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Southbound ’19 – Travel Day 13: Barefoot In South Carolina

Southbound ’19 – Travel Day 13: Barefoot In South Carolina

Conditions: Sunny and warm.  Winds south/southwest 3 kts to start, northwest 11 knots to finish. Waters calm.

Distance traveled: 44 statute miles 

Time underway: 5 hours 29 minutes

Average Speed: 7 kts

Max Speed: 19.3 kts

Fuel used: 26 gallons (1.7 mpg!)

With an approaching front promising gale force winds, rain and freezing temperatures, we shoved off the docks in Southport just shy of 7am knowing that we had around five and a half hours on the water ahead of us.  The weather was supposed to arrive by 2pm and we wanted to be safely tied.

We awoke to a sky heavy with clouds but the waters were calm. Sadly, overnight we lost a nice mat because there are fishing boats that blow right by the marina with no regard for the boats on the docks. The wash was so bad it swept the mat away.

It was quite mild on our departure with the temps rising into the lower 70’s throughout the day, belying the fact that they would drop to the upper 20’s overnight.  So we enjoyed our long and slow cruise from the bridge deck, probably the last time we’ll be able to run up there for a while with the coming weather trend.

The ICW between Southport and Myrtle Beach is almost entirely lined with homes and docks which means keeping our speeds at around six and a half knots for much of the time.  More than that and we’d be rockin’ everything in our path which is bad form and potentially damaging.  So you just have to settle into the slow groove and enjoy the ride, which of course, we did as we rolled into South Carolina.

It never seems to fail that as you are getting into skinny water, one of these little guys scoots in front of you, seemingly oblivious to the fact that you NEED TO BE IN THE CHANNEL!  And yes, the all-caps represents yelling!

There are a couple of iconic “problem” areas in this stretch that kept us on our toes including the area by Lockwoods Folly Inlet, but we had done our homework and knew what to expect so we had perfectly comfortable passages through each.

It’s was great seeing S/V 2 Outrageous and her friendly crew along our journey. In this particular spot, they waited for us as we approached for a bridge opening, allowing us to pass them before going under the bridge. You see, there can be harmony between sailing vessels and motor vessels! Thanks for your kindness and see you down the way 2O.

The Little River Swing Bridge

Check out the creative paint job on this hull! It’s a bit like the beginning of a Romero Britto (Iconic Brazilian artist) painting. Great hull, now PLEASE just answer your radio 🙂

The friendly crew on S/V Stony Island immediately answered when hailed – it’s so nice when it works the way it’s supposed to.

Crab Catchers in Little River, North Carolina looks like the kind of joint we’d love to hang out at.

The approaching winds were right on schedule and started picking up a bit just as we were within about a mile of our destination.  We were safely tied on the face dock at Barefoot Marina in North Myrtle Beach at 12:22 and the winds continued to build throughout the afternoon.  Barefoot Marina in North Myrtle Beach couldn’t be any more convenient.  It’s right on the ICW at mile 354 and passing boats are good at honoring the no-wake zone here, partially because it’s such a narrow area and also because of the Barefoot Landing Bridge just north of the marina.  Tim, the dockmaster, has been a pleasure to deal with and the docks are floating concrete in excellent condition.  While we had targeted another marina a bit further south, they didn’t have space for us so we’re glad it worked out for us to stay here.  Fortunately, the rain held off until Jasper could have a long walk around the property but when the sky opened up it did so powerfully. 

There’s only one thing to do when the rains come…nap! It was the perfect, lazy afternoon.

That next day the skies had cleared but it was deceptive.  It was time to pull out the puffer jackets and caps!  The wind was cutting and while Jasper got a bit of quality walking time, it was nice getting back to a toasty warm boat, but not before heading to the on-site restaurant for lunch.

OLOH on the docks!

A few boats were on the move on our lay day while we were happily staying put at the docks. The Flotilla of Five we had left in Southport leap-frogged ahead of us and faded off into the wind.

Thanks to Mary on m/v Wait’n’Sea for getting this great shot as they braved the day and meandered by on the ICW.

It’s November so the weather is wonky.  We’ll sit out another very windy day before making our way to Georgetown, SC next.  See you out there…

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And that concludes your OLOH instructions. M/Y OLOH back to 1-6

 

 

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