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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Georgetown - Myrtle Beach

Up with the birds once again, the sailboat behind us was long gone and Micheal from "Muddy Waters" in front of us was waiting for the air conditioner serviceman so he was kind enough to throw us the lines and off we went.  I was surprised at how big the Georgetown Harbor was, it is kind of confusing in harbors and inlets as there are two different types of markers. We made it through and once again passed all the sailboats. Some of them are just complainers and whiners but one boat in particular - ANTARES - loves the ride from power boats wakes. We asked to pass them and they said keep up your speed, they like the ride! We had meet them in Georgetown and they also pulled in behind us in Myrtle.
The run up here was completely different from the previous days - the "ditch" as they call it was deep and wide. The trees have changed and long gone are the swamps.

It says - South Carolina Public School and School Boat on the front!
Traffic sure wouldn't be a problem when you take the boat to school.
A Birds Eye View

Wide open spaces and deep water.

Our first swing bridge.

The big opening.

Are those Canada Geese I see?

Zeke had a friend over - this is Lucy from SV Antares.
And just when we thought it was going to be a nice quiet day on the dock the show started right across from us. I think I was mistaken when I said wide deep water - obviously it is shallow over there. Tow Boat US is like CAA or AAA - if you need a tow they're just around the corner!

Sometimes you're the show and sometimes you're the audience!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cleaning Day!

The weather report was calling for severe thunder storms here (Georgetown). In Myrtle Beach there was a tornado watch so we decided along with 99 % of the other boats that are here to stay and wait out the storm at the dock. It appeared that the storm moved around us. We had high winds all day but never saw any rain or thunder.  Sitting here gave us the opportunity to catch up on laundry, and to clean the boat.  It is amazing how dirty it gets! Garth and Zeke walked up to the CVS and got some computer part then later this afternoon we all went to the three antique stores in town and as luck would have it found a bakery. Being somewhat responsible we bought one piece of cake and shared it for dessert. It was red velvet cake - we have seen it everywhere, tried it once as yogurt but this was the real deal and I must say it was pretty good. Kind of like a red chocolate with cream cheese icing.
Zeke had his first jump in the ICW today, he found a friend "Lucy", they were playing and wrestling for a while then Zeke got hot and jumped in - luckily he climbed out on the rocks and Garth just hosed him off.
We are heading to Myrtle Beach tomorrow and depending on the bow thruster will either stay one or two nights before departing South Carolina and entering North Carolina.

No pics today!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Beaufort - Isle Of Palms -Georgetown South Carolina

We snuck out of Beaufort without a hitch, the boat in front of us never did leave. We had a long day Tuesday, about 69 nautical miles. Left Beaufort about 6:30 am and as soon as we rounded the corner we saw the house from "The Big Chill" - we were told about it the day before on the tour but could not get down to see it because there was nowhere for the horse to turn around.

The house from The Big Chill

Morning rush hour on the ICW wasn't too bad today, lots of sailboats out.

Morning rush hour on the ICW

We ended up following a motor yacht from Charleston, we were about to pass him and he told us that he had just come down this way and it was very skinny water, so Garth let him go through and we followed. Again today we were constantly checking our depths. The coast guard came on several times to tell people about a log in the water and then just as we were entering Elliot Cut south of Charleston they came on again with a weather warning and telling all small vessels to head for safe harbor. We debated on calling a few marinas in Charleston but when we looked at our weather on the GPS we were ahead of the we kept on going.

Busy Charleston Harbor
The only marine life we saw today were the daredevil dolphins. We arrived at the Isle of Palms marina about 4 o'clock, filled up with diesel had left overs for dinner and were in bed asleep by 8:30.  I am not crazy about the hours these boat people keep but it makes sense to get up and get going!

WEDNESDAY APRIL 27th  -  47 miles today

A bit more normal departure time this morning - 8 am, the dock hand was there to help throw the lines and off we went.  Again today we went through some pretty skinny water - at one point a sport fishing boat "Soulmate" was zooming by everyone - you can hear them on the radio calling and asking the other boats to pass -- so along comes Soulmate and off he goes - we rounded the corner and there he was at a dead stop in the water. One of the guys was in the back cockpit, we stopped, he reversed out of the spot, moved into the centre and took off.

This is not Soulmate but you can see how shallow it was on the edge.
I spent the rest of the day looking for crab pots and alligators! If you look really close at the next picture you will see the gators head in the middle of the pic.

We arrived in Georgetown about 2 pm, a lovely little town with lots of interesting shops and tons of restaurants. Our original plan was to head out tomorrow morning and go to Myrtle Beach but it appears like we may stay here a day longer due to a front that is coming in through the night. It was very windy all day and when we docked the wind was pushing us in and the bow thruster did not engage!! If it is not one thing its another. Oh well, we didn't hit anything !

