March 31, 2013

March 31, 2013 Day 324
Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina
Charleston, SC
Total miles to date: 5357.2

Easter Sunday!  We woke to rain but it stopped by mid-morning which allowed us to walk to the Easter Sunday Brunch at the Charleston Harbor Resort next to the marina.  We had an extravagant meal complete with mahi mahi, cheese grits with shrimp, seafood frittata, eggs benedict, roast beef, salads, fruit, cheesecake, key lime pie, mimosas, and more!  Needless to say, we declared it to be our meal for the day!

We could see Carried Away from the top of the aircraft carrier
After brunch we walked back to change into comfortable clothes and shoes and set off again to tour the three ships at Patriots Point (also next to our marina).  We spent an interesting afternoon visiting the USS Clamagore, a submarine built at the end of WWII; the USS Laffey, a WWII Destroyer, and finally the USS Yorktown, a WWII aircraft carrier. The Yorktown was modified in the 1950’s with an angled deck for jets and converted to an antisubmarine carrier in the 1960’s.  In 1968 she recovered the Apollo 8 astronauts.  We climbed and descended more stairs than we could count on the three ships, many of them so steep we went down backwards.  We had never been on an aircraft carrier before and it is an amazing ship!  There are several WWII airplanes on its flight deck.

Torpedo room on the submarine
Standing on the flight deck of the USS Yorktown

No sunset picture tonight- just the storm clouds!
We came back to the boat exhausted but glad we took this self-guided tour (along with many other tourists out today).

The weather report for tomorrow has caused us to revise our plans and remain here one more day.  We have chores to do anyway so we will use this bad weather day to get those done.  We will head to Georgetown, SC on Tuesday.

March 30, 2013

March 30, 2013 Day 323
Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina
Charleston, SC
Total miles to date: 5357.2

We left our anchorage at 8:45 this morning under a partly cloudy sky and entered the Stono River which took us most of the way to Charleston. We only had 22 miles to travel today so we started seeing more homes lining the waterway with long docks extending out to the shore.  We entered Elliott Cut at 10:50 which is very narrow at the southern end and is lined with homes, with no room for docks. 

The Charleston Harbor
Passing by homes along the Battery
More lovely homes along the Battery (as we walked by them)
Another one!
We could see the Charleston Harbor come into view and of course the traffic picked up considerably!  We crossed the Ashley River, went past the famous Battery seawall, and entered the Cooper River.  There were many sailboats in a regatta that we detoured around. We also saw motor yachts, container ships and other large commercial vessels.

There are several marinas from which to choose, but we decided to stay at the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina on the east side of the river. It is next to Patriot’s Point which is home to the aircraft carrier Yorktown, a submarine and a destroyer.  This marina provides free trolley service to the historic district and a water taxi is also available, so we didn’t mind being “across the river”.

We arrived around noon and after lunch took the trolley into the heart of Charleston. We spent quite a while walking through the market area. Although we admired the sweetgrass baskets being woven by local women, the price was not in the budget.

Sweetgrass baskets made by local women and sold in the market

Carriage rides are a popular way to see the historic city.
We have taken this ride on earlier visits to Charleston.
We walked down Bay Street to the Battery (where we passed by earlier in our boat).  The stately antebellum homes are beautiful. Since this is Easter weekend and spring break for many students, the sidewalks, restaurants, and shops were full of visitors. The weather was very pleasant – the sun came out and jackets were optional!  We walked back along the river with its parks and fountains and decided to take the water taxi back to our marina.

We had a fun day but were tired from all the activity. We ate dinner on the flybridge where we had a great view of many boaters still out on the river. We will continue our sightseeing tomorrow on this side of the river at Patriots Point.



March 29, 2013 Day 322
At Anchor
Church Creek off Wadlamaw River in SC
Total miles to date: 5334.6

Again, taking note of the tide, we left the marina in Beaufort at 8:35 under a sunny sky and immediately went under the 30’ swing bridge that crosses to Lady’s Island. (This is the bridge used in Forrest Gump.)

We were soon greeted by two F-18’s that fly out of the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort.  We continued up the Beaufort River, into Brickyard Creek and then entered the wide Coosaw River.  We passed St. Helena’s Sound with its inlet to the ocean. Next, the Ashepoo Cutoff – a narrow, shallow canal, which we were glad to enter at high tide.  We went up Rock Creek, the Ashepoo River, past Fenwick Island, then the South Edisto River – eventually through more cuts to the Dawho River, the North Edisto River, to the winding Wadlamaw River to our anchorage in Church Creek!   This was a 48.4 mile day. With current changes, we found our speed ranging from around 5 to over10.2 mph!
One of the lovely homes on the Beaufort River

There were very few boats out today. We passed two larger cruising yachts (they passed us), and only a handful of small boats.  Part of the scenery today reminded us of Georgia with its marshes lining the rivers on both sides.  Other areas had homes with very long docks along the shore.

