Friday, November 19, 2010

Nov. 9-15, 2010 (Week 6, Day 36-42)

Tues. Nov. 9, 2010 (Week 6, Day 36): Destination: Tom Point Creek (Mile 495.7) to Beaufort, S.C. (Mile 539.6) Departure: 0650 hrs. Arrival: 1330 hrs. Mileage: 43.9 SM Weather: a burning red sky hung over the salt marsh grasses as the sun was trying to poke it’s head over the horizon, then brilliant sun in a cloudless, blue sky; tempà cool, probably mid 40’sF but a warming trend approaching with highs in the mid 70’sF Winds: WNW at 3-5K

Larry had to cut the wire to his newly installed bilge pump as it started running & would not shut down + the fridge was not functioning! This is not good! Thus our 0630 hrs. departure was delayed till 0650 hrs. & now a marina was a necessity for them. As for us, that decision was delayed as we had planned to anchor in Factory Creek & dinghy to the city docks to be able to see Beaufort (a definite must see on my list). Anchor came up clean as a whistle again. Rising tide from the North Edisto River into the Dawho River at Mile 496.7 at White Point; wound our way as per chartplotter. We had a few caution shallow water areas today & a rising tide was necessary; (1) Fenwick Cut--> good, (2) Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff #1-->20+ ft. deep at near high tide, (3) Asepoo Coosaw Cutoff #2--> min. 14 ft. (hardly recognized the cut with all this water !), (4) Brickyard Creek--> high tide; we were keeping pace with rising/high tide. Lady Island Bridge (swing) is on an irregular opening schedule because of the construction on the fixed bridge (J.E. McTeer Bridge) by Port Royal Landing Marina (Aug. 2011); plenty of time for the 1300 hrs. opening. A 2-3K current pushed us to Port Royal Landing Marina; we decided to do 1 night with the Morrows then anchor out. We were assisted by dock staff & tied up without incident to the face dock; lots of construction noise. We had Morrows over for supper (coq au vin, potatoes & broccoli)--- much appreciated especially with their mechanical problems; Morrows brought over carrot cake for dessert! The construction noise continued all evening till 0300 hrs. then resumed at 0530 hrs. Internet--> problems with posting of my blog & sending an email of the post to my category (a brain wave Wed. night & problem corrected). A clear night, stars & warm enough all night without heater.

ICW Waters: Dawho River-->North Creek & Watts Cut-->South Edisto River-->Fenwick Cut-->Ashepoo River-->Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff #1-->Rock Creek-->Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff #2-->Coosaw River-->Brickyard Creek-->Beaufort River

Interesting Info: Numerous sea islands rivers & creeks along the South Carolina coast ie Coosaw Island, Morgan Island, Ladies Island, St. Helena Island, Tripp Island, Parris Island, Hilton Head Island, Pinckney Island, Dafuskie Island.

Wed. Nov. 10, 2010 (Week 6, Day 37): Destination: to stay in Beaufort (Mile 539.6 & to stay at marina (pay 2 nights, get 3rd free) + want to see Beaufort more extensively to get a real feel for the community Weather: sunny, blue skies, no clouds, high= low 70’s, low= low 40’s Wind: nothing to speak of

Woke up early because of the construction. I met a seasonal nurse (works 6 mons., cruises 6 mons.) who works at the Beaufort Memorial Hospital while showering up in the marina. After breakfast Graeme added diesel to the boat tank, I did some housekeeping chores in the shower room & head. We signed up for the courtesy car & the 4 of us tootled off to West Marine, Piggly Wiggly, a canvass shop by Lady Island Swing Bridge then over the bridge, parked the vehicle then walked in & out of shops on Bay St.; back to the car then drove around historic streets, especially NE of Carteret St. Once back to the marina we had a few beers & snacks from the grill restaurant on the premises; who wants supper now? We did have a very late light supper (soup) & read + internet--- ironed out my difficulties. Graeme went to bed before me again! Clear sky filled with stars & crescent moon. No large construction noise tonight, only powerful light (not a problem); probably pouring cement.

