Myrtle Beach August 4th and 5th

Tuesday (8/4) after the hurricane pasted we left the safe harbor Osprey Marina for a ~30 mile journey up to Myrtle Beach Yacht Club. We stopped along the way at Barefoot Landing to grab some lunch Taco Mundo one of the many dockside restaurants. After lunch we made the brief 5 mile voyage through ‘the Rock Pile‘ a notorious stretch of narrows lined with jagged rocks. Actually it wasn’t all that scary.

By mid-day we arrived a the Myrtle Beach Yacht Club was one of the largest marina’s we’ve stayed at since leaving Florida in July. The excellent Yacht Club facilities included a pool and restaurant overlooking the marina. Staff and live aboard boaters in this marina were very friendly and helpful.

Osprey – Riding the Storm Out August 3rd

We enjoyed a beautiful and an easy ride from Georgetown, SC to Osprey, SC on Monday (8/3). Seas were calm and the scenery was beautiful along the Waccamaw River. Thousands of Cyprus trees lined the shoreline along with majestic Southern Live Oaks covered in Spanish Moss.

Once we settled in at the Osprey Marina it was time to get ready for the storm. Around 5pm heavy rains started from Tropical Storm Isaias. The wind and rains steadily increased peaking around 8 pm when they stopped briefly then reversed direction until midnight. Things were not too bad where we were, which was an excellent ‘hurricane hole’ shielded by large pine trees on all side. The next morning we learned that the storm had regained hurricane status (85 mph maximum sustained winds) just before making landfall near Ocean Isle Beach at 11pm. Significant damage occurred along the coastal areas from Ocean Isle Beach up to Southport which got the worst of the storm. We were actually suppose to spend 1 night at Southport on Tuesday (8/3), but the marina was closed due to damage from the storm.

Isle of Palms and Georgetown

Friday (7/31) we took a short ride up to Fort Sumter, then along the ICW to Isle of Palms.

A quick Uber ride to Poe’s Tavern on Sullivan’s Island for some awesome burgers as just the fix to start this beautiful Friday. Once we finished at Poe’s we were off to the beach for sun and fun.

The water was a balmy 80+ degrees, but refreshing.

We did get to stop in at Duleavy’s Pub a couple of times for refreshments (highly recommend this place).

Early Saturday morning we were up and gone before the fishermen heading to Georgetown. This section of the ICW is very remote, we hardly saw any other boaters for miles. Arriving at Georgetown by lunch allowed us to visit the local shops and museums just off the harbor walk area. After an excellent Saturday evening Mass at St Mary’s, we met some fellow AGLCA Loopers for dinner.

On Sunday morning we hosted our friends the Hubbards (Jared, Mallory and Hillary) for a boat ride along the Winyah Bay.

Early Monday morning we departed for Osprey Marina near south Myrtle Beach to ride out the ‘Tropical Storm Isaias’.

Charleston (July 25 – July 31)

Saturday morning (7/25) we departed Bohicket Marina on John’s Island around 11am for an ICW trip to Charleston. The day was calm and seas were light for the beautiful ‘inland’ voyage. As we got closer to Charleston on the Stono River the boat traffic increased considerably. We took the Elliott Cut (a narrow 3 mile channel also known as Wappo Creek). Once reaching the end of Wappo Creek we entered the Ashley River which skirts the southern side of Charleston. Lots of boaters here on a sunny Saturday morning. Views of Castle Pinckney, Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter off our starboard side were excellent.

Cruising around “The Battery” we saw several dolphins as we headed up the Cooper River which borders the northern side of Charleston. We docked at the Charleston Maritime Center just a few blocks away from history downtown with an awesome view of the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point and the Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge.

For docktails this evening we were greeted by Kingsport friends, Craig and Tammy Kilgore, who now live in the Charleston area on Daniel Island. Later Saturday evening we took a quick walking tour of Bay Street stopping in for some pizza & beer at New York City PIzza.

Sunday morning we took a 1.5 mile walk to St John the Baptist Catholic Cathedral. This beautiful cathedral was nearly complete with some major interior renovations that prevented us from seeing the main chapel, but we did get to attend a mass in the lower chapel and tour the grounds.