We reached our planned destination at an anchorage at 3:15 – and shared the creek with one sailboat.  There are oyster beds that line the north shore of the creek and are quite prominent at low tide!
Oyster beds at our anchorage

We cooked out on the grill and then watched the movie, Les Miserables.

Sailboats always add to the intrigue of the sunset!
Tomorrow (Saturday) we will head to Charleston and stay there for two days.  We have been there before by car, but have many things we want to see!

March 28, 2013

March 28, 2013 Day 321
The Downtown Marina of Beaufort
Beaufort, SC
Total miles to date: 5286.2

We departed the Shelter Cove Marina at Hilton Head promptly at 8:00 this morning.  Rick and Marie came over to say goodbye and to help with our lines.  (Marie also sneaked an Easter basket filled with goodies into our salon when we weren’t looking!).  They are such great people!

We wound our way back out of Broad Creek, passing other marinas. Shelter Cove is literally up the creek, but it was worth the detour!  We travelled under a bright sunny sky but the wind made for a fairly choppy ride.  We eventually entered Calabogue Sound, Skull Creek, Port Royal Sound (where we could see the ocean) and then the Beaufort River.  When we passed Parris Island, home of a major Marine training base, we noted the name on the water tower:  “We Make Marines”!

We arrived at the Downtown Marina of Beaufort at 12:30 and tied up on their transient T-Dock. We wasted no time getting checked in and then headed for the historical area – right off the dock.  We had already decided the best way to tour Beaufort is by carriage ride, so we got our tickets and twenty minutes later, we were on our way. Beaufort dates back to 1710 and has many homes on the historical register, most from the 1800’s.  The Union troops were in control of Beaufort during the Civil War and many homes were used for hospitals.  Spanish moss hangs from live oak trees and provides beautiful canopies for the narrow streets and lovely homes.
The historic Rhett House now an Inn

Beautiful mansion
The bridge from Beaufort to Lady's Island. This was used in Forrest Gump
as the Mississippi River!
Beaufort has also been the site for many movies such as The Big Chill, Forrest Gump, The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides, GI Jane, and more.  The river and the historic houses make Beaufort the perfect setting.

After our carriage ride, we browsed through many of the small shops, walked through the park along the waterfront, stopped for ice cream, then returned to our boat.

We had dinner on board (love the crock pot with a delicious pork tenderloin waiting for us) and then relaxed for the evening.

We will leave in the morning and travel about 40 miles to an anchorage.

A beautiful sunset and sailboat silhouettes

March 27, 2013

March 27, 2013 Day 320
Shelter Cove Marina
Hilton Head Island, SC
Total miles to date: 5252.1

Today is our last day on Hilton Head Island and we spent it relaxing in the morning and getting the boat ready in the afternoon.  Joyce did laundry and Bill made some minor repairs.  Thanks to our friend Rick for taking Bill to West Marine for some last minute supplies! 

We had dinner on board tonight and fixed chicken on the grill.  This was the first calm day we have had.  It is still in the 50’s but sunny and with little wind, it seemed so much warmer!  Many kayakers went past our dock today!

We have a reservation at the Downtown Beaufort Marina tomorrow and hope to tour the historical area as soon as we arrive.  We have enjoyed our stay here in Hilton Head, especially since our daughter came to visit and with such good friends here also.

If you have never been to Hilton Head we would certainly recommend it as a destination!  The beaches, shopping, restaurants, golf courses, tennis courts, boating, and beautiful views won’t disappoint you!


March 26, 2013

March 26, 2013 Day 319
Shelter Cove Marina
Hilton Head Island, SC
Total miles to date: 5252.1

Another chilly and windy day!  We have had wind gusts to over 30mph this week!  We slept late (a rarity) and then returned the rental car (yes, with one more stop at a grocery store!).  After lunch we did some boat chores.

Our friends Rick and Marie brought their family over to see the boat this afternoon. Their 16 month old grandson, Sean, was quite happy here! 

We joined them back at their condo for dinner.  Rick’s daughter Amy and son-in-law John prepared a fabulous steak dinner for everyone.  We had a fun evening visiting with them and playing with Sean.

Our plans are to stay in Hilton Head one more day and then go to Beaufort, SC on Thursday.  We expect to be in Charleston, SC over the weekend.

March 25, 2013

March 25, 2013 Day 318
Shelter Cove Marina
Hilton Head Island, SC
Total miles to date: 5252.1

We had planned to take Kari to Savannah this morning to tour the city before her afternoon flight home.  But, with high winds and cold temps, we decided to stay on the boat until it was time to leave for the airport.  We are glad she could spend a few days with us!  The weather has been less than favorable, but we did have a relaxing visit with her.

