Retail on water
05/29/2008, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
May 28 - 29, 2008 Charleston to Myrtle Beach, SC
We left Charleston at eight to head for the Ben Sawyer bridge that is closed from 7-9. Mike was driving and was disconcerted about the depth of water beyond the bridge-lower than charted and we were pretty much at low tide. We finally were able to relax, without going aground and had a lovely day driving through the low lands of South Carolina.
I did earn some nature points by spotting the 3 alligators we saw that day. We also saw many dolphins and never tire of watching them. They are wonderful traveling companions.
We anchored behind Butler Island on the Waccamaw River north of Georgetown, SC. It was a nice anchorage and one other boat came in after us and went further downstream. Pretty quiet and nice!
The Waccamaw River ride today was one of the most beautiful we have seen on the ICW. It was wide and deep and tree-lined. We could use the auto-pilot on some of it because of its width, which was nice.
We made it to Myrtle Beach, SC at Barefoot Landing Marina at about 1:30 p.m.. This place is famous with boaters who have been doing this trip for years. It is a LONG dock which used to be free and quite the party spot as we have heard some tales! It now has electric and water and they charge you to stay. It is still a nice place. For those in need of retail therapy, there are at least a hundred stores here-outlet and others. There are restaurants and live entertainment venues. We walked up from the with our friends from "Scandia" and new friends from "Island Star" to TBonz for happy hour priced hors d'ovres to serve as dinner. We boaters are usually cheap!
Mike is hanging out with the men from "Scandia" and "Island Star" to decide whether to go out in the ocean for a ways tomorrow, or continue on the ICW. The ICW is easy and you don't have to worry about weather most places, but it gets tedious to drive by hand all day. If we can get out into the ocean and sail, it would be great. So we will be moving on tomorrow, one direction or another. North Carolina was generally bad for internet and cell phone service, but don't fear for us-it's not that dangerous!
Love the porch!
Mike and Kathy
05/29/2008, Charleston, SC
May 23 Charleston...
The cab picked up us at about 9:30 and by 10am we had a red car (REALLY red Chevy Cobalt) to drive. Our destination was the north western corner of South Carolina and our friends Scott and Meg.
After about 100 miles of crazy Memorial Day traffic we bagged the highway for a more sedate drive through the pleasant South Carolina country side. Our maps were questionable and we got turned around near Spartanburg, which made for a little more sight seeing than was necessary. As we neared our destination we made yet another wrong turn that added 10 miles or so to our trip...
Eventually we arrived and wasted time by the pool until some of us got hungry. We took golf carts to the clubhouse and picked up sandwiches for our evening ride around the course. Then we sat on their beautiful porch and talked some more.
When we returned it was late enough to call it a day.
May 24...Links of Tyron, SC
Coffee in hand, Scott and I returned a borrowed golf cart and then continued on to walk through a few of the new homes in various stages of completion in the area. We then spent the better part of the day working on house projects. During the morning Kathy and Meg also spent some time checking out the real estate that was for sale.
That evening we drove toward the mountains to a restaurant situated on a small lake. The place had been in business for a while and included Franklin D Roosevelt as a patron. I had crab stuffed trout ....and it was amazing. I could figure out how the scallops were prepared but the trout was impossible. There was a light dusting of finely chopped pecans and some type of faint basalmic vinegar reduction combined with butter in which it was sauted.... but it was too good to be able to copy.
Happy Birthday Mason!
Scott and I were off early to Lowes to purchase the necessary items to build a rooftop system to heat their pool. It actually took another trip later in the day but by dinner time it was mounted and ready for testing.
Kathy and Meg did more house looking and spent some time by the pool reading. They also drove to Tryon, NC for coffee and bagels in the morning and stopped at a grocery store to get some things for lunch.
In the evening we drove over the border to North Carolina for some excellent pizza. We always enjoy Scott and Meg's company and are happy to just hang out together and chat. We had a great time.
Kathy and I returned to look at one of the homes that the girls had found the day before packing up and heading back to Charleston. We worked on some boat projects and read until bed time.
May 27...Charleston... We still had a car and spent most of the day running errands loading up on fuel, food and some items on our list of "things we need." At about 4pm we drove downtown to return the car and got a taxi back to the marina. It's pretty far out of town and we have to go through check points near the old naval base, now a training center for Federal Law Enforcement. The taxi driver suggested that next time we come we stay in town. She does not enjoy driving out here.
Oops-accidently deleted pictures
05/26/2008, Fernandina Beach, Florida to Charleston, SC
May 21 and 22... Fernandina Beech Fla. To Charleston SC.
Hearing nothing on the weather that would cancel our departure, we were underway before 8am. The wind was from the SW at about 18 knots and we had a perfect sail until about 11am when it backed a little and dropped to about 14 knots. At 1 pm there were thunder storms in the area and the wind went to light and variable.... to brisk depending on where the nearest cell was located. We motored most of the afternoon and had a little rain, but missed the storms completely.
During the previous night the open ocean had been wild with reported winds of 40 knots and waves of 12 feet. There were a number of boats in trouble. Most ended up being fine but one needed Coast Guard assistance. Their sails were shredded and their engine was not working. The boat in question was dead in the water about 60 miles off shore. Throughout the day we listened as the Coast Guard and Navy fliers came to the rescue.
By dinner time we passed the cold front that was the cause of the bad weather and wind shifted to the west but remained light. We altered course to the east a little to avoid unlit maker buoys and boat traffic before dark.
Kathy and I took turns at the helm throughout the night ... the wind went back to SW and picked up to almost 20 at about 1am so I put out the jib and was going faster than I wanted so switched it with the stay sail. At dawn (and it was a beautiful sunrise) we turned west and aimed for Charleston which was abut 20 miles away.
Just off Charleston I retuned to the cockpit to give Kathy a break and noticed that we were dragging a fish on our hand line. After getting it aboard we identified it as a King Mackerel of about 12 pounds. We didn't have the freezer space to keep it and the meat was reported to be a little oily so he went back overboard to die another day.
We worked our way through the ship traffic of Charleston Harbor without incident and arrived at the Cooper River Marina, where we had reservations, at about 10 am.
After checking in and eating some lunch, our first chore was to pump up the dinghy to see if our most recent patch job had held and to get it off the foredeck. As Kathy pumped I sprayed soapy water on the suspect area ... and was happy to find no bubbles.
In no time the dinghy was back on the stern where it belonged. .... and yes it is well past time to purchase a new inflatable but the Bahamas were not the place. We know what we want to purchase and will probably do so when we get to the Chesapeake...
With all the fresh water we wanted for the first time in 6 months, I started the process of spraying multiple layers of salt off Sapphire. I spent a couple of hours scrubbing while Kathy washed two loads in the rarely used marina laundry.
Our plans are to leave the boat here for a few days and drive across the state of South Carolina for a short visit with our friends Scott and Meg. I called the car rental placed to have them pick us up but found that we were beyond their pick up range. So we ordered up a cab for tomorrow am to drive us the 4 miles back to downtown Charleston.
I marinated and grilled a flank steak for dinner which we had with some wild rice and a medley of vegetables that needed to be out of the refrigerator before our long weekend.