Turtle Club Board Meetings Are In Session
04 April 2013 | Southport, North Carolina
After enjoying dinner the previous evening at the nearby restaurant with the shrimp boat "Grey Ghost" docked out front and Grace at anchor in within view, on Saturday, March 23rd at 10:45 AM we departed from Kilkenny Creek, transiting 1 opening bridge, and dropping the hook as the only boat in the Herb River near Thunderbolt, Georgia. While it was sunny with temps in the 70s and not too windy on Sunday we dinghied up river to the local restaurant. Sunday and Monday nights another boat joined us. Tuesday night we had the anchorage to ourselves again. Kevin repositioned the transparent fuel filter; the next morning the fuel had leaked out of it.
At 11:45 AM on Wednesday we were underway until 3 PM when we dropped the hook as the only boat in Bull Creek. We tested clamping off the fuel line and the result the next morning was that the transparent filter was full, which indicated that previously fuel had been getting beyond the carburetor float valve.
Thursday morning's entertainment came in the form of a ship of young pirates hailing from nearby Hilton Head, South Carolina; we exchanged "ARRRRR"s from our respective bows as we departed at 11:30 AM with a bald eagle soaring overhead, and the engine having very poor acceleration. About 45 minutes later, we turned off the engine, and as we drifted in the wide river Kevin checked the reverse gear oil, which required topping off; after which the engine would not start; the tap of a screw driver on the starter solenoid remedied the situation and we were immediately underway again. We were able to motorsail for a bit, and after stopping for marina services in Port Royal the screw driver did not do the trick, so the hammer was put to use; Kevin's comment: "Honestly, it's like driving a Chevy Biscayne". At 5:30 PM we anchored for our first time off Historic Downtown Beaufort, using two anchors.
Friday morning Kevin cleaned the carburetor twice and replaced the float valve assembly. We dinghied to both shores to enjoy some of the restaurants and refill a propane tank.
Whacking the starter was required again for our 9:30 AM departure on Saturday, despite the successful non-whacking-starts in between the previous days' work on the carburetor; the engine got a good warm up before one anchor was retrieved into the dinghy and the second anchor using the windlass. Motorsailing again, yet with no idle issues, we pulled into Church Creek further than we ever had in our previous times, where there was 15' of charted water depth, and an hour before low tide we were aground in 3+ feet of water; fortunately the wind we were searching for better protection from helped us fill the genoa, and move back out towards the mouth where moments later we were anchored at 5:30 PM, sharing the anchorage with 4 other boats for the night.
Another whacking start got us going at 9:30 AM on Sunday, which was timed in order to transit Elliot Cut at slack tide. After passing by Charleston Harbor, and then waiting about 40 minutes for the second opening bridge of the day, the light rain stopped and the sun came out for most of the remainder of the day's passage, which concluded at 6 PM, anchoring as the only boat for our first time in Awendaw Creek, where a pod of dolphins surfaced to greet us both upon our entry and our departure the next morning. Evening rain was brief, followed by the howling wind calming down for a good night's rest.
Before Monday morning's 9:15 departure Kevin replaced the solenoid with an onboard spare. Motorsailing, plus a favorable current, brought us to being the only boat overnight for our first time in an oxbow off the lovely Waccamaw River, with two anchors down at 5:45 PM.
At 8:45 AM Tuesday we were underway, transiting 3 opening bridges, and pulling into a slip for our first time at Lightkeepers Marina in Little River, South Carolina at 1:30 PM. A borrowed car helped us get to auto parts and grocery stores.
We castoff on Wednesday at 8:15 AM and stopped for marina services shortly before pulling up to the free city dock in Southport, North Carolina at 3 PM. A walk about town took us to the library and a riverfront table for dinner.
During these passages we have seen a total of 8 bald eagles, numerous dolphin, a sea turtle, and dozens of freshwater turtles. Can you make out the board meeting of the local chapter that was in session in the above shot?