April 16 Herb Creek, GA to Beaufort, SC
It was still a bit chilly when we got up; 15C in the salon. We weighed anchor and left at 06:50. Here are some of the lovely homes that were along the creek in the anchorage.
We motored out into the river and continued on along the ICW. Thunderbolt Marine is a full service yacht repair facility and also a marina. It is located on the Wilmington River outside of Savannah. Here it is with the early morning sun shining on it.
It is a long way to motor right up in to Savannah with the boat so we have never gone. One day though, we will come back by car. We hear it is a beautiful city with gorgeous plantation homes. Some lovely condos and homes along here too.
We came to the Causton Bluff (Sam Varnedoe) Lift Bridge and radioed for the opening. The operator told us to be careful because one section of the lift wouldn’t go up.
A new bridge is going up to replace the lift bridge.
Well, hello pelican on red marker 42
Just as we were passing from Georgia into South Carolina we heard the U.S. Coast Guard on the radio hailing the boat behind us requesting to come aboard for a safety check. We were boarded at the Florida/Georgia border on our way back home in 2015. So far on this trip, we haven’t been boarded.
Here are some more photos of our day along the ICW:
A lighthouse on the Calibogue Sound
Beautiful homes in Hilton Head, SC
Some dolphins playing
And we spotted a blue heron
Folks out playing on the beach
Here is the Marine Corps Recruit Depot that is used for the training of enlisted Marines in Port Royal, SC.
We radioed ahead to the Downtown Marina in Beaufort to see if they had a mooring ball available for the night. They did, so we got fuel and water and then headed out to the mooring field. We slipped our line through the pennant on the mooring ball at 14:50 and had travelled 42.9 nm.
We dinghied in for showers and the courtesy car was available for an hour so we went to Walmart for engine oil and a few groceries. After getting back to the boat, we walked up through the town. It was a beautiful afternoon and much warmer than it was when we were visiting in the fall with Lyn and Greg from Paperbird and Debbie and Glenn from Calliope.
We ended up at a restaurant called Hearth for supper. They specialize in wood fired pizza but have many other choices on the menu. We had wings for an appetizer and a meat pizza for an entree and it was delicious. Their live edge tables are made from reclaimed wood from Hurricane Matthew.
The wood on the walls and behind the wood oven, are from Hurricane Matthew also.
If you ever find yourself visiting Beaufort, SC treat yourself to a meal at Hearth. Also a place called Plums is a great eatery, we heard. We couldn’t decide which one to go to, so will give Plums a try another time. Last fall, we had a great breakfast with Lyn and Greg and Debbie and Glenn at Blackstone’s Cafe. Oh and if you take a trip to beautiful Beaufort, don’t forget to take the horse and carriage tour through Historic Beaufort. 🙂 We sure enjoyed that ride last fall.
April 17 Beaufort to Church Creek, SC
We slipped the line off the mooring ball at 06:25. We wanted to make the opening of the swing bridge at 06:30 It is the Woods Memorial Bridge but is better known as the Lady’s Island Swing Bridge that joins Lady’s Island to downtown Beaufort. This bridge was also made famous by Tom Hanks running across it in the movie Forrest Gump. (Lots of info on that movie was mentioned in our November 13th blog last fall from our carriage ride in Beaufort).
And while we were waiting for the bridge to open, we noticed one of the other boats waiting was Blossom II. We had first met Jim when he was in Waterford, NY and we stepped our masts together along with James and Amanda from Barry Duckworth. We also met up with Blossom II in Annapolis for awhile and though we didn’t get to see him in Vero Beach because he had already gone home for Christmas, we did raft up with his boat on a mooring ball.
Here is the Lady’s Island Swing Bridge at sunrise.
And the traffic backed up on the bridge waiting for us and other boats to go through.
We were radioing with Jim and he said he thought there a cold front that would be coming through in a couple of days. We checked on our phone and could see that there would be high winds coming with the front. I called several marinas to see if we could get a two night stay. They were all booked because of the coming Easter weekend and the storm. Charleston City Marina said that they were moving boats around to accommodate more boats and they would call back. Awhile later, we heard from them and they had a spot for us and Blossom II on the wall for the 18th and 19th. Perfect!
It was a short day with not a lot to see along the way.
We did see two neat looking little boats. We could see by the flags flying on the front of their boats, that they were doing the Great Loop.
We passed a couple of barges at Younges Island.
And look at this beautiful rainbow colour in the sky! We had no rain or threat of rain, but how pretty this was for us to see.
We anchored in Church Creek, SC at 14:10 and had travelled 42.4 nm. It turned out to be a hot day. Jim radioed for us to come over but we invited him over to Persuasion to visit and stay for supper. He is single handing Blossom II. His wife had come down to visit a few times in Vero Beach but he is taking the boat back to Hamilton by himself. Quite a feat for a 72 year old. He will have a friend come to help him go through the locks in NY. We had a good evening getting caught up on each others winter adventures in the sun. He knows the Bahamas well as he and his wife travelled on their boat there for many years. He had not been back though for 9 years and wanted to make it one more time. Sadly, with his scheduled return after Christmas, he didn’t get a window soon enough to go, so spent time in Vero Beach and South Beach on the boat.
