Just a quick update and some pictures.
It seems that the slower the boat moves, the less time we have.
Passing Battery Point in Charleston, South Carolina.
On Sunday afternoon we arrived at Brunswick Landing Marina in Brunswick, Georgia. Very nice facility with an excellent staff. And a good number of boats either waiting to move South or here for the duration for one reason or another. Mostly experienced Cruisers.
Our last few days in the ICW were a bit sketchy. We were in the south of South Carolina and moving deeper into the hinterlands of the ICW. Georgia is known for have the least maintained section with radical depth changes. Plenty of shoaling, not helped any by the tides running up to nine feet. Sounds like Maine tides, but there, the tides roll over rock and don’t push sand around.
Where's the water?
On Wednesday, we came across two power boats and a sailboat at Isle of Palms, hard aground. It was dead low tide in Hamlin Creek and only 9:15, so we decided to do the prudent thing and anchored quickly in 10 feet of water to wait for some room to float by. Once the power boats floated away, at about 9:45, we eased our way through with as little as 6.1 feet showing on our depth meter.
Plenty of beautiful spots, though.
Thursday was a short day for us to Beaufort, South Carolina where we tied up at the Downtown Marina for a day at ease.
That's B-you-fert! Not, Bow-fert.
A great walking tour of the Town took us to the National Cemetery,…
The National Cemetery established in 1864.
Contains soldiers from both sides of the Civil War.
This is the New Hampshire Veterans section.
the historic Episcopal Church,...
Historic Episcopal Church,...
… and Cemetery.
plenty of great, Old Southern homes and the house made famous in the movie The Big Chill.
The Big Chill. Filmed here.
Dinner at the Old Bull Tavern was itself well worth the visit.
Candy Canes are out in Beaufort!
Friday we were off the dock by 8:35 and hard aground at 1:00. Fields Cut in the Wright River near Jones Island, South Carolina. Just a mere 2 ½ miles North of the Savannah River. We had heard two boats aground all morning; talking to TowBoat US and kibitzing with each other about their mutual dilemma. By the time we arrived, one was free and gone. The other was way out of the channel and not happy. About two miles further on the TowBoat US sped past us on their way to the remaining powerboat’s salvation. Minutes later, in the middle of the channel, we dropped from depths of 12 to 6 to 5 to 4. Full stop. Having no response to our radio hailing of the TowBoat US captain that just passed us (we knew he was probably busy), I plugged our boat and membership info into my Boat US iPhone App and hit the Call button. Instantly connected. The operator had our latitude and longitude called up on his screen. He contacted our nearby Tow captain and within 10 minutes our Tow was at the scene. A quick pull and instructions to hug the left side of the creek and we were on our way. A bit wiser to the tidal vagaries.
We anchored at Isle of Hope, Georgia and the next morning departed at first light at 7:05 knowing that we were just twenty minutes off high tide and needed all the water we could get South of the Savannah River. We followed the same process on Sunday. Both days we saw 12 and 10 foot depths at high tide, where the chart indicated those depths were to be expected only at low tide. We saw plenty of 8s and 7s and 6s, as well. Clearly, there were seasonal tidal issues being confronted. Likely, all the water was being sucked up to New England for their anticipated Nor’Easter.
Worse than the depths though, we spent these days either being pushed at 8.5 to 9.2 knots by a fast moving current, or turning a bend into a different creek and being slowed to 3.8 to 4.8 as we fought the same current moving toward a different drainage. Very frustrating.
These two States had some timely "shovel-ready" projects,
since at least three expected swing bridges
have been replaced by big, new fixed bridges.
But now, the rain and wind have gone. Did I mention that on Saturday we had a 90 minute deluge that could have refloated Noah’s Ark? Or convinced you to rebuild it. That was also the day that the wind never dropped below 30 knots. The Georgia sun is out. The sky is blue. We are working though a list of boat chores and work projects. Eleven days on the ICW from Oriental and its good to be stopped.
Headed to NYC for Christmas (via Delta) and then we’ll be back to continue our Southern migration. Happy Holidays, all!!
Nothing much to add from the demoted First Mate. Water depths too ‘wiggy’ for me…Capt was on the wheel non-stop for the last two days while I asked if it had stopped raining yet, or what the wind was, or if he wanted gloves…really helpful stuff! We’re using up on-board stores for food to be able to start 2014 with fresh long-term storage goods. This marina is most likely the most ‘like-minded’ professional marina we’ve been in, with very friendly and knowledgeable office staff, lifetime cruisers, boat people who actually move about on their boats from anywhere you can name to places you can’t. Free world-class laundry facilities, beautiful club house with socials regularly…and we’re right across from a state prison and an old historic downtown turned ghost town thanks to strip-mall boom. You can certainly see the transition of a country’s economy travelling by water. We’re eager to see at least two of our kids, and some warmer temperatures promised later this week. We’re still sleeping with heater on all night and two blankets, not going above for coffee until the sun is well high – 9:30 or so. For all that, there’s no shoveling, no windshield scraping, no white-knuckles behind a plow. It’s a good thing!