After church we hopped aboard the ‘CARTA’s DASH Trolley free bus’ for a quick ride around downtown on the way back to Harris-Teeter (for groceries).

Following lunch we headed for the Charleston Museum to get a multi-pass for the museum as well as two historic homes (Joseph Manigault House and Heyward Washington House)

Mary found the awesome Tea & Spice Exchange shop near the famed Historic Charleston City Market. Touring the City Market, a must see activity, is easy to do given it central location and the fact that the market is open 7 days a week.

Following the home tours we had excellent crab cake w/beers at Fleeting Landing.

Provost Dungeon

Charleston Museum

Battery

Rainbow Row Houses

Yorktown Aircraft Carrier and Lafferty Battleship

Beaufort, SC (7/15 thru 7/24)

We left Hilton Head late in the day on Wednesday (7/15) for the short hop up to Beaufort SC. It was an easy and beautiful voyage to the Downtown Marina of Beaufort where we were greeted by the helpful dock hand. That evening we ate onboard then took a quick tour of the waterfront which was just steps from the marina. Music from the local restaurants could be heard from our marina slip at just the right volume.

The next day (Thursday 7/16) we rented bikes for the week, and started a full day tour of “The Point” – the historic district where there’s lots of antebellum old homes and churches. (many movies were made here such as Forrest Gump, The Big Chill, The Great Santini, Full Metal Jacket, Jungle Book, The Fugitive, A Perfect World, GI Jane, Forces of Nature, The Prince of Tides, and more).

We saw the First African Baptist Church with the grave of the first paster out back and oldest church in Beaufort = St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, and then went to the new church catholic church on Lady’s Island Sunday morning.

On Friday we re-positioned the boat to Port Royal Marina just 3 miles down the Beaufort River toward Parris Island (home of the US Marine Corp Recruiting Center) which we could see from our boat, but were not allowed to visit due to COVID. From the boardwalk in the Port Royal Marina you can see the bridge that Forrest Gump ran across in the movie right next to us. After settling in to the new marina, we took the bikes and went to the YMCA for a dip in the pool.

Saturday was a very busy day, starting back at the YMCA for morning workout, then biking to the local Farmers Market (two of Mary’s favorite things to do). We also stopped in at the local Piggly Wiggly and wine store to grab a few items for dinner. On the way back we found a local seafood market that had ‘oysters’ that Larry could not resist buying. Mary made an awesome shrimp dinner Saturday evening.

On Sunday we were up early for a 4 mile bike ride to St Peters Catholic Church, which was followed by another 4 miles into downtown Beaumont to enjoy an excellent Italian meal at Panini’s on the Waterfront.

Following lunch we were still ~5-6 miles from the boat by bike so we mounted up and rode a good portion of the Spanish Moss Trail that terminates near downtown Port Royal (very close to the YMCA pool, which was a perfect end of day activity after 14 miles of biking in >90 degree weather).

Monday thru Thursday were spend biking, exploring historic Port Royal including Cypress Wetlands, Sands Beach and the Historic Port Royal Foundation Museum.

The only museum we found open (due to COVID closing everything else) was the Historic Port Royal Foundation museum. The two people were so nice and told us all about the area with stories about people they knew from the last 60 years!! Port Royal flew 7 different flags during its history. Finished the day with planning and charcuterie back at the boat.

We rode most of the Spanish Moss Trail from Port Royal up to Merritt Field home of the Marine Corps Air Station just past Beaufort, SC. Daily you can hear ‘the sound of freedom‘ roaring across the sky as F/A-18 Hornets, F-35B & F-35C Lighting II fly their daily missions.

We did find a couple of local restaurant gems: The Carolina Tavern & Agave Mexican Grill

Friday morning we depart early for Bohicket Marina for a 1-night stay en-route to Charleston for 6-days.

Hilton Head Island (7/12 thru 7/15)

Sunday morning’s cruise was slow and steady for the 1/2 day journey out of Savannah GA, across the river into South Carolina. We motored up the Atlantic ICW past Tybee Island, then past Daufuskie Island, around the south end of Hilton Head’s famous Harbour Town (Sea Pines Resort), then up to Safe Harbor Skull Creek Marina near the home of our friends Stan and Tish Scroggin who live in the Plantation.

