We (me and all of you!) have arrived at a milestone- my 500th post! Can you imagine? I can’t and I’ve been dreading this one. How to make it worthy of such a lofty accomplishment. Where would we be? What topic would grab your attention? And now as I sit here, with 499 posts under my fingers, I acknowledge that I’ve said it all before. Sure, the photos are different but the trip is much the same. I look back to older posts and wonder who penned such witty prose, so clever and at times mildly informative? Frankly dear Followers, I’m losing steam.
So my friends, to those of you who’ve read every damn post, I raise my glass, offer up a donut and salute you for following along on this nomadic life Russ and I have led for seven years!! Even if you haven’t read them all (you are the more normal ones) 🙂 I’m still happy and blessed you are here. Without further preamble, let’s get to this!
Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than… well not much, but hey we crossed into South Carolina the morning of May 8 and greeted North Carolina in the early afternoon of May 11. AND, we stopped in Charleston for one night.
The weather dictates so much of how and when we travel, as I may have mentioned a time or two; thus Plan A and B are usually readily available. Two nights at St John’s Yacht Harbor was the plan, but when we did the long view, which included being at Carolina Beach for Britts Donuts (only open Friday-Sunday for now), one night in Charleston would have to suffice.
You can get the most out of a day if you arrive early, and with a favorable current push the entire way- a minor miracle- Twins was secured to the dock by 11am. Fantastic dockhands and we were glad to give the marina our business. You may recall that last fall we anchored across the river because due to Matthew the docks required repairs, but the marina offered their amenities free to anchored boats. We’d stayed there twice before and always use the loaner car (always in good shape) for the two hours allotted.
This time we used Uber to get into downtown Charleston. Later, at 6pm we took the last slot for the car and shopped at Publix, picked up some of Melvin’s famous pulled pork and slaw for dinner. The liquor shops close at 7pm, which we forgot and so no chance for a bottle of Firefly’s Southern Lemonade Vodka. A one night stay meant no time to get to the Firefly Distillery.
Wed, May 10 we pushed on, finally beginning to see a few more sailboats; namely the ones who skipped GA and southern South Carolina. The big question of the day was, “could we all get through McClellanville without going aground?” We had almost five feet of tide but the tide would be falling, not rising.
This five-mile stretch spells trouble if you move more than 20ft off the “magenta line” in some spots when the tide is lower than mid-ish. I made sure Russ knew that through this stretch he was not to veer off the magenta line and certainly he wasn’t to move off it toward the “green” side; since we were headed north, that would be our starboard or right side. Practically the last thing any boat wants on the ICW is to go aground on a falling tide, so be careful here.
We could hear several boats ahead of us- chatter on the VHF was the clue. We caught up to a sailing cat and Russ hailed them that we’d like to pass on their starboard/right/green side. Hey- what did I tell you???? You guys know- see above- do not go toward green side!! So he moves maybe 20ft over and changes his mind. Yes, I do serve a purpose other than galley-slave :-).
Then we get to a short stretch where the advice is to absolutely be on the magenta line, it’s about one –half mile south of Jeremy Creek… and I see the sail cat move slightly toward the green side-uh oh- honey don’t follow. Captain announces, “we grounded.” We pass very slowly favoring the red side of the magenta line and call off depths- 7ft, 7.4ft- so yes, more water here. I mean how much does this cat draw? Couldn’t be much more than 4 ft. Yikes. This wouldn’t be so bad except the tide was just past mid falling tide- so not even low yet. They got themselves unstuck after a few minutes and turned into Jeremy Creek.
Our day ended at Bucksport Marina and RV Park- yep we felt right at home :-). Fueled up with diesel at $1.96/gal that had just been delivered that day and at a lower price. Over the last seven years we have watched this place (upper Waccamaw apprx 4 miles south of Osprey Marina) slowly become a viable marina. Recent favorable reviews enticed us as did the .75/ft dockage. Reviews also spoke of this yummy country sausage they sold; some of you may know we really like sausage and try to keep a variety in our freezer.
In the North Myrtle Beach area are two marinas opposite each other; both with Barefoot in their name. These cool water pedal-board gizmos came from Barefoot Landing Marina which is a long face dock right next to the Barefoot Landing Shops & dining complex. Not sure what they are or how they operate but I’d be willing to find out!
An hour later we crossed into North Carolina; our nights’ destination South Harbor Village Marina and …..