht Club, Little River, SC — May 7, 2014

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01-Trumpy-Yacht-Preparing-To-Dock-In-Georgetown

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05-Somebody-Had-A-Problem-Approaching-Myrtle-Beach

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08-After-Taxes-On-ICW-Near-Myrtle-Beach

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09-Myrtle-Beach-Yacht-Club-With-Black-n-White-Lighthouse

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11-Myrtle-Beach-Yacht-Club-Looking-Northeast

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12-Myrtle-Beach-Yacht-Club-Champ-III-In-Her-Slip

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The weather is still holding.  It was sunny with clear skies this morning and the afternoon temps were in the high 80’s.

Georgetown was great with lots of old homes and Candy any I walked thru several of the residential neighborhoods. The downtown and riverfront are still very nice in spite of the fire they had last September.

We stayed 2 days and on the 2nd day Terrapin came into the harbor.  They wanted to be closer to downtown.  They had walked in from the Landing Marina last night for dinner.  The boat with them is After Taxes and the people are from Malone NY.  That is upstate NY, not to far from the Canadian border.

I mentioned we were probably going up thru Lake Champlain and taking the St Lawrence into the 1,000 Island area of New York,  After Taxes has spent many summers on the St Lawrence and in Montreal.  He listed all the things we should do and places to stop.  I finally gave him a boat card and asked him to email me because there was no way I could remember all of what he said and it was all good information.

We were on the water at 8:00 because we needed to stop for fuel south of Myrtle Beach at Osprey Marina.  We stopped there last year and they had the best price of the whole LOOP.  I mentioned this to Terrapin and After Taxes and they chatted with Linde on the VHF.  Linde is another boat that we traveled with on the Mississippi and have not seen them since the river system. Anyway we were the 3rd boat into Osprey and the fueling took a little longer than last year.

We went on from Osprey to the Myrtle Beach Yacht Club.  It is about 8 miles past the place where we stayed last year.  I re-space the stops so we could eliminate the 80 mile day we did to reach Swansboro NC.

The marina office was only about 300′ from the slip they assigned us and we were all the way back in the marina so there was not going to be any ICW wake tonight.  Right above the office was a bar/restaurant called The Officers Club.  As transients we got a free pass into The Officers Club.

While having dinner we also saw the couple from Water Hog.  They are from Connecticut and they were ahead of us in Osprey for fuel today. This is getting to be a pretty small world.

Tomorrow we will head to Wrightsville NC which is north of the Cape Fear River.

St Johns Yacht Harbor, Charleston, SC to Harbourwalk Marina, Georgetown, SC — May 5, 2014

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03-Low-Country-West-of-St-Johns-Yacht-Harbor

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08-Charleston-Waterfront-Home

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11-Looking-Out-On-Bay-From-Harbourwalk-Marina

12 Harbourwalk Marina In Georgetown SC 13 Fighting Ducks In Harbourwalk Marina 14 Site of Last Falls Fire In Georgetown SC - Last Year There Was No Gap in The BuildingsWhat a glorious morning.  Temps in the mid 60’s and the sky is clear.  They are predicting 90 for today so we headed out fairly early to get on the water before it really warmed up.

We went thru Elliot Cut from the Stono River and that put us in the Downtown Charleston Harbor.  We did get a few pictures and headed out into Charleston Bay to the northbound ICW, about 6 miles away.

We did not have the recreational boaters today but there was a lot of northbound traffic with both power cruisers and sailboats moving north.  Lots of chatter on the VHF radio and no real Coast Guard on the radio today.

We did hear Terrapin on the radio and they were ahead of us.  We have not seen them since the river system last fall.  They are a 46′ DeFever Pilothouse that moves pretty slow, like a turtle, and he does not make any apologies for that.  We did not talk to them and they are staying in Georgetown at a different marina.  We will catch up with them later on the route north.  They are from Duncan Bay Michigan.

Last year we were invaded by large flies in the Low Country south of Georgetown.  At times there were probably 10 to 15 on the boat and we solved the problem by going faster.  This year we had a couple of flies but they were not a problem. At most there were 3 in the cockpit at once.

We had a sport fisherman come up on us on plane on the ICW and he slowed down when he got right on our stern. I slowed down and we did a nice slow pass.  About 2 hours later there is a large boat coming up on us on plane and I slow down hoping he gets the hint.  Well it was the same sport fisherman.  I do not know where they stopped, but they must have found a place for lunch or fuel.

As we were cruising along I heard a lot of seagulls behind us and I looked around.  There must have been 20 seagulls flying around following us on the ICW.  They must have followed us for 10 miles. Sometimes they would fall back and some times they would be close.  I guess we got them to their territorial limits and they went back to home base.

