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A Windy Interval in South Carolina

Scheduled Long Days


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2003-2004 Marathon Winter & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Thursday 13 November 2003 - Heading for the Rockpile

Maybe we should have stayed in N. Myrtle Beach another day. CONTESSA is staying another day as there are predicted to be wind gusts to 35 mph or higher - which was accurate. But as it turned out, if we would have waited, we'd have had a headwind instead of the tail wind that we had helping us along.

We cast off about 6:45 am. It was low tide so we could actually see the rocks sticking out in the Rock Pile portion.
Rockpile Rocks

Rockpile Rocks


x1113-0729uImage005.jpgRock ledges at low tide

Rock ledges at low tide


The banks on one side of the canal were in shadows.
Ladder instead of steps

Ladder instead of steps


Before we got to the Barefoot Swing bridge we heard a Viking 47 saying that he would sneak through as he was only 18 ft air draft (height from the water). The bridge tender told him that if it had been high tide, he would not have made it as the bridge is only 17 feet.
Approaching Barefoot Landing

Approaching Barefoot Landing


A sailboat with the mast on the deck caught up to us at the Barefoot bridge. He was faster than we were and we heard people talking to him ahead of us all the way along.
x1113-0754Image012.jpgBarefoot Landing bridge with Sailboat with the mast on the deck ahead of us

Barefoot Landing bridge with Sailboat with the mast on the deck ahead of us


You can see how close the bridge is to the deck of the boat (I'm taking the picture standing on the deck so I'm probably about 12 feet above the waterline - Bob doesn't need me to be in the cockpit to go through a bridge). Our mast is 58.5 feet, so we definitely have to have the bridge open to go through.
Going under the Barefoot Landing bridge

Going under the Barefoot Landing bridge


As we passed Barefoot Landing, we saw a lot of boats there, but not as many as there were in 2001.
Sailboat JOWARI with solar panels along the life lines at the Barefoot landing free docks

Sailboat JOWARI with solar panels along the life lines at the Barefoot landing free docks


(The Barefoot Landing docks are free but have no electricity.) We saw PENLEE CHALLENGE, EMMA LOU, and WINDSWEPT I.
Greg Norman's restaurant

Greg Norman's restaurant


The trawler CORAL BAY was down in front of Greg Norman's restaurant

It's still only 0800 when we come across this construction site on the west side of the waterway. This scruffy looking construction worker emerged from the shed on the barge as we went by.
Construction on the side of the Rockpile section

Construction on the side of the Rockpile section


What interested me was the little bull dozer or back hoe or some kind of construction vehicle going up and down the ramp between the barge and the land. I kept waiting for it to slide down or fall off of the ramp. But it didn't do that at least while I was watching.
Going up and down the ramp

Going up and down the ramp


We go under the 'old' fixed bridge - that is the Conway bridge, which was unfinished for so long that the ICW guides said it would never be finished.

Next we come to the Skyway to the Waterway Hills Golf Links. I try to get a picture of the cars going across the waterway, but they pass when we are pretty far away.
Golfers tramway

Golfers tramway


The literature says: "This is truly one of the most unique courses in all golf. First, it is designed by golf's most celebrated course designer Robert Trent Jones. Second, the only access to this 27-hole golf preserve is by glass-enclosed cable car across the Intracoastal Waterway. Once you touch down, you'll find it is one of the most tranquil and unspoiled settings you've ever encountered."
One end of the golfer's tramway

One end of the golfer's tramway


The east side of the Skyway is on US Route 17.
x1113-0836uImage052.jpgWaving mannequin with SLOW sign

Waving mannequin with SLOW sign


Then we came to the mannequin or statue that appears to be waving. In 2001, Lucette waved at him before she realized that it wasn't a real person. This year, he has a "Slow" sign.
New bridge that was being constructed in 2000

New bridge that was being constructed in 2000


The next thing we came to was the new bridge which was just being started in the fall of 2000, and now is completed. There is small truck about halfway down the hill under the west side of the bridge and there were two men standing between the bridge piers.
Two men at the foot of the bridge

Two men at the foot of the bridge


The sun gradually illuminated the other side. It's relatively calm at this hour in the canal. We saw the sailboat BONNIE CHRISTINE aground - probably trying to run after dark or at high tide.
BONNIE CHRISTINE aground

BONNIE CHRISTINE aground

Red floater up on shore

Red floater up on shore


This buoy is a legitimate red channel marker which is a bit off its mooring (which would be on the west shore).
Bascule bridge open

Bascule bridge open


Just past the blue RR bridge (this bridge used to be a dual railroad and road bridge) and the fixed bridge that is north of the Socastee Swing Bridge,
Looking back at the new bridge and swing bridge

Looking back at the new bridge and swing bridge


when suddenly ahead, we see two red markers way over on the port side. Just about a half an hour previously, we had seen a displaced red marker up on the left bank. Red ICW markers are supposed to be on the starboard (right) side. They are too close to the docks for us to go between the marker and the dock.