Thurs. Nov. 11, 2010 (Week 6, Day 38): Remembrance Day/Veterans Day. Unfortunately we don’t have poppies to wear. Destination: Beaufort (Mile 539.6) Weather: sunny, warm with high in mid 70’sF, blue skies Wind: light with a few gusts

Slept in--- 0700 hrs.! Breakfast, shower at the marina, assembled bike & organized myself for sightseeing historic sites. Lynn was doing laundry while Larry did some V-berth maintenance while awaiting some packages that were arriving via UPS; Graeme--> ?. We will meet for lunch at 1230 hrs. at Luther’s (used to be a pharmacy). I left the marina by bike at 1045 hrs. & stopped several times to look at & take photos of historic sites according to my guide. Lunch at Luther’s was great then more sightseeing while the others drove back. The park at waterside is beautiful--- brick sidewalks amongst the many garden beds, many eateries with patios facing Beaufort River, swinging benches at river’s edge. My bottom is no longer used to sitting on a bike seat. Home at 1600 hrs. & as we were packing up my bike a few no-see ums made their annoying presence. Over to the Morrows for homemade thin crust pizza--- yummy! Larry had his T.V. hooked up but the Sens vs Vancouver game was not televised for our viewing. An early night. Dew everywhere; clear skies, ¼ moon & stars. I do not regret the extra time in Beaufort; I now have a good feel for this beautiful, romantic, friendly community.

Fri. Nov. 12, 2010 (Week 6, Day 39): Destination: Beaufort, S.C. (Mile 539.6) to Bull Creek off Cooper River (Mile 565.5) Departure: 0810 hrs. Arrival: 1215 hrs. Mileage: 25.9SM Weather: sunny, cool (high 60F, low 45F), no clouds, only blue skies Winds: calm of last 3 days replaced by cool & brisk NNE winds at 13-15K

Plans altered slightly from leaving at 0730 hrs. until staff arrived at 0800 hrs. to assist with departure secondary to strong winds, chop, opposing current & bridge construction directly behind; still at low water slack; good departure. “Twomorrows” after clearing the fixed bridge under construction had to quickly swerve & slow down to avoid a construction barge. We motored from Beaufort River into the Port Royal Sound passing Parris Island on our starboard side against the current & the wind was NNE on our port quarter until R246; unfurled some jenny then jibbed with a wide sweeping turn around R246 on a beam reach on port tack & the current now with us; speed= 7-8K. At 1010 hrs. we turned into Skull Creek which separates Pinckney Island from Hilton Head Island. ‘Twomorows’ anchored off Skull Creek Marina hoping to have fridge repairs done today, while we continued on past several marinas, under the Wilton J. Graves Bridge (fixed & the only auto access to & from Hilton Head) into Calibogue Sound; flood tide therefore we were going against the current until we turned into the Cooper River; now the current is with us. Daufuskie Island was on port; author Pat Conroy in his book “The River is Wide” wrote about his life as a schoolteacher there. At Mile 565.5 we turned off the ICW into Bull Creek & anchored in 15-18 ft. with rising tide till 1402 hrs. (80 ft. chain). It was early to stop but we did not want to put too much distance between us & Lynn & Larry. Also we wanted to stage for Fields Cut & the Savannah River. As I sat in the cockpit eating lunch & doing some prep reading with the sun beating down, I was starring at the live oaks, palmetto palms, pines, shrubs & 2 maybe 3 homes on one side & salt marsh grasses on the other side; I watched the ICW traffic---all so very peaceful, a contrast to marina life. Late in the afternoon we received not good news from the Morrows--> wrong part shipped! They will call in the am. Supper= leftovers for me (thai coconut chicken with added shrimp) & sweet & sour meatballs for G. Journal writing, some reading & eyes slammed shut at 2100 hrs. A very peaceful night, clear sky stars+++, 2/3 moon; total 5 boats anchored here overnight. This was our last day & night in South Carolina.

