One of the consistently pretty stretches of the AICW is the Waccamaw River between Georgetown and Myrtle Beach, SC. Wide, but not too wide and lined with cypress trees in various stages of life, many housing an osprey nest. Very warm temps and low winds allowed us to open our front panel daytime and use the bug screen at night. Very seldom can we do this so it was a welcome change and a better view too.
No matter where we are neither our ICW flip chart nor our Garmin charts show “what lies beyond” so unless we go ashore, check Google maps or pull out a Waterway Cruising Guidebook we don’t see beyond what our eyes and spyglass can see. I’ll return to this thought in another post ( if I remember!)
Osprey Marina expected us on Friday May 9 so we had time to dally yet still arrive mid-morning. Myriad creeks extend like spindly legs off the Waccamaw; some provide a place or two to anchor while others have more down than upside. Prince Creek had beckoned us for years and this trip made the “stop at” list. It began and ended at the Waccamaw, making for a scenic two mile side trip even if you didn’t plan to anchor. Reviews warned that depending on the size of your boat, the creek might be too narrow for its depth; meaning you had to let out so much anchor chain/rode that even at a minimal scope you might swing too close to shore. We’d see for ourselves.
Two attempts and 20 mins later we departed while I searched for another spot.
Fortunately Bull Creek a mile north sounded good and looked wider. The heat wave continued (today hit 92!) a bit of breeze while anchored would be great. Deep too; we found 20+ feet until rounding the first bend- wow- 14 ft in a spot about the size of a queen sized bed. Russ made a bull’s-eye (oh, no pun intended) anchor drop and as we let out chain the depth increased to 18+ feet as we slowly moved away from the anchor. Alone, except for turtles, herons and egrets… well, that we saw, but we heard much more. As darkness fell around 8:30 a very distinctive owl hooting caught my attention. Our well-used Roger Tory Peterson Eastern Birds guidebook assured us that a Barred Owl was calling out in the cypress swamp nearby.
Although we are a full month later than usual a few osprey still had chicks in the nest.
The channel leading in to Osprey marina looks narrow at first but is plenty wide for the dock, and several boats.
So protected that wind, waves and current are simply not an issue. Our spot on the newly extended “V” dock was behind m/v Transition and m/v Laura D. For 13 nights Ortolan would be calling this spot “home”. Just boats, snakes, fish and more turtles.