With the binoculars, I determine that these are not ICW markers but are actually "No Wake" markers.
Red "No Wake Zone" marker

Red "No Wake Zone" marker


NO-Wake markers are supposed to be white with an orange stripe. Red ones are confusing, probably illegal, and dangerous.

I guess the people who live along here in the big fancy houses think that they don't have to abide by the regulations, just as the power boaters don't pay any attention to the regular No Wake marker
Golf course

Golf course


We pass some more golf courses. We came down to the Socastee bridge and found that there was a construction barge there and that they were working on the bridge. The bridge tender warned that the bridge couldn't swing all the way open because the equipment on the barge was in the way and to open the bridge they had to swing the crane back onto the barge.
Construction barge and the partly open Socastee Bridge

Construction barge and the partly open Socastee Bridge


I found out later that the construction on the bridge had started January 2003 and was to have been for 10 months. They were to renovate the bridge completely and paint it blue (like the fixed bridge and the railroad bridge). We went through the Socastee Swing bridge with CORAL BAY (which had caught up to us) and FRANCES - a new green Gozzard.
Bridge tender's house

Bridge tender's house


Just between us and the next following boat (CORAL BAY), a parade of ducks crossed the canal from one side to the other.
Ducks crossing

Ducks crossing


It was very funny to see but I didn't get a good picture as they were too far away. We then went down and through the fixed bridge.

CORAL BAY was chicken to go farther in the high winds on the Wacamaw and went into Osprey Marina. We proceeded down the river toward Bucksport. FRANCES passed us fairly quickly. We were waked very badly by a power boat with a red hull named SUREFIRE from RI. We passed Bucksport and saw a sailboat there named L'AIR.
Advertising fuel prices

Advertising fuel prices


The Wilds of the river near Brookgreen Gardens

The Wilds of the river near Brookgreen Gardens


Red marker

Red marker


The treadmaster on the cockpit floor has not cured properly and they keep shifting. Bob was on the side trying to push one section off the cockpit drain outlet when he looked up and the spreaders were into the cypress trees on the west side. We were still in 24 feet of water.
Red marker in a tree

Red marker in a tree


We passed
Wacca Wachee marina

Wacca Wachee marina


and just past that were waked by a sports fishing boat named BIG MAMA III. SEA TULIP, another trawler passed, and then ODYSSEY, an Endeavour Trawler Catamaran from Vero Beach came by.

It was getting very gusty - we had no sails up, but were still doing 8 mph - Fortunately the wind was behind us so I guess we were sailing on the bimini. Heard a large power boat names SUSAN A call the Boat Shed. Also heard FRANCES call them - they had intended to anchor and said there wasn't room. Also SEA TULIP calling Georgetown Landing Marina and hoping for a dock that he could get into easily from the wind. I saw buzzards circling but every time I focused on them,
Buzzards being blown around by the wind

Buzzards being blown around by the wind


they were blown out of their tight circle formation and had to regroup. We smell the paper mill in Georgetown which I think smells like cooking cabbage. After a wild ride down the Waccamaw River in gusts up to 35 mph we docked at the Boat Shed in Georgetown - rate $1.10/ft- no charge for electricity.
Boat Shed marina

Boat Shed marina


However the fuel is a rip-off. We were charged $1.55 for fuel - if we had gotten over 50 gallons it would have been only $1.35/gallon -- but still!!! The amount shown on the tanks was different on each side. (one showed $46.98 and the other side showed $46.92)
At the dock in the Boat Shed

At the dock in the Boat Shed


For dinner, we walked up to the Orange Blossom Cafe,
Bob walking ahead of me to dinner

Bob walking ahead of me to dinner


but it was closed and under new management. The Rice Paddy also appeared to be closed.
So we ate at the Dogwood Cafe.
Dogwood Cafe sign

Dogwood Cafe sign


Bob had a half rack of ribs, which looked good, and I had a 'low country' shrimp dish with grits(?) and ham. It also had hush puppies, which were burnt and the Caesar salad had globs of mayo on the bottom leaves. I had peach cobbler for dessert which was good.

