Charleston, SC is usually one of our favorite stops, but not so much in this year of COVID, especially as we have encountered less & less precautions the further south we travel. While we did stop at a marina in Charleston for a few nights, it was more for the essentials, rather than gallivanting around as tourists. Boring essentials such as having a replacement A/C delivered, our mail sent, buying groceries & donuts! Well … 3 out of 4 ain’t bad. A new air conditioner to replace our only-3-year-old one arrived on-time to the marina. Our mail, however, did not. A month ago we had our mail sent (from our mail service in Florida) Priority Mail to meet us in Maryland, but it never arrived. Apparently the package had been torn open en-route with most of our mail individually making it back to Florida. So planning our arrival in Charleston we had our remaining mail & some new mail sent UPS to our marina. This time – lost, taken or stolen! UPS doesn’t care, as they claim it arrived. The marina doesn’t care, as they accept packages, but don’t keep track of them. All of our mail from the last 2 months is simply gone, most of it important, such as our U. S. Coast Guard Documentation, Florida absentee ballots & so on. While we don’t exactly have a hard life, it is sometimes challenging – Thank goodness for donuts!
Otherwise, our trip south has been quite smooth, considering all. Boat traffic has been light as we have been a week or two ahead of most other boats. For the first time south in 10 years, we have not had to avoid or adjust our travel for any hurricanes or tropical storms. Rain has been fairly scarce, severe cold fronts minor & winds mostly lowish. Funding for & dredging of the ICW has been the best in many years, although dredging can never keep up with all of the silting, especially where the ICW intersects with other rivers, creeks & inlets. Planning for mileage, tides & currents is an ongoing chore. Although the combination of our boat requiring only 3′ of water & Navionics SonarCharts we use on our iPad greatly lessen our concerns. Navionics SonarCharts are enhanced with crowd-sourced depths, rather than relying solely on government obtained depth surveys which could be 1 year, or 80 years old! This example is of the Brickhill River, a detour off of the ICW in Cumberland Island, Georgia. If you simply go down the middle, you’ll definitely go hard aground at low tide (which boats routinely do). But SonarCharts indicates that if you really, really hug the north shore, there is a very narrow band with over 10′! Not always perfect, but definitely a help! Not sure how we survived our early cruising years with our state-of-the-art $6,000 Garmin chartplotter – in many difficult areas of shallow water, the screen would show nothing but light blue across the channel without depths or any detail to help!
Not every day you get to see Roseate spoonbills frolicking out your window! Darn – This may be our view for the next week as our boat insurance doesn’t allow us to travel south of Cumberland Island, Georgia prior to November 1 due to the hurricane season (unless we are granted an exemption).