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Southbound ’19 – Two Days In The Homestretch: Georgetown, SC To Beaufort, SC

Southbound ’19 – Two Days In The Homestretch: Georgetown, SC to Beaufort, SC

Travel Day 15: Georgetown to Charleston

Conditions: Cloudy and 46° to start, partly sunny and 54° to finish.  Winds light, waters calm.

Distance traveled: 66 statute miles 

Time underway: 6 hours 44 minutes

Average Speed: 9 kts

Max Speed: 12 kts

Fuel used: 56 gallons

The front that stalled out over the Carolinas with gale-force winds lasted for three days.  Things lightened up slightly on Sunday but with Monday forecast to be calm, we were quite comfortable with the idea of taking three lay days before getting underway and into the home stretch of this trip.  We got a good start on the day and said farewell to Georgetown, which will always be a favorite stop of ours.  While it was a cloudy start to the day, the wind machine had been turned off and we had a delightful run to Charleston, the worst of the conditions being a bit of fog for a short time with one mile visibility which isn’t bad at all.

Once again, we thank the Dockmaster and crew at Harborwalk Marina for their flexibility and hospitality.

S/V Peapod, which was anchored just off our port for the duration of our stay shoved off right before we did but was kind enough to let us pass as we headed out of the harbor.  We got a “see you later A.J. and Tim” holler from the Captain as we passed by!

While the mood of this leg might seem to be set by the gray skies, which hung over us for most of the day, the calm winds and waters made for an incredible ride.

Rather than having a bridge to move vehicles across the water here, there’s a barge that swings back and forth to connect the shorelines.

Instead of a dock to nowhere, this is a dock FROM nowhere. There’s no house, nor road, nor path that leads to it. It’s one of the great mysteries on the ICW! 🙂

This is an interesting crossing because there’s quite a bit of a current here as the ICW crosses the South Santee River.

Obligatory reflecting-trees-on-calm-water photo.

While slowing down may be a chore, these crabbers do appreciate it and we always look at them and the work they do as a vital part of the economy in these parts, not to mention the character and flavor of the ICW.

There are two particularly notorious stretches in this leg, Minim Creek and McClellanville.  But armed with excellent knowledge and tools (and a rising tide) we didn’t even break a sweat.  This was a good year for the ICW with a lot of much-needed dredging going on and McClellanville is, for the moment, a non-issue.

Note the vertical strip of red on the iPad and the magenta boat icon right at the beginning. That’s us heading into McClellanville and the colors represent the depths from the latest Army Corps of Engineers survey. Red is BAD! But, this survey was taken before the recent dredging and we arrived an hour and a half before high-tide. At this point, you can see our depth (add 3 feet) showed 13.5 feet. Plenty of water.

The dredge was at the northern edge of the problem area and its Captain was directing boats on how to proceed by him.  We will always hail a dredge for instructions but very much appreciated this Cap’s proactiveness.

This house wins our favorite-ICW-house award for the day – which is simply a round of hearty applause as we passed by.

We were originally planning to stop just short of Charleston in Isle Of Palms where friends from up north are keeping their boats for a bit but after the lay days and with favorable weather we opted to press on to the Megadock at Charleston City Marina, always a good stop even if we don’t leave the property.

It’s always fun to see friends’ boats far away from home. M/Y Corporate Approved, a beautiful 75′ Hatteras of the Shady Harbor Marina Donovan family, and Miss Meg, a pristine 56 Sea Ray were resting at Isle of Palms.

Approaching Charleston City Marina.

We got a terrific spot on the Megadock and settled in quickly.

Tide was fairly slack when we pulled up, which is a good thing as it can really run along the docks in the Ashley River.  Unfortunately, things got away from the delivery Captain who pulled up behind us in a fairly new 65’+ Princess Yacht.  We were quite surprised to see him approaching at a very odd angle and were then not surprised by the horrible sound of crunching fiberglass when his starboard bow had a solid encounter with the dock.  We were too busy dashing off of OLOH to help the dockhand reign him in to capture it on video but it was something to see and hear.The best part of stopping in Charleston was a visit with an old friend of the Captain’s who he hadn’t seen in more than fifteen years.  Thanks for coming over to OLOH, Dana!