Friday 14 November 2003

To get from Georgetown to the Ben Sawyer bridge before the restricted hours at 4 pm (which I assume is still restricted) we have to make 62 sm. Otherwise we will be stuck on the other side until after dark. Then we will have a hard time getting to the Enterprise office on Sat am as they are not open in the afternoon and the only one open on Sunday is at the airport. To make it, we left before 6 am in the dark, and motored and motor sailed hard all day.

We got underway about 558. It is DARK. Bob was in the channel according to the charts on the starboard side and running out of water - it got down to 5.1 feet and we will go aground at 4.6 feet. I got him to go over to the port side of the channel where we had always gone before and where the water is deeper.
031114-0647Image001.jpgSunrise over Winyah Bay

Sunrise over Winyah Bay


The Toshiba froze because the GPS was refusing to keep ahold of the satellites, so I brought up the black Dell. At 0705 we have done 8 sm and are turning into the Esterville Mimms canal. The sun is just up.

There is some surface fog over the canal. The free running ferry doesn't appear to be running
Ferry

Ferry


but they were launching boats at the boat ramp.
Boat launching

Boat launching


Lots of egrets and some blue herons along the canal banks or roosting in the trees. We turn off the nav lights
Wading birds at dawn

Wading birds at dawn


0757 - sports fish FLOATING RAINE (?) waked us, but didn't get the camera on in time. I'll use the film camera for this in the future.
Tower over the former rice fields

Tower over the former rice fields


0800 - Big boat with a green hull SEA OWL from Georgetown in the Cayman Islands passed and also the sports fish BLUE SKY.
Blue Sky passing us

Blue Sky passing us


0920 - have gone 22.2 sm - one third of the way - we are being helped by the current.
Birds sitting on the railings

Birds sitting on the railings


1000 - We are making pretty good progress. We've gone 26.2 sm at an average speed of 6.5 mph. We are passing through edge the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge and crossing the North and South Santee Rivers with their confusing markers and cross currents.
Birds following a shrimp boat

Birds following a shrimp boat


The Cape Romain area is mostly uninhabited. In fact in Claiborne Young's "Cruising Guide to Coastal South Carolina and Georgia" quotes James Henry Rice, Jr. in "Glories of the Carolina Coast" who wrote that it was "..a region so wild that you can readily believe yourself in Africa or Asia."
large_xcape_romain_map.JPG
ODYSSEY passed us just before McClellanville. We passed a somewhat scruffy houseboat with two outboards pulling a Boston whaler type dinghy going the other way.

1100 In the upper reaches of the Harbor River, SILVER MOON (with several dogs, a cat and a young child aboard) the boat who was docked ahead of SUSAN A at the marina passed as did AFTERNOON TEA. They were also at Dowry Creek with us. There are now houses along the banks.
Two power boats ahead of us

Two power boats ahead of us


1103 - trip so far is 33.1 - half way there. Bob predicts we will be there before 2. I will just be satisfied if we get there before about 3:30. I know that the tidal currents in this stretch can as easily be against us as with us, and I'm not ready to predict victory yet. We pass some nice houses and one of them has a lot of birdhouses.
Hanging gourd birdhouses at the dock

Hanging gourd birdhouses at the dock


We pass a small UK sailboat named SALTICUS. I see FRANCES behind us. They obviously left way after we did, and it has taken them until now to catch us. We are at about mm 440

1210 FRANCES and BATTEN BAY both pass while I was fixing lunch. We are now going through the Francis Marion National Forest recreation area. This is a no wake zone to protect the launching ramp
Boat ramp

Boat ramp


from marker #50 to marker #51. We see campgrounds with trailers and tents along the shore. We see a big power yacht being towed north by TowBoat US.
Towing a large boat

Towing a large boat


1344 We hear PENLEE CHALLENGER calling the City Marina. We can now see the Isle of Palms fixed bridge. I think we are going to make it. We come by the Isle of Palms marina at 1415 (2:15 pm)
Flock of birds over the marina

Flock of birds over the marina


and I see that there is a new restaurant open for business there. We also pass a Parasailing boat docked just past the marina.
Para Sailing boat

Para Sailing boat


We go under the fixed bridge south of the marina at 2:34 pm
Fixed bridge

Fixed bridge


and pass the golf course right by the ICW.
Golf course

Golf course


As we are approaching the Ben Sawyer bridge
Ben Sawyer bridge

Ben Sawyer bridge


It starts to open pretty early.
Looking up at the Ben Sawyer Bridge

Looking up at the Ben Sawyer Bridge


But we do get down to the bridge and get through it. I look back and see the traffic backed up as the bridge closes.