Monday, April 25, 2011

Beaufort, South Carolina

A Dolphin playing chicken

That's Beaufort - pronounced Bewfort - it you call on the radio and say Bofort they will not answer! They also don't answer when they have a dredging barge in the middle of a bridge but that's another story. We left Georgia about 6:30 this morning and as soon as we were on the other side of the Savannah River we entered South Carolina. The first thing we saw was an alligator lying in wait on the side of the river! I didn't know they had alligators this far north. As we weaved our way through the marshes Garth kept an eye on the depth finder - it actually sounds an alarm when we get too close to shallow water.  As we came across Port Royal Sound we saw lots of jelly fish and dolphins. The dolphins seem to play chicken with the boat - they come up and speed down just in front of us.

We arrived in Beaufort at 12:30 - docking in the current and the wind was a bit of a trick but Garth did an excellent job - now our concern is getting out of here in the morning. We have decided to just wait until the guy in front of us and behind us leave. They are definitely leaving tomorrow!
Once we had the power and water hooked up we walked through the 300 year old town and stopped for lunch at a nice restaurant right on the water. We then took a horse drawn carriage tour of the town.
Some pics of our day.

Para-sailing at Hilton Head

Garth and Zeke waiting for the tour to begin.

The Arsenal

The hanging tree- 43 hangings are documented!

Lovely home & 250 year old tree.

The boys.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter in Savannah

We had a very lovely and relaxing day. Completed some chores, like getting out ropes and throwing away old useless ropes, changing ties on the fenders and getting organized to leave tomorrow. Just as we had all the ropes lined up on the dock the Auxiliary Coast Guard came by. We got to talking and they asked if we wanted a courtesy safety inspection - so Garr Williams came aboard, asked us a bunch of questions, looked at our flares, jackets and fire extinguishers. As the boat is not registered here we do not have to follow USCG standards, in fact the British Registry requirements are much more stringent. The previous owner had everything up to snuff and therefore we had the "book" that 99% of people do not have and the "waste management plan" that 99% of people do not have. He was amazed - Garth explained that we are Canadians and like to follow rules!! We passed with 100 % and got our 2011 sticker. We feel lucky to have it, the Coast Guard training centre is just up the ICW from here and according to the Waterway Guide it is not uncommon for them to pull boats over and do on the spot checks. Hopefully we will be spared but if we are pulled over at least we know we will pass.
It's real!
They even have Piggy Wiggly pop.
We returned the rental car, made a stop at the grocery store and enjoyed a turkey dinner for Easter.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Who is Paula Dean???

Johnny Mercer

Johnny Mercer was a famous singer from Savannah .... some of his better known songs are, "You Must 
Have Been A Beautiful Baby, Jeepers Creepers, Days of Wine and Roses, That Old Black Magic......."

We stopped on the way back to the boat and bought some sod for Zeke - this is our last ditch effort at getting him to use the back deck as his "poop deck"! He likes to chill on the synthetic pet turf so we added a plant soaked in urine - no go, then we added a pee stick that dogs are supposed to take right to go. So, the real sod is now sitting on top of the turf and surrounding the dead tulips and the pee stick!!!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Isle of Hope Marina, Savannah Georgia

We left Kilkenney Creek by ourselves without a hitch and sailed off. Just as we were entering the ICW a big barge was coming through. Garth let him go ahead and we followed him all the way through the Florida Passage and then through Hell's Gate. I hate the name of some of these places - Hell's Gate - I imagined it being like the Niagara River with whirlpools and currents flowing in and out. It was a piece of cake.
Two good days in a row!!! YEAH.

The coast guard alerts have simmered down - today there was just floating trees, a shrimp boat sunk at the dock in Jekyll and some navigational lights were out on a bridge we had long passed.
We learned that the bridges have red, yellow and green lights. You have to request that the bridge open then wait for the green light.

We arrived at the Isle of Hope around 11:30, Doug and Judy from "Moonstruck" are just ahead of us on the dock. It is sooooo nice to see a familiar face and have a chat upon arriving. They came right through from Jekyll as they have a speedier boat. Once we got settled I had a sleep, getting up at 6:30 was not part of my retirement plan but it makes sense to get up, get going and land early.  We made arrangements to meet Doug and Judy in Savannah for dinner at 7. Garth rented a car for the week that we are here and off we went. It was just a quick trip in and later in the week we plan to discover more of it. Our friends Sylvia and Dennis from Napanee have given us the heads up on places to go and things to see.

