Georgetown, NCHot and Humid
Yesterday we spent the night off the town docks in Georgetown, SC. Another nice town, but we don't have much to do except take nice walks. I don't know why I gravitate towards towns when there are so many beautiful secluded anchorages out there. My anchor dragged in a light thunderstorm due to not enough room to lay out scope, but I reset it without too much trouble. The rest of the night it held.
Shattered DreamsHot and buggy
While walking with the dogs we came across this old boat. At one time it must have been somebody's Tropical Dreamer.
A secluded Anchorage 35 miles from Charlestoncool night
We cruised about 35 miles today. I was going to stop in a town for the night but it wasn't much different from the other towns so we pressed on another hour and by about 5:00 p.m. arrived at this anchorage. It is secluded, deep, and there is plenty of room. It got blustery as the sun went down but we held fine and the wind turbine put out a lot of power in the wind. Tomorrow I'll drop the dingy and take the dogs to shore in this nice spot across the way and then either head the rest of the way to Charleston or break the trip into two parts since it is so beautiful out here. South Carolina cruising is spectacular no matter what the season.
Dawn At Bucksport AnchorageKeith, cool, still, mozzie prone
I didn't sleep much, only 5 hours or so, but it was enough to get me through to today. And what a day. I took the dogs for a nice long walk unleashed (there was nobody around to say otherwise) and headed off early. I cruised over 20 miles through this wide deep river. It was quite beautiful and idyllic. And hot. I arrived to Georgetown, SC in the early afternoon and settled down to rest until the heat of the day passed. I was awoken from my nap when a thunderstorm started to develop and Anne got a little needy - it was nice. The wind started blowing and, long story short, my anchor drug into a moored boat. No big deal, I freed it and released it and re-anchored and we've held since - I hear more thunderstorms in the distance - it may be an active night. Dropped the dingy and took the dogs to do an initial exploration of the town. It is extensive. And hot. I've been sweating a lot. Trying to rehydrate with beer, water, whatever I can get down. The sun is finally starting to go down so it should cool off a bit. I may head back into town by myself to try and find an air conditioned pub or restaurant or something. 402 miles down the ICW so far. Mixed feelings about this. Sometimes I love it and can't imagine doing anything else, sometimes I wish I had my air conditioned old life back. I do wish more people were traveling this path with me. Maybe later.
Almost 1/2 WayKeith, there is a slight cool before the dawn breeze
I managed a few hours of sleep on the dog's bed so I could keep the fan on me. Both dogs moved to the floor over the course of the evening - it must be cooler there. I started to get bit by something and awoke. Anne is snoring. It is still dark - I can see the lights of Mirtle Beach in the far distance. I think I'm going to sneak over to that showerhouse before everyone wakes up. Then I'll come back and take the dogs for a walk, clean up the boat a bit, and follow my parent's advice and move along. There is a larger town that I should be able to get to by early afternoon. I can park there for a bit and try and get some things done. It sure is quiet out here.
Heading Through South CarolinaKeith, H and H
South Carolina bridges have a warning not previously evident to me. Puts a whole new twist on the concept of no turning back. I'm anchored tonight off Buckskin Marina about 30 miles into SC. It is dark here tonight with only a sliver of moon. It is also hot, muggy, buggy, and swampy. I've got the little fan going full tilt clipped onto the table where I'm writing. It helps. The dogs are hanging out on deck. I've been trying to rehydrate for the last 1/2 hour. I'm, 4/6ths through my ice supply for the day and I'm on my third diet soda (I watch my sugar intake, thus the "diet"), having gone through all the cold water in the fridge. I almost passed by this anchorage because it was so hot when I arrived at around 4:00 p.m. I figured I would just press on and at least have the breeze the comes from moving, but another 10 miles after the 35 already traveled just seemed too much. This place is actually cozy in a sticky southern swampy sort of way. After the sun went down we dingied to the marina, which was pretty much empty. I checked out the bathroom/shower house and it was unlocked and air conditioned. It felt so good in there I actually hung out inside with the dogs for several minutes just enjoying the AC. This is the muggiest place we've been yet. I applied 100% deet bug spray when the first skeeter hit through my shirt and have been reapplying as needed. Fortunately I have a large supply of deet. There is a small live aboard community here, if you can call it that. It is more like subsistance boating. I met some of the local characters since I am the main attraction this week. They confirmed that there is absolutely nothing to do here. The marina hasn't had a paying customer in weeks. No work for anyone. No commerce in the area. I asked how they get food and supplies and got blank looks. I was treated to a dim flashlight exibition of the little gater that plies the shore of the marina. I am informed that water snakes also inhabit these waters. This didn't stop Jake from attempting to play in the water in the pitch dark. He could not understand why I was so insistent he stay on dry land. If there is a demarkation between north and south on this trip, I think it lies here at this anchorage. Tropical Dreamer is the nicent accomodation around tonight so I suppose I'll just enjoy it. Should be a bit more comforable in bed since I replaced my Ralph Loren comforter in the forward cabin with a single cotton sheet.