April 18 Church Creek to Charleston, SC
Happy 65th Mike! And what a sunrise for your birthday!
We weighed anchor and left at 07:15 and headed out on the ICW. It was to be another short motor day as well, so I didn’t take many photos. But here is what we did see from Persuasion that’s captioned below:
Some lovely homes along the canal
A beautiful home with a tent set up for a celebration
The Wapoo Lift Bridge
And for our followers who know bridges; this one is powered by cylinders
We arrived at the Charleston City Marina at 12:00. We fuelled up and got water. Unfortunately, our slip was to be on the dock wall and with the wind that was coming later that night, we would be pushed on to the wall. However, we were still thankful to have gotten a dock without any good anchorages close by for the storm.
I made Mike one of his favourite meals for lunch. Spaghetti and homemade biscuits. Since my oven doesn’t work, I found a recipe for frying pan biscuits. I have made them several times and they turn out quite well, actually. He loves butter and molasses on them too so, that was his birthday cake! What a celebration for his 65th, don’t you think? Mike says he is extra special because not only was he born on his mother’s birthday but that year it fell on Easter Sunday. His nephew was also born on April 18th so it is definitely a special day in that family. 🙂 I hope they both had a great birthday too. Here is the birthday boy!
It was a lovely, warm day when we got to Charleston. We walked up and had a shower and then walked around the marina for awhile. Jim from Blossom II was also further up on the dock. He stopped by to tell us he was taking the courtesy shuttle for groceries. For supper, we walked up to the marina restaurant. We had been there before in the fall of 2014 with Ray and Esther when they came to Charleston to visit us and Jim and Cheryl, on our first trip. The restaurant opened in 1963 and it has stayed that way since then. They still run things the same way. Definitely an old school diner but the food was very good. From the short time we were in eating supper until we came out, the wind had really picked up and what a temperature change. We hustled back to the marina. Actually, a young man from the marina was at the parking lot and offered to give us a ride back to the boat in his golf cart. We were pleased as the marina is huge and our boat was a long way from the parking lot. He actually told us that the marina owns 40 acres!
Shortly after we got to the boat, it turned much colder and then started pouring. Yes, just as they had predicted, the cold front came in. We turned in early and for the first time since late last fall, had to put a heavy blanket on the bed.
April 19 Pinned to the dock in Charleston
Oh man, did it ever rain in the night and the wind blew us on to the dock. It was still raining hard when we ate breakfast. Finally, it let up. Jim stopped by to say he was going to take the courtesy shuttle to downtown Historic Charleston. Not knowing when the rain might start up again, we decided not to go. We had a great visit when Ron and Gwen visited with us on the way down last fall. It’s such a beautiful city with lots of history and gorgeous architecture.
Here are some photos of the storm. There were boats dragging out in the anchorage. Actually, some of the marina staff went out to help those that were dragging as some were coming close to boats on the dock! It was wild and blowing over 40 kn. The guy in the catamaran was all alone and he reset his anchor so many times.
We took advantage of the reprieve from the rain and headed up to the showers and laundromat. It was another long walk but there were nice chairs to sit in and free wifi for updating apps. I snapped a few photos.
The marina sign on a very, very long dock.
Some of the yachts in the marina
And the next two are of their pump out boat; for pumping out the holding tanks of your boats head (toilet) Neat names for the jobs that these boats do! 🙂
The grateful head
After the laundry was done and put away, we decided to take the courtesy shuttle to Publix. It was not raining but the wind was still high and the waves were beating the boat, especially the back of the boat on the dinghy tow. This was the first time we were really worried that something could happen to Persuasion. It was so rough that we wondered if the dinghy tow might rip off the back and puncture the hull and we would be taking on water. Or that one of the dragging boats in the anchorage would hit us. Hindsight, in the better weather the day before, we should have hoisted the dinghy up on the deck. We decided to take a ditch bag with us to get groceries. We took our computer, Ipads and all the chargers in our dry bag. We did forget our passports though. They were up in a cupboard.
A very nice young lady drove us and said to call when we were done and she would pick us up. While we were waiting for her to pick us back up, we heard thunder and the sky got black. Then the rain was coming down in sheets. Thank goodness there was an awning over the store. When we saw her at the curb, we ran and in just the few seconds it took us to reach her, we were drenched. She could hardly see to drive. She mentioned that the businesses down in Historic Charleston had closed early because of flooding. We got back to the marina and she drove me down to the boat in her golf cart. She had driven the one with a basket on it so Mike walked back in the rain. We noticed that Blossom II had a hatch open when we walked by earlier and since he had left to go downtown, Mike wanted to stop by and close it. He was thoroughly soaked when he got back. Meanwhile, the wind kept howling.
We had hoped to get to a Good Friday service as we would be travelling on Easter Sunday, but the weather didn’t permit it, that’s for sure. Jim stopped by after he got back from downtown and said he was walking up to the marina restaurant for supper and wanted us to go but we told him we had enough rain for one day. We saw on the news that night that in the midst of the thunder and lightning storm when we were up for groceries, that the wind in the harbour had gotten as high as 68 mph. The wind was gusting to 60kn! Before we went to bed, we made sure we had everything packed in our dry bag and this time, included our passports and important documents for the boat. And oh yes, we dug out yet another heavy blanket for the bed.