ICW Waters: Beaufort River-->Port Royal Sound-->Skull Creek, Hilton Head-->Calibogue Sound-->Cooper River

Interesting Info re Hilton Head: Explored by English Naval Captain William Hilton in 1663. Once the danger of Indian attacks decreased, families settled & built plantations, which now have vanished but are remembered in the name of resorts. The land was farmed for Sea Island cotton, sugar & indigo. Home of 2 civil war forts & Baynard Ruins, a prosperous plantation. In the 1950’s the Sea Pines Co. was the first to begin resort development. Today Hilton Head has the largest collection of condos, hotels & restaurants & marinas in coastal S.C. The island is boot shaped, 42 square miles with 12 miles of ocean beach. Incorporated as a town of about 30,000. Acres of untouched forest & marshland. Nature paths, catwalks, regular scheduled bird walks, museum & sponsored beach walks, extensive bike paths. Gullah is the low country’s population of direct slave descendants & their unique language, eating, art & tradition--> museums & feastivities.

Sat. Nov 13, 2010 (Week 6, Day 40): Destination Bull Creek (Mile 565.5)to Savannah—Turner Creek (Mile 585.5) Departure: 0935 hrs. Arrival 1315 hrs. Mileage: 20.0 SM Winds: calm, N

We awoke 0630 hrs. but stayed in bed while the other boats departed; still low tide or slack low till 0730 hrs. We wanted a rising tide at least; best would be a mid rising tide. We were also awaiting word from the Morrows; called at 0900 hrs. & no news from the repairman so he was unable to jerry rig anything; will check back at 1700 hrs. We moved on taking advantage of flood tides. Sometimes we were moving with the current & sometimes against, depending on our position passing the multitude of streams behind a chain of barrier islands on their Atlantic coastline. Passage past Daufuskie Landing, extensive shoaling area in vicinity of Ramshorn Creek, entrance into Wright River, the north & south ends of Fields Cut (11-20 ft.), the crossing of the Savannah River (strong currents & possible big ships) & confluence of Elba Island Cut with the Savannah River all went well--- good planning. We are now in the state of Georgia. There was no waiting for the opening of the Causton Bluff Bridge, also called Sam Vernadoe Bridge (bascule)--> 3 boats passed. We slowly passed through Thunderbolt & turned off the ICW at R40 & continued to Turner Creek, following the semicircular path of the creek nearly to it’s end to Hogan’s Marina. We had no knowledge or information for this area so committed to one night at the marina--> electricity, no WiFi, two toilets & one shower simple, clean but inside office building, so when office closes at 1700 hrs. no facilities, but they open at 0700 hrs. (Dec. 0800 hrs. opening). There is an anchoring field just very slightly north of us with an easy dinghy ride to this marina. Dinghy tie up= $10.00 per day. After lunch we walked to the library & worked on emails till 1615 hrs. Graeme walked back earlier looking for the hardware store & purchase some beer at the Publix right next door. On my way home I checked out the bus stops & tried to locate a bus schedule for our tour of historic Savannah tomorrow & picked up some milk, oh maybe a few other things, as I browsed the aisles seeing what was on special at Publix. I will pick up salad & bread stuff before we leave this location. Marina faces west; the sunset was wonderful. Supper= fresh corn on the cob, then pork chop & potatoes for G & leftover coq au vin with added shrimp for me. Graeme extremely tired & in bed early. Journal writing+++. Heater is on just to keep the chill at bay, but night sky clear, near ½ moon, stars & cool (heater); water flat calm.

ICW Waters: Cooper River-->Wells Cut-->Wright River-->Savannah River-->Elba Island Cut-->Wilmington River.

N.B. Library hours: Mon. & Tues.--> 1000-2000 hrs. Wed. & Thurs.--> 1000-1800 hrs. Fri. & Sat.--> 1400-1800 hrs. Sun. closed

Publix hours: 0700 hrs.-2300 hrs. everyday

Interesting Info: The geography of S.C. & Georgia coastlines are similar; mostly deep with many streams behind a chain of mostly uninhabited barrier islands. The waters are very tidal with swift currents & tidal ranges sometimes > than 8 ft. The rapid water movement is more pronounced in Georgia & tends to keep the bottom of even small creeks scoured & deep with a few exceptions. Very limited dredging in this state & increasing shoaling.