Sunset At Calabash AnchorageKeith
08/04/2008, Border of NC and SC
As I type this it is dark. Very dark. There is a sliver of moon but that is all. No town lights tonight. I can hear the animals and insects in the forest beyond the shoreline some 100 yards away. That is all. This screen is putting out a huge light and when I finish this post I will shut 'er down and experience this night. The dogs still on deck and I'll probably have to force them to come inside tonight if I don't fall asleep out there myself. Another shot of bug spray then before I go out. Goodnight.
Anne On The GuidesKeith, hot
08/04/2008, Calabash, NC anchorage
We arrived at Calabash creek anchorage around 2:30 p.m., which is a really hot part of the day at this place at this time. You may have gathered that from all the winging I've been doing about the heat lately. First item of business after anchoring was putting up the sun awning, which makes a huge difference in the temperature of the cockpit and makes the whole deck into a shaded area. Now that we're at South Carolina, my awesome collection of charts is broken. The ICW Chartbook is still good through the Keys. It's really all I need. The North Carolina Guide and waterproof map set is of no use to me anymore for now and gets stored tomorrow. The author of that book wrote a South Carolina/Georgia guide which I will buy when I come across it, but it has a lot of information I don't really need. Still, it is fun to know more about where we're cruising and you never know. I already may need to stop into a marina for a thing or two depending on whether I can take care of them myself without sinking the boat. Skipper Bob's book about anchorages on the ICW has been very useful. Simple, to the point, just enough extra information for what is needed. It won't be my last volume purchased from his family (the Skipper himself passed on I understand). Anyway, the dogs have picked up on the value which I hold the charts and guidebooks. Indeed, they are what keep me on track for the hundreds and hundres of miles I've cruised so far in the last few years. Since the chartbooks are important, the dogs like to lay on them. I guess doing so makes the dog important too. I can't tell you how many times I've had to fish out a particular guidebook from underneath the belly of a dog, usually Jake. This time, it was Anne. No matter, I won't be needing some of them after today. The pamphlet on top is the periodic publication of the Seven Seas Cruising Association, which is an organization for people who live on sailboats and cruise in them throughout the world. I can just about make it down the ICW with my dogs without hurting myself or others. The China Sea... well lets first make it to Charlston.
Dingy To The Mud Shores Along The Way To Calabash, NCKeith, hot but bearable
Calabash, NC AnchorageKeith, very hot but stable and clear
I cruised 25 miles from Southport to here today. I crossed the border to South Carolina this afternoon, but this anchorage is slighly backtracking back into NC. It was a pretty uneventful passage today with deep water almost all the way and current with me most of the time. I've been lucky to have the current going with me most of the way from Oriental, but I sometimes think it is the bad weather to the south becking me with good currents and I will pay the price later. I passed several inlets today, which are striking to experience because you can see the open Atlantic and there are always currents and shoals adjacent to an inlet. This particular anchorage is evidently the only good anchorage in these parts. It is quite nice, I must say. At first I anchored too close to the center of the channel and the large ferry or whatever it was blew its horn at me, which hurt my feelings. I pulled up and anchored much closer to the shore and seem to be doing fine. Dropped the dingy, put on the little engine, and rowed the dogs ashore to play. The shore was like quick sand, but the squishy muddy sand felt kind of good in the hot sun. After the dogs were back on board the mothership, I took off by myself to town, reputed to serve excellent seafood. The dingy was going really fast with just one person and the 3.5 horsepower engine, but the engine is not altogether reliable and sometimes dies or threatenes to die, whether because it is out of gas or for some other reason. It's not a bad engine, just rather basic. I should have brought the honda 2 hp as a backup, but I was planning to head north and I thought I could get it when I passed back through Oriental... and that's neither here nor there now since I'm a long way south already and not going back north as of this moment. As the guidebook predicted, I was rather underwhelmed with the quality of the seafood in Calabash in spite of the town's reputation, but the air conditioning and the several large glasses of 1/2 sweet/1/2 regular ice tea were very welcome. I got the deluxe seafood platter, which has a bit of everything they serve. I've got enough leftovers to last at least all of tomorrow. I gave the fried oysters to the dogs to enjoy with their dinner tonight since oysters gross me out still no matter how they're cooked. Still an hour or so until the sun goes down, then maybe it will cool down a bit - maybe not. We'll be ok either way.
Singer Family Adventures
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