Last night (Tuesday) Doug and Judy came over for dinner and we fired up the BBQ. had a great evening. Today is change the clamp day - Doug heard a beep the other day when he was standing at the back of the boat talking to us and that sent Garth on a hunt. He discovered several rotten clamps on the raw water intake that the surveyor had missed. Although they are not the cause of the beep they were in desperate need of replacing so that is todays job. As soon as that is finished we are off to -- WEST MARINE- to replace them so that we have more spares!!!  We also had "boat cards" made up and hopefully they will be ready today so that we can join the crowd.

We have booked a marina in Norfolk West Virginia for the "Loopers Rendezvous" May 13-18th. They have seminars and information for all of the crazy people doing this. As Garth says " we are all Bozo's in the same boat"

 The barge we followed all the way

Garth at the helm - auto pilot I hope!

ICW markers we followed -RED TO PORT


Zekes favorite place! Looking at all that water!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Jekyll Island to Kilkenny Creek

Well, I think this is what cruising is supposed to be like - a nice peaceful day through the marshes of Georgia. We left Jekyll about eight this morning, Jill from "Finally" threw us our lines and off we went. Jill and her husband Richard just finished the loop last week . At this point we have not decided if we will do the loop or not  - keeping our options open.

Goodbye Jekyll Island
The seagull navy escorted us most of the day

Off to Savannah tomorrow where we will stay for a week. Lots to see and do .

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Still on Jekyll Island

The weather decided to turn nasty so we opted to stay put for another day. The wind is really blowing from the west today and there were weather advisories and small craft warnings issued by the coast guard. Thunder storms and rain along with the wind does not make for happy boating. We invited Jill and Richard from "Finally" over tonight along with Doug and Judy from "Moonstruck" so that we can pick Richard and Jill's brains on the loop as they just completed it on Monday!! They are going through Loopers withdrawal and I am going through Loopers anxiety!!! Hopefully we will be off tomorrow to Kilkenny for a night and then on to Savannah for a week.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Jekyll Island

 Jekyll Island sunset 
Thursday April 14th - Friday April15th

We borrowed the courtesy van and drove around the island, stopping at the post office and the historical sites. A very quaint little island. My parents wintered here for a few years so I was here 20 years ago and about five years ago Garth and I drove through. It has really changed over the years, lots of new buildings and road work going on at present. We meet Doug and Judy on the dock from "Moonstruck" we had cocktails together then went up to the restaurant. We all had shrimp, the local specialty.

One of the hotels on the island
Friday morning we prepared to leave and head for St. Simons, only 10 miles up the coast. We got off smoothly and within five minutes lost the starboard engine AGAIN! Garth ran down to the engine room and I drove.....well tried to. I had forgotten that the markers inside the inter-coastal were opposite to the channel markers and was trying to keep the red on my right on the left. The boat behind us was trying to tell us but I could not hear him and the dock master was yelling at us. HUMM.....when I saw that we only had .5 water below us I screamed for Garth to come up and the day was saved. We decided to return to the dock which we did or which Garth did . Excellent driving with only one engine . We called back and told them so there were four people on the dock ready to grab lines. We called a diesel mechanic and he was here within the hour.......nice guy and very knowledgeable. He figured that we had a faulty filter on the starboard side, it was brand new. So, we are going to spend another night here and take off tomorrow. I may need a pacemaker by the end of this journey as everyday is yet another heart thumping experience. We are going to dinner tonight on"Moonstruck" and they made a special invitation for his majesty to join us. Stay tuned for more adventures of Algonquin!!!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Good Bye Florida, Hello Georgia

We spent a rainy morning in St. Augustine, Garth and Steve took Zeke for a walk and I did laundry.

We played cards all afternoon and at four Steve picked up a rental car. First stop - West Marine then Pet Supermarket and Radio Shack finally Winn Dixie.  Steve took us out to dinner at OC Whites, we had another game of cards then all hit the hay. We needed a day of rest.

This morning - Wednesday April 13th Steve threw us the lines and off we went - not too fast though -- the bridge did not open at 8 so we had to spin and cruise for a half an hour waiting for the bridge. Once through we went out into the ocean and headed north.  We saw turtles, sharks and lots of jellyfish.  At 4 o'clock the starboard engine shut down - not a pleasant feeling. Garth went down and fixed it then off we went again. All of the sudden we both ran to the back door as it sounded like a bomb had landed ---- it was a USCG helicopter hovering above us. He stayed for a couple seconds then went over to another vessel that was about two miles from us. They was a pan pan alert out and I guess they were just checking to see if it was us.  We carried on and landed in Jekyll Island about 6. Terri helped us dock and just as we started to wash the boat we were attacked by no see ems.

We are going to stay here a few day unless of course these bugs continue!!