18 November 2019 | Osprey Marina
17 November 2019 | Saint James Plantation Marina
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On to the Osprey
18 November 2019 | Osprey Marina
Michael and Barbara Turney | Overcast damp cold
Monday 18 November 2019
We had a wonderful evening at Bill and Cathy MacKenzie’s place last night. Drinks, dinner, and great company, what more could you ask for. They told us a lot more about the Plantation, it’s residents and what a great place they found it to be to live. They also mentioned their neighbours who had just bought a boat that they were having delivered to Florida from where they were bringing it back up to the marina here. They promised to give them our contact information and perhaps we will cross paths in a couple of weeks.
We didn’t need an alarm to get up this morning, the marina provided us with one when some alarm went off ashore and there was noise and excitement for a while. Reminds me of home with the sirens and fire trucks with the firefighters sitting around while the officers confirm that there wasn’t a problem.
Anyway, we got off at six-thirty and we’re well underway in the early dawn with running lights shining our way. Thanks to the US Army Corps of Engineer sonar overlays on our AquaMaps software plus the personal intel from our friends aboard Iolanthe who had come down this same route only three weeks ago we made it through today’s one skinny bit at Lockewoods Folly. Thank you, Barry!
Coming down the ICW we were continually struck by the damage caused by nature: broken trees, trees with such damage to their root system that they are leaning over with the most obvious ones being the ones that had only the open space of the waterway to lean into and they are hanging out and dangling towards the water. Some had fallen in and were presenting hazards up to a third of the way into the side of the channel. And that’s only the natural side of the damage. During the day I counted no fewer that 8 sunken shrimp trawlers, some resting on the bottom with their superstructure said showing, some on their sides and some with only the rigging for the otter trawl showing above the water. Nope. This part of the ICW is not a place to be coming through in any time other than the daylight hours.
When we began today I had big ideas of carrying on until dark and finding an anchorage but it was damp and cold and with the various hazards in the water that quickly became a former big idea. Instead after nine hours of being chilled through to the bone we put into the Osprey Marina, a place we had been into several times before. Really nice place, packed with boats, sheltered, and cheap - $1/ft! We were late calling in so I initially the only thing that they could offer us was a spot with no power on a new dock they had installed along the banks of their entrance way but when we had arrived the owner had run a cable along the dock about 70 yards to within reach of our cable so we could have electrical power for the night and could run our heater. All for the same price. The only thing that we are missing is that they used to have a grill which would produce some really nice down home southern cooking. Now they don’t have it.
Oh well. Can’t have everything.
Tomorrow we will set off and try to stage ourselves for a short hop on Wednesday into Charleston.
Tonight we will warm up and rest.
Sunday at Saint James Plantation
17 November 2019 | Saint James Plantation Marina
Michael and Barbara Turney | Windy
Sunday 17 November 2019
Did I already post what a great place this marina is? I think I did but it bears repeating. Inexpensive, by comparison, and well appointed, and to have a place like this to tuck into when the weather turns nasty, well, there just aren’t enough words.
Last night I feel that the wind peaked at around two in the morning and then gradually diminished. Nelleke rocked and rolled slightly and with the wind howling it seemed to be much more but it wasn’t. Today the winds continued albeit diminishing and without as much rain. Kind of makes you want to tuck up and read a good book in the comfort of your cabin doesn’t it? It does for us. Fortunately we have both books and DVDs to while the time away. I should also, as Barb reminds me, renew my sketching and writing projects. I must admit with all the boat stuff to do I keep forgetting those. Also, although we have things to do aboard at this point we are either awaiting parts or they are outside and it’s too wet and miserable to accomplish.
What we really miss on these trips are our friends back home. It’s funny that when you are making the preparations all you can think of is the trip and then once you are under way what occupies your mind most is home. Are we weirdly wired that way? Perhaps that one reason why it is so wonderful when we meet new people and make new friends along the way.
We tried to book ourselves in to the Charleston Maritime Centre for Wednesday night but there was no room in the inn so we will be going to the Ashley Marina instead. A little more expensive but you take what you can get and we needed an address to receive the new macerator pump that we ordered from Amazon. Charleston is a bigger place so I certainly hope that there won’t be the sort of delay that we experienced in Oriental.
We ordered a new macerator pump through Amazon which initially seemed to be the quickest and easiest way to make that happen. Famous last words! I have never been so frustrated in making an internet order in my life. Because I hadn’t used the account for a while they let me place the order whereupon we made arrangements to get a berth at a marina in Charleston where it could be delivered and then they told me that since I hadn’t used the account for a while they assumed that it had been hacked and paused the order and put the account on suspension. Nice that they are looking after our security but it would be much nicer if after we called and spoke to them they could relax and let things go ahead again. That wasn’t how they do business. There was going to be a 24 hour hold on the order and they wouldn’t do anything to ensure that it would be at the marina when we were planning to get there. So we cancelled that order and replaced it through Barb’s account which was still active and which would allow us to get the pump when we get into Charleston. Then we tried to cancel my account and have done with it. After all, Barb and I are together and we really only need one account.
