Sailing South

S/V Mariah with Trish & John Billings

15 January 2017 | Tropical Mexico
27 November 2016 | Mazatlan
25 May 2014 | Mission Bay, San Diego
04 May 2014 | Isla Mujeres, Mexico
05 April 2014 | St. Maarten
17 February 2014 | Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, DR
31 December 2013 | Thompsons Bay, Bahamas
20 December 2013 | Long Island, Bahamas
01 December 2013 | Exumas, Bahamas
01 December 2013 | Exumas, Bahamas
11 November 2013 | Marsh Harbor, Abaco
31 October 2013 | Grand Cay, Abacos, Bahamas
21 October 2013 | Folly Beach, SC
15 August 2013 | Folly Beach, SC
17 July 2013 | Charleston, SC
14 June 2013 | Hilton Head, SC
14 May 2013 | Key West
18 April 2013 | Key West
25 March 2013 | Venice, FL
06 March 2013 | Orange Beach, AL

Folly Beach, SC

15 August 2013 | Folly Beach, SC
Well, we are still in Folly Beach, anchored in the Folly River in South Carolina. We spent the first week here anchored in the Folly River where we met a genuine "local" couple, Jim & Hale. They have lived on Folly Island for about 20 years and have shown us all the best stuff that the island has to offer.

They take us around in both their electric car, Bambi (see picture), and in their 20' Maycraft skiff. We have had the pleasure of accompanying them and their friend, Roxanne, on several sunset cruises through the creeks that feed off the Folly River. Truly a Disneyland Magical river cruise. We've seen dolphin, shrimp and the wonderful old Morris Island Lighthouse (circa 1876) sitting out in the ocean that we couldn't have seen any other way. Of course, we also manage to find restaurants and bars alongside these creeks and have enjoyed great local fare (mostly fried) and good beer. We've also taught Jim the joy of body surfing with fins and hand boards. He is an avid convert and provides our transport to the best surfing spots on the island. An interesting note: Folly Island has no mail delivery so everyone has a PO Box (shades of things to come for the rest of us??). As a result, we have had the hardest time getting online purchases delivered for us. Jim & Hale have generously offered the use of their PO Box and their address for UPS and Fedex deliveries. One of the amazing things about cruising is that you meet people like Jim & Hale who will go out of their way to offer help and support. I've tried to mention as many of these wonderful people in our blog because they are truly what makes cruising such an amazing experience.

The second week brought us to the local marina so that John could go to see his client outside of Atlanta, GA. I stayed on Mariah in the safety of the marina while he rented a car and drove out for the work week. There we met Jerry who uses his Benetaus 32 sailboat to run sunset charters out to the Stono River and Carl & Sharon who also live on the island and spend their early morning hours combing the beach for Loggerhead Sea Turtle eggs which they then move to safer hiding further up the beach. I'm still waiting for an opportunity to accompany them on that venture. They also took us on a Wednesday night "Beer Can" regatta in Charleston on a Benetau 41. It's quite an experience racing these big cruising boats. And very different from Hobie Cats and 505's.

When John returned from Atlanta, we went back out into the Folly River and have been at anchor here ever since, using our new generators and just barely surviving the 90+ daily temperatures...with humidity. We also had some friends from our marina in Charleston come out to Folly to join us for dinner at a hotel/restaurant right on the beach. It was a lovely meal and a lovely view with great company. The menu was a bit stuffy. I just had to order "Cornmeal Fried Oysters, sweet corn soup, tomato and corn relish, crispy fried LARDONS." This was all one appetizer and when asked what "lardons" are, the waitress replied, "Bacon bits." Anyway, it was yummy!

We took a Stand Up Paddleboard lesson which is a lot of fun, especially in a river with a 2 knot current. While taking a break along the shoreline, we were told that the ecosystem of the river was very healthy due to the marsh grasses that feed the crabs, the fish and the oysters and that the brown colored water is actually a sign of good health in the river. We can attest to the good health of every living creature in the neighborhood when we decided it was time to clean Mariah's bottom. We did this in Key West ourselves and it was fun and easy. But this time, there was so much growth on her bottom that it was like a shag carpet (and only 3 weeks since we last had it done!). I was sponging off the bottom of the boat when I started to feel itchy. I looked down and I was covered from head to toe in brown flora and fauna. Ugh! Gross! And I couldn't brush it off. I got out of the water to clean it off and found myself covered in thousands of tiny, tiny shrimps and crabs. Ugh! I still shudder as I write about it and I'm still pulling the little devils out of my swim suit. Gives new meaning the term "having a case of the crabs.".

It looks like John's work contract will be up by the end of August...Yikes! And Awesome! A bit of a double-edged sword as the income stream will disappear, BUT, we will then be free to cruise wherever and whenever we want to go. John is rejoicing at the imminent long term vacation and I am biting my nails at the imminent budget tightening necessity. Ah, well, life goes on and so do we. We will definitely have the freedom to go and we will probably do that at the end of August. But for now, we are staying put in Folly Beach, loving the new friends, the surfing and the beautiful scenery.
Vessel Name: Mariah
Vessel Make/Model: Morgan 41
Hailing Port: San Diego
Crew: John & Trish Billings
About: John & Trish hail from Mission Beach in San Diego, are avid body surfers and dinghy sailors. They are in their first year of full time cruising.
Extra: We are cruising the East Coast of the US until November when we will head South again.
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