Charleston Maritime Center had no space except for one night on the gas dock, and when we went to visit a friend there, it seemed much more exposed to wakes than I remember it being. Buzzard's Roost said they had been so busy that they could not take advance reservations. Toler's Cove said they were completely booked. I thought Isle of Palms was too expensive, and ditto the City Marina.

So I called the Charleston Harbor Marina at Patriot Point - it is $1.50/night and 30 amp electric is $4.00. But by the week it is only $1.07/ft/night, so that's where we are. We got to there by 1544 - total trip 505 nm - today's trip 64.1 sm with an average speed of 6.6 mph and a max speed of 8.4 mph. It took us 9 hours and 45 minutes. We were both tired. Bob says we are never going to do that again. Of course he says that every time we do one of these long days. Maybe we should have just waited a day at Dock Holiday's and taken it more leisurely

We normally only stay 4 or 5 days with our children, but at this marina it is so much cheaper by the week that we are going to stay a week. It is also cheaper to rent a car for a week. Normally our son works 2nd shift Thursday through Monday and has Tuesday and Wednesday off. That's what we've based our schedule on- to be here Saturday and leave next Friday. But we find out that his hours are going to be different this week. He's working 2nd shift Saturday and Sunday and the working first shift Monday through Friday.

I checked us in at the fuel dock and Bob walked around to see where everything was. We went up to have dinner at the Reel Bar at the Hilton. We didn't want to bother with a full dinner at the 'real' restaurant. The girls behind the bar brought our dinners to us while we sat in the lounge chairs and we ate off the coffee table. There were some cute kids there presumably with their parents and grandparents. I looked at the TV while we ate.

I also look and the dates on our registration slip are wrong, so I go get it changed. We are on D dock - not very far from the gas dock, which is good because I don't have so far to walk to the bathrooms there.
Bathrooms on the gas dock

Bathrooms on the gas dock


They have green and red markers as men and women's signs. They no longer have phone lines at the slip so I go up and send emails.

While I was downloading email in the main office, I heard about a guy who worked for DNR who'd been out in a boat about 45 minutes away who had a heart attack, and was being brought in to the marina. Reportedly, the Coast Guard refused to come and get him - he died.
Sunset

Sunset

031114-1751Image048.jpgSunset at the marina

Sunset at the marina


Saturday 15 November 2003

Our oldest daughter D is having trouble getting email to me - pocketmail seems to have put filters on without telling me. We get our rental car from Enterprise, and Bob stopped by Radio Shack to buy a cable. He watered the batteries and then we went to our son's house and got our schedules organized. We left when he went to work after I downloaded email, and we picked up the prescriptions that had been forwarded by our daughter.
Daughter-in-law and son in their kitchen

Daughter-in-law and son in their kitchen


We then went down to the Maritime Center and visited CSY 33 deLight, who was docked there. There is a big sunken sightseeing boat in the inner basin which the dockmasters are upset about.
CSY deLight at the dock

CSY deLight at the dock


Max was not on the boat, but we waited around a bit and found that he'd been taking a shower. Then we drove out into town to find a place to eat. We went by Hyman's and there was a line already and it wasn't even 5:30. We found someone leaving a metered parking place and slid into it and started to walk. We stopped at two Italian places - neither one opened until 6, and one said he was full and had no room anyway.

When we saw the sign for Vickery's, our friend said it was a kind of pub/bar place. So I said - they've probably got a happy hour and are open now. So we went in, and they were. There is another Vickery's on the other side of the river in the Mt. Pleasant area.
Vickery sign

Vickery sign

Inside the restaurant

Inside the restaurant


They seated us inside (it was too cold for outside) and billed each of us separately - I guess the waitress could not figure out who went with who. Our friend Max had two appetizers and two Rolling Rock beers on the happy hour specials (wings and quesadilla). I had black eyed pea fritters ($1.00), a cup of gazpacho (very spicy with a lot of onion), and a tossed salad with bacon and drank iced tea, and Bob had a chef's salad with salmon and also drank tea. The whole bill for the three of us was $36.52 including a $6.00 tip. I would have had dessert, but the two guys were falling to sleep.

Sunday 16 November 2003
Looking across to Charleston

Looking across to Charleston

Knotted dock rope

Knotted dock rope


It has been glassy calm the last couple of days - we do have some mild wakes from the freighters going in and out of the harbor.
Reflections in the marina

Reflections in the marina

RosalieAnn at the dock

RosalieAnn at the dock


My stepstool to get onto RosalieAnn

My stepstool to get onto RosalieAnn

Looking down the sterns of the boats in the marina

Looking down the sterns of the boats in the marina


There is a wireless network in the marina, which I eventually get to work. Bob washed the boat. He says the alternator bracket is broken and he can find no one in Mt. Pleasant who will do the welding.

