Tuesday, October 27, 2009

From Southport, NC to Charleston, SC

We left the free dock at the Southport Provision Co. Restaurant at 7:03 AM.  The tide was slack - meaning we were at low tide and the current had stopped running out, but the current had not yet reversed.  Suzi said she would be ready in a few minutes, she had to put her contacts in.  I checked our dock lines and there was no tension on any of them.  So I untied from the pier, hopped aboard and turned on the engine and started to back up.  Suzi appeared and said "What's going on?"  I said, "We're leaving - slack tide - I don't know how long it's going to last, so we're outta here!"  I forgot to leave a tip.

We soon had the current behind us and we were tooting along at 7 1/2 knots.  (We usually do about 6.)  We arrived at Barefoot Landing after negotiating several bridge openings.  There wasn't much to take pictures of so you'll just have to take the trip yourself to see this part.

We got a slip (well, face pier) at Barefoot Landing - it used to be free - now you have to pay, but at least you can plug in and get water.  Our friends Skip and Harriet pulled in behind us after a few hours.

We toured Barefoot Landing, which is really just an outdoor mall geared to tourists.  But some of the places are neat and the landscape's nice.  They used to have an alligator - but I don't think they have it anymore.

They have a nice waterfall and pool.   We stopped at the local tavern and I had several rum drinks, and then...

they let me see the Mermaid pool.  It's amazing the things you can see while looking through the bottom of a rum glass.

Some of the stores there sold items which, well, could , um, tickle you.  We went in.  But we really didn't buy anything.  Really.  But now we're looking for a place to buy, um, batteries. 

We left Barefoot Landing, with a thinner wallet but smiles on our faces and traveled down the Waccamaw River.  It's a Cypress Swamp, and it is absolutely gorgeous. We anchored off the beaten path about half a mile.  And this is what the dawn brought.

You could probably turn this picture upside down and it would look the same.  But I wouldn't do it - cause it's on your computer and all your memory chips might fall out.

We pulled up anchor before sun up.  It was so still and the mist was on the water.  It is scenes like this that are why we so enjoy cruising.  It is poetry.  Music.  Beauty.  And other stuff like that.  (What, you thought I was going to be serious for a moment?)

I will, however, shut up for the next several photos and just let you enjoy them as we did.





 This is nature taking over what man has done.  A very large bird's nest completely obscures the navigational mark as you approach.  And a bush or tree is growing from the bottom.







There is about a four or five foot tidal range in this area.  You can see by the stain on the base of this cypress that the tide is not at its high point.

Even in the midst of all this beauty, commercialism intrudes.  The sign must have been here awhile - there's no area code.

The surface of the water disappears into darkness as it moves into the cypress swamp.  We have no idea how far in it goes - it may be a few yards or it may cover acres.  We paddled a kayak through a cypress swamp off the Fort Pierce, Florida inlet once; spectacular.  And spooky.  Sometimes the water was so shallow we would have to pick up the kayak and slide it along.  It may have been the same here, but in the channel where we sailed, often it was very deep - 25 to 30 feet and just a few yards from the 'shore'.



We left the Waccamaw and passed Georgetown, SC.  We've stopped there in the past - a delightful, friendly town,  but it stinks of papermill.  We passed the inlet from the Atlantic near Georgetown and turned into the Esterville-Minim Canal.  The tide was running against us now and instead of doing 7 1/2 knots we were doing about 5.2.  You can see the state of the tide on the reeds.  I took several pictures of the egret as he decided that the fishing would be better about 30 yards upstream.


We anchored that evening in Awandan Creek near McClellanville, SC.  The next morning we got up early because it was our turn to check and make sure the sun rose on schedule.  It's all in the report, but in case you didn't receive you copy, it did indeed arise on schedule.

And a little boat went by.  It was all very nice to look at even through our bleary eyes.

The little boat that went by wrinkled the water, very careless of him, but we took it upon ourselves to smooth it back out.  Then we went a few more miles and dropped anchor again and Suzi made me do boat projects.  I put the hinge on the propane locker and secured it so it we didn't have to tie it to keep it from sliding around the deck.  And I put two 12v lights in the aft stateroom to replace the ones that have been falling off for 12 years.  Some of these things take time and careful consideration.

The next day we traveled to Charleston and got a slip in the Charleston Maritime Marina on the Cooper River.  On our way we passed these guys.  The two in the front are fishing.  The guy in the back is standing on a platform with a long pole.  Every once in awhile, he put one end into the water, not like he was pushing or anything, but like he was feeling for something.  We have no idea what he was doing.  Please let me know if you know what he was doing.  I suspect that he was just playing with our minds.

Stay tuned for exciting adventures in Charleston.  Lots and lots of photos.  And more verbiage of questionable quality.

1 comment: