Old Friends, NewPlaces
26 November 2008 | Cocoa Village, FL
Guess I have been remiss in keeping this little blog up, I shall try to do better.
We are in Cocoa Village, Florida this morning. On the hook taking an especially long for us hiatus from traveling south to spend Thanksgiving with old friends.
David's dear friends Al and Jennifer live on Merritt Island and we will be indulging in Thanksgiving Turkey with them. They have been wonderfully helpful to us since we arrived. Carting us to the grocery and out to dinner.
Great restaurant down town, Murdock's we sat outside at picnic table with Bo and could enjoy the bar scene and live music through windows. One actually climbs in and out of the windows if one so chooses! Food was great, David enjoyed a spicy shrimp dish.
Friends from the Outer Banks arrived yesterday, George and Betsy from our yacht club are here to sail for a few days and partake of Thanksgiving dinner with Jennifer and Al too.
At the moment George is whipping up a great breakfast of ham and scrambled eggs and cheese. Yummy!
Our trip from Church Creek to here was good. The captain did a great job winding through VERY LOW water. Although we did run aground once and had to call Tow Boat US. Found out from the kind young man they sent out that if someone calls them too much (say $2800) that they will cancel your insurance....so much for unlimited!
Bosun gave the nice man a wet kiss in thanks for getting us off the shoal.
Time to eat - more later - I promise!
10:30 AM Church Creek to Beaufort, SC
11 November 2008 | Sunny, few cirrus clouds, breezy, cool
The smell of grilled cheese and ham sandwiches wafts up the companionway from the galley. The Captain is hungry and cold, the dog still asleep on his full tummy.
Just passed marker 197.
We have been snaking our way, twisting and turning running sometimes with the current at a speed of 9 knots. Sometimes against the current at 5 knots.
In this stretch the edges of the ICW are marsh on both sides. Our heading is presently SW with a turn to the W coming in a few moments.
The live oak trees are interspersed with with South Carolina's state tree, the White Palmetto.
I love their state flag.
The state flag of South Carolina was officially adopted in 1861. It has a white crescent and a white palmetto tree on a blue ground. Three white crescents (on a blue background) were first used on a South Carolina banner protesting the Stamp Act in 1765. In 1775, Colonel William Moultrie designed a banner for South Carolina troops; it had a white crescent on a blue field. When South Carolina seceded from the Union, the palmetto tree was added to the flag. The palmetto tree was chosen because this tree had helped South Carolinians defeat the British in a battle at Sullivan's Island (during the Revolutionary War). The South Carolinians built a fort out of palmetto wood, and when the British fired cannonballs at the fort, instead of knocking the fort down, the soft palmetto wood just absorbed the cannonballs.
Occasionally one sees houses across land we are passing. Range markers prevail and we notice that lining them up agrees exactly with the magenta line on our radar. Good Show.
The depth sounder sounds it's warning. The channel is narrow here.
The chart showed 15' but the depth sounder indicates 7.3. Even with our extra 2 feet the shoaling is evident.
The Captain quips that it is obviously cheaper to add range markers than dredge.
Finally, 10 to 14 feet of water...one can relax.
I am sitting in the cockpit in layered clothing. Sweat pants and rain/wind pants, shoes, socks, heavy Irish sweater and West Marine offshore foul weather jacket.
I love looking at the shore line, both with binoculars and the camera zoom.
The marsh grass is tipped in golden brown, followed by a light green band, a marsh (wake and tide) grey mud area, back to green again. On top of the mud there is a gray thatch area, then rich black mud. It is sometimes layered with a shell layer - spoil perhaps.
At he shore line there is an abundance of open clam, mussel and oyster shells exposed by the tide and devoured by heron, egrets and seagulls.
Huge vacant osprey nests fill tree tops, summer occupancy only.
Marker 184 and the long anticipated dredges appear narrowing an already narrow channel. These are suppose to be the answer to the Captain's prayer. However, a north bound sailboat at the entrance of the channel coming in from St. Helena Sound with more than plenty of space to negotiate in pushes his way into the channel between Tropical Spice and the barge forcing us up onto the pluff mud bank. We are aground.
The smaller sailboat continues north and we rock ourselves off going back and forth.
Finally, open water. St. Helena Sound.
Stuck in Beaufort
06 November 2008 | Town Creek Marina
Rain, rain, go away.....
Well..... we ended spending 3 nights here due to a low pressure storm system that would not give up. I got lots of laundry done, even washed Bosun's bed.
Took advantage of the marina courtesy car one day for the post office and the Food Lion. David and I were going to take turns sitting in the car with Bo when one of the girls in the marina who lost her dog a few months ago begged to doggie sit. Bo had a blast and we were able to grocery shop together for a change.
Met some nice folks who fixed the tank on our electrasan, and another couple who shared recepies with me.
In spite of foul weather, spirits were relatively high.
Gotta Keep Smiling!!!
Town Creek Marina to Mile Hammock Bay MM 244.5
Departed Town Creek Marina at 7:15 AM for Morehead.