Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Georgetown to Charleston and HOME!, Days 43 and 44

July 2: Georgetown to Charleston
The reward for waking up early...
 These photos seem a little yellower than what it actually was. There was a lot of light red in those clouds but I think these photos are still beautiful!
We were close to Georgetown but this time we didn't go into the harbor. We anchored in a beautiful spot just in sight of the bridge and harbor. Easy access to go either offshore or ICW route. 

We passed by the Georgetown light on the way offshore. It's a bit longer trip to go offshore on this route because we have to go out quite a bit in both the Georgetown and Charleston channels to get away from any shoals but it should be a good day to do so and it gets us away from the small boat traffic and shallows behind Isle of Palm.

It was a very still morning. Not much wind and calm waters. Yeah! Great day to go offshore even though Bella had her "special" peanut butter treat and I had my Relief Band ready.
 Calm and beautiful offshore, though a little rolly with the long, smooth 1/2 - 1 ' foot waves...which as it turns out is what gets me! 🤢🤢🤢🤢
Bella seemed ok with her drug though she was not totally herself but she did not get sick. It was smooth but the long, slow, smooth up and down waves were not good for me! My Relief Band was eventually up to max and my tummy was at my throat. Next time, I use my patch, though I was ok on our other times. Maybe it was just "me" today.
Boy, was I glad to start seeing these sights! 
Charleston harbor scenes are always so beautiful.

The harbor area was so crowded today, we thought about anchoring by the city marina but we hear so much about how fouled the waters are by sunken vessels and stuff. Nothing we want to get into. So we took the extra bit of time to get into the Stono River and anchor at the same spot we had our 1st night on this trip. Not far from St Johns Yacht Harbor.
Back to our water pump issue... Bruce has not had a chance to replace it as it is behind one of the engines which is way too hot to deal with. He troubleshot a couple of things and he's pretty sure the pump is bad. The boat is lip-lapping full of fresh water from Southport, we just can't get it out of the faucets! We also have lots of fresh drinking water on board so we are using that to wash dishes with and wash ourselves. Of course, we could've gone to a marina tonight for a real shower, but we didn't! 
We will go on home tomorrow instead of hanging around Botany Bay Beach over the 4th. It's supposed to rain anyway!

Miles today: 90
Total: 1375

July 3, Day 44. Home!

Weighed anchor at 8 AM and we were able to enter the Toogoodoo on a rising tide and be home around at 11:30. It was a smooth ride down the Stono and Toogoodoo and docking! 
😎😎😎 Of course, the conditions were perfect for us. 

 I see our empty dock waiting for us and a new boat on the creek!
 Within an hour of docking, a rain squall comes by with some lightning and wind. But it was still HOT. We have decided that long trips in June and July are just too hot, even up north! The Chesapeake was in the mid 90s when we were there. Somehow I think it's not always like that though. Next time, we want blue water, but we are glad that we made the trip. It taught us a lot about Summer Breeze and we are now more prepared and ready for that trip. When? Not yet!

Our travels home. The only difference in going north was that we did the whole way in the ICW going north and south we went offshore between Georgetown and Charleston. Also, we took the Virginia Cut Route north and the Dismal Swamp Route south between Norfolk and Pamlico River. A total of 1399 miles and 44 days.

These paintings need a little tweaking here and there but I have a ton of reference photos to work from for my Summer Breezes Series.
For now, it's time to clean up the boat, the house, the yard, get to my art business and the gallery business...
I didn't paint as much as I anticipated I would. I was busier navigating and co-captaining than I normally am. Being in unknown waters for us required that but it was all worth it.

Summer Breeze summer cruise 
Dates: May 21-July 3, 2018
Miles today:  24
Miles total: 1399
Our miles on Summer Breeze:  2552

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Sunday, July 1, 2018

Southport, NC to almost Georgetown, SC, July 1, Day 42

 This photo of us was taken today by an anchor and dock mate we've had the last several days, both of us traveling south. We took their photo as well and exchanged. It's rare to get photos of us while under way! Thanks Wade and Don! 
Lockwood Folly inlet
We left the marina about 7:15 AM, as we are hoping to make 2 short days we had on the way north into 1 not too long of a day going south. Bucksport is on the Waccamaw River just south of Myrtle Beach. This means that we will go through the areas of Lockwood Folly and Shallotte that are well known for swift currents and shoaling, but we are going on a favorable tide which is great. 
The weekend and 4th of July revelers were out early staking out a spot on the sand bar by the inlets. 

Little River inlet area by Calabash was busy, busy with small boat traffic, making us crazy. At the risk of making me sound like an old person.... 
... the jet skiers and small boats pulling children and then stopping directly in front of us was insane. Don't they know that we are a big heavy boat that just can't get out of their way when they are in our only channel? (Ok, kids, I sound like your grandpa and grandmas!)
We also went through the legendary Rock Pile. It’s about a 3 mile stretch of the ICW with rock ledges jutting from the sides. It’s high tide today as we go south and it’s deceiving because you can’t see most of them. 
When we traveled north, it was low tide and the channel appeared narrower but you could see the rocks. Above you can see some of the rock ledges that are visible at high tide and you can see how close to the boats they are. We just stayed in the middle with the smaller local traffic going around us. We just hope no one larger than us is going north at the same time. Captain B radioed a Securite call for large traffic and no one answered as well as no AIS showed up on the computer. All is well. It’s actually a beautiful stretch with fine great homes. 
Along the way, there is still evidence of the broken docks from the storms the last couple of years and lots of new and repaired docks going in. We've met people that are taking their boats south now because they got caught up north too late and couldn't get home with the storms. 
After the Rock Pile area which is around North Myrtle Beach, the small boat traffic got even crazier, as you can see. We had to really watch them because they were not watching us.

