|Nightcap II at Campbell Creek|
Nov.16: It was foggy this a.m. so we are not moving, but it turned into a beautiful day. I got some great fog photos. I'm really liking my 70-300 mm L series. I can hand hold it on the boat even though the boat is always in motion. The stabilizer helps me to make images that are in focus, most of the time.
Today we finally got to shed our long underwear, watch caps, 2 pairs of gloves, 2 layers of clothes, winter jacket, heavy socks, and scarf. So much for balmy, tropical weather. This is an unusual cold fall on the East Coast. We traveled at the same time 28 years ago and according to our log the weather was great.
|We share the waterway with some interesting boats!|
While we are laying over Jim is baking bread. We have the luxury of having an oven. I made a blueberry crumble cake earlier. Jim made the most delicious omelet with potatoes, onions, white cheddar cheese, and roasted red peppers. When we're in an anchorage or at a dock, we can bake and cook because we have the time. When we're moving, our time is spent reading charts, plotting courses, and being alert and aware of boats, tides, floating objects, and following the coastal markers so that we don't go aground. Navigating is a full time job. Then when we're sailing, that's another story. I get to take photos when I get tired of being at the helm.
|The Red Marker tells us to take the channel to the right|
|High Tide and the Osprey nest almost hid this marker!|
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We will probably be traveling on Thanksgiving Day. Hope to celebrate it at St. James Marina near Southport NC where we are going next to wait out some more bad weather. It should be interesting tomorrow when we start out and the temp is 31. The winds have died down, so we have to take the opportunity to travel. There are small craft warnings up and down the East Coast, but it's going to be OK where we are going.
We are at St. James Plantation Marina, a multimillion dollar development of houses, condos, golf courses etc. We are only stopping here because of the weather really sucks. It was 31 this morning when we started out at 7:30. I had long underwear and several layers and still was freezing my butt off, and Jim had to be extra careful in bringing up the anchor because the deck was icy. Now we are plugged into shore power and have heat.
While here we played a game of chess to pass the time. I'd rather play Scrabble, but I beat Jim at chess once in a while when he makes mistakes. We really haven't had time to play scrabble or chess because we go to bed early so that we can get up at 5:00 to get ready to travel down the ICW. The weather is 15-25 degrees below normal for this time of the year. When we traveled this same route 28 years ago, a couple of weeks earlier in November, it was beautiful.
|When we anchored here last night, only the mast of this boat was visible!|
Jim: Just after Charleston we had to pass through Elliott Cut. It is narrow, broken rock on both sides, and the current runs up to five knots through it. The wood boat was waiting for slack tide. I misjudged and we entered the cut with the current against us. It took us almost a half hour to go a half mile. At times we seemed not to be moving at all, and all I could think of was what a terrible time it would be to have an engine failure!
We are going to find a place to stop for awhile and just have an R & R. We can stop anywhere we want to along the coast. We are both getting tired of this bad weather and not being able to travel more often. We both like the traveling part and we do meet a lot of interesting people along the way.
|An advantage of getting up as early as we do is that we get light like this!|
|I think that the cormorants were waiting to see if we'd make it.|
I'm usually on my back looking up as we go under the bridges. This one is supposed to have a clearance of 65 feet, but you can see by the waterline that it's below 64. We decided to give it a go. I wasn't looking because Jim had left the helm to Captain Braveheart. Just as we went under, I heard this loud thunk. I thought that we had hit until Jim told me that it was just a car going over the bridge.
We are in an anchorage right now waiting for the right time to navigate another problem area in the ICW. It seems there are many. Yesterday we went under our first bridge that had a 64 ft clearance and we didn't touch!
|We began seeing sights like this when we hit South Carolina|
We made it through the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cut (don't you love the name?), the latest ICW trouble spot. We waited at Fenwick Island for high tide, and as we were waiting, a huge double barge with a tug at both ends came through. We figured that they had timed it for the high tide, too, and if they could make it we could. Well, our lowest depth reading was 9 feet. Take away 7 feet for the tide, and at low tide there would have been just two feet of water in the cut!
|Double barge passing 100 yards from our anchorage, heading for the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cut|
Dec. 5, 2013, Beaufort, SC
As soon as we docked the boat, we started meeting other boaters and having great conversations. The locals are very friendly to boaters. We both felt that we made the right decision to stop here for a month and recoup from all that nasty, cold weather we had to endure. The sun felt so good.
We are in Beaufort SC for 1 month, and loving it. We finally hit some warm weather and I shed my long underwear as soon as we docked the boat. Beaufort is a wonderful small town with lots of culture. There are several performances that we will be attending in Dec. and a big Gullah performance/celebration this Fri that we want to attend. There will be artists, food, and stage performances. It should be fun. The Gullah were slaves and they have their own language and culture in SC. It should be an interesting and entertaining evening. This weekend there will be a boat parade and the boats will be decorated for X-mas. We'll be able to watch them on the dock.
Pat Conroy, the author of Prince of Tides, is from Beaufort and taught school on St. Helena Island where many of the Gullah live. The kids were terrified of the water and he tried to teach them how to swim but was unsuccessful. Many of the Gullah had had bad experiences with power boats coming through here from the North. Hence, the Gullah children were terrified of the "Snowbirds" and wouldn't go in the water.
You can find a lot more history about the Gullah here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gullah
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The people here in Beaufort are extremely friendly and go out of their way to make you feel at home. We hang out at a bar called "Luther's", a hangout for the locals, and are already known by the bartender and wait staff. Originally a pharmacy founded in 1906, their motto is "Good for what Ales you." We are not sure when we will leave.