Travel Day 16: Charleston To Beaufort

Conditions: Cloudy and 49° to start, sunny and 62° to finish.  Winds WSW 5-10kts, waters calm to a light chop.

Distance traveled: 67 statute miles 

Time underway: 6 hours 55 minutes

Average Speed: 8.4 kts

Max Speed: 19 kts

Fuel used: 64 gallons

We were awakened at around 5:30 am by the sound of nearby bow thrusters as the gaggle of delivery captains shoved off before first light, presumably to jump out into the ocean and run all the way to Florida, a reasonable undertaking in decent conditions.  After a beautiful sunrise, we were underway from Charleston City Marina by 7:20 am with the slack tide.  The slow-go out of Charleston goes on for a good part of the first fourteen miles with a lot of floating docks and boats in the water.  But our leisurely pace allowed us to arrive at each of the problem spots on a rising tide and navigate through them stress-free.

We are now definitely in the home stretch of Phase 2 of our Southbound ’19 Adventure with only two legs to go before we settle in for the holidays.  From Charleston Harbor, it’s easy to head out into the ocean for points south and the forecast was for calmer seas.  It’s about twenty miles longer to run offshore from Charleston to Beaufort rather than take the inside ICW route.  But with a few more “problem” areas and many miles of no-wake zones, the time underway can pretty much be a wash between the two and running in the ocean can be a lot less stressful if the conditions are right.

Given the favorable tides we expected to have throughout the day and having just come off of several days of unsettled weather which could leave the ocean more rough than forecast, we opted to stay inside and take the day as it came.

While there are plenty of wild and seemingly untouched stretches of nature, there are also plenty of developed areas with a lot of houses and docks to check out.

These tugs were moving 1200 feet of dredging equipment along the ICW! Stay tuned – you’ll see it all in action on our next video.

As we passed under our last bridge into Beaufort, Jasper sensed that our journey for the day was almost at an end. That’s his, “I’m ready to get off this boat and see my Lowcountry people” face!

Beaufort is another one of those places that will always have the feeling of coming home for us.  Port Royal Landing Marina is run by our dear friend Michele and she and her husband Gene and their daughter Alex are some of our favorite people.  We also spent a month at the marina when we took OLOH on its maiden voyage south two years ago so we got to know the area well.

This boat tied up at Beaufort’s downtown marina wins our favorite name of the day prize simply because it was so funny every time the Captain hailed someone. “Beaufort Town Docks this is ‘Why Me Lord’.”

Jasper spied Miss Michele waiting for us on the docks at Safe Harbor Port Royal Landing Marina.  He couldn’t have been more excited!

It’s always wonderful to be greeted by our dear friend and top-notch dockmaster, Miss Michele Clark. She had the day off and came to share an arrival cocktail with us – Spike’s Chasing 80 Painkiller!

Our Port Royal friend and excellent marine AC guy Mr. Chris along with our dear friend (and pro diver) Mr. Gene Clark pay us a visit and try not to disturb Jasper.

We had been looking forward to checking out the newly opened on-site Caribbean inspired restaurant, Marker 244, and can report that it did not disappoint. They did a fantastic job with the design, the menu is our kind of perfect for a waterfront joint and the service was wonderful.

One more leg to go as we make our way to Hilton Head Island next.  See you out there…

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

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. Nice pics and I like the humor that only a cruise would understand and appreciate - the reflection of the trees in the water, etc... Nice shot of Corporate aApproved and Miss Meg.
  2. Another section of the ICW that is one of my favs. We are on Cape Cod by land, dealing with 35 mph wind, not looking forward to the upcoming back home in NY for what looks like over a foot of snow. Missing you guys and being on the water. Peace and Love

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