We ran a few errands on the way home and then met Rick and Marie again for dinner.  We enjoyed having them come back to Carried Away for dessert.

We will see them again tomorrow afternoon.

March 24, 2013 Day 317
Shelter Cove Marina
Hilton Head Island, SC
Total miles to date: 5252.1

We woke to rain again and it continued much of the morning with thunderstorms.  We had another late brunch on board!

We spent a very nice afternoon and evening visiting with old friends, Rick and Marie Schlosser who have a condo here on Hilton Head Island. Rick and Bill were childhood friends and he was in our wedding!  Rick visited with us on Carried Away in the afternoon.  We joined Rick and Marie and her mother in their condo for appetizers and then we all went to the Oyster Factory for a wonderful seafood dinner.  The food was excellent and the view of Broad Creek was perfect.
Visiting with Rick and Marie at their condo

We returned to the boat and relaxed for the evening. Our daughter, Kari will leave tomorrow.  We have had a good visit with her, in spite of the weather!

March 23, 2013

March 23, 2013 Day 316
Shelter Cove Marina
Hilton Head Island, SC
Total miles to date: 5252.1

Kari and Joyce decided to some shopping before the rain started. We checked out several of the shops in Shelter Cove since these were all in walking distance.  After a quick stop at a nearby grocery store we came back for lunch – just as the rain began. 

Surprisingly the sun came out a couple of hour later so we ventured back out to do some more shopping. 

We cooked dinner on board again and just spent the evening relaxing.

March 22, 2013

March 22, 2013 Day 315
Shelter Cove Marina
Hilton Head Island, SC
Total miles to date: 5252.1

We got off to a late start today with brunch around 11:00. To Kari’s surprise, she slept late!  After brunch we drove across to Palmetto Dunes Resort and went for a short walk on the beach – wearing our fleece jackets!  Not the typical beach scene but it is always nice to see the ocean.

Our daughter, Kari
We came back to the boat and spent the day relaxing – playing some games and reading.  It started to rain in late afternoon so we were glad we had planned to have dinner on board.  Sometimes it is just good to have a day off!

Bill and Kari
This heron was ready for a ride
when we spotted him at our marina!
We are not sure of tomorrow’s plans – rain is in the forecast, so we will wait and see!

March 21, 2013

March 21, 2013 Day 314
Shelter Cove Marina
Hilton Head Island, SC
Total miles to date: 5252.1

Another short posting tonight.

We spent the morning finishing chores.  This afternoon we ran several errands and then drove to the Savannah airport to pick up Kari.  It is good to have her with us.  Thanks to her husband Robert for the idea of a little getaway trip for her!  He is home in Texas with their four children.

We stopped for dinner on the way home from the airport and then spent time visiting and relaxing after her long travel day.

Tomorrow we will show her around Hilton Head Island.

March 20, 2013

March 20, 2013 Day 313
Shelter Cove Marina
Hilton Head Island, SC
Total miles to date: 5252.1

This was simply a day of cleaning the boat.  Bill worked on windows and Joyce continued working on the interior while keeping the laundry going!

The weather is quite chilly for this first day of spring with a forecast of even lower temperatures as the weekend approaches.

We did manage to take a walk around the resort before dinner.

Just a short post tonight – we will drive to Savannah tomorrow to meet our daughter’s airplane!

March 19, 2013

March 19, 2013 Day 312
Shelter Cove Marina
Hilton Head Island, SC
Total miles to date: 5252.1

We had a big thunderstorm late last night so it was a relief to have a bright sunny day in the low 70’s!  We are sure the golfers were out in force.  We know the bicyclists were!

We picked up our rental car at 11:00 and drove around much of the island.  There is one main road that runs through the island and resort communities with condos and golf courses that are tucked around it.  Sometimes the shops are hard to see because of trees and signage restrictions.  (There is a Walmart – but it does not have big blue letters!)

We also had errands to run: Publix (Joyce will miss that store when we get farther north!) and West Marine (yes, we just needed two items – and yes, we walked down every aisle – it is a guy thing!)

We returned to the boat and put things away, then had dinner on board.  Bill continues to plot our course through the Carolinas in his spare time.

No big plans tomorrow – just trying to get the boat ready for company!

March 18, 2013

March 18, 2013 Day 311
Shelter Cove Marina
Hilton Head Island, SC
Total miles to date: 5252.1

We woke to rain and stayed at anchor off Bull Island until the rain stopped. Then we departed and headed for Hilton Head Island, only 10.6 miles away. It was nice to have a short ride today (thanks to our two previous longer days).

