Parked At The Service Dock At The Palmetto Marina In Hilton Head
15 August 2008
Keith, hot and humid
The ICW follows the Beaufort River Past Port Royal and across the Port Royal Sound for a total distance of about 30 miles from Beaufort to Hilton Head. The Sound crossing is about 5 miles and takes an hour just to do that crossing. I took a wrong turn and would have headed out to sea had I not figured that I should be seeing land. Otherwise, it was a great cruise and the weather cleared up along the way. I made previous arrangements to stop at a marina/boatyard here that seemed motivated to assist me with the minor mechanical and maintenance issues that were building up. I arrived yesterday afternoon and their crew got right on the job. Tropical Dreamer now sports two new house batteries and a fully functioning primary bilge pump with working automatic float switch to turn the pump on and off when needed. Today they will install a secondary pump just in case the first one fails while away from repairs. That will give me well over 2000 gallons per hour in case I spring a leak or something while offshore (assuming I ever get offshore, but that's another discussion). The packing gland problem is on the agenda today, as well as new engile oil and all new filters. I rely a lot on the engine and want to keep it in as good working order as I can. There are several other small jobs that I may have them knock off depending on how they do on the bigger stuff. Last night I met a nice German couple who live on their boat with their dog here at the marina when not cruising up and down the east coast of the US. They've never crossed to the Bahamas or gone further than Florida. They took me with them to this incredible park where a group assembled with their dogs for an informal dog park. Then the German couple walked me back to the marina, stopping along the way at a great place to let the dogs swim (evidently one needs to be careful of gaters here). They offered to take me to the grocery store, but I'm pretty stocked for now. Last night I had all the power I could want for TV, computer, lights, even air conditioning. It got so chilly I had to put on flannel pants. Nice change of pace. This morning I awoke and took the dogs for a walk before meeting the mechanic to review the day's jobs. We'll be hanging out here for at least today, and perhaps until Monday, depending on how long it takes to get things done. That's ok. This is a really nice area. Just this dock space would cost $100 a day in this neighborhood but it is free while I'm getting service. There are several restaurants and a general store and a few bars in the marina complex that I might try while I'm here. Being parked in a safe, stable place with electricity is also a good opportunity to get some business-related things done. Then, once I depart here, I'm going to make a sincere push to get through Georgia and begin to bear down on southern Florida.