We arrived in Georgetown and we are curious to see the Downtown.  They had a major fire last September and lost eight businesses/buildings along the harbor walk.  The buildings were totally consumed but the boardwalk next to the harbor is still intact so you can walk all the way around the fire site.  They have just finished up the cleanup because there was asbestos in the buildings so that had to be dealt with.  No word yet on rebuilding efforts by the building owners. These buildings only represents maybe 10% to 15% of the downtown businesses so while it is unfortunate, it could have been a lot worse.

Lenore remembers a couple of the shops she visited last year so we will stay here a couple of nights so she can revisit the shops and we can catch our breath a little.

 

Lady’s Island Marina, Beaufort, SC to St Johns Yacht Harbor, Charleston, SC — May 4, 2014

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01-Looking-Toward-Downtown-Beaufort-From-Ladys-Island-Marina

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08-Work-Barge-On-ICW-South-Of-Charleston

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12-Sunset-In-Charleston

Another good travel day with the sky clear and the sun shining. We left early not knowing exactly how the tides might effect the travel time.  It is hard to predict (for me) which way the water will flow.  There are so many inlets and rivers so it is hard to say if the tide going out, or in, will boost our speed or reduce it.

The tide was against us to start the day but for a good portion of the day we got an assist from the tides. We averaged about 1 mile an hour more than what we would travel in still water.

Today was Sunday and with the weather good there was a lot of local boaters out along the way and they all like to have their runabouts up on plane.  Those less than 20′ are not much of an issue but those in the mid 20 foot size and larger can cause some pretty good wakes.

There was a lot of traffic on the VHF radio and some was the Coast Guard who had a distress call from a boat about 70 miles out in the Atlantic from Charleston.  A lot of talk on channel 16 that was not distress related and I was somewhat surprised that the Coast Guard did not come on and say something about going to a working channel.

As we got within 20 miles of Charleston the traffic was really pretty heavy and my guess is most of these boaters have never heard of a safe boating class and would not attend one. For the most part the larger boats moving north are courteous to each other and call about passing and keep everyone informed of shallow water spots.

Not a lot of scenery today except for the “low country” along the ICW.  This is essentially land that is submerged during high tide and out of the water at low tide.  The tides we have been seeing since before Savannah are in the range of 6′ to 7′ and that can have quite an effect on the water levels near the channel edges when you get near low tide.  We have been fortunate to travel mostly during the rising and falling tides so we have a couple of extra feet to help us along.

We decided to stay at different marina in Charleston this year because we are planning only one night in Charleston and the distance to get Candy to grass was quite long at last years marina.  We chose another highly rated marina, St Johns Yacht Harbor.  Very nice place with all the amenities and everything is in great repair. Medium walk to get to the grass but Candy is fine with it.  They originally wanted to put us on a T head dock and I asked if they had any slips interior to the marina.  Within a minute or 2 we were assigned an inside slip that affords additional protection from the boat waked on the Stono River. There were a couple of times that it seemed like we had no protection from the wakes but it finally calmed down late in the evening.

 

Isle of Hope Marina, Savannah, GA to Lady’s Island Marina, Beaufort, SC — May 3, 2014

 

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01-Cruise-Ship-On-The-ICW-South-of-Savannah

 

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02-You-Have-To-Be-A-Special-Person-To-Drive-This

 

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03-Ray-And-Patti-From-Oh….Kay

 

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04-Savannah-Home-Near-Marina

 

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06-Savannah-Home-Near-Marina

 

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07-Savannah-Home-Near-Marina

 

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08-Savannah-Home-Near-Marina

 

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09-Savannah-Home-Near-Marina

 

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10-Leaving-Isle-of-Hope-Marina

 

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11-Low-Tide-Along-The-Rvier-at-Savannah

 

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12-Fellow-Travelers-Boat-At-Hinkley-Marine-in-Savannah

 

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16-We-Head-North-On-ICW-With-Container-Ship-On-Savannah-River

 

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17-Egrit-Along-The-ICW-In-South-Carolina

We left Isle Of Hope Marina today are back on the water.  We waited for some of the rain to pass but it never rained really bad in the Savannah area.  We had some work done on the boat to get the generator running again and replaced the battery charger. Fortunately everything went well.

The homes in the neighborhood around the marina were very interesting.  I took some pictures to give a sampling.  The setting with all the landscaping, large oak trees and the hanging moss is really dramatic.  The only problem is that we shared this with the no-seeums.  We have lots of bug bites to prove it.

Our friends on Moonstruck2 and Oh…..Kay left before us.  Moonstruck2 was on their way to Beaufort and Oh….Kay went to Hinkley’s Marina in Savannah to leave their boat for a month while they went back home to Colorado. We had a lot of laughs and made some friends along the way.

