FL to CT Day 18
North Myrtle Beach, SC to Carolina Beach, NC
We had a great afternoon and evening at Barefoot Landing… I was able to catch up on some computer work, Susan went to the store and did a little shopping in the mall. That evening we went up to happy hour at The Flying Fish… appetizers and drink were half price… had some great sushi, ribs, calamari and hushpuppies… filled us up! The best part was the oyster shooters… I had a few of those… basically a bloody mary with a raw oyster in it… rim of glass had Old Bay on it… they were awesome! Then topped everything with some ice cream from Maggie Moo’s.
We departed this morning at 0700 and headed north on the ICW…. Dropped the antennas and we slipped under Barefoot Landing Bridge and we were into the Rock Pile… dead low tide so all the rocks were fully exposed… I actually prefer to transit this area at low tide as you can see everything that is possibly dangerous. We passed through with no problems. I think the only way you could have an issue is if you have to move to one side for commercial traffic… center of the channel is not an issue.
Shortly before reaching Little River, SC I heard a familiar voice and boat name on the VHF… “Sanctuary” with Jim and Peg Healy aboard was talking with the Socastee Bridge. Checking the charts I could see that they were about 16 nm behind us. We had made plans to meet them in Carolina Beach tonight and it looked as if this was not going to be a problem. I hailed them on the VHF and exchanged a quick confirmation of locations and the plan to meet in Carolina Beach State Park Marina.
We continued on reaching the Little River Swing Bridge… notorious for slow response… I hailed when we about a 1/2 mile away and was surprised to get an immediate reply… “Bring it on up captain”… I acknowledged and continued toward the bridge… to our surprise the bridge was opening before we arrived… we did not even have to slow down… straight through… awesome!
Up to this point we had experienced little effect from any current… running at 6.5 knots… as we approached the Little River Inlet things changed… we suddenly had a strong current on our bow… it was like a light switch was turned on… It was short lived and as we passed the inlet we had the same strong current on or stern pushing us up to 7.9 knots… but it was also short lived and soon we were doing the yo-yo back and forth as we approached and passed each inlet.
Then we were approaching the Cape Fear River… we had a huge boost from the current pushing over 8 knots… but when we rounded the corner at Southport, NC and headed up the Cape Fear River… it was like we put the brakes on… we dropped from 8.4 knots to 3.0 knots… OUCH! I decided to move out of the ship channel and to the edge of the deep water riding the eddies being caused from the swift current… it wasn’t 40 feet deep anymore but still 15-20 feet and we picked up 2 knots running from 4.5 to 5.5 knots. A small center console boat came up to us and was yelling I was out of the channel and that I need to move to the east… I just acknowledged him and said I was ok… but he was really concerned about us. He rode behind us a about a mile trying to get me to move over… eventually, he gave up… shrugged his shoulders and turned around.
We arrived to Carolina Beach State park Marina at approximately 1445 and we were securely docked at 1500. Our location for the night is N34°03.013’, W077°55.154’. We traveled for 8 hours covering 49.24 nm averaging 6.2 knots.
I hailed “Sanctuary” on the VHF to see where they were and to let them know that there was plenty of space in the marina. They were also dealing with the strong current of the Cape Fear River.
Posted at 3:55 PM
FL to CT Day 17
Murrells Inlet, SC to North Myrtle Beach, SC
We departed this morning earlier than we have the entire trip… at 0630 we were underway heading north on the Wacamaw River. We had a short day planned with the night’s destination being Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach, SC.
We had current on our nose the majority of day… and only making 6.5 knots max speed for a few minutes just past Bucksport Marina.
As we passed Osprey Marina we saw their diesel fuel was priced at $3.47 per gallon which is a really good price. We did not need any fuel or we would have stopped.
Saw a beautiful sailboat as we waited for the Socastee Bridge… wood hull, square sails… gorgeous vessel.
We arrived to Barefoot Landing Marina at approximately 1100 and we were securely docked at 1115. Our location for the night is N33°48.069’, W078°44.757’. We traveled for 4.75 hours covering 27.2 nm averaging 5.74 knots.
Susan will go to the store to pick up some supplies and I have some work to catch up on while we are here at Barefoot Landing.
Posted at 11:58 AM
FL to CT Day 16
Charleston, SC to Murrells Inlet, SC
We pulled the anchor this morning at 0730 and we were underway at 0745 with “Serendipity” was directly behind us. Today’s destination planned as Georgetown, SC.
