Thursday, May 18, 2017


      On Saturday morning I am up first and decide not to run the generator to make coffee. I use the microwave running on the inverter to heat water for instant coffee. it was a peaceful night considered we were on a river leading to the ocean. I think I expected outbound fishing boats to rock us after daylight, but it did not happen. We get our quick breakfast of cold cereal, and then we prepare the boat to weigh anchor and get under way. We are off anchor by 8:50 and headed into Charleston. As we head up Elliot Cut, I glance back and see a big tour boat gaining on us as we head North up the cut. There is a drawbridge with enough clearance for us, but he has to wait for it to open. My worry of having to be passed in this narrow cut by a large vessel is ended.
We pop out of the cut, and into the Ashley River leading into Charleston Harbor. The tour boats are the main movers in Charleston Harbor this morning. As we pass Fort Sumter, a tug is coming in from the ocean towing a barge.
On the ICW route, we are not near the navy base as other ports have been. The only naval ships we see are the ships on memorial duty at Patriot Point. The aircraft carrier "Yorktown" is still impressive, even from over a mile away. A couple of turns, and we are in the narrow ICW channel. This channel is pretty open to travel. But near Isle of Palms, I must have missed a "No Wake" sign. I see a jet ski tour operator motioning for me to slow down and not wash his craft sitting on a dock. I slow down, and feel bad as he is going to get some wake anyway. I am just glad I saw him as he signaled me. We are headed to Georgetown, SC, and for half the way we buck tides. We are able to run only 8.3kt at 2240rpm (normal speed @ 1800rpm), but when we hit tides the other way, we are running over 10kt at the same 2240rpm. The only looper we see on the route is "Cway", most of the other boats are small fishing boats and runabouts. We arrived at Harborwalk Marina at Georgetown at about 4:10, a little over 69mi from where we weighed anchor in the Stono River.
       On Sunday morning, we got up and walked to the Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church. It is another old church building with a lovely interior. And it still looks good because it has been well cared for.
After church we walk back over to the main street to look for a place for lunch. We settle on a "soul food" café called "Aunnys". It lives up to the hype, and we leave stuffed. For a little over $10., you get a meat entrée and three side.
And I had peach cobbler for dessert after that big lunch. We spend the rest of the afternoon resting on the boat. On Monday  I do miscellaneous chores on SummerTime. I do find the fuel leak I have been looking for. The mist has become an occasional drop where the throttle shaft enters the injector body. I wash the boat, the first time it has had a good soap wash in several months. We are only a few days from finishing the loop, and SummerTime needs to look good. We have dinner in the old town at a very nice Italian restaurant, Alfresco Bistro, that we looked at on the way to church.
       On Tuesday morning we get ready to leave. The holding tank gets pumped, and we fill the water tank. We know we probably have at least one night we will spend on anchor. We get away from the marina at 9:30. We run about 1800rpm, and the rising tide helps to push us up the Waccaamaw River at about 9-1/4kt. For the first hour we are mostly looking at saw grass swamp areas, and then the plant life starts to change. The river narrows, and there start to be cypress trees along the banks. Some are quite big. We saw some eagles flying in this area.
I think now that we may have seen eagles in every state we traveled through except for New Jersey. This part of the Waccamaw has very little development. One side of it is a "National Wildlife Refuge".  The river is relatively deep, not too crooked, and there are plenty of large cypress trees lining the edge. About 30 miles north of Georgetown, we stop at Bucksport Marina and RV park and fueled up. They are cheapest in area per "Waterway Guides" fuel listing. We put 92.9 gallons of fuel in the tank to fill up for the first time since Savannah. A few miles after leaving Bucksport we come to the place where the Waccamaw River splits from the dug canal that becomes the ICW. We decide to go up the Waccamaw River for a short ways to check out its reported beauty. A few people have told us it rivals the St. John River in Florida for natural beauty. It is impressive, mostly a large cypress swamp with a river in it. We go about 5 mile up it to marker "4", and start to see signs of civilization. We turn back for about 2mi to anchor near a creek branch.
There are lots of Osprey flying in this area. Turtles and jumping fish are the only other wild life we see on this wild river. We cook on the grill. It is a peaceful night without much wind, but cool enough we do not need a genset and AC, or heat.