The day started out in the mid 60’s with plenty of clouds.  The weatherman said it would clear by about 1:00 in the afternoon. It did clear but we had a few sprinkles along the way. They did not last long and the cloud cover was actually good because it made it more comfortable cruising. The sky did clear about 2:00 and was sunny and cloudless the rest of the day.

The cruise was fairly uneventful. The only real exciting part was when we crossed the Savannah River.  There were a couple of large container ships that were on the river.  One was headed out to the Atlantic and the other was coming in.  The one headed out was stacked with containers 6 high on the deck and from side to side.  They certainly look top heavy when they are loaded like that.

Again most of the boat traffic on the ICW was headed north.  We passed several trawlers and several sailboats during the day.  I think most of them are from the New England Area and are headed home for the summer.

It is hard to believe that we are out of Georgia already and into South Carolina. The miles and the States are rolling by.

We called and tried to make reservations in Beaufort at the Downtown Municipal Marina but Beaufort is having a festival downtown this weekend and the marina is full. I looked over the other marina options in the area and the Lady’s Island Marina got great reviews and is just across the ICW from Downtown Beaufort.  We made reservations and it was a very nice place.  There were a lot of businesses in the area within walking distance and a good restaurant, Dockside, right next to the marina office.

I did take a walk and was able to find a bakery open and they had some fresh baked olive bread.  I bought a loaf and Lenore said it was really good after she had a sample. The Dockside restaurant was also very good.  Overall this was a great stop.

Georgetown to North Myrtle Beach SC — April 26, 2013

After last nights rain this morning dawned bright and clear.  We were able to get underway by about 8:00 and the water was fairly smooth and very little traffic.

The traffic picked up as we got into the Myrtle Beach area.  We also saw probably 12 different golf course along the way and if you look at the gondola pictures close, you can see they are outfitted to carry golf bags.

We made a stop along the way and purchased diesel at the lowest price we have seen so far on the trip.  Including the Boat US discount, diesel costs $3.38 per gallon.  Last night in Georgetown at the Harborwalk Marina their diesel was $4.15 per gallon.

The ICW was a broad river to start the day and progressively got narrower as we went along.  The character of the waterway has changed from the low country grass areas to tree lined with many trees in the water when it is near high tide.

After last night’s heavy rain we saw quite a few floating branches and mangrove type branches floating in the water.  Not to dissimilar to the floating debris that happens around home after heavy rains.  Most of the floating debris was gone by the time we had gone about 25 miles.

The last 1/3 of the trip was in the Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach area.  Lots of homes with the ones on the south end the less expensive type with larger homes toward the North side of Myrtle Beach.  The recession hit this area about as hard as most other areas. Many, many subdivisions where there are a handful of homes and they are scattered thru the development with huge open areas between the homes.  This is for the medium and high priced homes.  Many high priced homes on the North side of Myrtle Beach. One subdivision had quite a few homes with all the homes having a “Spanish” character to it yet each home was different.  Not sure how that were able to get all of the buyers to agree with the style type.

The marina we are staying in is the Barefoot Landing Marina which is a long dock on the East side of the ICW.  It is open for business but has changed ownership once already this year and will change to new owners again the 1st of May.  The large yacht basin across the ICW also has a new owner because it had been in bankruptcy.

Right next to our marina is a shopping center with 102 stores.  There are a number of restaurants in the shopping center.  Next to it are several more restaurants including a “Greg Norman Australian Grill”.  We went to a restaurant tonight, The Flying Fish, that had Happy Hour from 4 to 7 and the drinks and food on the Happy Hour Menu were 1/2 price.  Nice way to have dinner for two for less than $30.

We will be back on the water tomorrow because there is rain and thunderstorms headed this way for Sunday thru Tuesday and we may not be able to move for several days.

Charleston to Georgetown SC — April 24, 2013

Another great weather day for traveling.  You can see from the pictures there was no wind when we left in the morning and we had a moderate South wind when we arrived in Georgetown.

This section of the ICW is fairly straight without a lot of the bends and twists we have seen.  Some areas are pretty shallow.  We were behind 2 sailboats as we approached a tow that was heading South.  The lead sailboat indicated to the tow captain that he would like to pass port to port and that it was pretty shallow could the tow move over.  The Tow Captain said no.  He explained that he was technically aground. The water depth was 7 to 7 1/2 feet and he draws 8 feet of water.  The sailboat said they would pass on his starboard side.  Once we were by the tow, the water was a black color from all the mud the tow had pushed around.  A couple of miles later, I had passed the sailboats and the depth alarm went off and we scoured the bottom slightly with the props and I was just slightly left of center on the ICW.

