The Motor Vessel "Once Around"

The Motor Vessel "Once Around"
The Motor Vessel "Once Around" in the Florida Keys

Sunday, April 22, 2012

South Carolina Low Country

As we left Charleston Friday morning, we had to dodge a few sailboats.  Evidently there is some kind of big deal race this weekend, and there were lots of sailboats (in our way) on our route out of Charleston.   OK, I used to race hydroplanes (many, many) years ago, and still miss the thrill of doing 90 mph kneeling down in a 13’ boat.  However, it escapes me how can they call what these sailors do racing?  I mean, they top out at the speed of a slow horse and aren’t even all going in the same direction!  And when you are a power boat, you must give them the right of way when they are under sail.  Unbelievable!  Get a motor!
OK, the previous rant was for the benefit of my friend and travelling companion for the past couple of months, Fred, on Boreas.  He is an (almost) reformed sailor.  Boreas is the name of the Greek god of the north wind.  To be honest though, some of the stories he and Julaine tell about sailing in races with 20-30’ waves on Lake Huron sound as adrenaline filled as my old powerboat racing days.  Still…
The 1530' "Megadock" at Charleston City Marina

Homes lining Charleston Harbor
Once through the sailboat maze in Charleston Harbor, we had an enjoyable 40 miles or so run north on the ICW.  It was overcast and a bit chilly, but my First Mate brought a couple of blankets up to the fly bridge so we didn’t have to put on long pants!  I think I can count on two hands how many times I had to resort to wearing long pants in the past year.  Today wasn’t even close.
The ICW home of the day

Kinda makes you wonder
The Admiral and I had a great chat on the cruise today about whether to re-outfit our “west coast boat”, the Testa Dura, when we get home in a few weeks.  It has been for sale this entire year while we’ve been looping.  I think I about had her convinced it was a good idea, when out of the blue our broker called and said all of a sudden he had three different parties interested.  Well, that would be a whole lot cheaper…
We arrived in McClellanville around 1 PM.  It is a little hole in the wall town with shrimp boats docked up the creek from where we are tied up at Leland Oil.  They just put in some new dockage with good power; it is a nice, quiet place to relax and spend a night. 
The "Not-So-Megadock" at McClellanville

One of our neighbors for the night

And another neighbor

McClellanville's Shrimp Fleet
The Admiral and I had been working on some problems with our chart plotter with Garmin over the phone this past few weeks.  We decided today was a good day to try and get to the bottom of the three problems we had been experiencing.  Short version:  After 2 hours of us tag-teaming their technical folks on the phone (OK, mostly the Admiral was on the phone), we think we solved one problem, potentially solved another (should know tomorrow), and the third…well, evidently we have to send one of our units back to them after we complete the loop so they can work on that one.  Oh well…
We left McClellanville Saturday morning for a nice 28 mile leg to Georgetown, SC, arriving there around lunchtime.  One of the Garmin problems seems to have been corrected, but we are still having trouble getting our AIS targets to show on the chart plotter.  This used to work perfectly so we are pretty sure it is a setting somewhere…
Georgetown is a nice little town, but we hit it on a bad weather day.  Other than a trip to Walmart for provisions, during which we got soaked to the skin just running to and from the car we borrowed, we pretty much laid low most of the afternoon.  Every boater in port was taking the opportunity to use the laundry facilities, so we just “chilled” on Once Around.  The storms broke in the early evening, and we walked into town (only 3 or 4 blocks) to Portofino, a pretty fair Italian restaurant.  The six of us (Boreas crew and their guests, Tom and Barb) enjoyed a long and relaxing dinner.
We had only planned to stay one night in Georgetown, then anchor out a night or two between Georgetown and Myrtle Beach.  But with the weather system hitting the east coast pretty hard, we don’t need to be swinging on a hook.  We decided to stay a second night in Georgetown and try and do a little shopping and sightseeing.  Nice idea, bad timing.  On Sunday the historical district on Front Street was dead.  Very few shops were open.  We did wander around town and had lunch at a little café, but otherwise it was a bust.  Well, maybe not entirely a bust.  The Admiral did find a little store open that had hand-made dolls which were constructed of old quilts.  Her thoughts turned to our granddaughter…and future granddaughters…and before I knew what was up, we had purchased not one, but two of the dolls.  She has named them “Ethel” and “Pearl”, after her grandmothers.  Grandma Carrie can’t wait to get them home and show them to Lia.
A very quiet (on Sunday) Front St., Georgetown, SC

Bet your supermarket hasn't got this selection of grits!

left to right:  Pearl and Ethel
So all in all, it was a quiet day.  The weather looks to be improving and tomorrow we hope to anchor out at Thoroughfare Creek, a cruise of only 17 miles from Georgetown, then on to Myrtle Beach, SC on Tuesday.

 

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