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arrow heads south
11/14/2011, St. Simons Island

Morning on the Rockdedundy River.

Poked into the Rockdedundy around low tide - just before the Little Mud River passage that is too shallow at low tide - and spent a quiet night at anchor in, again, lovely marsh surroundings. Then on the morning's high tide we headed into the Little Mud with about 4 other sailboats only to have to pull over to the side as an intercoastal cruise liner, the Independence, came through headed north.

It was a short 20 nm run to St. Simons Island where we are tied up at a marina and planning to have dinner ashore. We think that tomorrow we will move down to Jekyll Island (high tide again required) and spend the day there.

Not far to FL now...

Back to the marsh
11/12/2011, Redbird Creek, GA

Redbird at low tide.

Early breakfast at a gucci coffee shop and then back on the ICW. Sunny, mid-60's, with calm wind, made it a good day for motoring. We gave Savannah a miss, went right past Moon River (wider than a mile), and after about 42 miles we have anchored in this creek behind Ossabaw Island. Should be a peaceful night, and the next couple of days look like slightly warmer repeats.

Pump fix
11/11/2011, Harbor Town, Hilton Head Island

Harbor Town Lighthouse

The happy diesel is purring again, and not spewing sea water from the sea water pump. The new pump arrived overnight, but it was discovered that the replacement pumps supplied by Yanmar have an inlet diameter of 19.5 mm, not 17 per original, and our inlet hose is 16mm. The local Yanmar dealer who got the pump, Marine Tech Sevices, was very helpful in supplying what we needed and bringing the stuff to us. They were swamped with work, so arrow's
Chief Mechanic did the install while the Admiral explored the Harbor Town area.

Cold last night and cool today... everybody is complaining.

Tied up
11/10/2011, Hilton Head island

We spent two nights at anchor in pretty spots with calm weather, one north of Beaufort, SC, and one south. The daytime temperatures have been in the 70's, and we have had regular entertainment by pelicans and porpoises as we motor'd along. Some of the navigating has been tedious - the Chief Navigator (aka Admiral) reports that we were in 11 named rivers, creeks, and land cuts yesterday. Anyway, last night we were behind some marshy islands across the river from Paris Island. So early this morning the entertainment wafting across the river was the enthusiastic shouting of Marines as they greeted the new day in unison.

We pulled into Harbor Town, Hilton Head, around lunchtime today, and we plan to stay two nights. The Captain is not of the golf-shirt-and-gold-chain persuasion, but the Admiral can pass, so we probably would be permitted into some of the shops offering trinkets for the unthrifty.

More mechanical adventures: the aft bilge again contains nothing but some dust, but the front engine area around the raw water pump is accumulating salt deposits. After investigation, a new pump is coming overnight from NJ to be installed by the Chief Mechanic (aka Captain) tomorrow. The shops will just have to make do.

Wapoo, Ashepoo?
11/08/2011, Stono River, SC

Yesterday, 11/7, we had a lovely motor-sail through the marshes and then behind Isle of Palms to arrive in Charleston in early afternoon. Tied up at the City Marina at a specified, long dock mainly occupied by mega-yachts. Our arrow looked like a sailing dinghy for some of these things. (We put a record 15.9 gallons of diesel into our tank, but we saw a couple of sales of 600+ gallons.) Anyway, we took the free shuttle to a grocery store to restock the boat, then had a very nice seafood dinner at a modest place next to the marina.

This morning, 11/8, we planned a near-noon departure to minimize adverse currents - tidal range here is about 5 ft, and it will be up to 9 ft in GA we are told. In doing maintenance checks in the morning, the Captain discovered about a half-pint of water under the Volvo shaft seal - a rubber gadget that lets the propellor shaft into the boat, but supposedly not the sea water. Perhaps over influenced by old-friend Evan's aphorism (in a different transportation modality) that "at the center of any traffic incident you will find a Volvo," the Captain feared that the seal was going bad. This would require a haul out to fix.

Fortunately there is a large Beneteau dealer next to the marina. The service manager there said, in Frenglish, that these seals do not go bad, the small leak likely is due to a fixed seal at the outboard end of the stern tube, and that this could be fixed at haul out next spring since a little water in the bilge never hurt anyone. In any case, the area remained dry today, and the Captain has mellowed.

When we left Charleston we ended up milling about the area next to the Wappoo River drawbridge for an hour while electricians tried to get the damn thing to open. Finally it lifted, and we motored south for a little over 3 hours to anchor in a pretty place that is a mixture of marshes and higher ground.

The Admiral wishes to report that it was sunny and in the 70's today, with light wind - no more longjohns or morning gloves, it is hoped.

Too cold for shrimp
11/06/2011, McClellanville, SC

No moss on the Captain.

Up before sunrise, and herein lies a problem. The Captain is falling asleep after dinner, a couple glasses of wine, a brief read, and then ready to roll early. The Admiral is having difficulty becoming operational early, regardless of sleep time. But the tide waits for nobody.

We rode the tide down the Waccamaw, doing at times over 8 knots over-the-ground with the happy diesel purring quietly. A nice current continued as we turned into a cut through miles of marsh bordering the ocean. So we went further/faster than planned, and we are now a day from Charleston. We didn't know there was so much marshland in SC.

This afternoon we followed a narrow gut into the marsh to the end of the world. Nothing but marsh for miles and miles. We anchored as the wind began to come up. Checking the updated weather prediction, a windy night was expected, and we didn't want to be blown away with the mosquitos. So we went back a ways to the old Scottish fishing village of McClellanville and tied up at a marina filled with shrimp boats. We are told that the shrimpers likely will not go out at their usual 5 am because the "cold" weather has shutoff the catch.

Walked around the town to look at the old buildings and beautiful old trees with Spanish moss. Nothing is open on Sunday, and there is almost nothing to be open at any time. So we expect a quiet night even if/when the wind starts to howl again.

We think the weather is slowly warming up...

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Who: Jack and Terry
Port: Baltimore, MD
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