Murphy's Great Adventure

This is the story of Murphy the sailor dog and his adventures by sea and land.

14 November 2012 | Charleston City Marina
09 November 2012 | Awendaw Creek
08 November 2012 | Waccamaw River
02 November 2012 | Carolina Beach, NC
29 October 2012 | New Bern, NC
27 October 2012 | Grand Hotel Marina, New Bern, NC
24 October 2012 | Oriental, NC
22 October 2012 | Tuckahoe Point, Alligator River
20 October 2012 | Elizabeth Cith
19 October 2012 | Goat Island, Pasquotank
18 October 2012 | Dismal Swamp
17 October 2012 | Hospital Point
16 October 2012 | Jackson Creek, Piankatank
07 May 2012 | Baby Owl Cove
07 April 2011 | Lancaster VA
13 March 2011 | Home on the Chesapeake
11 November 2010 | Home on the Chesapeake
29 April 2010 | Jackson Creek
28 April 2010 | Portsmouth North Ferry Landing
27 April 2010 | Dismal Swamp Canal, North Lock

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

14 November 2012 | Charleston City Marina
We are having a mixed time in good ole Charleston. The visit started out perfectly (The Good). We caught up to Chinook (Mike & Polli Romey) and Chanticleer (Bob & Pat Sikora) from RRYC. We had a great visit with them and enjoyed a marvelous home-cooked meal on Chanticleer. Unfotunately, both boats took off the next day so the visit was too short. However, my sister arrived that same afternoon and we had a fabulous visit. Cindy and I had not seen each other since early August so there was much catching up to be had. It was also my birthday and Cindy even brought a bakery cake to the boat. More good! We had a great time touring Charleston but the highlight of the visit was a surprise to both of us. Cindy and Wayne camped at James Island County Municipal Park and every year at this time they have a Christmas light show. This is not just any light show. It stretches over three miles with hundreds of displays and half a million lights. It really is the most well-done light show we have ever seen and definitely put us in the holiday spirit.
However, all good things come to an end….both visits and weather. We have enjoyed sunshine, shorts and tee-shirt weather for several days but no more. We are now experiencing what the weather guys are calling a “rogue low pressure system”. The temperatures have dropped into the 50s, it is drizzling on and off, and the wind is howling (The Bad). Between the strong currents and the cross-winds, it may be fun getting out of the marina (Hopefully not The Ugly!) as this system is to continue a few more days. Oh well, it’s a good day for boat chores, laundry and finding Charleston knit shops! Murphy is hunkered down snoring, Jim is watching movies and I am cruising the internet. Life’s pretty good after all.

Elctronics Snafus

09 November 2012 | Awendaw Creek
This morning we awoke to frost on the deck and temps in the 40s. Break out the long johns! Today was a planned short day, as we started into the marshes that line the approach to Charleston. We have reservations starting on Sunday in Charleston so we have a couple of days to kill before we get there.
Despite the occasional alarms from the depth sounder, we both really like this part of the trip. The view across the twists and turns of the marshes is spectacular and the cool breezes this time of year mostly keep the mosquitoes at bay.
Jim’s project today was to finish installing the AIS system we had ordered to replace the one killed by lightening right before we left. We shipped a replacement to Calabash and picked it up during our visit. Plug and play, they said. Just attach a few wires and it would start right up, they said. It will work perfectly with your existing equipment, they said. Hah. We messed with it last night until after 11:00….way past cruiser’s midnight. Jim wired it per the instructions, no joy. He wired it several different ways, trying to isolate the problem, no joy. We were having some fun, let me tell you. Today, I said I would take the helm through the marshes, not my favorite because of the low spots, to avoid working on the AIS. Jim worked all day and finally gave up. The supplier was less than helpful, as I think all he knew how to do was plug and play and knew nothing about debugging if it didn’t work. Finally as we pulled into our anchorage, I noticed a boat showing up on our internet-based AIS. It isn’t a very good real-time system but sometimes shows surrounding boats. Well, this boat was coming right into our anchorage. We fired up the new system and amazingly all the little lights that had been silent started blinking away. We hailed the boat and they were able to see us too. Partial victory. We still saw nothing on our chartplotter, which is required for the system to be of real use. Jim finally called Raymarine and they spent a good half-hour working with us to debug the system. It was not their AIS equipment, nor their interface equipment, but they pulled up the other vendors’ websites and worked it through with us. Gold stars for Raymarine. We were finally able to isolate it to the NMEA output of the interface equipment and decided that lightening must have damaged it too. Jim and Raymarine figured out a workaround and SUCCESS, AIS targets on the chartplotter. These boat toys are fun when they work and useful tools too, but sometimes…….life was simpler before!

Fall Splendour

08 November 2012 | Waccamaw River
We’ve had quite a nice few days since my last post. First, we enjoyed a visit to Southport and their infamous free dock. The dock condition has not improved but the price is always right. It was Saturday afternoon and the town was hopping. A church bazaar, a couple of weddings, and a fabulous fall afternoon brought everyone out. We indulged in shrimp from Potter’s that we steamed on the boat for a decadent dinner.
The next few days saw us visiting Jim’s cousins in Calabash. They wined us and dined us and as an added bonus, I got to do three weeks of laundry. Murphy was in 7th heaven. He got unlimited walks and found several golf balls for his Uncle Ed. Aunt Lois kept him supplied in dog treats. When we visit them, Murphy has eyes only for his Lois.
After a great visit, it was back to the boat. Murphy was noticeably depressed when he was forced to board and is just beginning to recover. Charm however was happy to be underway and especially relieved to once again travel unscathed through the infamous Rock Pile. It was a beautiful, slightly crisp fall day and a wonderful trip along the Waccamaw River. This section of the ICW twists and turns as it skirts old oxbows and unused side creeks. Fall was in full splendor with changing leaves amid spanish moss draped cypress. We stopped near sundown at one of our favorite anchorages, Thoroughfare Creek.
Vessel Name: Charm
Vessel Make/Model: Liberty 38
Hailing Port: Lancaster, VA
Crew: Jim & Kathy Bearden
About: The first mate is Murphy, the sailor dog. Murphy is a 4 (now 6) year old Irish Terrier that would probably rather be on terra firma but doesn't want to be left behind. tali and Nikki our kitties serve as moral support for Murphy but are pretty clueless as to what the trip is about
Charm's Photos - Main
Interesting boats along our travels
15 Photos
Created 12 March 2010
Sailor dog Murphy and his cat buddies, Tali & Nikki
15 Photos
Created 12 March 2010
Sunsets in our travels
3 Photos
Created 12 March 2010
Our stay at Sunset Beach, Jan-Mar 2010
12 Photos
Created 12 March 2010

Who: Jim & Kathy Bearden
Port: Lancaster, VA