We headed through Elliott’s Cut and had a fairly good current against us slowing us way down. We exited Wappoo Creek and headed out the ICW toward Charleston Harbor. “Serendipity” hailed us on the VHF and said that they were able to get a slip at Ashley Marina and would be departing from us and visiting Charleston today. It was very odd to not have them with us for the rest of the day… but maybe they will catch up to us as we travel north.
Crossing Charleston Harbor we were met with a huge car carrier “Integrity” coming in to Charleston. These ships are gigantic and as it passed in front of it blocked the sun that was rising in the eastern sky... every time I see one it amazes me… they are so big and can move so fast.
I had heard a tug and barge on the VHF hailing the Ben Sawyer Bridge… they were moving north ahead of us… we were maybe 2 miles from the bridge yet but we had the current helping us at this point and moving close to 8 knots.
As we transited the ICW running along side Isle of Palms I could see the tug ahead of us and we were slowly catching up to it. We caught up at Price Creek and I had to slow down or pass the tug and barge. I opted to slow down and follow it until we came to good place to pass as we were moving just slightly faster than the tug and barge before I had slowed down. We came to what looked like a good place to pass and I hailed the tug on the VHF and asked which side he preferred I pass on… he replied either side is fine with him as he was staying in the middle if the channel. I told him I would pass on this port side and increased our speed to overtake the tug… as I got just past the tug and starting to pass the barge the water depth started decreasing rapidly…. 12, 10, 8, 7, 6… Whoa! I backed off and dropped behind the tug and moved to his starboard side and started to overtake him a second time… this attempt I had no problem with depth seeing 15 feet plus… but with this increased depth the tugs speed increased and we were moving at almost the same speed… I increased my speed and slowly worked my way past him… running at higher RPM than I like to I must add… we got past him and he hailed me and asked what speed I was running… with the current on our nose we were doing only 6.6 knots… he said to be sue and let him know if I decreased my speed as I was only a few hundred feet ahead of him… no problem! Soon we were well ahead of him and no longer worried that we were going to be run over by the tug and barge.
Later in the day we had another tug and barge encounter… just before McCellanville we met a tug and barge heading south toward us… As we passed port-to-port I again had the issue of shallow water… this time “Sails” did it’s normal thing and when it came to the shallow water on the starboard side…. she healed over to starboard and headed to port abruptly… directly toward the tug… I slowed to an idle and “Sails” leveled and straightened out… we were just a few feet from the tug… way to close for comfort… then as we passed the stern of the tug it had it’s rudder full to starboard and engines running hard… it’s prop wash started sucking us toward the tug… I hit the throttles and moved away as fast as I could but again it was way too close for comfort as we slipped past the stern of the tug finally in the clear. Other than the tugs there was very little boat traffic… could of done with out seeing either tug today that’s for sure.
We had our normal of current on our nose and also boosting us…. Slowest speed I observed was 4.7 knots and highest 8.4 knots… the current was not a problem… but the water depths were crazy… we passed through several areas seeing less that 6 feet multiple times and it was not even low tide… I don’t think we would have been able to make some of the spots had we been there at dead low tide… don’t know how those tug and barges made it.
We were about an hour away from Georgetown when it started raining… soon we were in a full blown thunder storm… no winds to deal with but lightning and heavy rain all the way into Georgetown. However, we had decided not to stop… Susan wanted to go to Barefoot Landing on Friday night and that’s about 7-8 hours from Georgetown… anyway, we decided to walk the dog in Georgetown and then continue on to Bucksport Marina. Took maybe 30 minutes to go in to Georgetown… walk the dog and return to the ICW.
It was still raining lightly but the storm has passed and we were heading north up the Wacamaw River towards Bucksport. Susan called Bucksport to be sure the restaurant would be open when we arrived around 2030… arriving this late Susan was not cooking dinner… anyway, Bucksport’s restaurant was closing at 2000… we would not make that… I mentioned we could go to Wacca Wache Marina just before Bucksport and that they had a restaurant. Susan gave them a call… marina was closed… we called the restaurant… Hannah Banana's Sunshine Cabana… they were open till 2300… kitchen closing at 2100… not a problem we would be there by 1945.
We arrived to the Wacca Wache Marina and pulled up to outside face dock and were securely docked at 1945. Our location for the night N33°33.735’, W079°05.173’. We traveled for 12 hours covering 79.3 nm averaging 6.6 knots.
We had a very good dinner at Hannah Banana's Sunshine Cabana… and they had live music that was great!
Posted at 10:50 PM