The wind was out of the south and with us moving north at about 8 mph, the apparent wind was about zero.  We started to get these large flies in the cockpit.  I found out the locals call them mayflies.  They are about 3/8″ long and if you swat them they keep on flying even if you stunned them.  The longer we tried to get rid of them the more that came into the cockpit.  We finally went up on plane and at 22 mph we were able to get them out of the cockpit.  Once we were on the large river leading to Georgetown we did not see them anymore.  The locals said they are only around for about 3 weeks in the spring.

Georgetown is a great little community that really invests in their downtown and most of the stores have businesses in them.  It is nice to see that Walmart drive the downtown businesses out of town.  They have built a river walk and many of the restaurants are on this walk with some type of open air dining.  We went to an Italian restaurant, Portofino, last night and they had live entertainment in the bar that was very good and the restaurant was about 1/2 full for a Wednesday night.  Most of the dishes had butter and a cream sauce but we did get something worked out for Lenore.

I called the Piggly WIggly market today and they came and gave me a ride from the marina to the market and back.  Some what of a small market but they had most of the things we had on the list.  They even accommodated me with a courtesy Piggly Wiggly card to give me the special prices.

Right now it is raining and we have had several thunderstorms roll thru but it is supposed to be all over by 8:00 tonight.  Candy is hiding even though she has her thunder-shirt on.

 

Beaufort to Charleston, SC — April 22, 2013

Started late this morning. Lenore slept in and we finally decided to leave at about 9:00. It was cold, cloudy and moderate winds. The weather did improve as we moved north and we had sun for most of the afternoon.

We were on the water for 8 hours so it was approximately 5:20 when we arrived in Charleston.

For the most part the ICW along this section is undeveloped.  There are large stretches that are the really low country with grassy islands and no trees.  The last 20 miles had quite a few homes along the waterway.  Some of the homes needed a dock several hundred feet long to get to the river.  We did pass one dock that had a sunken sailboat in front of it.  You will need to look closely at the picture to see the mast and what appears to be the radar dome sticking above the waterline.  The tide was coming in so the radar dome would probably be covered at high tide.

The last cutoff from the Ahsley River to the Charleston River had about 3.5 mph of current against us for the first mile. Fortunately this cutoff is not to long and it widens out a little for the north portion.

First impressions are that Charleston is a busy town and the marinas seemed full. We originally called the City Marina and they were full. They suggested that we call the Harborage at Ashley Marina and they did have room for us.   We did not hear any of the other boats having any issues finding a slip at the other marinas on the radio, so maybe it was just the downtown marinas.

The harbor front has probably 1/2 dozen mega yachts moored. The marinas appear to be about 50-50 between sailboats and power boats.

The Marina is a modern facility with floating docks and the Trex type wood for the dock surfaces.  Docks are wide enough but I do not like the way they did the anchor posts thru the walkway.  It does keep the slips open but the walk is interrupted by the posts.

I noticed 4 or 5 Looper Burgees on the boats last night so a representation for the Loopers.  Many of the Loopers are headed North to the Rendezvous in Norfolk, May 6th to 9th.  We are not attending but we are still headed North.  Still 470 Miles to Norfolk area.

Bahia Blue Marina to Downtown Beaufort SC Marina — April 19, 2013

The forecast for the day Friday was thunderstorms in the PM with some possibly strong.  I checked the weather radar first thing in the morning and the weather front was 300 miles west so we left.  It was a great ride along the ICW with no issues.

We passed Hilton Head Island and saw the lighthouse at the Hilton Head Marina.  The PGA is playing the Heritage Open there this week at the Harbor Town Golf Links.  We were less than a mile from the lighthouse but the clouds were heavy and the visibility was not great but we have a few pictures.

A nice resort area along the way with many nice homes along the ICW.  Lenore was able to get some good pictures as the visibility improved later in the morning.  Most of this area is known as low country and many marshes in the area.  Large areas look like islands but really are just marsh grass areas that the land is water covered during high tides and mud during low tides.

The winds started getting stronger as the morning went on and the weather front got closer.  By the time we arrived at the Beaufort SC Downtown Marina the winds must have been blowing 25 to 30 mph.  My first attempt at docking did not go well and we then tried at another dock a little further into the marina.  The second time was a charm and the dock master has two of the regular boaters to help and everything went well.  The rains arrived about 6:30 and we had quite a storm with lots of rain throughout the night.  The weather on Saturday was cloudy and cold to start but improved as the day went along.

The Beaufort SC waterfront is very nice with a park all along the seawall and restaurants and clubs on the inside edge.  The downtown area has a lot of stores with art galleries, clothing stores, jewelry, and more.  Candy and I have walked most of the downtown area and downtown was actually very busy on Saturday afternoon.

The marina does have a courtesy car that can be used for an hour at a time and is 1st come 1st served.  This was more than enough time to go to the local grocery store for provisions.

Lenore has a cold so I think we will be staying in Beaufort at least one more day before moving on to Charleston.