A mere day ago we couldn’t help but wonder where was all that famous southern hospitality? Not to say we hadn’t encountered some; we had, but we wanted a bigger taste. We found it today at Osprey Marina. We’d heard that Osprey Marina in the Myrtle Beach area had THE best diesel price and dockage was only $1/ft. Checked ActiveCaptain and the reviews were outstanding. Fuel tanks were getting low and we calculated that we could make it there. Our Tank Tender, a pressure based system that measures the water tanks and the fuel tanks has never worked quite right and we always have more water and fuel than the gauge shows- better that than less. This time we’d be putting in more than ever- a good price- albeit rising every few days, would be welcomed. Departing Georgetown was a decision made easier with Osprey only 30 miles north. We could pick up those provisions in the morning and still arrive before 4pm. In the last 5 or so miles before our stop we saw one Osprey nest after another, most set on top of the ICW green and red markers and they all contained Ospreys. Must be the season.
We turn into the marina’s narrow tree-lined channel and as Russ had his “A” game on, he had no trouble maneuvering in tight quarters and up to the fuel dock. Miles, the dockmaster, gave us a friendly greeting, complimented our boat and quickly got us the fuel hose. He then went up to the pump and kept us apprised of the gallons so we’d know the amount in each tank. As Russ tells it, I nearly toppled overboard taking a picture of a turtle who was curious about our fenders. We then discussed where to put us; only one night? He’d put us on their new dock and since it was just across the basin, we’d need a golf cart to get back and forth. I switched our fenders and lines while Russ made a tight turn to get us off the fuel dock and over to our spot for the night. Miles arrived with the cart. We’d beaten him to the dock there and I’d jumped off with the lines. Here comes my favorite part: Miles has the stern line, I have the bow and need to know which cleat he wants me to tie to. “the farthest one?”, I say and in that casual but respectful southern style, he responds, ” yes m’am.” Remember, it’s the little things. We all drove up to the office and along the way got a quick background on the place. At check-in we get a goodie bag filled with useful stuff and info. Cheese and crackers- yes, an 8oz block of real cheese. A local Italian restaurant/pizzeria offers a pickup service from the marina. Nothing is within walking distance. We call for a 6pm pickup, but with poor cell service we couldn’t be sure both sides were on the same plan.
Up we zoom in our cart and at 6pm the marina staff closes up and we chat about how yummy the food is at Scatori’s. Fifteen minutes later we are still waiting, but then a minivan pulls up- no, wait, it’s the manager, returning to get something she forgot. She insists on taking us to the restaurant (5miles away) and we try to call to tell them we have a ride, figuring maybe our signals got crossed. Turns out they were just late. We hadn’t been seated in our booth 5mins, when a man from two booths away stops by and says he’s on “C” dock, saw us driving in the cart looking dressed (jeans is dressed?) for dinner. Thought we might be needing a ride, (but we stayed talking in the main building and didn’t come out), but wasn’t sure. If we needed a ride back, let him know. His wife waved from the booth and we knew – finally getting a taste of authentic southern hospitality. We took advantage of the Lowe’s Foods next door and when ready to go, the restaurant drove us back.
Yes, Scarlett, the South still has it! Soon after, the biggest thunder/lightning/rain storm we’ve encountered so far passed over. The sky was lit up from all directions and a boat-cleaning rain pelted down for quite some time. No wind to speak of, or if it did exist, our dock was nicely protected amongst the trees.