Odd event occurred on this voyage…. shortly after departing Bull River, GA our port-side engine gave us a ‘high temperature’ warning. So Larry quickly went to the engine room to discover that the raw water (sea) strainer was leaking around the top cover. One of the many beautiful things about having two engines is that you have the option to run on a single engine with ‘no worries’. So we motored onward with one engine pondering how to solve the problem. Turns out it was an easy solution, just let the water temp drop and then properly secure the strainer cover. We later concluded that when Larry had cleaned the strainers the day before, he had not properly leveled the top before tightening the wing nuts. Lesson learned.

We spent 3 wonderful nights in Hilton Head, largely thanks to the use of Stan’s vehicle which allowed us to drive around everywhere. Sunday night we dined at the Salty Dog on the south end at Sea Pines where there was live music and great food. Here’s a picture of a hermit crab at the restaurant that some clams were spitting at…

Monday we had some boat chores to do which included some dingy repairs. Once we had our chores done we took a dingy ride around the local area to check out the restaurant options for Tuesday night and were passed by a big barge!

On Monday evening, Stan & Tish invited us to there home for a fabulous meal of Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil skewer appetizers, thick smoked pork chops, a summer tomato pie, and grilled vegetables (eggplant, yellow squash and zucchini). Check out this photo of a gator in their backyard.

Tuesday was a beach day spent at Bradley Beach. The ocean was a warm 80 degrees, a perfect day for sun and fun! Later in the day Stan & Tish visited us on Living the Dream for ‘dock tails’ and Mary’s boat version of charcuterie. After snacks Larry & Mary took the dingy to Hudson’s On The Dock for great shrimp and some scallops, oysters… Yum!

Brunswick Landing Marina (July 10th) \ Cruising outside (July 11th) \ Savannah (July 11-12)

We made the very short trip from Jekyll Island to Brunswick on a sunny Friday morning to get ‘inexpensive $2/gal diesel’ and prep for an early morning ‘open water’ trip to Savannah.

Brunswick is a pretty neat coastal town that has retained it’s historical downtown storefronts. We ventured downtown to see the sites and grab a bite around 2PM at the highly acclaimed Tipsy McSways (burgers & beer).

One of the cool places was this historic theater, The Ritz. Although it was not currently being used, we were allowed to peak inside and take a few pictures.

It was a very hot day and not much going on or open downtown, so we headed back to the boat for some boat cleaning and a shower. Mary helped the local Dock master with a diesel fuel leak for about 20 minutes from one of the boats that had filled next to our boat. He was glad to have the help and gave us some extra absorbent towels for our future use, (as we used all our ours).

After 8PM when it cooled down, we went back downtown, ordered a pizza to go and stopped in the newly opened Silver Bluff Brewing to enjoy a craft beer with our pizza. Although tables were separated for social distancing and face masks were being worn by some, this location had quite a few patrons so we didn’t stay long.

Silver Bluff Brewing in downtown Brunswick

On Friday morning (7/11) we departed Brunswick for Savannah taking an “open water” route for ~80 miles.

The ~4 hours open ocean run was pretty easy, but not Mary’s favorite way to travel. We do burn a lot more fuel running at 20 mph, about 30 gph, but it’s an excellent way to travel if you need to go far and don’t want to take all day doing it.

As we exited the Saint Simons Sound we passed a huge salvage operation for the MV Golden Ray (lots of cool details about this shipwreck are available at this link https://www.npr.org/2020/02/27/810021749/overturned-cargo-ship-soon-to-be-sliced-up-and-removed-from-georgia-sound .

Once we reached the Wassaw Sound (just off of Tybee Island) it was very easy going up the Bull River to the marina. Interestingly the Bull River is very deep (>50 ft) in many places. Once docked, we did a quick boat cleaning and headed to Saturday evening mass at the local Catholic Church. The Flying Fish Bar & Grill (a short walk from the marine) was an excellent dinner choice. We met the neighboring boaters (Terry and Tammie??) and had some dock-tales later with them. On Sunday (7/12) morning we visited our neighbors again on their boat and met their two lovely friendly parrots (Bella in Green and ??) before leaving Bull River Marina.