      We get up on Wednesday morning, and after more microwaved hot water for coffee, we head out the river. There is not as much mud on the anchor as I was expecting, in fact almost none. We follow the river back to where the ditch split from it, and follow the dug ICW north. We pass through Myrtle Beach, which is now putting development on both sides of the ICW.
We travel at 1500-1800rpm to keep our wake in a more acceptable range in the ditch.
A little after 1 we get to Little River. Here we somehow get into a pack of lunatics. It starts with the boat "Capt. Rick" that comes barreling down a marina fairway from the side, and nearly "T-bones" a small skiff traveling south on the ICW. The "Capt Rick" turns north and drives on the left side of the ICW, going slow now, and impervious to any boats headed south bound on the left (inland) side. I am following to the right side of the ICW, and trying to think where, or if to pass him. A high speed, 40+ passenger thrill tour boat and a charter boat come up behind me. A Charter boat is returning from the inlet to the north. The skipper of Capt Rick, in the returning boat's path, steps out of his pilot house and starts to make gestures to the north bound boat. Right after he passes, the thrill tour boat and charter boat come by me, and head past Capt Rick. He is having none of it, and pours on the throttle.
The two boats are now forced to follow Capt Rick as he moves side to side to block them. They all turn out to the inlet, and I am glad. I see more unprofessional "professional captains" in this 10 minutes than all the rest of our 8month trip. We come to Calabash Creek, and decide to go up Calabash Creek thinking we will try to anchor on it. We do not see a place that looks acceptable, mainly due to development. We decide to head north towards Southport NC.
We call St Jame Marina and make reservations. I program the GPS to extend our route to them from Shallotte where we had programmed to earlier. We pick up our cruising speed to 2500rpm, which gives us about 12kt +/- depending on current. We get to St James about 4:30pm, and get checked in. We eat in the Marina Restaurant for the evening. This is a very nice marina, part of a large resort area featuring several golf courses along with the marina. There are 4 restaurants within Jamestown Plantation, but only the restaurant in the marina is open to the public. And the marina has a nice deli where you can buy meats, cheeses, and breads for your day on the boat.
       On Thursday morning, we decide we are not going to delay completing our loop until Friday. We know we are close enough to Carolina Beach, and our beginning spot on the ICW to easily complete. It takes a little bit to get ready and get away, but we do it. We actually get moving fairly early for us, before 9. In less than an hour at moderate speeds, 1500rpm, we are in Southport, NC.
We go through this old fishing town/ seaport and make a NW, or left turn onto the Cape Fear River. We have the tide with us and are making good time. We pass by Sunny Point, a munitions storage and shipping depot for the US military. It is being guarded by several small boats, what I would have expected. There are no ships at their docks, but they do have a dredge in their channel deepening it. We go on by, passing a couple of commercial fishing boats. We come to the point where the waterway departs the path of the ship channel in the river. We bear east into the ICW channel, and in a few minutes we are in Snow's Cut. We pass on by the State Park Marina and head to the intersection of the channel at the Carolina Beach Inlet  and the ICW.

We go slightly past this intersection to make sure we have crossed our starting point. We have officially "Crossed Our Wake", completing our loop. We started our loop when we left the Inlet Watch Marina at this intersection on 25May, 2013 headed to New York with SummerTime.
       We record the moment, we have crossed our wake at 12:16pm on Thursday, 30 Mar017.
We did 23.2 miles this morning to get here. We have done over 5000 miles total, but it is going to take looking at some saved routes to get the actual mileage. We turn around, and head to Joyner's Marina which we passed a mile back. We fill up SummerTime with fuel so that the tank does not sit partially full and sweat inside. We leave Joyner's and back track to the Carolina Beach State Park Marina. We arrive and check in for two days on their "A" dock. Barbara's brother Kenny comes and picks us up, along with some of our belongings. We will come back another day to get some other belongings off of SummerTime ad we move back to shore.
     Friday we come back to SummerTime and take some more clothes and dirty laundry off. I also take the slip for the month of April so we have a place to rest SummerTime while we figure out what we are going to do yet.


1 comment:

  1. Best Florida Limousine will take your gathering anyplace in Fort Lauderdale in the stature of style and extravagance limousine key west tours