Bella on duty watching Socaste Swing Bridge open.
We anchored at 6:30 behind Butler Island just in sight of the Ocean Highway Bridge north of Georgetown. This gives us a good start to get to Charleston tomorrow. We made it farther today than we anticipated with some good tide travel (kind of like time travel when you are on a boat) so we hope to make it to the Charleston harbor tomorrow and take the boat offshore to do so. Will check waves and weather one more time in the morning and have drug laced peanut butter and Relief Band ready. 
Unfortunately, as we showered and getting ready to cook up some fresh grouper, we discovered a water pump issue. Bruce is not sure if he can repair it here or not. We are so close to home! We were hoping to stop off at Botany Bay Beach for the 4th of July and then go home the next day but we can't live without boat water for that long. I have to shower. We have plenty of drinking water so all good there. 

Miles today: 87
Miles total. 1285

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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Wrightsville Beach to Southport, NC, Days 40 and 41

Friday, June 29, Day 40
We weighed anchor at 8:45 am as were sleepy heads today. It was a beautiful morning, clear water, blue skies and we are thinking how great it is to be out of the daily storm threats pattern. We traveled down the beach towns to the Snows Cut which enters Cape Fear River. (Remember the movie, Cape Fear with Robert Dinero in 1991, which is a remake of the 1962 one with Gregory Peck? I've always been afraid of this river because of that movie. It is a psychological thriller.)
So, I notice a few clouds hovering, Bruce says it is a 30% chance of rain. Within minutes, we are in a complete white out rain storm with thunder and lightening. That was not fun.
 But it was over by the time we got to South Harbor Village Marina for our weekend stay. The clouds are really pretty with the storms hovering around.
We had some down time again in the Southport area. Roger and Kathy Tatum came by and met us for dinner at one of the marina's restaurants. Best crab cakes we had on the whole trip are from here, the Dead End Saloon.

Saturday, June 30, Day 41
We did the typical marina stuff, like laundry, change oil fuel injectors, take on water and fuel... Then Kathy so kindly came by and took us to re-provision the few basics we needed to get home, like coffee and we picked up a couple other items, like fresh grouper. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon in Southport touring the traveling 911 mobile exhibit and the old Jail. If you get a chance to be in a city where the 911 exhibit goes, you must see it. It was a very moving experience. Click here for more info.

Then we stopped on this very hot end of June day to have a cold one at the American Fish Company on the waterfront and watched the boats go by, then dinner later across the street.
It was quite steamy. The air even looks steamy.
 The place is one of the scene settings for the movie, Safe Haven.

 Back home early to get ready for an early departure. We hope to make it as far as Bucksport tomorrow, then Georgetown, then Charleston in time for 4th of July. Will see!

Miles yesterday: 27
Miles total. 1197

Friday, June 29, 2018

Adams Creek-Beaufort-Morehead City-Bogue Sound-Camp LeJeune, Day 38, Wrightsville Beach, Day 39

We weighed anchor at 7 AM. The creek shrimpers and crabbers we’re out early at 5, one with a radio blaring. We wanted an early start anyway as we want to get past the Camp LeJeune area today as they are doing live firing exercises soon and close the ICW.  
It was a beautiful morning. Very still air and water. In fact, most of the day was like that, very different from yesterday! The morning light made for some good photos.

After passing Beaufort, Morehead City and into the Bogue Sound, it is a pretty monotonous but narrow channel. You can see the sandbar with the birds. That's how narrow the channel is the whole way.
We passed Swansboro, maybe next trip north, we will actually stop here.
 These guys buzzed by us twice today. Military boats going fast, yes, they waked us. 😒

 I didn't get a photo of the posted signs when going north, so here they are!

Shrimp, scallops and pasta dinner 
and free entertainment!

Beautiful evening dining al fresco
Glass is half full but the bottle is empty! But in this case, the glasses are empty too.

Miles today: 58
Miles total: 1129

Camp LeJeune to Wrightsville Beach, NC, Day 39

We had a full house last night at the anchorage, 7 boats but there is plenty of room there. Weighed anchor at 7:45 and headed south. The winds have picked up just a bit again today but it is a welcome breeze. 
The marine guys were out again today, going fast, making big wakes. I guess it is ok for them to wake us all up causing potential damage or harm? People and things go flying . Hmmm.....
The channel is narrow all the way down to Wrightsville with lots of shoaling and crab pots and the jet skiers were out buzzing all around and in front of us. We can only imagine what Wrightsville Beach will be like this weekend as the 4th of July approaches. We will be out of there by Friday morning! 
Entering Wrightsville Bridge waiting for the bridge to open.

Miles today: 41
Miles Total: 1170

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