We arrived at 12:15 and then had crab cakes for lunch at Ela’s, a very nice restaurant on the second floor of the complex.  We went back to the boat and started major cleaning. Bill spent much of the afternoon cleaning the outside of the boat while Joyce worked on the inside!

Love the blue herons! Nice to be greeted!
Paddle boarders coming back from their lesson
Carried Away at Shelter Cove Marina
Our marina is part of a resort with condos, restaurants, and shops.  We have not had time yet to go exploring.  We will pick up a rental car tomorrow and see the whole island.  We look forward to having our daughter arrive on Thursday!

March 17, 2013

March 17, 2013 Day 310
At anchor, Bull Creek
Bull Island, SC
Total miles to date: 5241.5

Today was another long travel day of seven hours, but we had the tide with us and traveled 52 miles.  We left Walburg Creek and traveled through rivers in the marsh again - this time with names such as Bear, Ogeechee, Vernon, Hell Gate, Skidaway, and Ossabaw. 

It wasn’t until we reached the Burnside River that we saw houses!  There is a lovely community along the river.  Shortly after that we crossed Moon River, made famous by singer Andy Williams.  We had no idea it was there!

Shoaling is frequent!
A typical view in Georgia today
One of many large homes on the Burnside River
By 1:00 we were passing the Isle of Hope Marina. At one time we had thought of stopping there and touring Savannah by car, but we have decided to skip Savannah this time and go there next fall.  (We have been there in previous years.)  The boating traffic started to pick up once we reached this point.  We continued on and eventually crossed the Savannah River (Savannah is about 8 miles up the river). 
Isle of Hope Marina

We passed Dafuskie Island and then entered Bull Creek and anchored by Bull Island.  It is hard to believe we are in South Carolina.

Shortly after dinner, the Coast Guard stopped by our boat and wanted to know if we had made or heard a Mayday call on the radio. Apparently they had heard a call but did not know the location.  Unfortunately we were of no help since we had turned the radio off when we arrived at 4:00.

We planned our trip (with calendar in hand) for the remainder of the way home to Virginia. Then we spent the evening watching a special on Phantom of the Opera on television.

We will go to Hilton Head tomorrow and stay at Shelter Cove Marina. Our daughter will visit us later this week for a few days and we will also visit friends Bill has known since childhood!  We had planned to stay there two weeks but we will cut that short and leave around March 27th.

March 16, 2013

March 16, 2013 Day 309
At anchor, Walburg Creek
St. Catherine’s Island, GA
Total miles to date: 5189.6

Georgia Marshland
We traveled over 56 miles today through marshland and twisting rivers and creeks and wider sounds of water.  We found the names such as: New Tea Kettle Creek, Little Mud River, Front River, Doboy Sound, and Sapelo River to be quite interesting!  We actually like the Georgia scenery!
More marsh

The pelicans were hoping for their share of the catch!
For a Saturday we found very few other boaters out, which was surprising.  We did see several dolphins which are always delightful, if not elusive.  We had very good luck with the tide and current – well some of that is good planning on Bill’s part! 
You can see the winding river
in the dark shaded area on the chartplotter

A sharp turn coming up!
We went farther than originally planned but wanted to shorten the time for tomorrow or Monday.  We anchored in the quiet Walburg Creek off St. Catherine’s Island. There were two other boats anchored here when we arrived. 

We grilled steaks for dinner and then watched a movie. We will continue up the ICW through Georgia tomorrow to another anchorage.

March 15, 2013

March 15, 2013 Day 308
Golden Isles Marina
St. Simons Island, GA
Total miles to date: 5133.0

Although we had a short trip today, we left Jekyll Island early with sufficient tide to get us through the low points.  First we stopped at the fuel dock and filled the center tank.

Georgia marshland on the ICW
These birds assume the sign does not apply to them!
We left Jekyll Island, surrounded by marshland and were soon in the St. Simons Sound, passing the inlet to the ocean.   We traveled under a sunny sky and calm seas today, which we did appreciate!

We arrived at the marina at 11:15 and tied up on the transient face dock. We had planned to do some sightseeing, but instead, did some work.  Our starboard shifter had given us problems again when we departed, and Bill spent time bleeding the system.  He also spent a great deal of time on the phone trying to find some replacement parts.  We also took time to order books and charts we will need for our trip this summer.  Joyce did some vacuuming and laundry and made reservations for our upcoming trip to Hilton Head.

Lots of sailboats call Golden Isles Marina
at St. Simons Island their home - this only shows a few of them!
We went out for dinner at the Coastal Kitchen restaurant next to the marina and had excellent seafood.  The restaurant is also known for its beautiful views!

We will anchor out this weekend and then arrive in Hilton Head on Monday.