Sun. Nov. 14, 2010 (Week 6, Day 41): Destination: Savannah (Turner Creek—Mile 585.5) but anchored out in the creek Weather: wall to wall sun, blue sky, no clouds, verging to very warm temps Wind: nil Tide: low= 0830 ish high= 1500 ish

Out of bed at 0645 hrs., breakfast, shower & attended the Lutheran Church across the street for their 0830 hrs. service--> very similar to R.C. Mass. Meanwhile Graeme walked to the library, sat outside & accessed internet for the few emails he needed to attend to but with at lot of frustration apparently. No buses from here, Wilmington Island on Sundays! There went those sightseeing plans for today. Then tomorrow it will be. I was able to copy the #24 bus time schedule from the marina’s office only copy (is it up to date?). We untied from the dock at 1100 hrs. & anchored in the creek; Graeme readied the dinghy & motor. Gentleman on Bristol (Tanzar) slowed his dinghy & spoke to us; he & his wife are from Belleville, Ont. He had some interesting info--- $15.00 Savannah tour 1-1/2 hrs., excellent & very well worth it; iPAD with 3G pays $29.00 per month & almost constant internet & weather with radar application; highly recommends calling Patrol & Border Crossing at each port. After lunch we tied up the dinghy at Hogan’s Marina--> no charge today because of overnight stay. We walked to ACE Hardware (large) & Family Dollar then back home about 1530 hrs. While we sat in the cockpit I was reminded for some time now, at least since Georgetown, S.C., the sound of birds’ call similar to the bird sounds of the Caribbean --- blissful. A striking sunset. Supper= corn on the cob, cube steak, onions & potatoes. Night sky clear, ½ moon, stars, calm & not as cool as last night. Graeme has read through 4 books, I nil. Early bed tonight so as to get the early bus into downtown Savannah tomorrow.

Mon. Nov. 15, 2010 (Week 6, Day 42): Destination: Savannah anchored in Turner Creek Weather: dew+++, slightly coolish temp. about 60’sF, full sun Winds: light, not enough wind to get wind gen to work

Our boat direction changed with the tides; not really affected by wind, especially today with so little winds. A boat shower, breakfast & by 0730 hrs. we were in the dinghy so as to tie it up at Hogan’s Marina ($10.00 per day). We walked to the #24 bus stop in front of the BP station--- arrived at 0815 hrs.; we met Barb & Jim from New Bern, N.C. (trawler) also going to downtown Savannah. The bus ride was about 45 min. dropping us at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. & Broughton, 2 blocks from the Visitor Center. We paid for an Oglethorpe Trolley Tour--- 90 min. long at $15.00 per person with unlimited on & off bus privileges till 1730 hrs.; throughout the historic area. Mickey was the name of our tour guide--> very good; highly recommend tour for 1st time visitors. The tour ended at The Market (0930-1100 hrs.) We walked The Market (2 blocks) had an early lunch at ‘Tapis’ & planned our walking route. We walked the length of River Street with it’s many shops, Factor Row & Factor Walk taking lots of photos; now 1400 hrs. Then we walked some of the historic streets, squares & houses pointed out to us on tour; again more photos. To ‘Leopolds’ infamous for their ice cream especially their Tutti Fruiti flavor; will be moving back to their original site on the corner of Gwinnett & Broughton in the Spring. We only covered 1/3 of the historic area by foot as we made our way back to our bus stop, stopping for a beer, thinking we had time to spare. But I had read the schedule wrong, missed the 1555 hrs. bus & now had to wait an hour & get the last bus. The return ride was in the dark busy with working folk getting off of work, & it took approximately an hour before our stop. We made a detour to the Publix before going to the dinghy. The Morrows called; rented a car & toured & shopped in around Hilton Head. Supper= hot dog + a cob of corn for me. A cloud cover rolled in late afternoon & rain predicted for tomorrow. Do we go on to Redbird Creek tomorrow or stay here tomorrow? We will see what we feel like doing in the am. A warmer night.

Interesting Info: This will be added in the near future!

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