Well that is close to committing an unnatural act.
After going through all the machinations on line it turns out that I have to telephone them to talk to a live person. If I was a nasty suspicious sort of person, and I am, I would think that they are deliberately making it difficult to cancel an account because you are billed monthly and if you can’t get things done before the next billing cycle you get nailed with another monthly charge. After about an hours perseverance Barb finally manage to get the thing cancelled. We still have the pump coming but under her name and with her account.
The new folks that we met, Bill and Cathy MacKenzie, were gracious enough to invite us over to their home for dinner this evening. Very nice of them and something to break the tedium of waiting here at the dock.
The storm has arrived
16 November 2019
Michael and Barbara Turney
Saturday 16 November 2019
At this rate we are hoping to be in the Bahamas by Christmas! That is both a joke and a wail. Last night was raining and the winds are beginning to pick up with them forecasted to continue to long into Sunday or Monday for us to leave and start down the ICW. Barb and I have discussed this to death and in the end all we can do is push on as beat we can and see where we get to.
We have friends aboard their boat who had preceded us down pretty much this same route while we were stuck up in New England and now as then I am envious at how quick time they made. It seemed that every couple of days they were posting at being somewhere new that was a substantial hop southward. Plus they had time to “stop and smell the roses”, as it were, with various places that they dropped in to. We, on the other hand, with one or two exceptions, didn’t get to do that. Well, perhaps that isn’t fair. Provincetown, Onset, New Bedford, Newport, Port Washington, Keyport, Annapolis, Great Bridge, Oriental, Moorehead City, and now here. A number of interesting places but only two, New Bedford and Keyport were somewhere new. All of them a were stops of necessity rather than of exploration so I didn’t feel the same sense of excitement. New Bedford and Keyport were the two exceptions but even there, as now, I felt a certain pressure to get moving. Not the laid back cruising lifestyle that you feel should be the norm.
This morning we awoke to gusting wind and a totally calm water. One of the benefits of a marina with a keyhole entry into a marina bay that is surrounded by three story condos and homes. We are still getting the buffeting by the wind but nothing like what it could be if we were in a more exposed situation. This town of Saint James, a gated community of 5000 planning to 8000 has no stores whatsoever except those small places in the marina area - a bar and grill and a very, very small ships store that is really an extension of the dock masters office. The bar and grill sells deli products and an assortment of beer and wine but that’s about it. If you want anything else you have to leave the compound either by car or bike. It kind of reminds me of one of this SiFi movies where a community lives closed off from the rest of the world that has been decimated by some sort of apocalypse (zombie, deadly disease, space invaders) and the residents continue blissfully along unaware often what has happened in the outside world, protected by a security force and technology. Of course almost all of the folks here are retirees or boaters who have semi swallowed the hook and the marina is great. Everything is clean and functional, the staff is efficient and friendly, and the little bar and grill provides great food at inexpensive prices. All this for $1.25/ft! What more could you ask?
This morning before we got to work we decided to get out and check out the area. What can I say? Wow! This site contains besides the Marina, and the nature walk, a fitness walk, four golf courses winding among the residential streets, several competitive level tennis courts, an amphitheater, a sports centre, and a private beach on the Atlantic just to name some of the features. It beats the hell out of the huge pretentious mansions we have seen along the ICW in Florida! Most of the homes are quite grand but in an un pretentious and understated way. Clearly, in order to retire here you would have had to be successful in whatever your career. I saw banners for two major generals in front of a couple of the houses on our walk.
Anyway, on the walk we met a fellow named Bill, an expat Canadian from Windsor who was kind enough to invite Barb and myself over to his place in the estate for dinner tomorrow night. An added benefit of going to invigorating walks.
When we got back to the boat we got to work on the macerator problem. We snakes out the hose with nothing obvious happening but at one point when if was wrestling with the hose to try to get it off so that I could snake another length the macerator came apart in hands. There are two bolts that hold the macerator on to the electrical motor and they sheered off. This happened with the previous one that we had. So, clearly it’s a significant point of failure on these items. I am going to write a note to the manufacturer letting them know and our disappointment in that aspect of their product.
By one o’clock in the afternoon the wind was beginning to pipe up and we began to rock a bit at the dock with the wind singing in the rigging. Again, nothing like what it would be if we weren’t in such a sheltered spot. The vhf, and the internet are all broadcasting severe wind alerts with warning of tree branches being blown off and power lines down. This is supposed to last until noon tomorrow so we won’t be leaving until Monday morning.
The surprise good news was the dinner invite for tomorrow evening and that after I did all my cyphering it turns out that we are 3 days on the inside from Charleston. We will spend the first night at the Osprey Marina where we have stayed before And quite enjoyed it; the second night after a short day in Georgetown probably on the hook. That will be a short day giving us a chance to look around the town and get ready for the next day which will be a little longer and will get us to Charleston. If this all works out that will be progress!