Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday Update

It's a good thing we keep a daily Boat Log, including everything from engine hours to notable sitings throughout the day. After a busy week it is helpful be able to look back and see all the places we have been.

After leaving our anchorage at mile 141 on Sunday morning we headed for Beaufort, NC. The Pamlico Sound and the Neuse River proved to be more bark than bite making for an easy trip to Beaufort, NC. Dolphins played off our bow as we neared Beaufort.
We delayed our departure Monday morning for a chance to visit the NC Maritime Museum. In addition to its ever changing exhibit of artifacts from Blackbeard's ship Queen Anne's Revenge - which was sank in 1718 in the Beaufort shoals inlet - the museum houses an interesting display of techniques used to rescue crew and passengers from shipwrecks along the NC coast, replicas of NC workboats, and an impressive maritime library.
Beaufort itself is a charming waterfront town. The main street is lined with homes featuring plaques with the year of construction - some dating back to the 1700's and the name of the original owner - we suspect most of them were ship captains.

After leaving Beaufort we headed for Swansboro, NC where our "crew" for the week, Al and Bill were waiting for us on the dock at Casper's Marina. The lines were barely tied and I jumped off, map and reusable shopping bag in hand, to head to the local Piggly Wiggly. (I Dig the Pig). It was a race against time, as I needed to complete the 1.5 mile round trip and get my shopping done in a strange store before the sun set one hour later. I made it with time to spare thanks to a ride for last few block from the Casper's daughter who saw me lugging my heavy bag down the street.
Our long awaited trip to Cap'n Charlie's Seafood Paradise was once again denied when we discovered they are closed on Mondays.

Tuesday morning were off the dock at 6:20 (actually a bit later than usual). We had an uneventful cruise along the Bogue Sound to Southport, doing our best to arrive at the low bridges in sync with their scheduled openings. Taking advantage of the low tide we tied down our antennas to allow us to sneak under the Wrightsville Beach Bridge with inches to spare, and saving us a 30 minute wait for the next opening.
A sunset walk through Southport's neighborhoods rnevealed front porches with swings, cushioned rocking chairs, and lighted table lamps all beckoning you to come and sit a spell. It was all the Captain could do to keep me on the sidewalk.

From Southport we continued along the Bogue Sound through the feared areas known as the Rock Pile, where the slightest move off course could result in an unintended encounter with jagged pieces of granite lying just below the surface. We survived that area better than we did some new shoaling near Lockwoods Folly Inlet!

After 12 hours on the water we anchored in Winyah Bay, just off ICW Mile 410. It was a beautiful moonlit night.

In celebration of the warming weather, the Captain wore shorts on Thursday morning as we headed south past Charleston. From there two tug boats led us along the Stono River and the North Edisto River until we turned off into a quiet, isolated anchorage in Toogoodoo Creek. We were clearly in the South Carolina Low Country.

Friday brought us a colder morning with temperatures in the 40's. We passed Beaufort, SC (the Captain's ancestral home) on our way to Hilton Head Island. I'll write about that in my next entry.

Right now we have "gone outside" - meaning we are in the ocean bypassing the shallow waters of the Georgia ICW and taking the faster route to Fernandina Beach, FL. The seas are calm, and we can see a few other boats on the horizon, either fishing for the day or sharing our journey south.

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