Madcap Sailing

24 March 2018 | boat in Gold River, NS and crew in Halifax
22 May 2017 | Whittaker Creek, Oriental, NC
15 May 2017 | Boat in Oriental, crew in New Orleans and Nova Scotia
26 April 2017 | Oriental, NC
26 April 2017 | Oriental, NC
20 April 2017 | Ocean Isle Marina, Ocean Beach, NC at Mile 335.6
17 April 2017 | Dewees Creek, near Charleston, NC
14 April 2017 | St Simons Island
12 April 2017 | Fernandina Beach, FL
11 April 2017 | St Augustine, FL
07 April 2017 | Vero Beach, Florida
03 April 2017 | Ft Pierce, FL
30 March 2017 | Ft Pierce, Florida
28 October 2016 | Madcap in Ft Pierce, Florida and crew in Halifax, Nova Scotia
06 April 2016 | Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida
23 March 2016 | Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida
20 March 2016 | Vero Beach, Florida

Shrimp & Triggerfish

08 November 2007 | Georgetown, SC, Mile 403
Our little trip ashore to Georgetown on Wednesday evening consisted of a walk along the main drag, a catch-up chat with Ken, Colin and Sharon on Sulis and, on their recommendation, a quick trip to Independent Seafoods where we picked up some very fine shrimp ($6.99 lb), trigger fish, and stuffed crab. Jim cooked up the shrimp in his trademark flambéed Sambucca Shrimp dish...mmmmm good.

It was very cold on Thursday morning, so we fired up the fireplace, and in half an hour the cabin temperature was up almost 10 degrees. We went back ashore to have another look around before departing for points south. Some of the streets reminded us of Upper Victoria and Rupert Streets in Amherst - the Victorian houses and trees with branches arching over peaceful avenues. We were fortunate enough to encounter John and Rosalie at the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Bureau and spent a good while chatting with them on a wide range of topics involving Georgetown and South Carolina generally. They are transplanted Yankees and were thus able to give us a great inside/outside picture of the American South. They were interesting folks themselves, having moved here from New Jersey to be nearer their daughter. They volunteer at the Visitor's centre - and John's passion is history so he is a valuable source of information; they are involved with the local theatre company; they ride their bikes out to the beaches; in short, they are filling their re-tirement with all sorts of new pro-tirement activities.

On another trip here, I'd like to visit the Rice museum and the Kaminski House, but in the meantime, we got a good picture of life before and after the Civil War here, and were able to be on the lookout for abandoned rice plantations as we traveled along the next stretch of the ICW. I had always thought of cotton when I thought of Southern plantations, but this area was noted for its rice and indigo - the plant whose fermented leaves produced a blue dye. If I remember correctly, almost 70% of America's rice came from 7 or 8 plantations in this area during the period leading up to the civil war. We learned that those plantations and the wealth and lifestyle enjoyed by the white families were possible only because of slave labour, and that slaves made up almost 75% of the population of this area. The plantation families used to depart every summer for Charleston and other seaside towns to avoid contracting malaria and yellow fever - the mosquito-borne diseases that circulated freely in the hot, wet climate of the rice fields. The slave families were left behind, of course, to do the labour intensive work of taking care of the crops that made that lifestyle possible.

After a stop at the Kudzu Bakery for delicious honey-oat bread and strawberry-rhubarb jam, and a return trip to the seafood store for more shrimp, we hoisted anchor and headed onward.

As John had told us, we found abandoned rice plantations all along the way. We could see the remnants of irrigation ditches and vast fields once given to rice, now returned to the wild. Travelling through the ICW is a wonderful way to see the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Centre Heritage Preserve. He was once the owner of the Boston Red Sox, and willed this land to the state. We saw huge flocks of what I think were bobolinks - called rice birds when the rice was plentiful here. They were as thick and fast as clouds of mosquitoes. There was also a huge raptor-type bird with a white band across its tail, rust colour on underside and perhaps on top - could it have been a Golden Eagle? A couple of groups of black and white, red billed, long legged birds were clustered on oyster middens (piles of oyster shells) - the American Oystercatcher? And... we saw our first alligator at about Mile 424 - at Red 26! He was heading north as we were heading south - just floating along the side of the creek minding his own business. A very cool addition to our list of "sightings".

We spent Thursday night in an anchorage in the Awendaw Creek (Mile 435.7) where I cooked our triggerfish for dinner. (I just sprinkled a little Old Bay seasoning, some pepper and lemon juice over it, and then baked it in the oven) It has a nice meaty texture and good flavour. We wanted to try it because that is what Steven Callahan told of eating in his book "Adrift". Mind you - he ate it raw, and for many of the 76 days he was adrift. Have I told you yet what an amazing book that is?

There was a cold NW wind that kept us garbed in hats and gloves despite the sun as we motored through the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. We have been feeling a wee bit torn about how to traverse this country. It would be lovely to get outside and put the sails up - sails? Seems so long ago! But on the other hand, we would hate to miss all this new geography. Before we started, Jim and I thought we would like to do the whole ICW once to see what it is like, and we are still holding to that plan. I had no idea there would be such a variety of scenery. The ICW is often referred to as "the ditch" and indeed it is dug out of the land like a ditch, joining rivers and creeks to make a passageway south. But it is so much more than that. We travel through wild stretches with nothing but marshes, and wild-ish stretches with marshes and houses and long-long-long wharves stretching out like arms to the open waterway. We pass towns and inlets. We enter and exit little cuts through rock, and make our way around shoaling corners, and see palmetto trees and cedars and pines all jumbled together. We skirt the edges of resorts that date from the early 1900's as well as those of today. We pass islands that used to be frequented by bootleggers and now house golf courses and playgrounds and lots of legal alcohol.

So it is in this spirit of discovery that we continue motoring our way along and make our much-anticipated visit to Charleston!

Vessel Name: Madcap
Vessel Make/Model: Bayfield 36
Hailing Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crew: James D Bissell (Jim) and Elizabeth Lusby (Beth)
About: Beth and Jim have spent the last several winters sailing southern waters on s/v Madcap. They love Halifax in the summer, but plan to spend the winters exploring warmer places - currently the Guatemala, Belize, Honduras area.
The Madcap crew left Ottawa in 2007 to go sailing in the Bahamas. After a highly successful year, they returned to Canada, settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in the fall of 2009 they left to do it again! Journey #3 (2010/11) took them back to the Bahamas and then on to Cuba for several weeks [...]
Madcap's Photos - Mad Cap Sailing (Main)
19 Photos
Created 15 May 2017
20 Photos
Created 20 April 2017
62 Photos
Created 30 March 2017
11 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
13 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
5 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
6 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
11 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
23 Photos
Created 25 February 2016
18 Photos
Created 21 February 2016
31 Photos
Created 20 February 2016
4 Photos
Created 20 February 2016
20 Photos
Created 19 February 2016
7 Photos
Created 9 February 2016
51 Photos
Created 24 November 2015
12 Photos
Created 28 October 2015
16 Photos
Created 9 October 2015
24 Photos
Created 3 December 2013
our Oct/Nov 2013 trip to New Zealand
36 Photos
Created 22 November 2013
9 Photos
Created 20 January 2013
Guatemala pics starting Nov 22, 2012
43 Photos
Created 6 December 2012
54 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 8 November 2012
trip to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park (via Las Vegas)
23 Photos
Created 4 November 2012
20 Photos
Created 1 November 2012
18 Photos
Created 12 February 2012
43 Photos
Created 29 January 2012
62 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
21 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
76 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
8 Photos
Created 19 May 2011