Ready to depart Bull River Marina near downtown Savannah

Jekyll Island (July 7th thru July 10th)

This is one of Larry’s favorite stops so far. Lots to see and do on this lovely island. Rich with history and amenities. The marina is located near the center of the island and very close to all the major shops with historic downtown a short bike ride away. With complementary bicycles and a couple of temporary use golf carts we managed to see most of the island in just 2 days.

On our way to Jekyll, our dinghy tried to escape when one of the rigging ropes came loose and it started bumping in the water and against the boat. After this, we had to slow down as we towed the dinghy the rest of the way to Jekyll and Larry re-rigged the ropes after we were docked.

The marina was filled to maximum capacity with live aboards as well as transients. The high/low tide changes twice per day and it’s a significant 6ft change. Having floating docks is pretty essential in locations where the tidal changes are large.

Tuesday we took the golf cart tour and then walked back to the market to get a few items for the gourmet dinner onboard.

Went bike riding all around the island. The enormous old trees with moss looking air ferns attached were spectacular.

Then we went to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, where we learned that one of their favorite foods was fiddler crabs! No wonder sea turtle nesting is so popular here!! They had a sea turtle rehabilitation area where turtles were recuperating after surgery or to get them back to good health. We also saw them doing actual surgery on a snake that had eaten a small plastic egg!! (no picture on this one — gross!)

Fernandina Beach (July 6th) coming and going

This was the route up to Fernandina Beach from Palm Cove

The marina at Fernandina Beach is near the historic downtown area and between a couple of large industrial plants (paper mills) and a huge ship repair facility. We walked around downtown, but it was raining, and by the time we arrived after our storm experience to get here, it was close to 5PM and many places were shutting down. We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant within walking distance from the marina and then called it a night.

Living the Dream is in the center of this photo, our neighbors in the HUGE yacht next door were on the Reef Chief
Prior to the American Revolution several British military members occupied the coastal areas of FL and GA. Notice the large crane and cruise ship in the background which are >1/4 mile away.

After our harrowing experience the day before, we really studied the weather to determine the best time to leave out of Fernandina Beach. It looked like there was another chance for thunderstorms on Tuesday around lunchtime, so we opted to get moving early at 7AM to make sure we got to Jekyll Island before noon and avoid the afternoon thunderstorms.

Beautiful morning sunrise as we are leaving Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island at daybreak.

On the way, to Jekyll Island, we passed a naval base near Kings Bay and St. Mary, GA. As we approached the naval security area, we were hailed by naval security and reminded to “keep maximum distance” from the naval ships docked there.

This cute little lighthouse was between Fernandina and Jekyll Island in the St Andrews sound near ‘The Hole’, a location known for Lots of deep water.

Palm Cove (July 5th)

We departed beautiful St Augustine after church the morning of July 5th headed toward Palm Cove Marine, a short ~30 mile journey up the Atlantic ICW. On the way to Palm Cove, there were quite a lot of nice mansions and many docks on the water to motor by. Here are some of these great mansions we saw.

Notice the Mother -In-Law quarters too!?!

This sleepy little marina has a shallow entry but once we docked we found things to be quite nice, although at low tide, there was quite a bit of mud visible just 100 yards from the boat! Within a short walk we found a West Marine store, McDonalds and Publix. We’re all restocked now! We also hired a local diver to do a bottom cleaning ($120), which had not been done since early June in Titusville. We waited for high tide around 11AM Monday to avoid bumping the bottom or running aground when we left the shallow\narrow waterway out of this small marina. All was good until about 2PM when we were caught in a major lightening thunderstorm!!! We were pummeled with rain and talk about being nervous! One strike hit the water just about 100 yards from the boat and knocked the cellphone right out of Mary’s hand — she felt the lightening shock from the phone !!! Needless to say, we were glad when the storm passed and we were able to dock at Fernandina Beach Marina