December 25, 2006

Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 18, our motorsailing drew us along quiet channels just inside the Atlantic coast.
With the cooler weather, we appreciated augmenting our lunch-meat sandwiches with hot soup. Chicken noodle and beef barley soups were easy to prepare from pop-top cans, adding bottled water and heating in a small pot on one of the propane burners; and stayed hot for sipping out of a hot cup while we perched in the cockpit.

This leg of our ICW voyage, finally making it to Charleston, S.C., was a long one and we were both relieved and happy to emerge from the smaller channels, to come within sight of this wide open harbor.

A shrimp boat, and a much larger commercial vessel. The shrimp boat was just south of Surf City, North Carolina ... and the big vessel was in the vicinity of Savannah, Georgia.

Charleston Harbor was an exciting area to sail through, with expansive views and all kinds of activity.

So much history in Charleston made it attractive to dock in at a marina by the historic district. We also hoped for good internet access and other amenities at the Charleston City Marina. Turned out that the internet access did not work as promised; but, we were able to go right in by the gas fuel dock and remain where we first tied up. This marina was also one of the few that asked for reservation and payment assurance before we came in, and was large, busy and well-staffed.

Enjoying the lines, angles and reflections as we relaxed on our new-to-us water-borne home.

Views from where we docked in were just as enjoyable as those that accompanied our approach into Charleston.

Small boats sported their spinnakers while returning from a regatta in Charleston harbor.

Evening at the Charleston City Marina brought out cheerful illumination both along the boats' rigging, and the buildings and structures around the marina.

Night lights at Charleston yacht club and harbor.

December 22, 2006

Night in Charleston City Marina. This large, well-staffed marina is close by the Yacht Club, the Marina restaurant (great food and the best seafood chowder anywhere!), and other amenities, whose lights reflect beautifully in the harbor waters.

CHARLESTON to BEAUFORT, S.C. - After I departed Double Jeopardy early Thursday, Oct. 19 to catch up on work in my office, Barry solo'd the boat that day and the next. He found the currents faster, but overall a great experience.

Docking in for the night means first, making sure the boat is secure. We chose to use dockage every night since we weren't totally familiar with the boat, and the larger anchor we acquired with it wasn't fastened to the anchor rode. The smaller anchor that was fastened on, which you see at the bow, was sufficient to hold us for short periods when we were awake during the day, but could not well guarantee a solid hold all night.

Tying to the dock meant bow line, stern line, and at least one angled spring line; then sleeping well!

BEAUFORT to SAVANNAH, October 21 (2006)

After I rejoined Barry and Double Jeopardy at the downtown marina in Beaufort, South Carolina on Friday night, Oct. 20, we docked in for the night. Early the next morning, we made ready to set sail for the last leg of this ICW voyage. We felt close to successfully completing this initial part of our dream, yet already nostalgic that our adventure - complete with fun, close calls, and a steep learning curve - was coming to a close.

Arising early as we always did, at the downtown harbor in Beaufort, South Carolina, only a few others were stirring. Still it was not uncommon, as here, to find that one or two souls were ahead of us in venturing out for the day.

Beaufort is a great little town and very convenient for a sailing stopover. The downtown harbor is right by the popular district where locals and tourists alike enjoy dining, shopping and sightseeing.

This "Welcome to Beaufort" sign is along the southern approach to this South Carolina town, so we didn't see it until we were away from harbor going south. The Marines have a base with training facility here; they graduate a new crop every six weeks or so. Small wonder that the water tower shown below boasts the number, 1-800-MARINES !

The stitching that strengthens the tack end of the genoa sail created a starburst pattern when backlit by the sunshine.

I enjoyed being able to see not only the genoa sail over the port bow through the windshield, but similtaneously the reflection of our sunlit wake and dinghy davits in the rear cabin window.

Several dolphins were spotted in this area by Barry, with his sharp eyes, although we had difficulty documenting their aerial appearances with photographs. The wide water basin seemed conducive, and basking in the sun as we motored in the direction of the next inland channel made us feel very much on vacation.

Much of the area around the Savannah River was low-lying, and it felt somewhat odd to have little surrounding boat traffic despite evidence of major activities occuring in this region along the northern Georgia coast.

This opening at Causton Bluff Bridge was the only time we didn't have to wait - we made it before any rush-hour restrictions, there was no other boat traffic to consider, and we were in communication with the bridge tender sufficiently in advance that he was able very proficiently to time the opening so we never even slowed down. This bridge is also picturesque.

We'd heard that the cemetery associated with the "Midnight of the Garden of Good and Evil" book is located here, around the Causton Bluff Bridge. Not really sure if this is it, but it seemed to fit the bill. The idea did make this area we floated by seem, well, special ...