We left the boat at noon and he went to Walmart and Home Depot. Then we got caught in a motorcycle cavalcade. We went to Robs and stayed until he left for work.

We were driving around in the dark trying to find a place to eat. We tried the restaurant next to The Trawler and couldn't even get into the parking lot. So we went there.
View from The Trawler restaurant

View from The Trawler restaurant


The place was almost deserted. I see by searching on the internet that it has many bad reviews, including bad service. I didn't think it was that bad. I think Bob had shrimp appetizer as an entree
Bob's steamed shrimp

Bob's steamed shrimp


and
Bread pudding $4.50 for dessert.

Bread pudding $4.50 for dessert.


Creme brule

Creme brule


I had creme brulee for dessert for $4.95- that's something I get almost every time I can. The whole dinner including tip was $46.70 for two of us. Then we got gas in the car.

Monday 17 November 2003

I called Dell and after 1.5+ hours on the phone being shifted from one person to another around and around, I finally gave up on getting credit for the RW drive which makes the black Dell hang, and ordered another one.

Bob went out - still unable to find anyone in Mt. Pleasant and drove all the way back to Summerville where the Caterpillar place did the welding for him for free. They gave it to him red hot (on a wire) and he quenched it in a mud puddle so that he could put it in the car without burning it up. He also found a Perkins place and ordered a replacement bracket. He reinstalled the bracket on the engine.

We didn't go to Robs because he was working 4 to midnight Sunday and then 8-4 on Monday. We went up to Andolini's Pizza. You give your order in at the counter, and pay and then sit down at a table and some apparently free lance waiters bring you your order. I considered getting a Calzone, but eventually we just got a large cheese pizza and some breadsticks. The pizza and bread sticks were $21.50 and we left the waiter $2.00. There was too much to eat so we took some back to the boat.
Andolini's pizza

Andolini's pizza


Their website says: "We make our own dough, grate our own cheese, and make fresh sauce daily. N.Y. style pizza comes naturally to us, as Michael Rabin, the founder of Andolinis Pizza, was born in Queens, New York. Edie, his wife, not only makes all the dough, but she helps make it all happen too. Michael's brother, Neil, was born in Brooklyn and is our "chief cook and bottle washer." As you can see, we are family owned and operated and have been serving great N.Y. style pizza to the people of Charleston since 1991. "

Tuesday 18 November 2003

They delivered my RW drive to the boat (I put my slip number on my order). They also delivered Bob's new bracket, but in spite of the fact that he spelled the name of the boat for them 3 times, they sent it to "Roady Ann" and the marina couldn't figure out who that was. So we didn't get that until November 20th. We went to Rob's and we got two of the packages that D sent, but not the photoworks package. It never did come and I had to order a replacement.

We watched our grandson playing basketball
01.jpgBob and son's family at basketball practice

Bob and son's family at basketball practice

03.jpgStretching and Basketball practice

Stretching and Basketball practice

Wednesday 19 November 2003

Bob insisted we'd have good wind and should go outside down to FL on Friday. He went to Shem Creek and bought shrimp and steamed them. Rob came over after work (he works just around the corner from the marina) and we ate them.

Thursday 20 November, 2003

Bob found that his part had arrived, and then we went to the commissary and exchange. We went to Rob's but the last package had still not arrived.
TV room

TV room

Grandson's guitars

Grandson's guitars

Granddaughter's new bed

Granddaughter's new bed


We took the family out to dinner at Oscar's before we left Charleston. This is my DIL's favorite place.
Oscar's

Oscar's


My husband had Three Amigos dish ($8.95). My DIL had she crab soup first ($3.95) and then she had two crab cake appetizers.
Two Crab Cake Appetizer $8.95

Two Crab Cake Appetizer $8.95


My granddaughter had hamburger and fries ($2.95). I had the
Sirloin special on spinach and sweet potato fries

Sirloin special on spinach and sweet potato fries


with a side salad for $18.95, and for dessert - ice cream crepe for $3.25. The ice cream crepes are now $4.50

Friday, 21 November 2003

Bob returned the car to the office. I could not boot up the Toshiba, so I prepped the black Dell and had a shower. We cast off about 0920. Other than my having some difficulty holding the boat to the dock so Bob could get back on, we had no difficulty getting out of the marina. We set off to go out of the harbor into the Atlantic

Posted by greatgrandmaR 12:54 Archived in USA

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